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Cablegate: President Kabila Makes Unannounced Visit to North

VZCZCXRO3695
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1815 3351113
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011113Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5248
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 001815

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO CG
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT KABILA MAKES UNANNOUNCED VISIT TO NORTH
KIVU

REF: A. KINSHASA 1787

B. KINSHASA 1812

1. (SBU) President Joseph Kabila arrived in Goma, North Kivu
in an unannounced visit November 30, accompanied by PPRD
Secretary General Vital Kamerhe and advisor Marcellin

SIPDIS
Cishambo. Kabila traveled to Goma to address issues raised
by fighting between forces loyal to renegade General Laurent
Nkunda and FARDC troops in nearby Sake (ref A).

2. (SBU) Kabila joined Defense Minister Tharcisse Habarugira
and Vice Defense Minister for Army Integration Bernard Mena,
who have been in North Kivu since November 27. Interior
Minister Denis Kalume, who was also in North Kivu this week,
returned to Kinshasa November 29. According to a MONUC-Goma
Political Officer, Kabila will hold meetings December 1 with
North Kivu's Baraza interethnic regional council, North Kivu
Governor Eugene Serufuli, and MONUC. Kabila also plans to
visit Sake. Mena told us no contact is planned between
members of the presidential delegation and Nkunda.

3. (SBU) Although stymied November 29 (ref B), the Baraza
council met with Nkunda November 30. A North Kivu politician
told us Nkunda continued to make demands on behalf of "his
people," presumably the Tutsis. Mena met November 30 with a
number of ethnic groups, including Tutsis, to discuss the
situation. One of those Tutsis, a prominent businessman,
characterized Mena as very receptive to his message --
encouraging dialogue and negotiation for a peaceful solution.

4. (SBU) Comment: Kabila has decided, just four days before
his inauguration, to tackle one of the more difficult issues
facing the country. MONUC-Goma has long maintained that the
Nkunda problem can only be solved politically. Kabila's
presence in Goma indicates he may be open to that as well.
His visit is another welcome indication of a president
willing to engage personally in critical issues. End comment.
MEECE

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