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Cablegate: North Kivu Update: Sake Calm, Negotiation Mission

VZCZCXRO2671
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1812 3341334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301334Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5245
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 001812

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO MOPS ASEC CG
SUBJECT: NORTH KIVU UPDATE: SAKE CALM, NEGOTIATION MISSION
FAILS TO REACH NKUNDA

REF: KINSHASA 1803 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) The North Kivu town of Sake remains calm November 30
according to MONUC military officials. Major Ajay Dalal of
MONUC's North Kivu Brigade told us November 30 no fighting
occurred in the past day and no movement of troops took place
overnight. Sake was under control of MONUC and the integrated
units of Congolese military (FARDC) the morning of November
30.

2. (U) A cease-fire agreement remains in limbo. A delegation
of local officials -- the "Baraza la Wazee," an inter-ethnic
regional council -- attempted November 29 to make contact
with General Laurent Nkunda's representatives outside Sake to
deliver the November 28 cease-fire proposal (reftel). The
chief of the group reported to MONUC officials that elements
of the non-integrated 81st and 83rd Brigades loyal to Nkunda,
did not allow them past the town. He added that "locals" and
some members of Congolese military's 14th Integrated Brigade,
were "not in favor" of the talks and had also impeded their
movements.

3. (SBU) A November 29 MONUC assessment mission reported Sake
was generally deserted save for some residents returning to
collect their belongings before heading back towards Goma. A
USAID official in Goma reported November 30 that Sake was
calm and that a steady stream of people were returning to
their homes (septel). MONUC officials reported that Congolese
military troops were occupying several houses and had looted
many homes and businesses, but were unable to determine
whether integrated or non-integrated troops were responsible
for the looting. Congolese police remaining on duty in Sake
reportedly did not intervene.

4. (SBU) Interior Minister Denis Kalume told MONUC's Radio
Okapi November 29 that the GDRC will not resume paying those
members of the non-integrated 81st and 83rd Brigades until
they report to integration sites. Most members of the 81st
and 83rd, including their top commanders, have previously
refused direct orders to report for the brassage process.
Congolese military officials in Kinshasa had as recently as
November 23 issued another order directing the 81st and 83rd
to head to the integration centers.

5. (U) MONUC reports that 151 soldiers from the 81st and 83rd
died in the recent fighting; the number of those injured is
unknown. Three soldiers from the 11th and 14th Integrated
Brigades, as well as one civilian, were killed. Eighty-eight
integrated FARDC troops and 21 civilians have been injured.
MEECE

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