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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - November 25

VZCZCXRO8989
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1044/01 3301038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251038Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8821
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001044

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - NOVEMBER 25

REF: KINSHASA 1026

1. (U) The items contained in this report consist principally of
spot information from various sources. This report is not
exhaustive, nor can all the information contained therein be
confirmed at this time.

Security Situation
------------------

2. (SBU) A senior MONUC military official briefed Kinshasa-based
diplomats on November 24, positing that Nkunda's decision to
withdraw (reftel) 40 kilometers was tactical, not in deference to
Obasanjo or the international community. Rather, MONUC believes the
CNDP withdrawal gives it better control over the far-flung area it
now occupies and improves its defense. MONUC also raised the
possibility that the CNDP may be consolidating its forces to attack
Sake, when the situation is optimal.

3. (SBU) According to the MONUC military official, new FARDC Chief
of Staff Etumba's top priority is to re-organize the FARDC to launch
an attack on the CNDP. FARDC troops in Equateur Province have
reportedly been transferred to Beni for eventual deployment against
the CNDP. In MONUC's view, the FARDC might be able to achieve
success at a "very local" level, but the FARDC would be unable to
hold any captured CNDP territory in the long run.

4. (SBU) At a Goma MONUC briefing, it was noted that there are
rumors of an entente between certain PARECO forces (the Lafontaine
faction) and the CNDP. The entente is supposedly coalescing because
of mutual hostility towards FARDC human rights abuses against local
populations.

5. (SBU) MONUC Goma also reported that there are rumors that the
CNDP has co-opted or bought off certain FARDC elements to
deliberately sabotage FARDC operations. In one case, senior FARDC
officials reprimanded two FARDC commanders, who were too effective
against the CNDP.

6. (SBU) UN and humanitarian organizations reported ongoing
incidents of banditry and citizen reprisals throughout Goma. During
the night of November 24, local residents captured and killed a
bandit in Goma, the seventh bandit to be killed in recent days.

7. (SBU) On the evening of November 23, FARDC troops stopped eight
MONUC trucks at Monigi transporting 26 surrendered Mai-Mai/PARECO to
Goma for DDR processing. Rumors spread that the trucks contained
CNDP soldiers in uniforms and UN berets. Despite some calls for an
anti-MONUC demonstration, the FARDC allowed the trucks to pass and
no demonstration took place.

LRA Corridor
------------

8. (SBU) MONUC reported that the GDRC has observed a cease-fire,
which would allow LRA elements to travel through protected corridors
to the north. However, MONUC has not detected any movement by LRA
forces in the corridors. No recent fighting has occurred in the
areas where the LRA operates.

Political Developments
----------------------

9. (SBU) UN Special Envoy Obasanjo will visit Kinshasa November 28,
meeting with President Kabila before traveling to Goma to meet with
the DRC and Rwandan Foreign Ministers. Afterwards, he hopes to meet
with CNDP leader Nkunda and FDLR officials.

10. (SBU) DRC Foreign Minister Thambwe Mwamba has reportedly
written UNSG Ban Ki Moon to state that the GDRC does not want any
Indian forces included in the additional MONUC troops approved by
the UNSC. The letter further requests that Indian troops be rotated
out of North Kivu into other parts of the DRC. Members of the
international community noted that there may indeed be no
alternative to the Indian troops.

Humanitarian Situation
----------------------

11. (SBU) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) announced that no humanitarian staff had yet traveled
to Kanyabayonga. According to OCHA, travel to Kanyabayonga is
possible, if extreme caution is taken.

12. (SBU) MONUC estimates that approximately 200,000 residents near
Kanyabayonga are sleeping in the bush, too afraid to return to homes

KINSHASA 00001044 002 OF 002


and villages. MONUC added that the nearby towns showed signs of
FARDC looting.

13. (SBU) At a November 24 coordination meeting, humanitarian
agencies discussed the appropriateness of delivering assistance to
the families of FARDC soldiers. The group was divided between those
who believed the FARDC families should be treated as IDPs and those
who believed it was the government's responsibility and that feeding
families would be taking sides in the conflict. IOM volunteered to
deliver assistance to the approximately 5,000 FARDC families between
Kanyabayonga and Beni and the 3,600 families between Sake and
Minova. OCHA will write to Security Sector Reform donors to elicit
support for providing such assistance.

GARVELINK

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