Cablegate: Goma Notes October 24: Etumba Equivocal About Political
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0934 3011443
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271443Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8678
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000934
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS CG
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES OCTOBER 24: ETUMBA EQUIVOCAL ABOUT POLITICAL
TALKS WITH CNDP
REF: KINSHASA 922
1. (SBU) Summary: The International Facilitation (IF) met with the
FARDC's Admiral Etumba on October 24. The IF pressed Etumba to
clarify his recent comments to Alpha Sow, head of MONUC Eastern
Coordination, regarding the GDRC's willingness to hold political
talks with the CNDP. Etumba's vague reply made it clear that the IF
had apparently gotten its hopes up for nothing. End summary.
2. (SBU) The International Facilitation (IF) met with the FARDC's
Admiral Etumba on October 24. Alpha Sow, head of MONUC Eastern
Coordination, recounted three points Etumba had previously delivered
to him: the GDRC's commitment to a peaceful resolution to the
conflict with the CNDP; the question of how long the FARDC should
wait before moving to compel the CNDP to respect zones of
separation; and the question of when operations against the FDLR
would resume (reftel).
3. (SBU) The EU representative asked Etumba to clarify what Etumba
had meant, when he earlier told Sow about a willingness to hold
discreet, bilateral talks with the CNDP on political issues (Note:
Sow did not recount this as oneof the points that Etumba had
previously made tohim. End note). Etumba initially appeared
surpised at this question. He then said - as if this ere a
well-known fact - that of course Kinshasa anted political talks.
In fact it wanted them befre military talks, as military talks
would be usless without a political agreement. Bilateral military
talks would only put Nkunda on equal footing with the President.
4. (SBU) Etumba insisted that such political talks happen within
the framework of Amani. He was not clear whether this meant
discreet, bilateral talks that everyone would quietly understand
were within the umbrella of Amani (which is what the IF thought he
had initially proposed) or whether he meant the CNDP should come
back to the Mixed Technical Commission.
Etumba added that the FARDC is ready to recommence operations
against the FDLR (septel). Etumba said he was waiting for MONUC to
come up with a plan, which would detail times, locations, and
numbers. Once again, Etumba's comments were matter-of-fact, as if
this had always been the GDRC's top priority.
5. (SBU) Sow subsequently listed some concerns of MONUC and the IF.
The FARDC needed to respect the cease-fire and pull back from the
zones of separation. The FARDC also should put its soldiers into
barracks after doing so. The Police Nationale Congolaise should be
deployed concurrently with the separation of forces. Finally, Sow
reiterated the IF's desire to see the Kimia battalions return to
operations against the FDLR. Etumba took note, but pointed out that
the IF and MONUC were coming back with more demands after he had
delivered good news.
6. (SBU) Comment: This meeting was somewhat disappointing, both
for the IF and Etumba. His vagueness on the question of talks with
the CNDP made it clear that the IF had apparently gotten its hopes
up for nothing. It also seemed clear that some of the issues raised
by Etumba - as well as the responses given by MONUC and the IF -
were likely more appropriate for a Kinshasa level audience, at least
at this stage. End comment.