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Cablegate: Goma Notes 04/04/08 - Srsg Doss Briefs the Humanitarian

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OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0335/01 0991303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081303Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7863
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0015
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000335

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF PREL CG
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES 04/04/08 - SRSG DOSS BRIEFS THE HUMANITARIAN
COMMUNITY


1. (SBU) Summary: SRSG Doss described the UN Security Stabilization
Strategy as an effective framework for coordinating North Kivu
diplomatic, political, military and humanitarian initiatives an
April 4 briefing in Goma. He said that MONUC will give timely
briefings to NGOs on military movements and is preparing dossiers on
CNDP and FDLR human rights violations. NGO reps pushed for better
communication and consultation with government officials and leaders
of the Amani program, noting that IDPs are mostly unaware of its
existence. Eastern Division Commander General Singh promised to
arrange meetings between MONUC commanders and OCHA to discuss using
military escorts to facilitate humanitarian operations. End
summary.

2. (SBU) SRSG Alan Doss outlined the UN Security Stabilization
Strategy to representatives of UN agencies, MONUC, NGOs and the
Goma-based International Facilitation at OCHA headquarters April 4.
Doss regards the Strategy as an effective framework for coordinating
diplomatic, political, military and humanitarian initiatives going
forward. He said it was not a master plan but a guide,
incorporating principles from the Nairobi and Goma/Amani processes
and covering activities in Kinshasa as well as eastern Congo. The
goal of the Strategy is to make these activities -- all of them in
Congolese hands -- more coherent, to help the partners "sing
harmoniously from the same hymn sheet."

3. (SBU) Doss touched only briefly on military issues during his
briefing. Military activity should protect the civilian population
but not supplant civilian activity, he said, creating humanitarian
space but not filling it.

Pressure on MONUC
-----------------

4. (SBU) In the following Q&A, NGO representatives appealed for help
from MONUC military in several areas. Exclusion zones
notwithstanding, MSF's operations in Kivu are still hampered by
violence, and population displacement continues. Food is inadequate
and people are reduced to eating electrolyte salts. MSF asked for
regular, transparent military briefings to be able to prepare for
disruptions in certain areas, notably villages northwest of Sake,
where bands of PARECO fighters are disintegrating into smaller
groups of looters. MSF's rep noted that in both Goma and Masisi
there is always the risk that a single stray bullet will scare off
international humanitarian agencies, leaving the population again
without help.

5. (SBU) WFP complained that the general situation in North Kivu is
deteriorating. Bad roads prevent sufficient assistance from
arriving in affected areas. Only MONUC has the capacity to operate
in the province and provide escort for WFP trucks if ordered. WFP's
rep predicted the remaining road infrastructure will collapse within
2-3 weeks, and with it humanitarian assistance to Walikali and
Masisi territories.

6. (SBU) Doss committed to timely briefing by MONUC on military
movements, excluding certain operational details. As for road
improvements, he suggested using engineers from the South Kivu-based
Pakistani battalion, and promised to consult further with MONUC's
North Kivu Brigade regarding humanitarian escort. Eastern Division
Commander General Bikram Singh agreed to support these approaches.
Doss urged all partners to help out agencies experiencing troubles
since MONUC is not equipped to solve all problems.

Human rights
------------

7. (SBU) Human rights organizations turned the conversation to
sexual violence perpetrated by members of armed groups. Doss
declared flatly that this will not end until all the groups are
dismantled. He said that sexual violence is embedded in some local
cultures and that much time will be needed before attitudes change.
In anticipation of action against armed groups, MONUC is preparing
detailed dossiers on CNDP and FDLR human rights violations. (Note:
Some reps complained on the margins of the briefing that the issue
was not getting higher priority. Is it right, one representative
asked, that a Congolese woman should be raped by soldiers of her own
army and left to wait until cultures change before she gets help?
End note.)

Calls for outreach
------------------

8. (SBU) NGO reps pushed for better communication and consultation
with government officials and leaders of the Amani program. They

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claimed that IDPs, for example, are mostly unaware of Amani's
creation and other important changes. This political-diplomatic
work needs to move closer to its targets, along with the vision of
the Congolese participants in the program.

9. (SBU) Singh said that MONUC military can help advance the
process. He promised to bring commanders from MONUC's Kivu-based
forces to meet with OCHA on how to use military escorts to
facilitate humanitarian operations. Doss added that police are also
essential to the stabilization process and noted that Interior
Minister Denis Kalume recently agreed to enhanced police presence in
Goma. Doss ended the meeting with an axiom: Visibility plus
mobility yields stability and reduced violence.

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