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Cablegate: Goma Notes - Nairobi Process: 15th Meeting of Joint

VZCZCXRO8767
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0305/01 0910926
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 310926Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7740
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 000305

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS KPKO CG RW UN EUN
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES - NAIROBI PROCESS: 15TH MEETING OF JOINT
MONITORING GROUP TASK FORCE, MARCH 28, 2008

REF: Kinshasa 287

1. Summary. The March 28 meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group
(JMG) Task Force in Goma was again generally businesslike. The DRC
claims to have captured Rwandan-national CNDP fighters, and the
prisoners have alleged the presence of more. The DRC also claims to
have captured a brigade-level FDLR intelligence chief in Masisi.
FARDC is planning troop movements through CNDP territory, creating
potential for Goma-process tensions. FARDC will appoint a new
overall commander of Nairobi-related operations. The Rwandan
delegation accused the FARDC 8th Military Region Deputy Commander of
collusion with the FDLR. Minutes of the JMG Envoys meeting remain
unavailable, so no cooperation with the Congo-Rwanda Joint
Verification Teams (JVT) is yet possible. End summary.

2. (SBU) The March 28 meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG)
Task Force in Goma was again generally businesslike, although with a
few tense moments during the GDRC's presentation. The meeting began
at 1030 and ended at 1500. The Congolese delegation, led once again
by Colonel Augustin Mamba, was expanded by the presence of Colonel
Delphin Kahimbi, acting commander of the 8th Military Region (in the
absence of General Vainqueur Mayala), and of Major Peter Chirimwana,
the regional head of military intelligence. The Rwandan delegation
was led as usual by Major Franco Rutagengwa. Other delegations were
present as usual; Consul General Hughes Chantry again attended for
the EU.

GDRC presentation
-----------------

3. (SBU) Mamba began with a brief update on the activities of the
Goma process Amani Program, which he said is now functioning and
yielding results (unspecified) with respect to the domestic armed
groups. He then turned the floor over to Kahimbi, who proceeded to
update the group on FARDC implementation activities under the
Nairobi communique. Kahimbi made the following points:

-- Ongoing operations: FARDC continues its campaign to restrict
FDLR movements in mining areas. This remains the primary focus of
operations at this time.

-- Operational preparations: Kahimbi said these are progressing
well. During the DRC-Rwanda Chiefs of Staff meeting on March 16
(ref A), he said the Rwandans expressed concerns regarding DRC plans
shared with them at that time. The Rwandans have informed the GDRC
that the GDRC operational priority should be dealing with the FDLR
elements present along their common border. The GDRC has analyzed
the points raised and will take them into consideration in its
future planning. An updated operational plan reflecting these
concerns will be presented soon to the Rwandan delegation.

-- Command structure: Kahimbi said a FARDC major general will be
appointed shortly to take over command of all Nairobi-related
operations in North and South Kivu.

-- Logistics: Eight battalions are needed to execute the current
plan. Five are already in place and taking up positions; four more
(sic) will be coming from the Kitona brassage center. Operations in
North Kivu will be conducted separately in the northern and southern
parts of the province. (Parallel operations are in progress in S.
Kivu, but this is outside the 8th Military Region's operational
area.)

-- Developments in the field: Kahimbi said that, as previously
announced, operations pursuant to the Nairobi communique were
launched on March 18. During the course of operations in Kikuku in
Masisi territory, the 132nd Battalion captured five Rwandan-national
FDLR, including a captain named Sekajene Job, allegedly the
intelligence officer of the "Sabere" Brigade. These Rwandan
prisoners are requesting repatriation. Thirty-four FDLR of
Congolese nationality also surrendered and were taken into custody.


-- Request for MONUC escort: Kahimbi asked for a MONUC escort for
two FARDC battalions presently in Rumangabo to travel to Walikali
through CNDP-held territory in Sake and Mushake. Travel by lake
would add 16 days to travel time. (Note: This raises Goma process
cease-fire concerns that will be all the harder to deal with since
the Joint Technical Committee on Peace and Security, to which such
matters should be referred, has not yet convened. End note.)

