Cablegate: Goma Notes - Nairobi Process: 17th Meeting of Jmg Task
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DE RUEHKI #0346/01 1061227
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151227Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7883
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0027
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000346
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS CG RW
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES - NAIROBI PROCESS: 17th MEETING OF JMG TASK
FORCE, APRIL 11, 2008
1. (SBU) Summary: A smiling Vice Admiral Didier Etumba dropped into
the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) Task Force April 11, and fast
bumped heads with Rwandan delegates about the FARDC's "scenarios"
for ridding the country of FDLR. None of this impeded Etumba's
briefing or dampened its cordiality. The Rwandans later renewed
their complaint that the Task Force still had nothing to show for
four months of work. They bickered over how to create a useful role
for the body and how to get timely replies from the JMG Envoys. The
Congo's acting chief delegate counseled patience. Rwanda demanded
action and said it may investigate reported contacts between FDLR
units and DDRRR liaison officers in Lubero territory, among other
issues. Task force members will visit a DDRRR facility in Goma for
their meeting on April 18. End summary.
Rwanda pushes for answers
2. (SBU) Vice Admiral Didier Etumba, co-chairman of the Goma process
Joint Technical Commission on Peace and Security, replayed for the
April 11 Joint Monitoring Group Task Force meeting a briefing he had
presented earlier in the day to NGOs and humanitarian agencies at
OCHA headquarters in Goma. Etumba devoted most of his comments to
the theme of refugees and the return of populations to their
homelands, and confirmed that FDLR must leave.
3. (SBU) Etumba outlined four "explicit" and two "implicit" missions
of the Amani Program: four military activities including
disengagement of forces, brassage, demobilization and reinsertion;
and humanitarian programs for returning displaced Congolese to their
home areas and repatriating Congolese refugees from neighboring
countries. Corollary activity to revive government authority, renew
the justice system and reinstate effective police presence
complement the six missions.
4. (SBU) The second-ranking Rwandan delegate, Jean Damascene
Rudasingwa, a one-time acquaintance to whom Etumba had addressed
most of his remarks, politely acknowledged the speech but said that
his government was less certain than ever what military operations
the Congolese were planning. Citing the low-level participation in
the Task Force, Etumba refused to divulge "defense secrets" and said
only that his forces would act in due time. Citing the high level
of their sources, Rwanda's delegates withheld what they knew about
talks in Kigali that followed contacts between Amani Program leaders
and Nkunda on April 7.
5. (SBU) Rudasingwa especially wondered why Colonel Augustin Mamba,
the regular chief of the DRC delegation who was absent at the
special envoys summit in the U.S., had decided to return via Rome.
Congo's acting chief delegate, Major Ambroise Nanga, answered that
military operations are jointly run but of course involve defense
secrets. He guessed that Mamba's Rome visit involved contacts with
the Community of Sant'Egidio.
6. (SBU) Rudasingwa returned to FDLR's status, asking if there were
any form in which they would be allowed to remain in the Congo.
Etumba repeated that even if FDLR did not leave, it could be made
inoperative and absolutely would not continue its criminal
activities. Dr. Kara of the Amani Program interjected that the
Nairobi communique is clear, that FDLR has to go whether they like
it or not.
Looking to reform
7. (SBU) After Etumba withdrew, Rwanda's delegation monopolized the
balance of the meeting agenda, using questions for discussion and
new business as platforms for grievance. Rwanda may ask for
investigation into reported contacts between FDLR units and DDRRR
liaison officers in Lubero territory.
8. (SBU) The Rwandan attitude irritated the Congolese delegation but
stimulated a debate among members on how to make the Task Force more
relevant. Members agreed that low-risk field trips may be
worthwhile but that it should organize meetings and presentations in
the conference room itself, looking for ways to improve specific
parts of the action plan spelled out in the Terms of Engagement.
Some examples: sensitizing populations; cutting down time spent by
ex-combatants in DDRRR centers.
9. (SBU) Because the JMG Envoys have not replied to any TF requests
to date, the members declined to send any new requests and decided
unanimously to re-send all requests as a bundle from Kinshasa,
asking for immediate instructions
KINSHASA 00000346 002 OF 002
10. (SBU) As the Envoys meetings in New York will be out of synch
with the TF's schedule on April 18, members will meet briefly on
that day only to sign minutes, then move to a DDRRR location in Goma
town for a special presentation.
11. (SBU) As this and previous messages have demonstrated, regular
dialogue with the JMG Envoys will be critical to ensuring that the
Task Force develops into a useful and productive forum. We are
hopeful that the New York meetings will establish the channels
necessary to implement this. End comment.
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED