Cablegate: Goma Notes - Nairobi Process: 14th Meeting of Jmg Task
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0287/01 0840743
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240743Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7716
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KINSHASA 000287
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS MARR PGOV KPKO CG RW SF UN EUN
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES - NAIROBI PROCESS: 14TH MEETING OF JMG TASK
FORCE, MARCH 21, 2008
1. (SBU) Summary. The March 21 Joint Monitoring Group Task Force
session in Goma went reasonably smoothly, with little wrangling.
Congo characterized its post-March 15 military plans against the
ex-FAR/Interahamwe as a "progressive operation," not "classical
war." Rwanda characterized as "positive" Congolese response to its
request for, and cooperation at, a March 16 meeting of army chiefs
of staff. Rwanda's demobilization chief said its program has
processed 6,423 adult returnees and 669 children since 2001, and has
plenty of capacity remaining. Task Force members remain divided
about a proposed meeting with the Congo-Rwanda Joint Verification
Teams in the absence of instructions from JMG Envoys. End summary.
2. (SBU) The 14th meeting of the Nairobi process Joint Monitoring
Group (JMG) Task Force March 21 in Goma was a reasonably smooth
session that once again ended on time, at 1430. There was some
wrangling, albeit brief and decorous. MONUC-Goma Head of Office
Alpha Sow chaired in the absence of the incoming political chief.
The U.S., EU (Belgian Consul General Hughes Chantry of Bukavu in the
absence of Jean-Michel Dumont), South Africa, AU, and MONUC DDRRR
and Political also attended. Colonel Augustin Mamba was again at
the head of the DRC delegation.
3. (SBU) The Rwandan delegation (headed as usual by Major Franco
Rutangengwa and augmented by Jean Sanyizoga, Director of the
National Demobilization Commission) went out of its way to say that
"there has been an improvement in bilateral relations in the past
three weeks," which, in view of the acrimony that has often
prevailed at Task Force meetings since its start-up in December,
represents a big step forward. The minutes were approved with only
a minor change by the Rwandan delegation, which congratulated the
chair and the secretariat for even-handed reporting (for a change,
Update on DRC post-March 15 plans
4. (SBU) Mamba reiterated that the FARDC was now engaged in a
"progressive operation," "not a classical war" against the
ex-FAR/Interahamwe (ex-FAR/IH). Specific points:
-- Units have been moved from Goma into Masisi and Walikale, with
the aim of limiting access to mining areas. Further units are being
brought to Goma from Kitona.
-- The emphasis on limiting access to mineral resources will be
pursued in both North and South Kivu. Aircraft known to have been
transporting product from these areas have been grounded by the
civil aviation authorities, and vehicles moving in and out are being
stopped and searched. "Clashes" will start in "identified areas"
-- Political and diplomatic efforts are continuing in parallel with
the military campaign.
5. (SBU) Rwanda made a few comments/queries:
Q: What was DRC doing to implement the provisions in UNSC
Resolution 1804 on limiting movement and freezing assets of
A: As we said, we are focusing for now on limiting access to mining
areas; other operations will begin in due course.
Q: We want to know everything you can tell us about the two FDLR
divisions known to be in North and South Kivu: where are they
operating, with what equipment?
A: For now, we are focusing on mining areas, as described, and this
is not the place to discuss such matters.
Q: We know that ex-FAR/IH units are blended into the civilian
population. What steps are you taking to protect the latter?
A: We have given you our full operational program, but the Task
Force is not the forum in which to discuss operational details. We
have been running "sensibilisation" activities in all affected
communities and have advised all traditional chiefs to ensure that
their populations move away from ex-FAR/IH units.
Q: You are supposed to move captured ex-FAR/IH to reception centers
and cantonment areas. Where are these? Who is in them?
A: This is a DDRRR/DDR question, something we handle jointly with
MONUC, let's put this on the agenda for the next meeting. (Comment:
This was clearly a maneuver to put MONUC on the spot, since it is
believed that plans and preparations are not well advanced for
DDRRR, and especially for DDR of FDLR elements electing to remain in
KINSHASA 00000287 002 OF 003
DRC. End comment.)
DRC-Rwanda chiefs of staff meeting
6. (SBU) The Rwandan delegation used its opening presentation to
highlight concerns about joint threats by FARDC and ex-FAR/IH on its
border. It said that it had requested the March 16 emergency
meeting between the Rwandan and Congolese chiefs of staff in Goma,
facilitated by MONUC Acting Force Commander General Bikram Singh, to
deal with these. (Note: Others on the Task Force thought the
meeting had been called by the DRC, to discuss post-March 15
planning. However, the Rwandan characterization substantially
tracks with information presented by SRSG Doss to P3+2 Ambassadors
March 17 in Kinshasa. End note.) It said the Congolese response
and their cooperation at the meeting were "positive."
7. (SBU) Specific agreements reached at that meeting:
-- DRC would begin immediately to launch attacks against
-- There will be an increase in intelligence cooperation and
-- MONUC has agreed to facilitate immediate investigations by the
bilateral Joint Verification Teams (JVT) into the Rwandan
-- Local commanders in border areas will be instructed to cooperate
and share information.
-- The two chiefs of staff will continue to meet on a regular
8. (SBU) Rutagengwa referred repeatedly to what he called a "press
release" of the meeting, but when a U.S. delegate asked for a copy
following conclusion of the Task Force session, Rutagengwa said that
in fact it was "still unofficial," as it "had not been signed." He
said he would try to get copies for next week's meeting. MONUC has
not seen the "press release" either.
Rwandan demobilization activities
9. (SBU) Sanyizoga, the demobilization chief, presented an overview
of Rwandan demobilization activities as a special agenda item. He
said the program is based on overarching strategic principles of
"unity" and "national security." All Rwandans, including rebels and
authors of genocide, are encouraged to come home and participate in
the program, confessing their crimes if necessary. "The door is
open to all who wish to return. We do not want a diaspora."
10. (SBU) But Rwandans who have settled in other countries and wish
to remain there are also encouraged to do so: Rwanda has no problem
with their taking dual nationality if this suits their purposes, and
Rwandan nationality is inalienable, even if the host country
requires a renunciation of it in order to achieve local nationality.
(Comment: These are hot-button issues for the Congolese, who
specifically forbid dual nationality and for whom the concept of an
inalienable second nationality held by Congolese raises fears of
fifth columns. End comment.)
11. (SBU) Sanyizoga described the program in terms of its
administrative details, the kinds of orientation ("not
brainwashing") given at the reception camps, the various
resettlement packages on offer, etc. The program has processed
6,423 adult returnees and 669 children since 2001. There is plenty
of capacity: Rwanda has the physical resources and the budget to
receive as many DDRRR returnees as DRC and MONUC can generate. The
program, which was originally scheduled to close at the end of 2008,
has been extended through 2011.
12. (SBU) In "Other Business," Mamba suggested that, as the JMG
Envoys would be meeting in New York on April 16, and since many of
the Task Force regulars also attend the Envoys' meeting, it would be
a good idea to skip the Task Force meeting that week, all the more
so since TF meetings held at such times in the past have been
particularly dismal and unproductive.
13. (SBU) This sounded like a splendid idea to many of the other
participants (smiles and nods around the table), but the Rwandan
delegation objected strenuously, saying that it was important to
continue to show commitment to the Nairobi process by meeting no
matter what: while some delegations (i.e., the DRC's) might be a
KINSHASA 00000287 003 OF 003
little thin at such times, others (i.e., Rwanda's) were more solidly
structured and were ready to meet under all circumstances. The
matter was left undecided.
14. (SBU) The Rwandan delegation remains robustly focused on the
allegations it has previously put forward of collusion between FARDC
and ex-FAR/Interahamwe, ex-FAR/IH build-ups along the Rwandan
border, incursions by the latter into Rwanda, and confirmation of
all of the above by arrested infiltrators. When they requested that
a full presentation of this be made to the Task Force by the JVT,
the U.S. and South Africa pointed out that this was not possible
because the JVT cannot brief the JMG on its work without specific
instructions from the JMG Envoys.
15. (SBU) This permission has not formally been sought because the
Rwandan delegation had at previous meetings blocked making an
official Task Force recommendation to this effect to the Envoys. We
would welcome, we said, a full presentation by the JVT of the
results of all its allegation investigations as soon as possible --
i.e. (unless the JVT have a change of heart), as soon as the Envoys
can be persuaded to issue the appropriate instructions. End