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Cablegate: Goma Notes - Nairobi Process: 18th Meeting of the Jmg Task

VZCZCXRO5969
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0374/01 1141532
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231532Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7918
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0036
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000374

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF MOPS PHUM KPKO CG RW UN
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES - NAIROBI PROCESS: 18TH MEETING OF THE JMG TASK
FORCE, APRIL 18, 2008

REF: Kinshasa 349

1. (SBU) Summary: Rwanda told the Joint Monitoring Group Task Force
(JMG-TF) during its April 18 session in Goma that it should be more
active and consider meeting in the field as a matter of course, but
drew no support. UN agencies led presentations on reducing negative
impact on IDPs and returning soldiers, and updating DDRRR
operations. Rwanda praised the DDRRR portion and the group arranged
for a briefing on DDRRR results every other week. Rwanda complained
about the TF secretariat and proposed it be reconstituted to afford
more accurate reporting of Rwandan positions and opinions. The
members quashed any return to the time-consuming reporting
characteristic of the TF's earlier meetings. End summary.

2. (U) Rwanda's delegation, and nearly all present at the April 18
Joint Monitoring Group Task Force meeting, presented condolences to
the Congolese government on the April 15 plane crash. The Congolese
delegation acknowledged these expressions.

3. (SBU) In reply to Rwanda's renewed criticism of a Task Force that
confines itself to a conference room, the Congolese delegation
answered that only local commanders know when it is safe to visit
rural areas. Rwanda should not confuse security conditions in their
own country with what is happening in the Congo, they said, and when
the head of the Congolese delegation, Colonel Augustin Mamba,
returns on April 25 he will consider the areas that Rwanda wants to
visit.

UN on IDPs
----------

4. (U) OCHA representatives had alarming statistics on the number of
long-term IDPs in the Kivu provinces, up to 840,000 today.
Humanitarian operations in North Kivu remain feasible, but space for
such activities in South Kivu has run out. In the event of a
military operation against the FDLR, more IDPs and still less
humanitarian access are inevitable. This underscores the need to
provide FARDC soldiers with training in human rights and civilian
protection. Presenters agreed that experience in FARDC operations
carried out with MONUC shows that the larger the attacking force,
the greater the negative impact on civilians. A system of
observation is needed to curtail human rights violations, and a
system of prior warnings to civilians in the path of military forces
to reduce new displacement.

5. (SBU) Rwanda's delegate wondered why displacement went up when it
was supposed to go down, and specifically why local authorities do
not seem aware of the impact of the Nairobi and Goma processes.
OCHA said that part of the answer is the discovery of previously
unknown IDPs, more visible since the population became more mobile.


6. (SBU) Despite the success of the cease-fire, civilians are
skittish about going home, fearing reprisals by armed groups and
recognizing that banditry is on the rise. Often people who want to
go home will leave one family member in place to be certain nobody
usurps their existing toehold while they scout a new location. In
South Kivu, families are remarkably static, operating on their own
timetable rather than that of the military or armed groups. A UNHCR
representative offered a kind of mea culpa, acknowledging that his
agency has not kept up timely communications with authorities who
might help families to more safely judge the climate for staying or
moving.

7. (SBU) The Congolese delegate took Rwanda to task for questions
that seemed to hint at operational carelessness on the part of
FARDC. He noted that the FARDC operates with MONUC and
MONUC-trained soldiers, and nothing in the process is left to
chance. For instance, traditional chiefs were present at the Kivus
conference in January; everyone should take seriously the business
of explaining the cease-fire and its implications, and everyone
including Rwanda should recognize that there is no magic wand to
make the process go more quickly.

DDRRR goal: change attitudes
-----------------------------

7. (SBU) In the absence of DDRRR principals, MONUC-Goma's acting
public information officer (PIO) told members that the goal of DDRRR
today is to locate and isolate its targets, talk about the
comparative advantages of life in the two countries, explain Amani
programs, and develop targets' confidence in MONUC and enthusiasm
for the demobilization process at the Mutubo transit center. The
process requires support from provincial authorities, MONUC and the

KINSHASA 00000374 002 OF 002


World Bank's MDRP program at both the political and strategic
levels. It uses a variety of media at the operational level,
including Radio Okapi, the fledgling Radio DDRRR, sports events,
professional theatrical troops, and educational programs in schools.


8. (SBU) According to the PIO, it is at this operational level that
Information Operations, also called Psychological Operations, are
critically important. The number of FDLR returnees is increasing but
DDRRR administrators are not sure why: new political developments,
public awareness, or both. Experience shows that public awareness
campaigns and PsyOps are most successful when personal relationships
are in play, most obviously including the location of family and
friends in relation to the armed fighter's present position.

Praise and complaints
---------------------

9. (SBU) Impressed by the presentation, the Rwandan delegation
suggested that all TF members would benefit from frequent updates on
the successes of DDRRR. The presenters and members agreed to an
every-second-week schedule beginning May 2.

10. (SBU) Toward the end of the meeting Rwanda complained that the
TF secretariat systematically under-reported members' reactions to
its positions. The other members discounted the complaint and
firmly stated they would not return to the time-consuming process of
debating and re-wording the minutes as was practiced in the TF's
early months.

11. (SBU) Because the JMG envoys were meeting in New York the same
day, the members did not discuss pending correspondence and
requests.

12. (SBU) Members will meet briefly on April 25 to sign minutes,
then move to a DDRRR location in Goma for a special presentation.

Comment
-------

13. (SBU) Comment. An important theme resonated through both of the
day's presentations, namely anxiety over when and how the GDRC and
its partners will move to rid the country of armed groups. An aloof
Rwandan delegation was impatient and skeptical. Interestingly, the
same anxiety underlies CNDP's refusal to adopt the calendar for the
Goma process Joint Technical Commission on Peace and Security,
demanding guarantees of protection against FDLR for local
populations before it will move toward disengagement and brassage
(septel). New and credible assurances of military competence,
consistent humanitarian intervention, and skillful DDRRR, including
PsyOps assistance, would help to dispel the anxiety. End comment.

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