Cablegate: 21st Meeting of Jmg Task Force, May 9, 2008
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0418 1331120
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121120Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7982
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000418
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG BE
SUBJECT: 21st Meeting of JMG Task Force, May 9, 2008
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Task Force members heard MONUC DDRRR director
Philip Lancaster speak during most of the day's meeting, as the
single expert on the agenda. Lancaster bracketed his presentation
with cautions that logistical constraints and unrealistic time lines
will limit the impact of the present DDRRR campaign for several
months. Members praised an excerpt of one psyops film that
MONUC-PIO made during visits to armed groups. Anticipating the
JMG-EL meeting in Kigali during June, the TF members agreed to visit
the event should the Special Envoys request it. Members also
renewed prior recommendations to the Envoys, to assure completeness.
Bringing DDRRR Home
2. (SBU) Because not all members, notably the Rwandan delegation,
had seen DDRRR operations as they play out inside the DRC, Lancaster
emphasized the political dimension of the process: undermining the
grip of FDLR's expatriate leadership and influencing the FDLR to
leave the Congo. His strategy is the "hearts and minds" model,
appealing to homesickness and the possibility of safe reunification
with family in Rwanda. However Lancaster reminded the members that
strong ideology cements the ex-FAR/Interhamwe from within, much as
Stalinist commissars kept political order in military units during
the Soviet era. He explained that a special propaganda branch and
communication cell operating from Europe maintain tight contact with
FDLR units in DRC.
3. (SBU) For Lancaster, sensitization is a marketing campaign
designed to make repatriation more attractive for ex-FAR/Interhamwe
than blind adherence to dictates from distant leaders. He showed
sequences of a sensitization film that demonstrates the process and
different levels of understanding and acceptance of it by FDLR
combatants. Most promising of the new tools is a "call home"
facility that DDRRR arranges from FDLR areas, offering telephone
calls to or from families in Rwanda who assure their lost brothers
and spouses that it is safe to return. The Rwandan delegation was
clearly impressed by the DDRRR product and offered to facilitate
more contacts with counterparts in Rwanda if asked.
Closing a Gap with Special Envoys
4. (SBU) The Task Force agreed to notify the Special Envoys that it
is willing to pay a visit to the upcoming JMG-EL meeting in Kigali,
in an effort to create a closer link between the two groups. Also,
members decided to restate all recommendations made to the Special
-- Recommendation that the Special Envoys ask GoDRC to create a
timetable and work plan for future sensitization purposes.
-- Recommendation that the Special Envoys ask GoRwa to facilitate
access of MONUC to Rwandan TV for sensitization purposes.
-- Recommendation that the Special Envoys ask GoRwa and GoDRC to
cooperate on media projects and be jointly represented in host
countries of FDLR leaders.
-- Recommendation that the Special Envoys ask International
Community to commonly target the political leadership in Europe and
North America - including judicial prosecution - as to minimize
their influence on FDLR elements in Eastern DRC.
-- Recommendation that the Special Envoys ask MONUC to conduct
research on political leaders of FDLR to build cases against them
that warrant judicial prosecution.
5. (SBU) COMMENT: Lancaster's frank message that the international
community is not moving fast enough or with sufficient coordination
to get the most out of a promising DDRRR program surprised his
audience, but neither the DRC nor Rwanda delegation used the TF
meeting as a forum for suggesting change. The most promising tools
are in the psychological operations realm, and the DDRRR Director is
placing much of his hopes for influencing his very hard targets on
the prompt arrival of more specialists in that field. END COMMENT.