Cablegate: Ituri's Disarmament Plan Launched but Militias

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary. The UN and the GDRC launched Ituri's
disarmament plan September 1st. Very few people have visited
the transit sites since they opened, however, and only a
handful of those have turned in their weapons. Militia
leaders such as Jerome Kakawave are demanding full
integration of their forces into the Congolese army instead
of disarmament. MONUC is facilitating discussions between the
government and the militias to find a compromise involving
integration of top officers in exchange for militia
participation in the disarmament plan. End Summary.

Ituri's Disarmament: The Plan

2. (U) The UN and the GDRC launched Ituri's Disarmament and
Community Reinsertion Plan (DCR) September 1st. Under the DCR
plan, combatants from Ituri armed groups will need to gather
into five transit sites for disarmament, registration, and
selection for either reintegration into the community or
future participation in a national army. The armed groups
that have agreed to participate and their assigned transit
sites are as follow:

-Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), Iga Barriere/Nizi
-Front for National Integration (FNI), Kpwandroma
-People's Armed Forces of Congo (FAPC) and the Popular Force
for Democracy in Congo (FPDC), Mahagi
-Patriotic Force of Resistance in Ituri (FRPI), Aveba
-Party for Unity and Safeguarding of the Integrity of Congo
(PUSIC), Kasenyi

3. (U) MONUC will provide security at the transit sites and
an integrated unit of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) will
disarm the combatants. A UNDP volunteer will coordinate
humanitarian activities, while an NGO will be responsible for
managing the transit site. Upon entering the camp, each
combatant will receive civilian clothes, food, a blanket,
utensils and hygiene items. When departing, former combatants
will be given a month's worth of food, a domestic kit with
household items, a production kit with mostly agricultural
items and a $50 transportation allowance to get home.

Reality on the Ground: Militias Reluctant to Participate
--------------------------------------------- -----------

4. (SBU) According to MONUC sources, militias, especially
that led by Jerome Kakawave, have been reluctant to
participate in plan DCR. Jerome and other militia leaders
have recently begun claiming that the GDRC promised them full
integration of their militias into the army and therefore no
disarmament will take place unless this promise is honored.
MONUC notes that the engagement act signed between the GDRC
and the militia leaders on May 14, 2004 did not include such
a promise. In order to enlist Jerome's group as well as
ensure the participation of other armed groups, however,
MONUC is now facilitating talks between the GDRC and the
militias to incorporate some of their officers in the
Congolese army.

5. (SBU) A Bunia NGO source told poloff September 25 that
people in Ituri are skeptical about the DCR plan. He said
that only a handful of people have gone to the disarmament
centers since they opened in early September, and that most
of them had not brought any of their weapons with them.
PUSIC's Chief Khawa Mandro told a Bunia NGO recently that
MONUC had nothing to offer them at this point through this
disarmament plan. (Comment: The Hemas from the Lake Albert
region who constitute PUSIC have long been distrustful of the
Lendu/Ngiti militias and are unlikely to disarm unless they
are convinced that these militias will disarm at the same
time. End Comment.)

6. (SBU) MONUC points to the September 19th attack by Ngiti
militias against Bira civilians in the village of Lembo (10
kms South of Bunia) as evidence of the strong need for
disarmament in Ituri. During this ethnically motivated
attack, 300-400 Ngiti militias killed approximately 16 people
and burned many Bira homes. MONUC characterized this attack
as an act of revenge based on local factors unrelated to
other groups in Ituri. Following this incident, Petronille
Vaweka, Ituri's District Commissioner, helped mediate a
dialogue between leaders of both communities. According to
her, they agreed not to engage in further confrontations and
to solve future problems peacefully.


7. (SBU) The Ituri militias' commitment to disarmament has
long been questionable. Despite the Engagement Act they
signed in Kinshasa, they now argue the GDRC promised full
integration of their members into the Congolese army. Such a
promise is not contained in the accord they signed and it is
unlikely that the GDRC would have orally agreed to full
integration of the estimated 15,000 militia members in Ituri.
Current negotiations between the GDRC and the militias could
lead to the integration of some of the top militia officers
into FARDC. It is unlikely this will be enough to persuade
them to participate in the DCR plan.


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