-- Response to Rwandan allegations of FARDC-FDLR collaboration:
Kahimbi asked for more information -- "verifiable facts" -- for
investigations to proceed properly.


KINSHASA 00000305 002 OF 002


-- Allegations of Rwandan participation in DRC armed groups: Eight
CNDP fighters who recently surrendered have admitted being Rwandan
citizens and have requested repatriation; five are from Bunyonyi.
Kahimbi called information these individuals put forward
"troubling." They say there are 150 Rwandan soldiers in Busansa,
east of Rutshuru, trained by and receiving continued support from
Rwanda.

-- Conclusion: FARDC has its Nairobi operations under control; it
does not require and is not requesting Rwandan operational
assistance at this stage.

4. (SBU) The GDRC allegations occasioned a moment of severe strain,
and accusations were once again made by the Rwandan delegation about
FARDC collusion with FDLR. Accusations of such collusion have
regularly included Kahimbi personally. The Task Force decided that
full documentation of all allegations by the GDRC and by the GOR
should be referred to the Joint Verification Mechanism as soon as
possible.

GOR presentation
----------------

5. (SBU) The Rwandans continue to request detailed Nairobi-process
operational plans, and invoked decisions taken at the March 27
Tripartite-Plus Commission meeting in Bujumbura. As other task
force members had not seen the communique, the matter was tabled for
the next session. The Rwandan delegation had a copy, which was
photocopied and distributed. (Note: Under the "Conclusions/Nairobi
Communique" section, point 2, the Tripartite-Plus communique states:
"It is important that the DRC keep the JMG informed on [its
Nairobi] plan with sufficient detail that the JMG can perform its
monitoring function and can identify gaps and areas for corrective
action." End note.)

6. (SBU) The Rwandan delegation reiterated its concern that GDRC
operations prioritize ex-FAR/Interahamwe elements along the
DRC-Rwandan border.

MONUC DDRRR/MDRP
----------------

7. (SBU) This was a special agenda item requested by the DRC at the
previous session. MONUC DDRRR chief Philip Lancaster had not yet
returned, so lower-level staff gave a fairly boiler-plate
presentation emphasizing the expansion of "sensibilization" efforts.
There was little discussion.

8. (SBU) The Rwandan delegation noted that there had been a slight
increase in people coming forward for DDRRR and asked if this could
be linked to the increase in sensibilization activities. Harold
Henkel of the World Bank's MDRP program intervened to say that,
according to his research, there is no correlation whatever between
sensibilization and surrenders for DDRRR, and it would not ever be
possible to draw any such cause-and-effect correlation. In his
opinion, returns are motivated by individuals who have decided for
whatever reason that they want or need to go home. Neither public
information nor the incentives on offer ("you could raise them to
$1,000, it wouldn't make any difference") have much effect. People
are aware of conditions at home and the procedures for return, they
don't need to be told any more. Awareness is not the issue: family
reunification and a return "home" is the main driver, individual
combinations of a lack of such a desire and of fear of reprisals are
the principal countervailing pressure.

Other Business
--------------

9. (SBU) Once again, no minutes were available from the JMG Envoys
last meeting, so no action could be taken on cooperation with the
JVT.

10. (SBU) In the review of the previous week's minutes, there was
discussion of the suggestion the DRC had made that JMG Task Force
meetings be skipped in the weeks in which the Special Envoys are to
meet. This had been opposed by the Rwandan delegation, and there
was some discussion of how the matter should be reflected in the
minutes. With the reluctant assent of the DRC, it was decided, in
order to move things along, that all reference to this idea be
obliterated from the record. The thought (which many delegations
had actually quite liked) of occasionally skipping a JMG TF meeting
thus perished without a trace.

GARVELINK

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