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Cablegate: Sitrep 29: Kinshasa Update (8/24 1630 Local Time)

VZCZCXRO0080
OO RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1351 2361616
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241616Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4668
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 001351

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ASEC CASC KPKO CG
SUBJECT: SITREP 29: KINSHASA UPDATE (8/24 1630 LOCAL TIME)

REF: KINSHASA 1346 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) As of 1630 local time, downtown Kinshasa is calm.
There have been no reports of gunfire or violence since
mid-afternoon as a second day ends without significant
security problems.

2. (U) Crowds that had gathered outside MLC headquarters
along Boulevard 30 Juin in anticipation of a press conference
by Vice President Bemba have dispersed. Bemba reportedly did
not make any statements to the press following his visit to
the MLC offices.

3. (SBU) MONUC security officials told DATT that MONUC troops
will begin roving patrols throughout the city -- particularly
the downtown area -- later today. The patrols will aim to
cover each block in the Gombe area every 20-30 minutes in
order to build an awareness of the MONUC presence and to
deter potential belligerents from acting. The same officials
said MONUC will be retiring its forces currently stationed
outside MLC headquarters, but that a company of MONUC troops
will be located "within minutes" of the location and on
standby to react if necessary. The MLC headquarters location
will be included in the coverage area for the roving patrols.
MONUC troops will continue to provide security for Bemba at
his riverside residence.

4. (SBU) The directors of Canal Kin TV and Canal Congo TV --
both owned by Bemba -- have appealed to Minister of
Information Mova Sakanyi (a member of the PPRD party) to
restore the broadcasting signals of the two stations this
week. According to Canal Kin's staff, Mova ordered the
signals shut down August 20 (following the start of violence
that evening) at Binza tower station, which is reportedly
guarded by elements of the GSSP. As of 1630 local time, both
stations remain off the air.

5. (U) The Libyan News Agency reported that President Kabila
called Libyan leader Mohammar Ghaddafi August 23 to provide
an update on the situation in Kinshasa. The news agency
reports that Ghaddafi urged Kabila to maintain peace and
security, and called on conflicting parties to "adhere to
dialogue requirements."

6. (U) The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO)
released a statement August 22 deploring the recent violence
and urging the Congolese to remain calm. In the communique
signed by CENCO President Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo, CENCO
stated the armed conflict risked driving people towards
hatred and vengeance at a time when the country is
progressively moving towards the rule of law, reconciliation
and peace. CENCO called on Kabila and Bemba to meet together
in the interest of the country.

7. (U) ROC President Sassou Nguesso, the president of the
African Union, issued a declaration August 22 strongly
condemning the violence since August 20. Nguesso called on
all parties to bring an end to the violence, urging the
political class and the population to work towards preparing
for the second round of elections.
MEECE

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