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Cablegate: Cndp "Suspends" Participation in Goma Process After Leak Of

VZCZCXRO5656
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0190/01 0550840
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240840Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7581
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000190

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: CNDP "suspends" participation in Goma process after leak of
MONUC report on January killings

Ref: Kinshasa 186

1. (SBU) Summary. CNDP announced "suspension" of its participation
in the Goma peace process and of "all collaboration" with MONUC
following leak of a internal MONUC/UNHRO report alleging CNDP
responsibility for a January 2007 mass killing in Kalonge, North
Kivu. MONUC speculates CNDP is using the report as a pretext to
gain time for internal negotiations. MONUC stands behind the
report, and is working with other international facilitators to get
the process back on track. End Summary.

--------------------------------------
UN report blames CNDP for mass killing
--------------------------------------

2. (SBU) In late January, a UN field mission investigated and
confirmed the mass killing of at least 21, and perhaps as many as
50, civilians January 16-17 in Kalonge, 15 km northeast of Masisi
town in North Kivu. An internal report by MONUC's human rights
division, which also functions as the UNHRO office in Congo,
concluded that they were killed by CNDP soldiers using shotguns,
machetes and hammers. The majority of the victims were men, but
also included a one-year old baby, a 14-year old boy and one woman
(whom investigators concluded had probably been hit by a stray
bullet).

3. (SBU) According to the report, the area around Kalonge had been
controlled by CNDP since October 2007, when its largely-Hutu
residents fled to villages under the control of PARECO militia.
They had returned several weeks before the massacre after the
withdrawal of CNDP troops. However, CNDP forces returned, and
established checkpoints outside villages near Kalonge and Lubale.
The report concludes that CNDP forces arrested, beat and killed
civilians over a two-day period with gunshots, machetes or hammer
blows to the head. Others who tried to flee were hunted down and
killed.

4. (SBU) The UNHRO team interviewed 20 eyewitnesses, but were unable
to visit neighboring villages to talk to others because of the
security situation. Interviews suggested that the killings "were
planned and that civilians were targeted." One witness said that
solders told her husband, "You are PARECO, you live with PARECO. We
are the CNDP and we are going to kill you."

------------------------------------
MONUC scrambles, and the CNDP reacts
------------------------------------

5. (SBU) The report was leaked by an unknown source, presumably
within MONUC, and press reports began appearing February 19. A
prepared statement read by MONUC spokesman Kemal Saiki at MONUC's
weekly press conference the next day in Kinshasa included reference
to the Kalonge incident under the heading "MONUC reaction to the
human rights situation in North Kivu." The statement laid
responsibility for the incident to the "forces of dissident General
Laurent Nkunda," but it was bracketed, and in fact followed, the
description of an atrocity allegedly committed by the FARDC 2nd
Integrated Brigade. This attempt to appear impartial was apparently
lost on CNDP.

6. (SBU) A statement dated February 21 and signed by Nkunda was
posted on the CNDP website the following day. It criticized MONUC,
Saiki, and Goma Head of Office Alpha Sow, questioned MONUC's
impartiality and called for an independent investigation of the
Kalonge incident. It announced suspension of "all collaboration
with MONUC," although not "other members of the International
Facilitation." It accused MONUC of acting in bad faith and claimed
MONUC "has tried everything to harm the CNDP." It also raised the
earlier Kamina brassage-center incident (reftel), calling it
"extremely embarrassing for MONUC" because it called into question
the DDR process.

------------
MONUC reacts
------------

7. (SBU) MONUC officials speculate that CNDP is using the incidents
at Kalonge and Kamina to generate time for "internal CNDP
negotiations." Its press office issued a stand-alone statement
February 21 which reaffirmed that MONUC stood by the report. It
expressed MONUC's confidence that an independent investigation would
come to the same conclusions, and promised to cooperate with any
such investigation. MONUC officials will not say so publicly, but
told us privately they would welcome an investigation.

KINSHASA 00000190 002 OF 002


International facilitators are working with MONUC to get the process
back on track.

8. (SBU) Note: While CNDP was publicly lambasting MONUC, they
privately asked for logistical support -- air transportation -- to
move 25 political cadres from the eastern border to Kitchanga for
internal consultations. End note.

-------
Comment
-------

9. (SBU) In a separate conversation February 22, Anneke van
Woudenberg of Human Rights Watch, who had also reviewed the leaked
report, told us it was actually in draft form and had not been
through the usual editing and clearance processes. She said it is
clear from the text that 20-30 people were killed: what is not is
whether this was something ordered by the CNDP hierarchy (and if so
at what level) or more of a settling of scores. End comment.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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