Cablegate: Goma Notes - Partner's Plan for Amani Program Mobility And

DE RUEHKI #0438/01 1400558
P 190558Z MAY 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary: Concerned that a crippled transportation
infrastructure will slow down implementation of the Amani Program
and humanitarian assistance, Father (also French: "Abbe")
Apollinaire Malu Malu convened partners from MONUC and International
Facilitation on April 20 to discuss improving critical roads in the
Kivus. It was the Malu Malu's first meeting with General Singh, who
opened with a detailed security briefing that stole the spotlight
from roads but gave Malu Malu a chance to probe MONUC's battle
strategy. Malu Malu fears that military pressure would incite the
FDLR to attack civilian communities, and asked the General if there
is a population protection strategy in place. Singh answered that
the military should move very slowly and be certain that the
population is secure during all stages of an operation, which should
also include "non-kinetic" options. He agreed with the Abbe that
all factions of PARECO and the Mai Mai are ready for brassage even
if Nkunda does not move from his present positions. As for roads,
Malu Malu endorsed the partners' recommendations for urgent
rehabilitation of the road between Sake-Masisi beginning early May,
in large part to re-start the flow of blocked humanitarian aid. He
also urged immediate construction of a several barracks to house
FARDC soldiers and their families. In all cases, Malu Malu suggests
that staff of provincial public works agencies be present when
partners plan and execute road and related construction. End

The Threats to Order

2. (SBU) General Singh drew a distinction between problems of law
and order, and problems of public order. He believes the major
problems of the present are in the law and order domain and require
police attention more than military. Yet the Amani program is still
threatened by public order issues, including not only North and
South Kivu armed groups but also the LRA. In the event Joseph Kony
does not sign any agreement favoring a peaceful resolution and if a
breakaway faction forms and tries to return to the DRC, Singh said
that MONUC would train a FARDC battalion to counter its advance.

3. (SBU) Singh also has an eye on socio-economic factors that
undermine stability, including a "youth bulge" of educated,
frustrated young people in the population who could easily ignite a
political brushfire. Singh is less worried about Muslim groups in
DRC, which he believes are probably not fundamentalist.

MONUC's May-June Plan

4. (SBU) Singh has prepared MONUC to act in the Kivus' four small
theaters or triangles, using a three-pronged approach:
"sensitization," DDR, and 8 FARDC battalions trained by MONUC and
supported by 8 individual logistics/planning companies. The
battalions will stabilize the triangles and reassure the population,
sowing new seeds of state authority. He emphasized that no such
operations can begin before the end of May, when all component units
will have arrived in their areas of operation. One concern that
cannot be addressed during May is the return of demobilized Mai Mai
and refugees from northern Katanga; these movements can add to
public anxiety. Similarly, Amani sensitizers will not be able to
reach out in underdeveloped areas west of the Kivus until the longer

5. (SBU) Responding to Malu Malu's concerns, Singh said that MONUC
will move slowly against the FDLR, being sure the population is
secure at every stage of an operation. He believes MONUC has not
tried enough "non-kinetic" options to weaken FDLR in advance of any
attack. One approach is to isolate FDLR units, making them feel
marginalized. By this logic, Singh believes the proposed Kisangani
meeting is counter-productive.

6. (SBU) The General advised against sending untrained units into
any area of responsibility at the present time. Malu Malu nodded
his agreement and used the opening to pitch his plan for
constructing barracks for rehabilitated FARDC who should live,
accompanied by their families, in the newly stabilized areas.

Smoothing the Road

7. (SBU) Amani planners knew that the North Kivu government was
already engaged on a roads improvement project when they met with
the Roads Office on April 19. They proposed collaboration with
public authorities and told the Governor that the UN logistics
cluster would bring needed technical cadre. Malu Malu proposed that
the provincial minister of public works participate fully and attend
regular monthly meetings with the partners and Facilitation

KINSHASA 00000438 002 OF 003

beginning in June.

8. (SBU) The first task will be a main road and secondary road
mapping project. Malu Malu realized that MONUC was the natural
agency to solve some of the most pressing problems, notably security
restraints that can not only block engineering work but also impact
humanitarian measures. Amani planners are paying most attention to
the Masisi region, where the first job is to clean up priority
stretches of road. The team must be ready to begin clean up by the
time of the June meeting, and must also outline a policy for
long-term maintenance.

9. (SBU) Malu Malu stated that repairing the roads is not just a
matter of putting hardware and construction materials in place, but
also is a challenge for inexperienced provincial administrators.
Unfortunately, however, the existing provincial government plan for
rehabilitating roads does not include any administrator training.

