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Cablegate: Sitrep 24: Monuc Weekly Press Briefing (8/23 1500

VZCZCXRO8767
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1341 2351416
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231416Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4660
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 KINSHASA 001341

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ASEC CASC KPKO CG
SUBJECT: SITREP 24: MONUC WEEKLY PRESS BRIEFING (8/23 1500
LOCAL TIME)

REF: 1340 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) At MONUC's regular weekly press briefing, held at
1100 local time today, Press Spokesperson Kemal Saiki offered
congratulations to the Congolese people on a peaceful
election with massive turnout, to the two candidates who came
out in the lead of the presidential elections, and to the
Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) for its surmounting of
enormous logistical difficulties in conducting the elections.
Saiki pledged MONUC support to the CEI and the Congolese
people in organizing the second round of elections scheduled
for October 29.

2. (U) Saiki said the will of the people must be respected.
He explained that in a democracy, conflicts are settled by
dialogue, not violence; and added that the situation of the
past two days involved the security services of both Bemba
and Kabila.

3. (U) According to the MONUC Spokesperson, the CIAT and
the SRSG decided on Monday, August 21 to meet separately with
the two parties to the conflict, beginning with Vice
President Bemba. While they were in the meeting at Bemba's
residence, shooting began, and Bemba moved the CIAT
ambassadors and the SRSG to a more protected room. MONUC has
not established with any certainty the origin of the
confrontation. MONUC General Babacar Gaye directed a
MONUC-EUFOR double operation to secure and evacuate the CIAT
delegation, and this was conducted without difficulty. The
international community worked throughout the night to
resolve the crisis, and on the morning of Tuesday, August 22,
the CIAT met with President Kabila.

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4. (U) The MONUC Spokesperson said that from the two
meetings, a decision was reached to create a working group to
normalize the situation. The group was composed of the
Minister of Defense, the Head of the FARDC, the Inspector
General of the National Police, the Commander of the
Republican Guard, the Military Advisor of the President, and
officers of Bemba's guard, EUFOR, EUPOL, and MONUC. The
group decided on the following immediate actions:

--all FARDC troops deployed in the capital must return to
their initial positions to re-establish the former status quo

--the creation of two mixed verification teams to ensure the
above took place

--the Congolese National Police would be solely in charge of
public order in Kinshasa and would restore patrols in the
city with MONUC, EUFOR, and EUPOL

--each of the two parties were urged to respect these
measures.

5. (U) Saiki said that since August 22, the city seemed to
have returned to a situation of normalcy and calm. He also
noted that all other areas of the DRC, with the exception of
Kinshasa, remained peaceful throughout the crisis. MONUC
thanked everyone who helped resolve the situation
successfully.
MEECE

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