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Cablegate: Goma Notes: Etumba's Plan for Disengagement

VZCZCXRO1926
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0499 1571007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051007Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8082
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 000499

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES: ETUMBA'S PLAN FOR DISENGAGEMENT


1. (SBU) Summary: Amani Program Peace and Security Co-President
Didier Etumba has proposed disengaging government and CNDP forces in
North Kivu along lines in Masisi in Rutshuru, and creation of five
ex-combatant assembly centers in the province. He suggested three
centers for South Kivu, where there are no real fronts. MONUC is
concerned that it will be unable to control ex-combatants during the
disengagement process. MONUC reminded Etumba that DDR donors will
have a major say in how the process is conducted. International
Facilitation representatives expressed doubt that simultaneous
disengagement is possible, and argued for a "mutual phased
reduction" model that draws equally from disengaging forces,
although not all at once. End summary

Separation and assembly
-----------------------

2. (SBU) Back in Goma May 26 following the three-week Amani program
public information campaign, Admiral Didier Etumba, co-president of
Joint Commission on Peace and Security, briefed SRSG Chief of Staff
John Almstrom, MONUC's General Farouk, FARDC 8th Region military
commander General Vainqueur Mayala and the International
Facilitation on his disengagement plan for North and South Kivu.
Because our limited budget will not tolerate new conflicts, he said,
we will create assembly centers for disengaged combatants. After
these fighters then move on to civilian life or brassage, the work
of the Joint Commission is over. For Etumba, the goal is
simultaneous disengagement. Armed groups that want to report on
their own schedules are a threat: they ignite a you-go-first
mentality that ultimately discourages all groups from disengaging.

3. (SBU) Etumba's plan for North Kivu envisions CNDP and FARDC
forces separated along two lines, in Masisi and Rutshuru
territories, and creation of five assembly centers. For the CNDP
there would be centers in: (1) Chengerero, where both assembly and
brassage would take place; (2) Mweso, for elements coming from
Tongo, Kitchanga and Binza; and (3) Masisi, for elements from
Mushake. For Mai-Mai there would be centers in: (4) Kanyabayonga;
and (5) Kibabi. Under Etumba's plan, the FARDC would not re-deploy
during nor be involved in disengagement. Neither would they occupy
"liberated" areas: that would be the responsibility of MONUC.

4. (SBU) South Kivu has no "fronts" to disengage. Etumba
recommended two assembly centers for Mai-Mai in Walungu and
Luberezi, and a third for FRF in Kamombo. In his scheme, combatants
would travel to the centers by road with MONUC and Facilitation
support.

5. (SBU) MONUC representatives expressed concern that Etumba's plan
would require them to control combatants on the move as well as in
assembly centers. This would require additional financing, for
which there are few sources. MONUC reminded Etumba that DDR donors
would have a major say in how the process is conducted, including
where brassage takes place. Managers of World Bank/GDRC DDR funds
may not concur with Etumba's vision.

6. (SBU) Mayala suggested that the assembly centers have a
different name, such as "transit and orientation centers," to
deflect focus from the possibility that troops living in close
contact could undertake spontaneous and unwanted military
excursions. Etumba and Farouk agreed that their central task during
the disengagement period is to ensure than no fighting breaks out
among disarming combatants. That risk especially threatens
brassage. Etumba appears to believe that

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