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Cablegate: Ssr Contact Group: Substance Referred to Experts

VZCZCXRO3359
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0888/01 2071554
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261554Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6605
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000888

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR PGOV KPKO CG ZA BE NL FR
SUBJECT: SSR CONTACT GROUP: SUBSTANCE REFERRED TO EXPERTS


1. (SBU) Summary. The Contact Group on Security Sector
Reform (SSR) formally recognized the GDRC's ownership of
efforts to reform the Congolese military at the group's July
12-13 meeting in Kinshasa. Minister of Defense Chikez Diemu
outlined a vision for SSR aimed at creating a core group of
fighters, with a large number of other soldiers engaged in
community development. Donors agreed to appoint a Group of
Experts to propose details for implementing these ideas at a
follow-up roundtable in October. End summary.

2. (SBU) The Contact Group on Security Sector Reform in the
DRC established a Group of Experts to flesh out a general
plan outlined by Congolese Defense Minister Chikez Diemu
during its July 12-13 meeting in Kinshasa. The meeting was
co-chaired by Diemu and South Africa's Special Envoy to the
Great Lakes, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo. Traditional
donors, including the U.S., UN, EU, Angola, Belgium, South
Africa, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada and the World
Bank, as well as a fair percentage of senior FARDC officers,
formed the bulk of participants. Also invited and
participating were China, Egypt, Morocco, Greece and Sweden;
India was invited but did not attend.

------------------
Congolese proposal
------------------

4. (SBU) The GDRC's claim to ownership of the SSR process was
conceded by all delegations. Diemu presented a vision for
SSR that was long on intentions but deliberately short on
specifics. Diemu presented four basic goals in his Global
Plan for military reform: 1. creating an army with
deterrent capacity ("une armee' de dissuasion"); 2.
realizing a level of excellence; 3. reaching reconciliation
between the army and the Congolese people; and 4. using the
army to reach nutritional self-sufficiency ("la production du
pain," or the production of bread) for soldiers and for the
Congolese people in general. Following discussions, Diemu
and the assembled donors endorsed a proposal that a Group of
Experts work out the necessary details for articulating this
vision during the lead-up to a roundtable in October, and
called for a completed roadmap by January 2008.

5. (SBU) He also outlined an aspirational timeline for
meeting the GDRC's goals: in the immediate term (2007-08),
complete disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion (DDR) to
be completed by December 2007, and remaining army integration
(brassage); in the short term (2007-09), creation of a
division-equivalent Rapid Intervention Force (FIR); in the
medium term (2008), reconstruction of remaining armed forces
and production of community projects; and, in the long term
(2011), finalization of FARDC's principal defense force, to
include ground, air and naval forces.

6. (SBU) Diemu envisioned that the FIR would consist of
approximately 17,000 troops and serve as the core of FARDC
deterrent forces. It should be well-equipped,
properly-trained, with good leadership and a rigorous
selection criteria. He said details of creating, equipping,
and training should be left to the experts to propose. His
vision also included a large activist army which would focus
raise food and build roads, houses, schools and hospitals.

----------
Discussion
----------

7. (SBU) Several donors spoke in favor of realistic
timetables, concrete goals, coordination of efforts and
guidance by experts. Many expressed concern about the need
to complete DDR as soon as possible. Diemu initially called
for completion by the end of 2007, although following
discussion, he conceded community re-integration may take
longer.

8. (SBU) South Africa's Mamabolo emphasized that the DRC
must take charge of its own security. The Belgian ambassador
called attention to his government's SSR master plan, citing
the work of EUSEC in developing it, as well as Belgium's
commitment to training and evaluation. The Dutch ambassador
suggested utilizing existing structures such as the Joint
Commission on Security Sector Reform and focus future efforts
on the Belgian master plan. MONUC Force Commander Gen.
Babacar Gaye called for a "reasonable" Congolese force to be
trained, equipped and positioned by 2009 to take over from
his forces. (Comment: In fact, the SSR Joint Commission no

KINSHASA 00000888 002 OF 002


longer exists, as it was a part of the DRC Transition
structure, chaired by then-Vice President Ruberwa. End
comment.)

9. (SBU) Discussion also focused on the need for urgent
improvement in the well-being and conditions of military
personnel, as well as putting in place a legal framework for
reform. Delegations discussed the willingness of donors to
"accompany and support" the government, and under its
authority, execute a global work program under modalities
defined by the experts.

10. (SBU) The EU Special Envoy to the Great Lakes proposed
that the prospective October roundtable encompass a global
agenda to deal fully with the military, police and justice
sectors and reform programs. This idea was supported by his
South African counterpart, Ambassador Mamabolo. The
Ambassador and the French ambassador both noted that dangers
of expanding the scope to a point where it became too
complicated. The group agreed to have the roundtable
potentially consider a separate report on this issue.
Defense Minister Diemu noted that he is not in a position to
commit his Interior Minister and Justice Minister colleagues
to specific future plans or timetables, but agreed to
consider the proposal. Subsequently, he privately expressed
opposition to the idea. The extensive military integration,
reform, DDR, and capacity-increase agenda will already pose a
substantial challenge to planners without adding the
substantial additional police and judicial reform programs.
(Comment: Planning for justice sector reform has barely
begun in terms of substance or donor backing. End comment.)

-----------
Conclusions
-----------

11. (SBU) The group reached several conclusions: SSR will be
implemented under the leadership of the Congolese Defense
Minister; the yet-to-be-defined Group of Experts will develop
a global plan to implement his ideas; the follow-up
roundtable is projected for Kinshasa in October; a report
regarding work in the police and justice sectors will be
presented at the roundtable, pending agreement by the
ministers concerned. Delegates called for the experts to
meet during August-September. Diemu requested that it
present a roadmap including specific commitments from
bilateral and multilateral donors.

12. (U) The group adopted a revised version of Diemu's
original Global Plan, which envisioned: a) military
"dissuasive capacity" to defend territorial integrity; b)
reconciliation between the army and the Congolese people; c)
food self-sufficiency for the military; and d) the
realization of principles of excellence, and social
well-being of the military, including honorable retirement.
(Note: The original draft text of the final report
inadvertently omitted any mention of military capability,
which was subsequently inserted as the first point. End
note.) A copy of the conference final report (in French) is
being sent to AF/C.

-------
Comment
-------

13. (SBU) The assembled group was large and unwieldy as a
working group, and discussion was dominated by a few
interventions, invariably followed by a specific response
from the Defense Minister. CHOD General Kayembe and most
FARDC officers did not contribute to the discussions. The
lack of specificity of the discussion was reflected in the
final report, essentially referring substantive work to the
undefined group of experts. On a more positive note, General
Kayembe convened a meeting with representatives from
interested Embassies on July 23 to get work underway to
prepare for the requested October roundtable. We gather
that Kayembe has been handed the task of implementing this
project, which we take as a good sign. Diemu, fresh from an
extended visit to China, appeared interested in asserting
Congolese ownership of SSR as a principal objective.
Strongly supported by the South African delegate, Diemu
obtained agreement from all present to this principle. End
comment.
MEECE

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