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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 22

VZCZCXRO2336
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1146/01 3571230
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O 221230Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8945
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 001146

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 22

REF: KINSHASA 1136

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) Given increased activity by both CNDP and PARECO north of
Masisi (reftel), MONUC plans to increase air patrols in the area to
better gauge CNDP intentions. A MONUC Goma briefer speculated that
CNDP may seek to move into mineral-rich areas near Pinga, thus
completely bypassing Masisi. The FDLR maintains a controlling
presence in many of the mines in this area. MONUC also plans to
increase patrols south of Kanyabayonga, where Mai Mai activity has
markedly increased in the past week.

3. (SBU) Commenting on eyewitness reports of large numbers of FARDC
troops massing in Kombati on the southern shore of Lake Edward
(reftel), MONUC Forward Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel
James Cunliffe told Goma Poloff that the FARDC had a large presence
in the area, but he was not aware of "thousands" of FARDC troops in
the area. Cunliffe promised to pass the information to the North
Kivu Commander to investigate.

4. (SBU) A UN Security briefing noted increased insecurity on the
Sake-Masisi road, which the CNDP controls. There were reports of
fighting between two PARECO factions in Vitsumbi over the right to
collect taxes.

5. (SBU) With PARECO forces present 15 kilometers from Kiwanja,
CNDP reportedly shored up its contingents along Kiwanja's periphery.
UN and NGO sources reported that heavily-armed PARECO forces, with
new equipment, were building up at Kisharu and Ishasha, possibly
planning to move towards Kiwanja. The FDLR, according to the UN,
has indicated its intention to step up attacks against
CNDP-controlled areas.

6. (SBU) Forced recruitment by the CNDP continues in Rutshuru,
Tongo, Rugari, Kibumba, and Rumangabo. Apparently, more than 100
families, whose children have been forcibly recruited in the past
two weeks, filed a complaint with the rebel group.

7. (SBU) According to the UN, Rutshuru residents have begun to
complain to the CNDP about their lack of access to agricultural
fields, as well as insufficient humanitarian assistance in the area.


FARDC/FDLR Operations Against FDLR
----------------------------------

8. (SBU) On the margins of the December 19 JMG Task Force Meeting
(septel), Franco Rutagengwa, Head of the Rwandan delegation, told
Goma Poloff that Rwandan troops, imbedded in FARDC units to combat
the FDLR, would most likely not participate in ground operations.
Rather, RDF troops would assist the FARDC with planning, support,
and coordination of actions against the FDLR.

9. (SBU) In a subsequent discussion with Goma PolOff, MONUC Forward
Force Commander Lieutenant Colonel James Cunliffe noted that MONUC
would play a supporting role in FARDC/RDF operations against the
FDLR. Cunliffe expressed doubts about the FARDC's capacity to
undertake effective action against the FDLR.

LRA: Operation Lightening Thunder
---------------------------------

10. (SBU) According to MONUC Goma, the UPDF Commander in Dungu
claimed that Kony's last known position was in Camp Swahili in the
northwestern part of Garamba Park on December 14, only hours before
the UPDF assault began. At the time of the attack, he was
reportedly with 300 LRA fighters. Kony and his troops reportedly
fled into the forest.

11. (SBU) The UPDF has asked MONUC for helicopter support to
persuade LRA members in the forest to surrender. This operation
would include dropping leaflets and using loudspeakers to guide LRA
combatants and their dependents to regroupment areas. The UPDF told
MONUC that it expects large numbers of LRA members to
defect/surrender. To date, only six LRA dependents have
surrendered.

12. (SBU) A local NGO leader told post on December 22 that the LRA
had "lost lots of human and material resources" during the attack.

KINSHASA 00001146 002 OF 002


Imam Abd Shakur Shukrani, leader of the Bunia Muslim community, told
post that the LRA had been dislodged from many positions from where
they had harassed the local population. However, according to
Shukrani, the remaining LRA elements had dispersed over a large
area, with many locals expecting reprisals. Shukrani said that the
LRA had distributed pamphlets in which it warned that the group
would attack MONUC and exact harsher treatment on the local
population.

GARVELINK

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