Cablegate: North Katanga: The Weakest Security Link in The

DE RUEHKI #1080/01 1871143
P 061143Z JUL 06




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 95 KIN 1940

B. KIN 56
C. KIN 747
D. KIN 774
E. KIN 572

1. (SBU) Summary: The north Katangan region of Tanganyika,
larger in size than North Kivu, South Kivu, or Ituri district
but also volatile, is the final geographic piece of the
eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Plagued by insecurity, Tanganyika nevertheless receives far
less attention than its sister provinces and districts to the
north. In a June 17-18 visit to Kalemie, the capital of
Tanganyika district, Poloff talked to MONUC officials, NGOs,
UN aid agencies, and Tanganyika District Administrator
Jean-Robert Tshimanga about security. All agreed that three
major security threats exist in the district -- ex-Mai Mai
militia, unintegrated Congolese Army Forces (FARDC), and
competing state security organs -- and that MONUC and CONADER
attempts to handle them have so far proved largely
unsuccessful. End summary.

Congolese, Not Foreign, Armed Groups
2. (SBU) During the last conflict (1998-2003), Katanga
province was divided by fighting between the Rally for
Congolese Democracy - Goma (RCD-G) faction, supported by
Rwanda, and the ex-Government faction, supported by local Mai
Mai troops. While the RCD-G and some Mai Mai militia have
been subsumed into the FARDC, many Mai Mai elements remain
outside of government control. According to MONUC Kalemie
Poloff, an estimated 5,000-6,000 Mai Mai militia are still
active in the Tanganyika region and have strongholds around
Nyunzu-Kabalo-Kongolo and the so-called "death triangle" of
Manono-Mitwaba-Pweto. The majority of these Mai Mai form
small, unstructured units with no chain of command and have
largely devolved, she said, into common bandits.

3. (SBU) The FARDC 6th Military Region began operations
against Mai Mai militia in November 2005 (Ref A). More than
75,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had fled Mai
Mai attacks in the first half of 2005 began to return home.
However, an additional 30,000-50,000 IDPs fled their homes to
escape FARDC - Mai Mai fighting (Ref B). On May 12, renegade
Mai Mai leader Gedeon and approximately 350 of his troops,
responsible for some of the most horrific human rights
violations in the district, surrendered and requested
demobilization (Ref C,D). According to Tanganyika District
Administrator Tshimanga, the Mai Mai situation has
significantly improved since the surrender. MONUC Eastern
Division confirms a dramatic decrease in the activities of
certain Mai Mai elements, but notes that continued looting of
villages and harassment of the local population has been
reported as recently as 13 June in Moba and Pweto territories.

FARDC Brassage Departure Leaves (In)security Vacuum
--------------------------------------------- -------
4. (SBU) There are nearly 19,400 FARDC in north Katanga,
none of whom have gone through integration. These
non-integrated brigades are individually composed of ex-Mai
Mai, ex-government, and ex-RDC-G soldiers, headed by
commanders from other ex-militia components. (Note: For
instance, the 6th Military Region Commander, General Lukole,
is ex-Mai Mai and a friend of the late President Laurent
Kabila. End note.) The FARDC troops have been accused of
contributing to the instability of north Katanga, both
through attacks on Mai Mai militia which caused massive
population flight and through continued predatory behavior
against the local population.

5. (SBU) In a bizarre symbiotic relationship, Mai Mai
militia and FARDC troop actions have tended to complement one
another in terrorizing the population -- Mai Mai elements
burn villages and FARDC elements loot whatever remains.
According to MONUC, both contribute to the lack of freedom of
movement and basic security for civilians due to road blocks
and systematic extortion. Both armed elements (as well as
state security organs discussed below) have been accused of
committing acts of violence and gross human rights violations
while competing for illegal tax collection and control of
rich mines in the district.

6. (SBU) The recent departure for brassage (integration) of
many of the FARDC battalions in north Katanga has left a
security vacuum in the area, according to MONUC Kalemie

KINSHASA 00001080 002 OF 004

Poloff. With limited MONUC resources (discussed below),
Tanganyika province could be left open to Mai Mai or local
police harassment of the population. Conversely, however,
the departure of some FARDC troops could lead to increased
Mai Mai demobilization as there is an unresolved crisis of
confidence between FARDC and those relatively cooperative Mai
Mai groups willing to enter the Disarmament, Demobilization,
and Reintegration (DDR) process. The 2005 "Lunga War"
incident, in which FARDC reportedly ambushed ex-Mai Mai
commanders wanting to disarm, frightened some Mai Mai away
from giving up arms.

