Cablegate: Goma Notes 04/03/08 - Goma Process: Launch of the Joint
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SUBJECT: Goma Notes 04/03/08 - Goma Process: Launch of the Joint
Technical Commission on Peace and Security
1. (U) Summary. The Joint Technical Commission on Peace and
Security, the key implementing body for the Goma accords, was
officially launched in a ceremony in Goma April 3. Remarks by
Congolese and international representatives were upbeat, recognizing
the challenges and achievements to day, and calling on all to work
toward solutions to the unresolved crises in the Kivu provinces. AF
Senior Adviser Tim Shortley conveyed the congratulations of the
Secretary and A/S Frazer for accomplishments to date, and that of
Congress and the White House for the Goma and Nairobi processes.
The Commission's first meeting was scheduled for the following day.
2. (U) Two months after the signing of the Goma accords, the "Amani"
Program's Joint Technical Commission on Peace and Security was
officially launched in Goma on April 3 at 1300. The ceremony was
just that -- a ceremony -- with press in attendance and the armed
groups very much in the background. The ceremony consisted of a
welcome by Governor Julien Paluku, followed by short speeches by
Vice Admiral Didier Etumba (co-chairman of the Commission's military
sub-commission), French Ambassador Bernard Prevost (EU), AF Senior
Adviser Tim Shortley (U.S.), SRSG Alan Doss (UN), Amani National
Coordinator Apollinaire Malumalu and finally Interior Minister Denis
Kalume, chairman of the Amani steering committee.
3. (U) Remarks were upbeat, recognizing the challenges and
achievements to date, and exhorting all participants to find
solutions to the crisis in North and South Kivu. Representatives of
the International Facilitation -- EU, U.S., UN -- (1) condemned
human rights violations, (2) underscored that this was the only
process capable of bring peace to the Kivus and called on all
participants to support it, and (3) reaffirmed their long-term
commitment to the process.
4. (U) There was no opportunity for the armed groups to speak.
Indeed the GDRC delegation kept its distance from the armed groups
before (at a GDRC-Facilitation discussion) during and after (at a
lunch) the ceremony.
5. (U) Also in attendance were the deputy defense minister
(representing Minister Chikez Diemu, who is traveling), North Kivu
Provincial Assembly President Leon Bariyanga, Vice Governer Feller
Lutaichirwa, 8th Military Region Commander General Vainqueur Mayala,
Deputy Commander Colonel Delphin Kahimbi, the head of the defense
ministry's DDR program, and the government co-chairman of the
Commission's social and humanitarian sub-commission.
6. (U) MONUC was represented by SRSG Doss, Force Commander General
Babacar Gaye, Deputy Force Commander, Eastern Division Commander and
Commission Co-Chairman General Bikram Singh, North Kivu Brigade
Commander General Indrajeet Nayaran, Acting Political Affairs
Division chief Christian Manahl, North Kivu Head of Office Alpha
Sow, SRSG Goma representative Menada Wind-Anderson and DDRRR chief
Phil Lancaster. Harold Henkel of the World Bank's MDRP also
7. (U) The rest of the International Facilitation was represented by
A/S Frazer's Senior Adviser Shortley (U.S.) and French Ambassador
Prevost (EU), in addition to Goma-based diplomats and experts from
the U.S. and EU (including the UK). A text of Shortley's remarks
8. (U) Begin text of Shortley remarks:
It is a great pleasure and honor for me to be in Goma today for the
launching of the Joint Technical Commission for Peace and Security.
Since the Goma Conference in January of this year, we have seen many
signs that all parties are committed to the agreement:
-- MONUC has redeployed forces in two ways: into North and South
Kivu from other parts of the Congo and to the conflicted areas.
-- The ceasefire remains in place and, although there have been
violations, we have a system in place to ensure that violations do
not result in a resumption of the armed conflict.
Further, in advance of the formal constitution of this Peace and
Security Commission, and as an indication of the International
Community's resolve to move proactively to reduce tensions in the
Kivus, we take particular notice that two of the parties to the Goma
Agreement have agreed to establish three exclusion zones in the
petit nord which are now under the control of MONUC. This has been
a major confidence building measure, and sets the stage for further
demilitarization in the Kivus under the guidance of this
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In the last two months, the United States has:
-- Opened a full office in Goma.
-- Worked closely with our European and African partners in the
international facilitation, in close coordination with the
leadership of the Congolese Government, to implement the Goma
Agreement and the Nairobi Communique
-- Worked closely with the United Nations on the stability plan for
As members of the International Facilitation we will work closely
with Program Amani at all levels and particularly with the joint
Technical Commission that is being formed today.
The International Community, and we know the people of North and
South Kivu, have been eagerly awaiting the actions that this Joint
Commission is required to take under its mandate. As with the
establishment of the exclusions zones I have already mentioned, we
know that these actions require great courage and commitment on the
part of each the groups concerned. We salute this courage and
assure you that as long as you show the commitment, we in the
international facilitation - as well, I know, as MONUC - will be at
We stand ready to help the parties to take the necessary actions to
ensure that conditions improve quickly in order that internally
displaced persons can return home soon and the deplorable incidents
of violence against innocent people, particularly sexual violence
against women, will end.
Implementation of the Goma Agreement is vital to bring security,
stability and peace to North and South Kivu. Similarly,
implementation of the Nairobi Communique is also essential to bring
security, stability and peace to the Kivus. As President Kabila has
said himself, the time for the FDLR in Congo is over. Per the UNSC
Resolution: the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interhamwe and other Rwandan armed
groups in Eastern Congo must lay down their arms and return to
Rwanda. The U.S. remains an active participant in the Nairobi
process and remains ready to support the parties to implement the
Nairobi Communique in support of lasting peace in North and South
I was present during the Goma Conference and recognize the courage
that was necessary to sign the Act de Engagement and the courage it
has taken to remain in the process over the last two months. It is
good to be here today to see the dreams of the Goma Agreement begin
come to fruition. As active partners to the Goma Agreement, you
must protect the spirit of Program Amani. You in this room are the
key to stability in the Kivus.
Secretary Rice and Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer have been
following the progress of the Goma Agreement and Nairobi Communique
very closely and send their congratulations to you today. Their
support and that of Members of the United States Congress and the
White House have been critical in bringing the full support of the
United States Government to help you bring lasting peace to North
and South Kivu and to the people of eastern Congo.
End text of Shortley remarks.
9. (SBU) Comment: This is an important moment for the peace
process, however long it may have been in coming. The main outcome
of the January Goma Peace Conference and the associated Acte
d'Engagement is now a reality. The real work can now begin. The
first substantive meeting of the Commission was scheduled for April
4 at 1500, and will be reported septel. End comment.