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Cablegate: Notes On 22nd Meeting of Jmg Task Force, Field Trip, 16 May

VZCZCXRO2931
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0460 1461414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251414Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8042
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000460

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG BE
SUBJECT: NOTES ON 22ND MEETING OF JMG TASK FORCE, FIELD TRIP, 16 MAY
2008

1. (SBU) Summary: The 22nd Task Force (TF) meeting was in the form
of a field trip to Walikale on 16 May 2008, at the invitation of the
Congolese Delegation. Members heard three briefings: The
Territorial Administrator talked about "sensitization" (awareness
raising) efforts since March 15; the commandant of the 85th
Battalion briefed on force readiness and operations against the
FDLR; and the MONUC MILOB Team Commander spoke briefly on the
security situation. "Sensitization" and DDRRR are already in
process at Walikale, and a few hundred ex-combatants have already
returned to their home country. Facilitation raised the alleged
export of minerals by FDLR from a highway airstrip outside the
province capital, but the Territorial Administrator denied the
allegation. End summary.

FDLR Go Home
------------
2. (SBU) "Sensitization" and DDRRR are by now familiar themes in
Walikale; since December 2007, over 400 ex-combatants have returned
to Rwanda. Territorial Administrator Dieudonne Tshishiku told TF
members that the population originally formed four teams of 10
persons to undertake "sensitization," using Amani Program prepared
propaganda. Even with their success, the teams want to continue
working to rid the area of FDLR "atrocities." Since the arrival of
11th and 31st battalions as reinforcement for the 85th Brigade,
military operations have pushed the FDLR deeper into the bush.
There are about 1,000 IDP's within the territory, most of them
living with host families.
3. (SBU) The 85th Brigade Commander, Col. Samy Matumo, told the TF
that the general situation was calm. FARDC troops have excellent
relations with local authorities, ANR, PNC and the population, he
said, and eight MONUC-trained battalions are in North and South Kivu
to implement the Nairobi Accord. FARDC has set up check-points to
limit the free movements of FDLR, and are awaiting specific orders
to attack FDLR units.
4. (SBU) Matumo has received bad press in Walikale, where many
believe he is corrupt and involved in smuggling. His replies to the
members' probing questions ranged from tart to impertinent, and he
challenged the Rwandan Delegation to outline what it had done in
support of the Nairobi process. The Rwandans coolly cited
protection of the common border, production of the list of
genocidaires, a re-integration program for ex- combatants and mass
"sensitization" through the media.
Mineral Trafficking
-------------------

5. (SBU) U.S. member Jenks asked the Territorial Administrator and
MONUC what controls, monitoring or inspections they were carrying
out at the Walikale airstrip, where the illicit export of minerals
is an important FDLR economic activity. MONUC answered that there
is no airstrip, but rather a section of the Walikale-Kisangangi road
at Kilambo, 26 km from town, that small aircraft use. No
authorities monitor or inspect the site. The Territorial
Administrator said that the site is not in an area controlled by the
FDLR, and that the USG had been misinformed. While the Facilitation
has no reason to believe that FDLR control the area, a MILOBS on the
fringes of the meeting said that 10-15 planes land and take off
there every day. The IEC driver said that around 30 tons of
minerals move out per day, mostly casiterite.

6. (SBU) Comment: The head of the Congolese Delegation was eager
to show the TF that his government is making real progress in
enforcing Nairobi, and the members appeared satisfied despite the
85th Brigade Commander's sullen presentation. The question of
illicit mineral exports needs serious investigation and may well
justify a demarche in favor of regular inspection, if not a
permanent police/military presence in Kilambo. End comment.

GARVELINK

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