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Cablegate: Special Envoys Burundi

VZCZCXRO3835
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #1392/01 1781323
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261323Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4889
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1315
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1543
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0212
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0655
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1386
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0275
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0517
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5727
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0549

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 001392

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/C, AF/S

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KDEM BY SF
SUBJECT: SPECIAL ENVOYS BURUNDI

REF: A. PRETORIA 428

B. PRETORIA 775
C. PRETORIA 799
D. EMAIL: MOLLER/SWAN

1. (SBU) This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified. Not for
Internet Distribution.

2. (SBU) The second meeting of Special Envoys on Burundi was
held in Magaliesberg, South Africa June 9-10, 2008. The SAG
Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, hosted this
meeting along with the SAG Special Envoy Ambassador Kingsley
Mamabolo. Agathon Rwasa led the PALIPEHUTU-FNL delegation,
and Major-General Evariste Ndayishimiye headed the Government
of Burundi delegation.

3. (SBU) The first Special Envoys meeting was held in Cape
Town, South Africa in February 2008. Unlike the Cape Town
meeting, called in an atmosphere of hopelessness as Burundi
again was plunged into crisis, the Magaliesberg meeting
represented a "good story" with "a good ending," according to
Mamabolo.

4. (SBU) In the month preceding the Magaliesberg meeting,
significant developments occurred in the Burundi peace
process. Chairman Agathon Rwasa and elements of the
PALIPEHUTU-FNL leadership returned to Burundi. The work of
the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JMVV)
resumed. A new cessation of hostilities agreements between
the parties was signed and the Joint Operational Plan on the
disarmament, demobilization, and the reintegration of
PALIPEHUTU-FNL combatants was adopted (reftels). These
agreements laid out the framework of mutual commitments for
both parties "to build confidence and move the peace process
forward."

5. (SBU) Following the second Special Envoys meeting, the
Magaliesberg Communique and Declaration on the Burundi Peace
Process (septel) were announced which set forth the areas of
agreement between the parties and the pledges of support from
the Envoys.

6. (SBU) The Special Envoys noted that the two parties now
hold common views on the causes and consequences of the
conflict as well as key socio-economic challenges facing
Burundi. They applauded recent achievements of the South
African facilitation as well as the SAG's financial and
military assistance. The contributions of international
partners in support of the Burundi peace process were also
acknowledged. They pledged to continue leveraging
international resources to financially support the SAG
Facilitation and the Burundi peace process, including
"...interceding with donors on the provision of humanitarian
assistance until the conclusion of the disarmament,
demobilization, and reintegration process. The Special
Envoys will also continue to support the PALIPEHUTU-FNL
transformation into a political party, including the training
of its members. They will "pay special attention to the
reintegration aspects of the disarmament, demobilization, and
reintegration" of the PALIPEHUTU-FNL; and agreed to consider
ways of providing additional support to the Government of
Burundi "to address the pressures caused by rising prices of
food and fuel."

7. (SBU) Mamabolo also noted with the PALIPEHUTU-FNL's return
and the peace process itself had implications for funding
support. He noted, "Just to monitor it you have to create
the Joint Liaison Team (JLT) to monitor the violation of the
ceasefire." He also mentioned long term structural
Qceasefire." He also mentioned long term structural
challenges that will require international support, including
humanitarian and many other needs, the return of refugees,
settling displaced persons, and the critical demobilization
and disarmament of the PALIPEHUTU-FNL combatants, and post
conflict reconstruction.

8. (SBU) COMMENT: The tone of the meeting was decidedly
upbeat. Although Rwasa reiterated many of his side's
familiar doctrinaire demands like retaining the
constitutionally prohibited PALIPEHUTU-FNL as the name for

PRETORIA 00001392 002 OF 002


his political party, most of the participants agreed that it
seemed as if everything could be open for discussion. The
South African facilitators said they were pleased with the
progress made at the meeting, but were quick to note that the
price of peace was high and they were the ones picking up
much of the tab. They appealed for help from the
international community to defray some of their expenses,
transmitting to participants by e-mail on June 19 an
operating budget listing expediters and requirements for
additional resources (reftel). The meeting closed, to the
surprise of most, with a Rwasa-initiated prayer circle - all
at the conference joining hands to hear Rwasa's 20-minute
appeal for peace and understanding. The press was admitted
to listen and to tape the closing event.
TEITELBAUM

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