10. (SBU) A MONUC representative raised a further concern, pointing
out that the current mapping exercise for armed groups reveals that
the police and justice presence along the affected axis is very
weak. UN agencies may tap into Dutch funding to organize Security
Sector Reform in Rutshuru territory.

The Road Map

11. (SBU) Malu Malu and the partners' top priority is access to the
Sake-Masisi road because humanitarian assistance in Masisi is
seriously blocked. For funding reasons the solution might not be a
new highway but a rehabilitated, existing road. A USD 25 million
grant from the Netherlands, and other aid from Sweden, will allow
UNOPS to move forward quickly but that agency is still considering
the best approach.

12. (SBU) The Sake-Masisi road is virtually impassable beyond the
20 km point. Though the South African road battalion attempted to
open it to trucks in the recent past, a north-south FARDC convoy
from the 81st Brigade in mid-April took two hours to cover 8
kilometers and one hour to negotiate the following 6 kilometers.
Landslides block the road along its entire length. There are ruts
deep enough to hide a car. The UNOPS representative believes that
only a "heavy duty" contractor is equal to the job. He proposed
hiring such a company and arranging for it to give equipment
training to local workers.

13. (SBU) Elsewhere, work could begin immediately to restore a
bridge on the Sake-Kichinga road. North of Rutshuru town on the
road to Ishasha, conditions are generally good but the program can
employ local residents to correct some drainage problems using light
equipment only, and should include a new building to house workers
in Rutshuru.

Hazardous Detour

14. (SBU) UNOPS also advised that new police stations be built in
Kindoni; in Bunia, where 600 prisoners occupy a space for 200; and
in Masisi, where the police are now in borrowed facilities. The
existing construction plan calls for 22 police stations to be built
from Ituri to North and South Kivu. Malu Malu suspects that local
officials might insert themselves in the land-allocation process for
personal gain, and told UNOPS that he wanted to be present at any
discussions involving the transfer of public land for road
construction and municipal facilities. Dishonest police officials
pretend that they need to pay for their land to extract funds from
donors. Malu Malu said that such claims are not true.

Gathering the Resources

15. (SBU) The humanitarians' needs carry special weight for Malu
Malu, and the WFP logistics coordinator named his three most urgent
projects: (a) Sake-Masisi, where an emergency clean-up and repair
operation should begin in early May, including heavy rocks for the
roadbed. (b) A rehabilitation program for critical spots in
collaboration with MONUC, drawing from USD 700,000 in South African
funds. The South African engineering force provides rock, culvert,
and material for reinforcing slopes. (c) More extensive road
rehabilitation addressing collapsed sections over which trucks
cannot pass. While waiting for this work to be completed, WFP is
obliged to ask for airlift capacity.

16. (SBU) As there are today more than 400 metric tons of
construction materials as well as humanitarian supplies to transport

KINSHASA 00000438 003 OF 003

on the Sake-Masisi axis and beyond, Gen. Singh proposed an
unconventional solution. We could revive the "lost art" of human
portage over blocked areas, with local inhabitants earning a small
wage to break down and carry even the heaviest materials in portable
loads, though WFP might hesitate to entrust food to inadequately
supervised porters. A UNOPS engineer recalled that construction
crews used this method along roads between Bunya and Kisangani in
the last decade. The participants agreed only to think about the

17. (SBU) MONUC commented that above and beyond the USD 700,000 in
funds, it is already working to provide support materials for both
the South African and Indonesian engineering units. Gen. Singh
decided at once to create a regional engineering office at MONUC
headquarters in Goma, to which RSA and Indonesian skilled personnel
will be assigned to coordinate the urgent projects.

18. (SBU) Abbe Malu Malu invited the participants to contact him for
help in unblocking any problems. He said that the Prime Minister
puts a premium on state authority and the participation of the
international community and traditional chiefs to restore it. Malu
Malu proposed a "sensitization" (awareness raising) meeting with the
traditional chiefs to make them aware that they are the first line
of state authority.

19. (SBU) Comment: Not all partners found this meeting useful.
USAID reps gave UNOPS low marks for a presentation that was random
and incomplete, and did not inspire confidence that this project was
in good hands. The UNDP rep did not have time to discuss critical
infrastructure needs for restoration of justice and state authority,
which are vital components of the Amani program. DDRRR was not
directly represented. Yet General Singh's decision to create a
centralized engineering office in Goma, already in process, signals
MONUC's recognition that there are a few months left at best to
accomplish Amani goals. End comment.


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