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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 4

VZCZCXRO8253
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1070 3390957
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 040957Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8858
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 001070

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 4

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) MONUC told Goma poloff on December 3 that the FDLR appears
to be moving into some areas that the CNDP has vacated, but that
forces from the two groups also appear to be trying to avoid
engaging in direct clashes. In addition, there are rumors that CNDP
elements are infiltrating Goma, but MONUC cannot confirm these
rumors.

3. (SBU) The consensus among MONUC sources in Goma is that the
reason for recent CNDP pull-backs is that the group cannot afford to
overextend its lines of communication and supply. They probe where
resistance is low, but their recent withdrawals are due to their own
weaknesses rather than any diplomatic or political considerations,
such as promises to Obasanjo.

4. (SBU) MONUC still believes that the CNDP has designs on Masisi
and Walikale to garner the additional political gains coming from
the control over major centers. Nevertheless, they want to maintain
an image of strength for the moment and not engage in a battle that
might expose how thin their forces are on the ground.

5. (SBU) MONUC expressed concern at a December 4 meeting about a
large buildup of CNDP soldiers in the Kibumba area. Numerous
skirmishes between CNDP and Mai-Mai/FDLR/PARECO on December 3 were
reported as well, in addition to the looting of 20 homes in Kiwanja,
with CNDP elements as the primary suspects.

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

6. (U) Press reporting notes that the CNDP is ready to meet with
North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku for "information contacts."
Paluku had publicly announced his willingness to talk with the CNDP,
but Kinshasa has not provided him with a mandate to negotiate with
the group on behalf of the national government. (Note: There is no
indication that the CNDP's reported willingness to meet with Paluku
will override its demand for direct talks with national government
representatives. End note)

7. (U) Additionally, prospects for the introduction of a European
military force into the DRC appear dim following public remarks by
Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht and the EU High
Representative for Foreign Policy Javier Solana playing down the
possibility of such an intervention.

8. (SBU) Comment: While the CNDP does have major weaknesses and
requires reinforcements to extend beyond its core holdings, we
believe that the MONUC analysis of the CNDP's intentions mistakenly
assumes a strategy based on conventional military goals. The CNDP
is pursuing a multi-track campaign to achieve its overall goal of
consolidating political power based on public relations outreach,
political pressure, revenue streams through taxation, and indirect
military pressure (such as by control of roads). It uses existing
structures for dialogue with the international community, including
the latest structure, the Obasanjo process, as a way to buy extra
time to carry out these activities to consolidate power. Capturing
and controlling major population centers, while part of the overall
strategy, does not seem to be the main focus. End comment.

GARVELINK

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