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Cablegate: Unsc Sends Clear Message: Elections Must Take

VZCZCXRO8865
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR
DE RUEHKI #0942/01 1651334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141334Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4121
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000942

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO KDEM UNSC CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: UNSC SENDS CLEAR MESSAGE: ELECTIONS MUST TAKE
PLACE JULY 30

REF: KINSHASA 937

1. (U) Summary: Following a three-day visit in the DRC, a
delegation from the UN Security Council (UNSC) announced it
was "encouraged" by the country's political progress and
rebuffed calls for a "dialogue" that would delay July 30
elections or lead to a re-negotiation of transitional
institutions. The members warned DRC political leaders
against ethnic-based hate messages in the upcoming campaign
period, and urged a climate of peace and tolerance. The
delegation promised that the international community would
continue to support the DRC after elections. End summary.

2. (U) The nine-member UNSC delegation arrived in Kinshasa
the evening of June 10 on the final leg of a 10-day African
visit to Sudan, Ethiopia, Chad and the DRC. Headed by French
Ambassador to the UN Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, the members
met June 12 with President Kabila, and separately with the
DRC's four vice presidents. Noting that elections were just a
"stage," de la Sabliere said the Congolese must "put their
house in order," and emphasized the need to accelerate army
integration and to establish good governance.

3. (U) After the meeting with Kabila, de la Sabliere said the
delegation had expressed concerns that the increase in debate
over "Congolese identity" could reignite ethnic tensions. De
la Sabliere said Kabila agreed that the political debate
should be calmed down. At a press conference June 12, de la
Sabliere said the DRC's elections were just the first step
for the Congolese to "put their house in order," including
work in accelerating the integration of the military and
reinforcing the practice of good governance. Nonetheless, de
la Sabliere said the delegation was "encouraged" by the
Congo's political progress and promised the continuing
support of the international community after elections this
year.

4. (SBU) A June 11 working lunch of the UNSC with the 16
members of the International Committee to Accompany the
Transition (CIAT) was useful to share information and
impressions, and review major concerns over the remaining
period of the DRC transition, as well as the post-election
period. Both groups were on the same page, focused on the
elections themselves, problems with the Congolese army, GDRC
budget and economic issues (including corruption), and
post-election challenges. Both the CIAT and UNSC members
expressed strong concerns over the prospect of an extended
period of weak government and unclear authority as elections
get under way until a new government is eventually formed,
likely toward the end of the year.

5. (SBU) The UNSC also had a useful discussion with the
Security Sector Joint Commission, chaired by Vice President
Ruberwa, which includes broad representation by senior GDRC
civilian, military and police officials and foreign Chiefs of
Mission. Council members delivered some strong messages about
the need for further improvements within the military,
centered on reform, discipline, and an end the predatory
practices and human rights violations too common among FARDC
troops. Some members posed sharp questions regarding the
size, affordability, and projected capability of the eventual
unified Congolese army. Congolese presentations from Ruberwa,
the Ministers of Interior and Defense, the Army Chief of
Staff, and the agency heads responsible for military
integration, demobilization (DDR), and military justice were
better than past sessions, covering essential points and
plans. The Army Chief of Staff, however, concentrated in
familiar fashion on problems and the need for more help
rather than his own efforts to solve problems.

6. (U) The UNSC delegation also met June 11 with a variety of
Congolese political actors during their visit. In a meeting
with Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) President Abbe
Apollinaire Malu Malu, the delegation expressed its support
for the electoral calendar published by the CEI and the need
to respect the July 30 election date. Separately, the High
Media Authority President Modeste Mutinga called upon the
Security Council to help end what he called a "hate campaign"
by some of the country's 33 presidential candidates. Mutinga
said certain candidates have been using the media to insult
their rivals and question others' nationalities.

7. (U) Council members met with Monsignor Laurent Monsengwo,
the Archbishop of Kisangani and president of the Congolese
Conference of Catholic Bishops, who has been critical of the

KINSHASA 00000942 002 OF 002


electoral process and a leading voice in favor of political
"dialogue." The delegation reportedly told Monsengwo that
Congolese churches should actively encourage that the current
electoral timetable be respected, leading to elections on
July 30.

8. (SBU) The delegation did not meet with Etienne Tshisekedi,
the president of the opposition Union for Democracy and
Social Progress (UDPS), who is boycotting the elections.
Arrangements had been made for Tshisekedi to meet with de la
Sabliere and potentially a few other UNSC representatives at
the French Ambassador's residence June 11. Tshisekedi,
however, apparently contacted the UN saying that he would
instead send lower-level representatives to the meeting. At
that point, the UN decided to cancel the session.

9. (SBU) In an evening reception hosted by the French
Ambassador, several of the UNSC members commented to the
Ambassador that they had been impressed by the vigorous
criticism offered by various political figures in the
sessions they held with political parties and civil society.
It appeared that at least several were surprised how willing
political figures were to offer outspoken criticism.

10. (SBU) Comment: The widely anticipated UNSC visit struck
exactly the right chord. The Council effectively eliminated
any doubts about international community opposition to a new
"dialogue" that would delay elections. The delegation's call
for respecting the CEI's electoral calendar and holding
elections July 30 provided the Electoral Commission a needed
dose of support and credibility at a critical time. The UNSC
was obliged to meet with President Kabila and the four Vice
Presidents consecutively, not as a group as in previous
visits, underscoring the worsening relations among the
members of the "Espace Presidentiel." End comment.
MEECE

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