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Cablegate: Drc Participates in Centcom's Tampa Conference On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001488

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINS PREL CG
SUBJECT: DRC PARTICIPATES IN CENTCOM'S TAMPA CONFERENCE ON
DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. (U) Summary. Two Congolese officials participated in
Centcom's Golden Spear Conference on disaster management held
in Tampa, Florida, from July 26-30. The GDRC has expressed
its appreciation for this regional initiative and indicated
that it looks forward to further cooperation. End Summary.

DRC Joins Centcom's Golden Spear Disaster Management Efforts
--------------------------------------------- ----------------

2. (U) DRC's Vice-Minister of Interior, Paul Musafiri, and
Defense Ministry Liaison Officer Richard Bomboko,
participated in Centcom's Golden Spear Conference on disaster
management in Tampa, Florida, July 26-30. The Golden Spear is
a Centcom initiative to assist East African countries in
coordinating regional disaster management efforts.
Participants included Burundi, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Rwanda, Tanzania, The Seychelles, and Uganda.

3. (U) The Golden Spear disaster management near-term goal is
to enhance readiness at the national and regional levels
through training, bilateral activities, and the development
of a regional response mechanism. During the conference, it
became clear that participants were at different stages of
preparedness for managing man-made and natural disasters.
Kenya appeared to be the country that had devoted the most
resources and organization to disaster management, while the
DRC was only starting to plan a national initiative.


DRC Actively Participates in Tampa Conference
---------------------------------------------

4. (U) Musafiri actively participated during the conference's
discussions and table top exercises. He also gave an eloquent
presentation of the Congo's current post-conflict situation
and existing mechanism for disaster management. Musafiri was
candid about the DRC's limited national resources and lack of
infrastructure to cope with disasters. He also indicated that
the DRC intends to fully participate in the Golden Spear
forum and would be ready to present its national disaster
management plan at the next regional meeting next year. The
plan should already have been in effect several months by
that time.

Interior Vice-Minister to Coordinate DRC's Plan
--------------------------------------------- --

5. (U) Poloff met with Musafiri on August 5, to discuss his
impressions of the conference. Musafiri said that he had met
with Vice-President Azarias Ruberwa to report on his visit to
Tampa and that Ruberwa was very pleased with the results.
Musafiri noted that the GDRC was very grateful to the U.S.
for the assistance provided through Golden Spear and that it
looked forward to further cooperation.

6. (U) Ruberwa asked Musafiri to prepare a draft plan for the
creation of an inter-ministerial commission on disaster
management as well as a national disaster management plan.
Musafiri will prepare these proposals and then request that
President Kabila issue the appropriate decree creating the
commission. He will then propose that the new commission be
funded under the 2005 national budget.

Comment
-------
7. (U) The DRC's participation in the Golden Spear Conference
on disaster management has been a step forward in renewed
US-Congolese military cooperation efforts. It has also
allowed the GDRC to access information and support necessary
to develop its national disaster response infrastructure.
Musafiri has indicated that as part of these efforts, the
GDRC will work to create its first fire-rescue department in
the city of Kinshasa. Post will assist the GDRC with
information that will facilitate these efforts in cooperation
with the Hillsborough County Fire Department in Florida.

MEECE

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