Cablegate: Ituri Calm in Wake of Monuc Action

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. (U) SUMMARY: The site of a recent MONUC military
operation in Ituri is now calm and people are returning to
their homes, according to NGO sources who visited the area
March 5-7. Several international NGOs and UNICEF also
resumed providing humanitarian assistance to
internally-displaced people at Tche and Kahwa. END SUMMARY.

Ituri Calm Following MONUC Operation
2. (SBU) The security situation in Ituri has improved since
MONUC's successful operation on March 1 against Front for
National Integration (FNI) militiamen in Loga (reftels),
according to U.N. and NGO sources. A team from the NGO
German Agro Action (AAA) visited Loga on March 5 and 7, found
the area calm, and noted that the local, ethnic Lendu
population had started to return. The security situation in
Bunia remained calm as well.

MONUC Action Pre-Empted Militia Attack
3. (SBU) Several Ituri-based sources have since reported that
FNI militiamen had previously used Loga as a base to launch
attacks against Hema villages near Djugu, and were already
preparing to attack an internally-displaced persons camp at
Tche when the MONUC operation took place. An NGO source also
reported that Hemas from Katoto (5 kms from Loga) have
invited the Lendu population of Loga to come to their village
on March 12 for market day. In the source's opinion, the
invitation indicates locals' desire to co-exist, despite
militia leaders' efforts to foster ethnic tensions.

Humanitarian Aid Begins Flowing Again
4. (U) The same source said the IDP camp at Tche had grown
from 15,000 in January to 18,000-20,000 in March, while the
IDP camp at Kahwa remains at 12,000-15,000. NGOs have
resumed providing assistance to both camps, after temporarily
suspending their efforts following the killing of nine
Bangladeshi peacekeepers and MONUC's military engagement at
Loga. AAA, OXFAM, MSF and UNICEF continue to provide food,
water and sanitation, and medical assistance to both camps.

5. (U) Bujumbura minimize considered.

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