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Cablegate: Joint Monitoring Group Task Force - February 22

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OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0196/01 0571004
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261004Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7588
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 000196

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO CG RW
SUBJECT: Joint Monitoring Group Task Force - February 22

REF: 07 Kinshasa 1419

1. Summary. Intervention by MONUC political chief Christian Manahl
February 22 in Goma promises to impose some discipline on future
meetings of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) Task Force. Manahl
conveyed JMG envoys' dismay at the meetings' lack of focus and
presented generally well-received proposals aimed at shortening and
revitalizing them. Rwanda emphasized it had done everything asked
of it in the Nairobi communique. Congo noted that leak of the
number of genocide suspects on Rwanda's list had slowed its FDLR
sensitization campaign, and said it expected to begin military
action against the FDLR sometime after March 15. End Summary.

-------------------
An end to wrangling
-------------------

2. (SBU) Christian Manahl, MONUC's acting political adviser, raised
longstanding concerns about the productivity of the Nairobi
communique's Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) Task Force during his
co-chairmanship of its 10th meeting February 22 in Goma. Manahl,
who had participated in the JMG envoys meeting in Brussels the week
before, told members that envoys had complained that the task force
spent too much of its time discussing minutes. He noted that one
envoy had threatened to pull representatives from task force,
calling the meetings "a waste of time."

3. (SBU) Manahl was forced to return to the subject again after
Congolese and Rwandan delegates continued to spend considerable time
wrangling over the text of minutes from the previous week. He said
bluntly that the envoys were "absolutely scandalized that so much
time is being wasted." The message was finally received, and
welcomed, by most of members. Meeting reports will henceforward
include only basic information on who attended, what was decided,
who needs to take what action before the next meeting. (Note:
Nevertheless, the meeting lasted six-and-a-half hours from start to
finish. End note.)

----------------
Down to business
----------------

4. (SBU) Discussion finally turned to Rwanda's and Congo's regular
presentations on implementing the communique. The Rwandans
emphasized they had done everything asked of them and asked again
for specifics on the FDLR. The Congolese talked about their
sensitization program to encourage FDLR to return to Rwanda. The
leak of the number of potential "genocidaires" (over 6000) on
Rwanda's list was slowing the program. FDLR members assumed they
might be on it and were thus afraid to go home. The Congolese said
the FARDC will begin military action against FDLR after March 15 and
expected to resolve the problem "within 40 days." They also
notified the group of a CNDP training center in Tshnzu, near
Bunagana.

5. (SBU) Manahl provided an informal readout of the JMG envoys
meeting in Brussels. He stated that the issue of the genocidaires
list was controversial and would be dealt with in another forum.
The Rwandans also offered their interpretation on the meeting.

---------------------------
Revitalizing the task force
---------------------------

6. (SBU) Manahl cited a request that the Congo-Rwanda Joint
Verification Commission (JVC) and the JMG Task Force work together,
and suggested that a JVC representative address a future meeting of
the task force. This was met with general interest. However, the
Rwandans objected that it was not a proper function for the task
force. An international member contended it was appropriate because
both Congo and Rwanda continue to raise allegations of violations in
task force meetings. The Rwandans insisted they were not making
"allegations," but simply "informing" the task force.

7. (SBU) Manahl and the Congolese delegation proposed that the task
force meet every two weeks going forward. He suggested that other
activities might take place during the vacant week. The Congolese
suggested members could visit a small group of South Kivu FDLR who
were ready to repatriate. The Rwandans expressed concern about
security and immunity in connection with traveling in Congo,
pointing out they were uncomfortable with doing so without
diplomatic credentials. The task force agreed to request the
Congolese government to issue travel documents which would address
these concerns.

8. (SBU) In an effort to energize future proceedings, members agreed

KINSHASA 00000196 002 OF 002


to Manahl's proposal that the next task force meeting hear
presentations by Congo and MONUC on the FDLR sensitization program
and DDRRR.

--------------------------------
Comment: Deja-vu all over again
--------------------------------

9. Comment: MONUC's three-month presidency of the task force has
had its share of growing pains. Its acting chairman bypassed
agreement by participants at the initial task force meeting in
December on a limited reporting format similar to that put forward
by Manahl (reftel), leading directly to the current malaise. It
also failed to follow-up Congolese delegates' lack of response to
the Rwandan request for travel documents made at that first meeting,
leaving the Rwandans to raise it again 10 weeks later. End
Comment.

Garvelink

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