Cablegate: Ambassador Williamson Gains Congolese Support For

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P 290625Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Summary: Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
Clint Williamson met with senior officials from the Congolese
Government (GDRC), MONUC, NGOs and the diplomatic community
during his April 9-12 visit to Kinshasa. He emphasized that
his meetings were part of a broader Great Lakes visit
designed to address war crimes issues in national as well as
cross-border, regional contexts, and underscored that GDRC is
critical to any long-term regional solutions.

2. (SBU) Summary, continued: Ambassador Williamson focused
on three key issues in his DRC meetings:

-- Gaining support for implementation of a Rewards for
Justice program to target International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda (ICTR) fugitives believed to be present in the DRC;

-- Addressing the current status of the Nairobi and Goma
processes and the challenges of extending state authority and
ending impunity in eastern DRC; and

-- Examining past atrocities in the DRC and discussing
efforts to provide justice and accountability, particularly
through the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, (OHCHR) human rights mapping exercise (ref A). End

Amani National Coordinator Malumalu

3. (SBU) Apollinaire Malumalu, national coordinator of the
Amani Program set up to implement the Goma accords,
highlighted the challenges to preventing war crimes and
ending conflict in the east during a breakfast discussion
with Ambassador Williamson. Malumalu said war crimes in
Congo are linked to lack of state authority and to
inaccessibility of territory. To improve the accountability
of the Congolese military (FARDC), he recommended stationing
FARDC units in permanent camps where they could be better
controlled and disciplined. He also stressed the importance
of social and economic projects to ease the reinsertion and
reintegration of ex-combatants into civilian life.

Defense Minister Chikez

4. (SBU) Defense Minister Chikez Diemu promised support for
the Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program in his meeting with
Ambassador Williamson. Chikez said the DRC had consistently
cooperated with international courts on war crimes issues,
citing the transfer of three Ituri District militia leaders
to the ICC and three Rwandans indicted by the ICTR to Arusha.
Ambassador Williamson emphasized that RFJ will target five
specific ICTR fugitives, as opposed to the list of 6,997
suspected FDLR genocidaires provided by Rwanda; both agreed
it would be helpful if Rwanda prioritized that list.
Ambassador Williamson reiterated the USG,s continuing
commitment to a regional solution that addressed the FDLR and
CNDP threats concurrently.

Canadian Ambassador Johnson

5. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson and Canadian Ambassador Sigrid
Johnson discussed Ambassador Garvelink's proposal that Canada
lead an independent investigation into the Kalonge massacre
in North Kivu in January (ref B). Ambassador Johnson
confirmed that the Canadian government is considering leading
an investigation that would be acceptable to all parties,
including the CNDP, NGOs, donors and the Goma process
International Facilitation. Ottawa is currently attempting
to identify funding. Johnson reported that a Canadian judge
advocate general, Senior Brigadier General Watkins, would
soon be arriving in Kinshasa for an initial assessment.

6. (SBU) Ambassador Johnson said Canada had pushed very
strongly for retaining the UN independent human rights expert
on the DRC. Ambassador Williamson agreed that having some
high-level human rights monitoring mechanism sent an
important political message.

KINSHASA 00000383 002 OF 004


7. (SBU) SRSG Alan Doss said over lunch with Ambassador
Williamson that there are no easy answers to integrating
armed groups into the FARDC, suggesting that it must balance
integration against the need to vet war crimes suspects.
Doss said that an independent investigation into the Kalonge
massacre should fully address the allegations and give
alleged perpetrators the opportunity to respond to
conclusions before making its report public. When asked
about MONUC,s rule of law mandate, Doss explained its
primary role is to create baseline initiatives that will
continue after MONUC,s departure. Doss stated that MONUC,s
UNSC mandate was now sufficiently robust and lacked only
funding and resources.

8. (SBU) Doss signaled MONUC,s political and logistical
support for an RFJ program, saying it would send a strong
message to Rwanda that the international community and the
GDRC are serious about addressing the threat of the FDLR.
Doss suggested that Ambassador Williamson encourage Rwanda to
trim its FDLR list and publicly state that no one who was
under 14 (the age of majority) in 1994 would be prosecuted
for genocide.

Deputy Chief of Staff Mayuma

9. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson described the RFJ program to
Louise Mayuma, Deputy Chief of Staff to President Kabila,
seeking Kabila,s support for the program. She promised to
forward the information to Kabila in Lubumbashi immediately.
She said fugitives must be arrested if found on DRC
territory. She expressed satisfaction that the program
targeted the ICTR list, citing the large Rwandan FDLR list as
a source of frustration for the DRC. She claimed it masked
Rwanda's true intentions and blocked progress on the return
and reintegration of FDLR members into Rwandan society.

10. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson conveyed to Mayuma an ICTR
request for a meeting between the DRC, MONUC and the ICTR
prosecutor,s office. Mayuma said her office would contact
Foreign Minister Mbusa Nyamwisi to determine the DRC
response. She called particular attention to the level of
sexual violence in the DRC and asked for recommendations from
the U.S. to address what she labeled sexual genocide.
Ambassador Williamson said that the U.S. views increasing
accountability and reducing impunity as essential to the
long-term process of addressing conflict in the DRC.

Interior Minister Kalume

11. (SBU) Minister Kalume drew immediate attention to the
GDRC,s cooperation with the ICC, which Ambassador Williamson
commended. Ambassador Williamson asked how the DRC might
identify and investigate war crimes in the east, noting that
the Goma accords do not include amnesty for these offenses.
Kalume said that MONUC should extend its observation
resources and that the FARDC must respect national and
international laws. Kalume noted that replacing the FARDC by
police in the east is part of the DRC,s plan for security
sector reform. He said it aims to group FARDC units in camps
in strategic areas, with some elements concentrating on
development and agricultural work. Kalume said the Goma
process would have failed but for USG,s continued strong
support, stating that efforts by A/S Frazer's Senior Advisor
Tim Shortley "saved Goma" and allowed others to follow.

