Cablegate: Unsc Gets First Hand Look at Drc Challenges
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0528 1681011
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161011Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8125
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000528
E.O. 12958; NA
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG UN
SUBJECT: UNSC GETS FIRST HAND LOOK AT DRC CHALLENGES
REF: KINSHASA 513
1. (SBU) Summary: UN Security Council ambassadors held meetings in
Kinshasa and Goma June 7-8. Three themes emerged in their
discussions in Kinshasa: democracy-building, the Goma and Nairobi
processes, and sexual violence. President Kabila impressed the
ambassadors with his command of issues and candid responses. In
Goma, civil society members expressed their anger against the FDLR
and strong disapproval of relocating FDLR members within the DRC.
The visit provided the Security Council with first-hand information
of the continuing challenges faced by MONUC and the GDRC. End
2. (SBU) Seven UN Security Council ambassadors, joined by the U.S.
Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo who represented
the U.S., and accompanied by the Congolese ambassador to the UN, met
with President Kabila, Prime Minister Gizenga, Senate President
Kengo and National Assembly President Kamerhe June 7 in Kinshasa.
They also held meetings the following day in Goma.
3. (SBU) Three common themes emerged from the Kinshasa meetings:
democracy-building, the Goma and Nairobi processes, and sexual
violence. Discussion focused in particular on the challenges of
decentralization and of security sector and judicial reform.
4. (SBU) Several members of the delegation told the Ambassador they
were impressed with Kabila, especially his command of the issues and
candid responses to their questions. The South African and UK
ambassadors observed that Kabila appeared much more self-assured and
confident than during the previous year's visit.
5. (SBU) Kabila told the delegation it will take two to three years
to reform and train a professional Congolese military. He also
provided insight into his views of normalizing diplomatic relations
with Rwanda, suggesting that the first step could be the DRC opening
a diplomatic office in Gisenyi followed by Rwanda opening a similar
office in Goma. (Note: This mirrors a proposal put forward by
Kamerhe a year ago. End note.) Kabila said that the Nairobi and
Goma processes must succeed for sexual violence in the east to
6. (SBU) Kabila noted MONUC's positive role in the DRC,
characterizing its peacekeeping forces as essential in dealing with
the challenges of Congolese and foreign armed groups. Kabila
advocated a transition in MONUC's role to providing development
assistance. He stressed that he is counting on MONUC logistical
support for 2009 local elections.
7. (SBU) Following meetings with government and diplomatic
officials June 8 in Goma (reftel), most of the delegation traveled
to the Mugunga IDP camp, while the Ambassador and his South African
and Burkinabe colleagues met with civil society groups.
8. (SBU) After meeting with some 30 women representing women's NGOs
in North Kivu, they subsequently met with 10-15 representatives of
other civil society organizations. Both groups expressed anger
towards the FDLR and strong opposition to relocating FDLR members
anywhere in the DRC. They also articulated strong support for
MONUC. In general, they said it needs more resources and should
concentrate more on protecting civilians.
9. (SBU) Comment: Discussions during this visit provided the
Security Council with a first-hand view of the challenges faced by
MONUC and the GDRC as well as a better understanding of the concept
of a "surge capacity" to complement MONUC's peacekeeping operations
(reftel). End comment.