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Cablegate: Un Says Situation in Drc Is Dire, Asks for Help

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0992/01 3051427
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311427Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5210
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI PRIORITY 0289
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA PRIORITY 1638

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000992

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KPKO CG RW
SUBJECT: UN SAYS SITUATION IN DRC IS DIRE, ASKS FOR HELP

REF: A. USUN 910
B. UN S/PRST/2008/40

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: UN Peacekeeping U/SYG Le Roy said in two
recent meetings an immediate political solution was needed to
end hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
and that MONUC required additional resources to protect
civilians. Le Roy believed if Goma fell MONUC would be at
risk throughout the DRC. The advance of rebel CNDP forces
towards Goma, which ended in a unilateral ceasefire October
29, uprooted up to 250,000 IDPs who now need immediate
humanitarian assistance. Le Roy said DRC
troops (FARDC) crumbled in the face of the CNDP attacks and
FARDC elements attacked MONUC positions and looted places in
Goma following their collapse. The Security Council issued a
strong Presidential Statement calling for a permanent
ceasefire and a return to dialogue. END SUMMARY

DPKO BRIEFS UNSC, IF GOMA FALLS, "PRAY"

2. (SBU) UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)
Under-Secretary-General Alain Le Roy briefed the P3 2
(Belgium and South Africa) on October 28 and the Security
Council on October 28 and 29 on the escalating crisis in
eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Le Roy noted the
UN Operation in the DRC (MONUC) would be at risk if Goma were
to fall, saying the city's fall would lead citizens
throughout the country to turn on MONUC forces. When Le Roy
asked the P3 2 what should be done if Goma fell, only South
African PermRep Kumalo responded, with just one word, "pray."

MONUC NEEDS HELP-"WE NEED DRC AND RWANDA TO TALK"

3. (SBU) Le Roy also said MONUC was "stretched to the limit"
and was being attacked on all sides. He called for nations
to explore DRC President Kabila's request for a
multi-national force (MNF). That said, he noted and Council
members agreed that only a political solution would bring
lasting peace. He asked Council members to apply pressure to
all parties, especially President Kabila and Rwandan
President Kagame, to cease fire and return to the Goma and
Nairobi agreements. UNSYG Ban was exploring the option of
naming a Special Envoy for the region, Le Roy said. Kagame
told Ban he was not prepared to meet with Kabila, but would
send his foreign minister to Kinshasa for discussions,
according to Le Roy. Le Roy noted Ban would continue to
press for the two presidents to meet.

MONUC WILL ASK FOR MORE TROOPS, SENEGALESE TO HEAD FORCES

4. (SBU) Le Roy reiterated SRSG Doss' call for additional
resources, (Ref. A) including two light infantry battalions,
two formed police units, two special forces companies, air
transport abilities, and increased intelligence. (NOTE:
While Doss mentioned this request during his October 6
briefing to the Security Council, MONUC has yet to present a
formal request for additional troops. Ambassador DiCarlo
reiterated the need for a formal request to Le Roy in the
margins of the October 29 briefing. He replied that DPKO
would present a letter to the Council soon. END NOTE.) In
the P3 2 meeting Le Roy said Senegalese General Gaye would be
the interim replacement for Force Commander Diaz, who
tendered his resignation for "personal reasons" after only
three weeks in the DRC.

CROSS-BORDER FIRE, DID RWANDA TRAIN CNDP? FARDC COLLAPSES

5. (SBU) Le Roy noted the Rwandan government confirmed its
forces shelled positions inside the DRC in response to DRC
shelling Rwanda. Le Roy also said the new guerilla tactics
used by the CNDP were very hard for MONUC to combat, and he
thought these tactics most likely were taught to the CNDP by
the Rwandan military. FARDC commanders, Le Roy noted,
abandoned their posts or lost control of their troops quickly
following the CNDP attacks. Alarmingly, FARDC troops were
looting, shooting at MONUC, and harassing civilians, Le Roy
said.

HUGE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

6. (SBU) Le Roy noted more than 250,000 internally displaced
persons (IDPs) were in the Goma region, and another 250,000
IDPs were expected if the fighting continued. Goma was being
flooded by IDPs, and this scale of need would require a
massive NGO response. Le Roy said both CNDP and FARDC
elements were hampering relief workers access to those in
need.

SC ACTIONS-(WEAK) PRESS REMARKS, THEN A STRONGER PRST

7. (SBU) On October 28, all Council members called on the
President of the Security Council, currently China, to make
remarks to the press condemning the recent attacks by the
CNDP and calling for General Nkunda to cease offensive
operations. The Council assumed Chinese PermRep Zhang would
follow the agreed upon remarks, and members expressed
surprised and disappointment when Zhang removed all specific
references to the rebel groups and the FARDC during his press
statement. On October 29, the Council
issued a Presidential Statement (PRST) specifically
condemning the recent CNDP offensive. (Ref. B) The PRST
expressed concern at the cross-border heavy weapons fire, and
called on all regional governments to diffuse tensions and
cease support of armed groups. It also called on MONUC to
take robust action to protect civilians at risk.
Khalilzad

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