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Cablegate: Storm Clouds Gather Around Amani Process; Will Fighting

VZCZCXRO0124
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0625/01 2130839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310839Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8245
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000625

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: STORM CLOUDS GATHER AROUND AMANI PROCESS; WILL FIGHTING
RESUME?

REF: KINSHASA 613

1. (SBU) Summary: Defense Minister Chikez convened a meeting July
28 with ambassadors of major donor countries and MONUC to discuss
security sector reform (SSR), focusing specifically on three main
areas: peace processes in the east; rapid reaction force training;
and overall institutional development of the military. Chikez was
clear that multilateral approaches to SSR will not interfere with
bilateral military cooperation programs. The SSR meeting was held
against the backdrop of a number of discouraging developments in
Goma, where the Amani process is losing steam, with the CNDP
appearing to distance itself from the process altogether. There is
no conclusive evidence the process is broken, but several individual
reports, when taken together, suggest that Amani needs big infusions
of resources and high-level attention if it is to stay alive. The
possibility of renewed fighting between the FARDC and CNDP cannot be
dismissed. End summary.

Minister Chikez takes control of SSR
------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Defense Minister Chikez called a meeting for July 28 with
ambassadors of major donor countries and MONUC to discuss several
security-related issues. That meeting was preceded by a preparatory
meeting July 26, called by UN/SRSG Alan Doss to coordinate donors'
positions. The July 28 meeting, which was dominated by the Defense
Minister, centered on topics of the peace processes in the east,
coordination of training of a rapid reaction force, and the
military's overall institutional development. The ambassadors or
charges of the U.S., UK, France, Belgium, South Africa, Italy, the
Netherlands, Angola and the EU attended, as did SRSG Doss. China
was represented by its defense attache. DATT's from all
aforementioned countries were also present. The FARDC's chief of
staff, Lt. Gen Kayembe Mbandakulu, was noticeably absent.

3. (SBU) Chikez was in an ebullient mood, having just returned from
South Africa where he received treatment for high blood pressure.
He described the period after the February Round Table on SSR as
initially filled with doubt regarding his plan (which Kayembe
opposed); more recently, however, his plan was being viewed in a
more positive light. He saw the next few months as a period of time
for consolidation of the plan. A huge step forward, he said, was a
commitment he has made to monthly co-ordination technical and
political meetings. (Note: Chikez clearly took pleasure in having
prevailed over Kayembe, with a plan for a much larger army than that
proposed by the Chief of Staff. End note.) Chikez emphasized that
while multilateral assistance was necessary to implement his plan,
bilateral military cooperation programs were not to be affected by
multilateral efforts.


Agreement on way forward
------------------------

4. (SBU) The Defense Minister emphasized that MOD and donors were
essentially in agreement in three areas:

-- How to proceed with the conflict in the east, including DDR;
Brassage of Amani Armed groups; FDLR and other negative forces; and
Disengagement.
-- Training of a Rapid Reaction Force, including number of
battalions (12); post "brassage" units; non Integrated FARDC Units
-- Long Term Institution Building, particularly in the areas of
logistics, training, administration, finance, and human resource
management

A significant outcome from the meeting is that Chikez agreed to the
holding of regular technical working group meetings around these
three areas with donor representatives below the
ministerial/ambassadorial level; he also agreed to more frequent
meetings with ambassadors on this subject.

Amani process stalled
---------------------

5. (SBU) Admiral Didier Etumba, Senior FARDC Representative in the
east, then spoke about developments in that region. His main points
were:

-- Stabilization had gone fairly well but there were still problems
in a number of areas.
-- Apart from the CNDP and FRF, international groups and other
negative forces had worked out a plan for brassage although no
location had been chosen.
-- CNDP and FRF have effectively withdrawn from the Amani process.

KINSHASA 00000625 002 OF 002

-- Progress has been made in getting FDLR groups to demobilize.
Money is needed for processing centers where the FDLR can prepare
for repatriation.
-- Resources to support the Amani program are greatly needed.
-- International pressure should continue to get all parties to
respect the cessation of hostilities.

6. (SBU) With regard to developments in the east, Amani Program
coordinator Fr. Apollinaire Malu Malu called USAID-contracted
adviser Willet Weeks July 26 from Zanzibar to inform him of the July
28 meeting, which was to be followed by an unscheduled meeting of
the Amani Steering Committee ("Comite de Pilotage" in French). Malu
Malu told Weeks he is cutting short his stay in Zanzibar and
returning directly to Kinshasa and will return to Goma as soon as
possible. He also told Weeks he is fearful that there has been a
decision by the GDRC and CNDP to return to war.

CNDP and International Facilitation are not talking
--------------------------------------------- ------

7. (SBU) We note there has been no direct contact between the
International Facilitation and Nkunda for several weeks. Nkunda did
not call EU Special Envoy Roeland van de Geer - as requested through
CNDP intermediaries in Goma - following the July 23 incident in
which CNDP soldiers prevented a Facilitation convoy from traveling
to Kirolirwe for a previously scheduled meeting with him (reftel).
The Facilitation has continuously asked CNDP representatives to
ensure that Nkunda contact one of the senior envoys as soon as
possible.

8. (SBU) MONUC and International Facilitation representatives at a
July 27 meeting in Gisenyi took seriously the threat of renewed
fighting between the FARDC and CNDP. Participants highlighted the
possibility of military action in August, to precede the beginning
of the rainy season. They noted too the aforementioned radio
silence on Nkunda's part as well as the fact that the GDRC is
showing little political will to reach a diplomatic solution, as
indicated by GDRC representative Admiral Etumba's absence from Goma
for over one month.

9. (SBU) The participants also discussed the role of Bosco Ntaganda
in CNDP and the rumors circulating in Goma that he may be trying to
assert himself within the organization and sideline Nkunda (Note:
Other rumors are that Nkunda is sick or otherwise incapacitated.
End note.) They noted how a Bosco takeover could unleash an
unpredictable chain of events, to include possible military action.
Unconfirmed reports suggest, for example, that it was Bosco who gave
the order to prevent the Facilitation convoy from reaching Kirolirwe
July 23. OCHA reports as well that, per their sources, there has
been a reorganization of top advisors within CNDP and Nkunda has
decided to work through subordinates with respect to contact with
the Facilitation. We emphasize that these are only unconfirmed
rumors.

10. (SBU) Comment: The reasons for what appears to be the CNDP'a
disengagement from the Amani process are not clear. We are
reluctant to speculate, but we note that many knowledgeable sources
believe Nkunda and his forces are preparing for a resumption of
hostilities with the FARDC. We will monitor the situation closely
and report on developments. End comment.

GARVELINK

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