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Cablegate: Goma Notes 04/01/08 - Goma Process: North Kivu Armed Groups

VZCZCXRO6330
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0336/01 0991304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081304Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7865
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0017
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000336

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL CG
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES 04/01/08 - GOMA PROCESS: NORTH KIVU ARMED GROUPS
(BACK) ON BOARD

1. (SBU) Summary: North Kivu "native" (non-Tutsi) armed groups
agreed to remain in the Goma process following considerable
agitation about their share of positions in the Amani Program. A
principal point of contention was objections by PARECO's (Hutu) Goma
representative over the unexpected appointment of a (Nande) PARECO
member to fill a position originally designated for a (Hunde)
adviser of the North Kivu governor. After a day-long, contentious
meeting among themselves, it turned out everyone else was apparently
fine with the appointment and thought it was in fact a perfectly
sensible choice. As long as there a reasonable prospect of salaries
and per diems being paid, the armed groups will be at the table and
threats of walk-outs by them should probably not cause too much
sleep to be lost by anyone. End summary.

2. (SBU) The North Kivu "native" armed groups ("groupes armes
autochtones") came back on board with the Goma process April 1,
following a day-long, contentious meeting among themselves.
Elements within PARECO, the Kifuafua Mai-Mai and others have been
complaining for weeks about the lack of respect they feel they have
been shown in the allocation of positions within the "Amani" Program
structures, and there was considerable agitation within their ranks
for a pullout.

3. (SBU) The imminence of the opening of the Joint Technical
Commission on Peace and Security (JTCPS) appears to have
concentrated minds, and the April 1 meeting was meant to reach a
common position on a series of grievances:

-- Their overall perceived lack of representation relative to the
GRDC and CNDP. While each armed group has one seat on the JTCPS, a
number of new posts (including that of permanent secretary) had been
created to enhance (yes, it's true) CNDP's position relative to the
rest. While the situation had not been explained to the groups in
quite those terms, that is, rightly, how they understood it.

-- The new position available to them, one of three North Kivu
seats on the six-member "Bureau technique d'harmonisation," was not
filled by their designated candidate, Clovis Munihire, the
governor's liaison to the armed groups. Munihire was made permanent
secretary of a parallel Amani structure, the Peace and

SIPDIS
Reconciliation Commission (which will be co-chaired by the U.S. on
behalf of the International Facilitation). Firmin Mathe, of the
Nande branch of PARECO, had been appointed instead, and this
apparently disrupted the ethnic balance within PARECO, leading some
within its Hutu branch to threaten a walk-out even though the
appointment had given their group an extra seat at the table.

-- Most or all of the "native" (a pointed characterization to
differentiate them from the Tutsi-dominated CNDP) representatives
have been hanging around Goma since February 3, when per diems for
the Goma conference ended, waiting for the JTCPS to get started, and
they long ago ran out of money. They are demanding retroactive per
diems so that they can pay their outstanding hotel bills.

4. (SBU) The first two grievances provided handy pretexts for a
walk-out for those who felt uneasy with the process; the latter,
when thought about, rather provided a strong impetus for staying in,
since a complete walk-out would probably have meant the loss of any
hope that per diems would be paid, leading to unpleasantness with
Goma innkeepers, some of whom have the ability in turn to cause
unpleasantness to their debtors beyond the confines of Goma.

5. (SBU) All of this provided plenty of grounds for heated, or at
least lengthy, argument, and this duly lasted from around 10:00
until shortly after 5:00, following which Munihire (who was playing
his usual role as referee among the armed groups) stopped by the
USAID Democracy Resource Center to announce that the day had been
saved for good sense and that all North Kivu armed groups were on
board for the April 3 launch of the JTCPS.

6. (SBU) Whether it was indeed good sense or just the outstanding
hotel bills that prevailed in the end wasn't clear, but the meeting
produced two documents. The first is a rant whose central complaint
is that the groups have been "...excluded from the decision-making
structures of the Amani Program" at all levels, which goes to
request that consideration be given to correcting this situation in
the future and that greater respect be granted to them in the
allocation of positions at the provincial level. The key phrase
comes at the end of the document: "Remaining in the Peace Process,
we ask..." and they all signed, rather disrespectfully. The other
document is a very respectful request that per diem be made
retroactive to February 3 so that they all can pay their outstanding
hotel bills.


KINSHASA 00000336 002 OF 002


7. (SBU) The principal agitator appears to have been "Museveni," the
"President" (but in fact mostly the Goma rep) of PARECO, who had
been sent into a frenzy by the appointment of Mathe to the technical
harmonization bureau and had taken it upon himself to threaten a
PARECO walk-out if this nefarious Nande plot was not undone.
According to Munihire (whose view is obviously a bit biased, since
it lets him off the hook), it became clear that Museveni had no
support for this position: everyone else was apparently fine with
Mathe's appointment and thought it was, in fact, a perfectly
sensible choice.

8. (SBU) Museveni is not only a troublemaker and a loose cannon,
however: he can also be quite reasonable and has been the key
PARECO person in the establishment of the three exclusion zones
created this month with CNDP. PARECO itself had nominated him to
fill its slot in the North Kivu Provincial Management Committee, and
by all accounts he will be duly appointed to it. So, at Munihire's
urging, the Facilitation agreed to meet with Museveni that following
day, to try to cool him down and talk some sense into him.

9. (SBU) Comment. But everyone in Goma knows that when one volcano
cools off, another blows up. There will no doubt be plenty more of
these little dramas to come. The main lesson here, though, is that,
as long as there a reasonable prospect of salaries and per diems
being paid, the armed groups will be at the table, and threats of
walk-outs by them should probably not cause too much sleep to be
lost by anyone. End comment.

GARVELINK

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