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Cablegate: Goma Report September 9:

VZCZCXRO8833
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0741 2531808
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091808Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8401
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0624
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 KINSHASA 000741

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
UN, EUN
SUBJECT: Goma Report September 9:
CNDP within Reach of Kanyabayonga

1. (SBU) Summary: A force of at least 200 CNDP on September 9
reached Kayala, 20 km south of the strategic town of Kanyabayonga,
and could reach that town by dawn September 10. Meanwhile, CNDP
withdrew from Numbi in South Kivu. End Summary.

2. (SBU) At the end of day September 9, poloff met North Kivu
brigade commander, Brigadier General Bipin Rawat, and MONUC Deputy
Chief of Staff for eastern Congo, Colonel James Cunliffe, for an
assessment of the day's military developments. Rawat said that a
force of at least 200 CNDP had reached Kayala, halfway between
Nyanzale and Kanyabayonga. Another force of 50 CNDP had made a
probe at Kikuku, northwest of Nyanzale, where the North Kivu brigade
had fired upon CNDP the previous day, but again withdrew when North
Kivu brigade again made clear it would use force to prevent the
occupation of that town (Kikuku sits on a strategic ridge on the
road connecting Nyanzale to either Kanyabayonga or Rwindi).

3. (SBU) There were persistent reports from NGO's in the course of
the day that CNDP had also occupied Kibirizi, on the eastern road
connecting Nyanzale to Rwindi. There appear to be significant
movements of civilians from the area of Kibirizi to the main
north-south highway at Rwindi. However, Rawat had no confirmation
of Kibirizi's occupation by CNDP. There are reports also of
significant movement of civilians from areas north and east of
Nyanzale toward Nyanzale, where North Kivu brigade is holding firm.

4. (SBU) Rawat's and Cunliffe's assessment was that CNDP was almost
certainly aiming to reach Kanyabayonga, and would be able to do so
by September 10, moving through the bush by foot overnight.
Kanyabayonga, located on the main north-south highway just at the
point where it reaches the escarpment edge dividing the Congo and
Nile watersheds, is not only the most strategic position on that
highway, but also carries fraught connotations in the minds of many
Congolese as a place of great violence during the wars in the
1990's. Rawat said that the North Kivu brigade would use force if
necessary in holding Kanyabayonga, having reinforced its base there.
He said that one complicating factor was that FARDC, which was in
total disarray in the area, was nevertheless sending 250 elements
back to Kanyabayonga, and these elements along with civilian
officials were stirring up the populace against MONUC, which could
present problems in North Kivu brigade's efforts to protect the
town. Hostile crowds had already impeded a logistical convoy moving
near Bambu and a small reconnaissance helicopter was hit by fire.

5. (SBU) Meanwhile, by opening of day September 9 CNDP had
withdrawn a few kilometers north from the village of Numbi, just
across the provincial border in South Kivu, which it had occupied
September 8, and FARDC has reoccupied it with a small force. North
Kivu brigade heard persistent exchange of fire in the Rutshuru
corridor, both in the area of Ntamugenga (east of Kalengera) and
east of Rumangabo. North Kivu brigade was again stopped by
stone-throwing crowds from getting to Ntamugenga. General Rawat
gave a press briefing in Goma in which he attempted to clarify
MONUC's military role of supporting the government but also
remaining neutral in the conflict in support of the Goma process to
which all parties adhered. Force Commander General Gaye arrives
Goma September 10 for two days, joining Minister of Defense Chikez
and Chief of Army Staff Kayembe who have remained in Goma. They
have overseen a change in command structure in FARDC, with General
Lukama assuming command over FARDC forces in both North and South
Kivu, with General Mayala (head of 8th military region) as his
deputy. FARDC is establishing three sectors in the Petit Nord, with
the infamous Col. Delphin heading the Rutshuru sector, Col Kahaha.
in Masisi, and Col. Kinkela taking charge of Kanyabayonga (and
points south to Nyanzale).

GARVELINK

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