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Cablegate: Goma Report September 6 --

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RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0736/01 2520827
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080827Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8392
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0618
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000736

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
UN, EUN
SUBJECT: Goma Report September 6 --
CNDP occupies Nyanzale

1. (SBU) Summary: CNDP continued northward September 6 and
occupied Nyanzale with no resistance. MONUC's North Kivu brigade
reacted with uncharacteristic firmness. CNDP has evacuated the
FARDC's 7th brigade headquarters at Nyanzale and promised to
evacuate the town within hours. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The North Kivu brigade briefed the international
facilitation team September 6 on the principal event of the day,
CNDP's occupation of Nyanzale and of the headquarters of the 7th
brigade just north of the town. CNDP had moved up from Katsiru,
which it had taken the previous day, with a small force of 60-70,
who found the town and headquarters abandoned by the 7th brigade,
which had fled further north to Kikuku. The North Kivu brigade
(having a base at Nyanzale) entered immediate discussions with the
commander of the CNDP force, Major Castro, emphasizing that any
further movement northward by CNDP would be met by force by MONUC,
that CNDP must remove itself immediately from the 7th brigade
headquarters, and that it would have to leave the town within a few
hours. The North Kivu brigade reinforced the point by sending in
three BMP's and flying over the zone with two attack helicopters
(soon to be reinforced by another two coming down from Bunia).

3. (SBU) Major Castro at first took the position that CNDP would
hold its new positions until the FARDC withdrew from Ntamugenga and
Mutabo in the Rutshuru sector. Then with the arrival of heavy
equipment, Major Castro appeared to begin to take MONUC's threat
more seriously and removed his forces from the 7th brigade
headquarters. He said he would evacuate Nyanzale altogether, on the
understanding that FARDC would not reoccupy the area for some days.
General Rawat said that his plan would be to encircle CNDP in
Nyanzale if it did not cooperate. He departed for on-site
inspection. The facilitation team's assessment was that CNDP's
objective in occupying Nyanzale (which had simply fallen into its
hands) was more political than military, i.e., to put itself in a
better bargaining position in forthcoming talks (if they occur).

4. (SBU) North Kivu brigade did not know the extent of population
displacement at Nyanzale and Katsiru, but it had observed
significant displacement out of the Kashuga area northwest of Mweso.
The CNDP had apparently moved its forces out of Kashuga in order to
pursue its attack on Katsiru, and the population had fled southeast
into areas of continued CNDP control, fearing occupation of the zone
by PARECO and FDLR, which did in fact happen immediately. (Note:
The Hutu populace in that area appears to fear PARECO/FDLR more than
CNDP.)

5. (SBU) At a subsequent meeting with General Etumba, General
Mayala, Col. . Delphin, and other FARDC officers, Eastern
Coordinator Alpha Sow said that MONUC had acted so firmly and
quickly at Nyanzale because CNDP occupation of a FARDC brigade
headquaters located far beyond the lines of conflict was an act of a
different order from the intrusions into buffer zones by both
parties of the previous days. He characterized it as the most
serious ceasefire violation since the Acte d'Engagement was signed
in January. The present urgency, he said, was for both sides to
return to positions held two weeks ago, including FARDC's
oft-promised withdrawal from Ntamugenga and Mutabo. It was
essential that the population stop harassing the North Kivu brigade.
If, for example, the populace of Nyanzale had blocked MONUC there,
it would not have been able to come to FARDC's aid. Sow noted that
Nkunda had relayed an interest in speaking to SRSG Doss, a request
that MONUC was examining, and that an important delegation was
expected in Goma (note: specifically, National Assembly President
Vitale Kammerhe, who was the most energetic leader of the Goma
conference but had shunned Goma since).

6. (SBU) Etumba showed no particular gratitude for MONUC's action
in Nyanzale. He called it a "new attitude" that regrettably MONUC
had not displayed previously. Sow responded that it was not a new
attitude, but an appropriate response to an egregious violation of
the Acte d'Engagement by CNDP. Etumba rehashed his regret that the
population of Rutshuru disliked MONUC so intensely, suggesting that
MONUC had not done enough to clarify its mandate to the populace.
However, he said he had instructed Mayala "to follow closely our
elements on the ground never to be associated with provocation of
the population." Col. Delphin hotly denied any such provocation.
He asserted that the CNDP attack on Kanombe on August 28, with the
"clear objective" of taking Rumangabo and cutting the Ruthsuru road,
had been the "cause" of the clashes ever since, and he expressed his
dismay that CNDP was still in possession of Kanombe without a
reaction from MONUC. As for FARDC's occupation of Mutabo and
Ntamugenga, he said that it was essential that FARDC look to the
defenses of Rutshuru and Kalengera, respectively, as was its

KINSHASA 00000736 002 OF 002


sovereign right. Sow responded that MONUC fully respected DRC's
sovereignty, but DRC had signed the Acte d'Engagement and FARDC had
agreed on certain buffer zones which it had now disrespected and was
making it increasingly difficult for MONUC to carry out its role.

7. (SBU) Sow said that the facilitation team was in contact with
CNDP in an effort to bring it around to the idea of direct talks at
the MONUC-controlled air terminal, with the objective of returning
forces to positions held two weeks ago. Etumba repeated his
willingness "in principle" to participate in such talks, so long as
CNDP fully retreated from Nyanzale, but his tone was skeptical and
reluctant.

GARVELINK

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