Rival Intelligence Services Harass Population
--------------------------------------------- -
7. (SBU) In a late 2005 directive, President Joseph Kabila
replaced governing RCD-G officials in all top district
administrative positions with People's Party for
Reconstruction and Development (PPRD) officials. However,
the RCD-G's intelligence agency, the Department of Security
and Intelligence (DSR), continues to exist pending an order
from the President directing otherwise. The GDRC
intelligence structure, the National Intelligence Agency
(ANR), which reports to the president, is also operating in
the district. Thus another security threat to the population
is the existence of not one, but two, intelligence agencies
functioning as ad-hoc police and extortionists. Neither the
DSR nor the ANR (nor the Congolese National Police (PNC), nor
the FARDC, for that matter) are receiving salaries from the
national or provincial governments -- all derive their
earnings from the local population. The state security
agencies and the police, along with the Mai Mai and FARDC,
have been investigated by MONUC Human Rights Division for
illegal road blocks, extortion, house burning, looting,
exactions, appropriations of land, rapes, and torture. Added
to the mix, according to the UN Office for Coordination for
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Kalemie representative, are
twenty Presidential Guards (GSSP) who, having arrived in
advance of President Kabila's June 14 visit to Kalemie, have
not left town. They have been accused of exactions and
sexual violence.

CONADER's Mission Failure

8. (SBU) CONADER, the national DDR agency, opened its doors
in Kalemie on January 16, 2006 and received its first
combatants on January 26. A tidal wave of unverifiable
ex-Mai Mai militia arrived for demobilization as did a large
number of civilians looking for ways to qualify for the
demobilization payout (Note: By bringing in found hand
grenades, for example. End note). Through May 2, when
CONADER closed its door to any new soldier wishing to
demobilize, 3000 ex-militia were received; only 2 requested
integration into the FARDC. Since May 2, according to MONUC
Kalemie Poloff, the only option now available at the CONADER
Kalemie office is integration into the Congolese military.
CONADER officially closed the center due to the high level of
fraud in the ID process and the unwillingness of MONUC to act
as anything but a witness to the process. (Note: MONUC does
not have the lists of Mai Mai militias that CONADER wants to
verify military status. In fact, no one does, as the Mai Mai
were largely an ad-hoc army with no central command. End
note.) According to the visiting OCHA Lubumbashi
Representative, one proposed solution to the problem of local
people coming to CONADER as "ex-combatants" with discarded
weapons to get money, is to create a mobile DDR which would
travel directly to Mai Mai groups for demobilization.
However, given the vast insecurity in the region, mobile DDR
is not currently feasible. At present, 600-700 ex-Mai Mai
are in Kalemie town waiting for demobilization. They and
their families represent both a humanitarian crisis -- they
have no food or shelter or means of support -- and a security
problem -- the risk of rerecruitment increases as they wait
with no assistance.

9. (SBU) MONUC Kalemie Poloff claims that hundreds of Mai
Mai want to demobilize; however, with no place to go and no
CONADER center to assist them in the reintegration to
civilian life, they remain in the bush and prey on the local
population. (Note: MONUC Kalemie officers have regular
contact with ex-Mai Mai militia and indeed facilitated the
surrender of warlord Gedeon in April. End note.) Tshimanga,
the Tanganyika District Administrator, believes that
increased Radio Okapi advertising about DDR for Mai Mai

KINSHASA 00001080 003 OF 004

willing to disarm would be particularly effective. Internal
MONUC documents call the downsizing of Radio Okapi in Kalemie
"a major setback in promoting the DDR campaign and
pacification of local militia elements." MONUC Kalemie
Poloff added that education and sensitization are crucial for
Mai Mai who have been in the bush so long they still believe
they are fighting Rwanda.

