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Cablegate: Cndp Soldiers Turn Back Facilitation Convoy

VZCZCXRO7466
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0613 2100807
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280807Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8230
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 000613

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: CNDP SOLDIERS TURN BACK FACILITATION CONVOY

1. (SBU) Summary: International Facilitation and MONUC officials,
traveling overland to Kirolirwe for a previously scheduled meeting
with Nkunda July 23, were turned back at a CNDP barrier
approximately ten miles from Kimoka. CNDP soldiers on the scene
provided no explanation, and an attempt to enlist the aid of a CNDP
political counselor by telephone was unsuccessful in securing
passage for the convoy. While the reason for this incident is
unclear, Facilitation members are unanimous in their opinion that it
cannot be attributed to a breakdown in MONUC-CNDP or internal CNDP
communications. End summary.

2. (SBU) Members of the International Facilitation (IF) in Goma and
MONUC officials had planned to fly to Kirolirwe July 23 for a
previously scheduled meeting with Nkunda. Weather conditions made a
helicopter trip impossible and, after unsuccessful efforts to reach
Nkunda to ask if the meeting could be moved to Kimoka, the
Facilitation decided to drive to Kirolirwe.

3. (SBU) Approximately ten miles from Kimoka, the convoy
encountered a barrier and CNDP soldiers refused to allow the group
to pass. The Facilitation phoned Bertrand Bisimwa, a CNDP political
counselor, and asked him to sort it out with the commanding officer
on the scene. However, the latter simply reiterated that the group
could not pass through. The Facilitation afterwards decided to
return to Goma.

4. (SBU) After returning to Goma, the Facilitation had a meeting
with D/SRSG Ross Mountain to explain the events and chart a way
forward. It was decided that MONUC would get in touch with CNDP to
get a message to Nkunda that he should call Roeland van de Geer.
The group also decided to try again the next day to travel by
helicopter to CNDP territory for a meeting, though they will only
meet with Nkunda if he contacted the IF and specifically requested
to see them.

5. (SBU) Comment: It was clear that the barrier was set up
specifically to block the convoy from traveling to Kirolirwe. The
Facilitation was told that the barrier would be taken down after
they turned around; they also learned later that the barrier had
been set up 45 minutes prior to their arrival. While there, the
group observed that the CNDP allowed other vehicles to pass
through.
Facilitation members are unanimous in their opinion that this
incident cannot be attributed to a breakdown in MONUC-CNDP or
internal CNDP communications. It is not known why the CNDP blocked
the convoy from traveling to Kirolirwe, but it is nonetheless an
ominous signal. End comment.

GARVELINK

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