12. (SBU) Kalume detailed a list of alleged Bundu Dia Kongo
(BDK) abuses in Bas-Congo province, including harassment of
missionaries and non-Kongo residents, usurping border control
functions, and holding trials and meting out sentences,
including the death penalty. He asserted that the people of
Bas-Congo welcomed the police crackdown on the BDK in
February and March (ref D).

MONUC Joint Mission Analysis Center

13. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson highlighted USG plans for an
RFJ program in discussions with MONUC,s Joint Mission
Analysis Center (JMAC) Director Johan Peleman. Ambassador
Williamson said he would encourage the ICTR to share more

KINSHASA 00000383 003 OF 004

information on the five fugitives with MONUC. He also raised
the issue of the FDLR leadership in Europe and their
financial influence. Peleman emphasized that targeted
sanctions against the leaders are ineffective because most
FDLR are poor, partly due to the heavy expense of supporting
its fighters and dependents.

14. (SBU) Peleman made a number of helpful recommendations
including keeping transportation corridors open through
increase use of MONUC checkpoints, maintaining psychological
pressure on the FDLR (press, UNSC resolutions, etc.) to
increase fracturing, and giving the UN Human Rights office
and NGOs specific instructions to identify FDLR members who
commit human rights abuses, as they already do with CNDP and
FARDC. This would then give the GDRC a basis to act.
Lastly, Peleman said that he believed alleged genocidaire
Felicien Kabuga provided direct financial support from Kenya
to the FDLR.

Global Rights

15. (SBU) Victor Kashosi, administrator of the NGO Global
Rights, told Ambassador Williamson that sexual violence is
prevalent throughout the country and is increasingly
perpetrated by civilians. He said that more people look to
local NGOs when aggrieved rather than to the judicial system.
Also, mobile courts are starting to work but people are
still hesitant about them; they generally view courts as
corrupt. Kashosi called for more outreach efforts to raise
public awareness of human rights and judicial processes.

European diplomats

16. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson discussed justice sector
reform with European diplomats Andre Dellevoet of the
Netherlands, Nico van Dijk of Belgium, and Thierry Vircoulon
of the European Commission. Initial discussion focused on
REJUSCO, the largest European-funded judicial program, which
provides infrastructure assistance and technical training for
magistrates. Dellevoet expressed the European consensus that
REJUSCO has been only marginally successful; the EU will
maintain but not expand it. The Netherlands plans to target
human rights protection and sexual violence during the
planning period 2008-2011. Dellevoet and van Dijk
characterized Congolese cooperation with REJUSCO as minimal.

17. (SBU) All three Europeans noted the importance of
establishing Congolese ownership of and commitment to
judicial reform but criticized the GDRC,s lack of political
and budgetary support for it. Ambassador Williamson called
domestic prosecutions the preferred option for addressing war
crimes but said an international hybrid model was the next
best alternative. All participants agreed.

MONUC Human Rights and Rule of Law divisions

18. (SBU) MONUC Human Rights Officer Federico Borello told
Ambassador Williamson in a joint meeting with MONUC's Rule of
Law unit (ROL) that MONUC anticipates beginning the Human
Rights Mapping Project in late May or early June. Borello
said the project's approach to the target period of March
1993 to June 2003 will incorporate interests and grievances
of all groups. MONUC is currently advertising for leadership
and technical positions for a team of approximately 30
members. The MONUC Human Rights team requested USG funding
and political support for the project. They described the
failure to renew the mandate of the UN independent human
rights expert on the DRC as the loss of a valuable conduit to
the GDRC and international community.

19. (SBU) ROL Director Harriet Solloway stressed that three
elements were necessary for functioning courts: protection,
resources, and training. She said that if Congolese courts
are not capable of providing these, then international
involvement would have to undertake any prosecutions
resulting from the mapping exercise. ROL is currently
conducting a census of judicial infrastructure in all
provinces which it expects to complete in July.

British Ambassador Kay

KINSHASA 00000383 004 OF 004

20. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson emphasized in his meeting
with British Ambassador Nick Kay that an effective Rewards
for Justice program will be dependent on collaboration among
ICTR investigators, MONUC, and the GDRC. Ambassador Kay
expressed support for the program. He noted that the British
Embassy unsuccessfully attempted six months ago to initiate a
small project in coordination with Congolese intelligence
personnel to apprehend two or three of the ICTR fugitives.

ICC office

21. (SBU) Roberto Buccanti, administrator of the office of
the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Kinshasa, told
Ambassador Williamson that the Congolese handover of former
Ituri District militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo to the ICC
went very smoothly, a commendable achievement for a
beleaguered FARDC. Ambassador Williamson recognized that the
USG,s concerns about the ICC are well known but reiterated
that a modus vivendi based on dialogue and a shared interest
in ensuring accountability was the right approach. Buccanti
appreciated this and said he would convey it to his


22. (SBU) Ambassador Williamson,s visit provided a clear
impetus to the peace process by framing an achievable goal:
the capture of ICTR fugitives. We anticipate rolling out a
Rewards for Justice program targeting them in the near
future. The challenges to justice and accountability for war
crimes in DRC are enormous, but the need for long-term
solutions is even greater. USG engagement in efforts that
incrementally lay the groundwork, such as the UN Human Rights
Mapping exercise, will give us a greater voice in shaping
recommendations by the international community on charting
the way forward. End comment.

23. (U) This message was cleared by Ambassador Williamson.

© Scoop Media

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