10. (SBU) According to the OCHA Kalemie Representative, the
DDR process in Tanganyika is dysfunctional not just because
of weak sensitization of combatants about the DDR process,
but also due to the lack of planning and coordination between
institutions in charge of the process (CONADER, MONUC, civil
and military authorities), the difficulties of transporting
soldiers, and delays in paying civil reinsertion fees to the
3800 demobilized militia estimated to be residing in
Tanganyika district. Furthermore, according to MONUC,
confusion reigns among ex-combatants on disarmament
procedures and eligibility for assistance. Those who have
handed over their weapons to local non-integrated FARDC
brigades in the past month were not accepted into Kalemie's
CONADER orientation camp because CONADER procedures require
disarmament at disarmament focal points, not to random FARDC

11. (SBU) One final problem with DDR in the region comes
from Molunda, a local pastor with reported ties to the PPRD,
who started his own demobilization program to distribute
bicycles to any soldier wishing to disarm. Unlike CONADER,
he provided no livelihood assistance to those he "disarmed,"
nor was he able to issue demobilization certificates. Mai
Mai hearing about this program swamped CONADER demanding
bicycles. Others, demobilized through Pastor Molunda's NGO,
have no proof of demobilization and can re-demobilize for
additional cash. Without demobilization certificates, they
are also subject to charges of desertion by FARDC troops,
according to MONUC. Pastor Molunda's program has ultimately
proved unsustainable and has created false expectations among
ex-combatants. It has also led to children looking for
weapons (Note: Northern and central Kantanga are littered
with land mines and unexploded ordinance from the 1998-2003
war) to receive bicycles.

MONUC Understaffed for Uncertain Mission

12. (SBU) MONUC's military presence in north and central
Katanga is just that, a presence. Despite their 2005 request
for a full brigade to focus exclusively on Katanga (Ref E),
MONUC's total military strength is 700 troops and 89 military
observers including the long-awaited and recently-arrived
Benin battalion. With such a small contingent, compared to
many times the number in each of the much smaller Kivus,
MONUC forces have limited their duties to 1) acting as eyes
and ears, 2) protecting UN and humanitarian workers, and 3)
monitoring the arms embargo. Unlike in Ituri, the MONUC
mission in Kalemie defines itself as there strictly for
observation, not disarmament. Furthermore, the small MONUC
Katanga force does not conduct joint operation with FARDC (as
is done in other provinces) as the FARDC troops in the area
are not integrated. According to their interpretation of the
mandate, MONUC may not support non-integrated FARDC brigades
in joint operations or in training. MONUC cooperates with
FARDC only in filling logistical gaps, i.e. helping with food
and gas distribution, and in sharing patrol plans for
security operation.

What This Means for Elections
13. (SBU) The continued insecurity in the region raises
flags for elections participation. Most violence against
civilians occurs not in the center of Kalemie town, according
to MONUC, but 15 kilometers outside of it, where even the
state security organs are not in control. MONUC Kalemie
Poloff said that MONUC cannot ensure the security of polling
stations for the north Katanga population residing outside of
major population centers -- that is the responsibility of the
poorly-functioning FARDC/PNR. The reality, she said, is that
the majority of people in Tanganyika district will not vote
for safety reasons. (Comment: Although MONUC made similarly
dire predictions before the December referendum vote, when
security conditions in Katanga province were the same (or
worse), 74% of voters still turned out. This is probably a
good indicator of what to expect for the upcoming elections.

KINSHASA 00001080 004 OF 004

End comment.)

14. (SBU) Comment: Tanganyika, the last contiguous part of
volatile eastern Congo, has largely been left out of the
military, DDR, and other security operations targeted at the
neighboring Kivus and Ituri. Largely because the militias in
the district are home-grown and not foreign fighters on
Congolese soil, MONUC's mission, as interpreted by the
Kalemie office, gives them far less leeway to stabilize their
sector via military action. Even if they were so inclined,
however, 789 troops, aided by a mishmash of non-integrated
and largely untrained FARDC soldiers, have a limited ability
to establish order. Furthermore, CONADER's abject failure in
Kalemie, because of fraud, insufficient funds, and the
unanticipated proportion of soldiers opting out of future
military service, not only fails to help the situation, but
actually exacerbates it. For the southern part of DRC's
eastern frontier to finally find some measure of peace will
require far more commitment among national and international
actors. End comment.

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