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Cablegate: Goma Report: October 17-20

VZCZCXRO0616
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0910 2951619
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211619Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8644
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 000910

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: Goma Report: October 17-20

1. (SBU) Summary: Six CNDP soliders were reportedly killed during
a firefight between CNDP and FARDC in Katali October 17. The Front
for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FPRI-Force Patriotique de
Resistance in Ituri) is expanding its operations. Although they
number only approximately 250 combatants, the Ituri rebels operate
in a broad area due to an extensive local contact network. The CNDP
has rejected MONUC's proposal to commence high level mil-to-mil
discussions to define zones of separation. The FARDC has announced
it intention to recommence operations against the FDLR. Radio Okapi
reported that LRA rebels attacked and pillaged several villages
north of Dungu on October 19, resulting in at least 2,100 IDP's.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) At the October 20 MONUC military briefing, MONUC military
observers reported that during an October 17 firefight between the
FARDC and CNDP in Katali (Masisi), 6 CNDP combatants were killed and
one officer was captured. A "nervous sentry" reportedly sparked the
fighting.

3. (SBU) In South Kivu, there was fighting in Kalehe on October 19.
On October 17, the CNDP broke the ceasefire in South Kivu, moving
into an area 7 kilometers from Numbi before FARDC pushed CNDP troops
back. (Note: According to MONUC, this raised the total number of
ceasefire violations since January 23, 2008 to 293. End Note.)

4. (SBU) The Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FPRI-Force
Patriotique de Resistance in Ituri) is expanding in both Irumu and
Djugu territories. FPRI are also present and active on the
Bunia-Gety-Boga axis and in the Grand Nord border area of Lake
Albert. There are approximately 250 FPRI combatants, but with an
extensive contact network that allows them to operate effectively
across a wide area. MONUC reported that they have light machine
guns, RPG 7's, and mortars. Better trained than the FARDC, the FPRI
forces usually prevail in combat against the FARDC. The FPRI will
not directly confront MONUC, except to test it.

5. (SBU) MONUC had hoped to arrange high level mil-to-mil talks
with the CNDP this week to decide on zones of separation.
MONUC-FARDC talks would have followed, then three-way talks. The
CNDP has, however, rejected these talks.

6. (SBU) The FARDC announced that it would resume operations
against the FDLR. MONUC noted that this would be difficult in the
near-term, as 8 of 10 FARDC battalions in the region are aligned
against the CNDP. However, as soon as zones of separation are
established, and there is confidence that they will hold, operations
against FDLR could indeed proceed.

7. (SBU) Radio Okapi announced that on October 19, LRA rebels
burned and looted the village of Bangadi, 125 kilometers north of
Dungu in the Haut Uele District. The LRA then attacked the
neighboring villages of Makosa and Ngayime. After the attacks,
villagers reportedly ambushed the LRA group, resulting in the deaths
of six Congolese and one LRA rebel. According to Radio Okapi, at
least 2,100 people have fled their homes for the town of Nyangara.
There are approximately 5,000 IDP's from North Uele scattered
throughout Orientale Province.

BROCK

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