Cablegate: Goma Notes 06/13/08: Nairobi Process - 26th Meeting of The
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0555/01 1771606
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251606Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8163
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000555
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG RW UN
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES 06/13/08: NAIROBI PROCESS - 26TH MEETING OF THE
JMG TASK FORCE, JUNE 13, 2008, BUKAVU
1. (SBU) Summary: The 26th meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group
Task Force, held in Bukavu June 13, featured a briefing on FARDC
operations against the FDLR by General Patrick Masunzu of the 10th
Military Region. Masunzu reported that four newly-deployed
integrated and MONUC-trained battalions are focusing on cutting FDLR
supply routes. He stressed that he has instructed his commanders to
maintain local communities' confidence. The Rwandan delegation
expressed appreciation for the level of detail in Masunzu's
briefing, but raised concerns about FDLR incursions into Rwanda and
FARDC-FDLR collaboration. MONUC's DDRRR and political affairs
sections briefed the group on their public awareness campaigns and
related issues. MONUC DDRRR has told FDLR commanders that the only
way to hold an "inter-Rwandan dialogue" is for the FDLR to return to
Rwanda and register as a legitimate political party. End summary.
2. (SBU) Members of the Nairobi process Joint Monitoring Group Task
Force (JMG-TF) traveled June 13 to Bukavu for their 26th session.
The meeting began with a briefing on FARDC operations against the
FDLR by acting 10th Military Region commander General Patrick
Masunzu. The Congolese military has deployed four integrated and
MONUC-trained battalions to South Kivu to cut FDLR supply routes.
Masunzu described in detail the location of FDLR forces and the
weapons available to them.
3. (SBU) Masunzu stressed that he has instructed his commanders to
avoid any activity that could cause local populations to lose
confidence in the FARDC. He said the military has also engaged
traditional and religious authorities and other elements of civil
society to deliver the message that the FDLR must return to Rwanda
and that only the FARDC is responsible for providing security. He
claimed that most FDLR fighters want to go back to Rwanda, but are
effectively held hostage by their commanders. He appeared to
believe that their return would depend on the Rwandan government
agreeing to a political ("inter-Rwandan") dialogue with the FDLR.
4. (SBU) Major Franco Rutagengwa, head of the Rwandan delegation,
expressed appreciation for Masunzu's briefing. He said it contained
a level of detail that had not previously been provided by the GDRC.
He then raised the issue of FDLR incursions into Rwanda and alleged
that certain FARDC brigades are cooperating with the FDLR.
Rutagengwa implied that the GDRC is not doing enough to secure the
border or mining sites being exploited by the FDLR. He also asked
when the FARDC will begin forced disarmament of the FDLR.
5. (SBU) Masunzu said he was not aware of FDLR incursions into
Rwanda or collaboration with the FARDC. He requested more specific
information in order to investigate. He stated that measures are in
place to protect the border, but, citing operational security, did
not provide specific details. Colonel Augustin Mamba, DRC head of
delegation, said that the FARDC is in a phased process of action
against the FDLR, and proceeding from one phase to another takes a
certain amount of time.
MONUC DDRRR briefing
6. (SBU) MONUC DDRRR and political affairs sections then briefed
the group on public awareness activities and other related issues to
follow up the Nairobi communique.
7. (SBU) The DDRRR officer said that MONUC began a robust public
awareness campaign in South Kivu in April. This includes active
seeking of assistance from political and traditional authorities.
He said they are now working in collaboration with the GDRC, an
element which he characterized as relatively new.
8. (SBU) MONUC DDRRR is planning a series of events at local
markets which FDLR members are known to frequent. The principal
focus will be countering the message that those who go back to
Rwanda are persecuted. DDRRR representatives have met with FDLR
commanders in an effort to influence them along the same lines.
They have stressed that the only way to hold an "inter-Rwandan
dialogue" is for the FDLR to return to Rwanda and transform itself
into a legitimate political party.
9. (SBU) Responding to a question from Mamba, the DDRRR officer
said that 255 FDLR members have returned to Rwanda since January, of
which 105 were combatants. The Rwandan delegation disputed this
figure, leading to agreement to examine the issue further at the
next JMG-TF meeting.
MONUC political briefing
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10. (SBU) A MONUC political affairs officer provided a general
overview of current FDLR activities in South Kivu, including
recruitment and stepped-up efforts to dominate strategic areas. He
noted that the FDLR began reorganizing its forces following the
Nairobi communique more along guerilla lines, with groups of 20-30
fighters patrolling and controlling territories. In some areas,
FDLR members are integrated with the community, in others they live
in military camps. Civilians in areas under FDLR control appear
apprehensive about possible operations against the group. They fear
reprisals or being accidentally targeted.
11. (SBU) The officer recommended that: the GDRC increase its
public information activities in South Kivu; the international
community pressure FDLR leaders in Europe; Rwanda make clear to the
FDLR that conditions there are conducive to repatriation; and the
threat of military action against the FDLR be intensified.
12. (SBU) Rutagengwa's effort to express appreciation for Masunzu's
briefing was noteworthy. The meeting was otherwise relatively
straightforward, with few theatrics or hyperbole by either the
Congolese or Rwandan delegations. End comment