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Cablegate: Goma Report September 25: Further Fardc

VZCZCXRO2224
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0806 2700936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 260936Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8497
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 000806

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO PHUM PREF CG
SUBJECT: Goma Report September 25: Further FARDC
Penetration in Northern CDNP Sector

1. (SBU) Summary: On the day FARDC was meant to have started
withdrawing from the eastern zone of separation, September 25, it
penetrated further into CNDP territory in the northern sector. A
demonstration against MONUC and U.S. NGOs may occur September 26 in
Rutshuru. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Guns were quiet over North Kivu September 25. According
to the plan of disengagement approved by the government September
18, today was the day when FARDC was meant to have begun withdrawing
from positions held into the eastern zone of separation (Rutshuru
corridor). Quite the opposite of fulfilling multiple promises to
this effect, FARDC reinforced its forward positions at Mutabo and
Ntamugenga, within the projected zone of separation. (CNDP also
claimed in a press statement that FARDC was bringing up heavy
artillery at Rumangabo.)

3. (SBU) Meanwhile, with a curious lack of opposition by CNDP,
FARDC continued its forward movement into CNDP territory in the
northern sector. FARDC moved from its previous position at
Rujebeshe (east of Katsiru) five kilometers into CNDP territory at
Mashango. Further east, it continued its move of September 24 south
of its previous position at Kisheshe, into the buffer zone at Bambu,
into CNDP territory through Butare and now Kabizo, 12 to 14
kilometers into CNDP territory. (There were also claims during the
day that FARDC had even occupied the key strategic town of Tongo, on
the single road connecting CNDP territory directly to Rutshuru, but
North Kivu could not confirm this claim.) Local FARDC commanders
told the North Kivu brigade that they had received orders "from high
command," while General Lukama continues to claim he has given
contrary orders. There was no fighting as FARDC moved forward into
this entire CNDP zone, but General Rawat assesses that CNDP is
preparing to counterattack.

4. (SBU) MONUC sent a francophone team to Rutshuru during the day
to try to convince local leaders to sensitize the population to
accept a FARDC withdrawal from Ntamugenga, Mutabo, and Kisherero and
a MONUC move into the zone of separation. However, Mercy Corps has
reported that a large demonstration is planned tomorrow September 26
in Rutshuru and nearby Kiwanja to condemn both MONUC and U.S. NGOs.
The team also went into CNDP territory to Bunagana, where CNDP
officers stated that CNDP would make no withdrawal of forces until
FARDC had withdrawn from positions occupied within buffer zones and
within CNDP territory. (Note: While North Kivu brigade continues
to provide no confirmation, CNDP appears to have re-occupied
Kanombe, the position it occupied on August 28 within the Rutshuru
buffer zone, from which it subsequently withdrew under MONUC
pressure. End note.)

BROCK

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