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Cablegate: Drc and South Africa Sign Aid Accords at Fourth

VZCZCXRO8133
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1008 2351431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231431Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6742
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 KINSHASA 001008

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ELTN SOCI SF CG
SUBJECT: DRC AND SOUTH AFRICA SIGN AID ACCORDS AT FOURTH
BINATIONAL COMMISSION


1. (U) Congolese and South African ministers signed accords
on South African assistance to Congo's transportation and
health sectors at the conclusion of Bi-national Commission
meetings August 21. They also signed a declaration of intent
regarding South African support for reform of the Congolese
army (FARDC). The meetings marked the first summit of
Presidents Kabila and Mbeki since DRC elections in 2006 and
were the fourth for the commission since its inception in
2004.

2. (U) In a joint declaration issued August 21, Kabila and
Mbeki referred to Kabila's five-pillar government program:
health, education, employment, electricity, water, and
infrastructure. The transportation accord addresses civil
aviation, navigation, transportation infrastructure, road
security, and transportation technology. The health accord
includes provisions on short term hospital management and
medical specialist exchanges. The accords emphasized "the
reinforcement of human capacities and institutions" and such
"urgent tools for stabilization" as reform of the security
sector. The declaration noted the two leaders discussed
common interests and bilateral, regional, and
international concerns. It also stated that a sub-commission
would meet twice yearly for follow-up and evaluation.

3. (U) The Kabila-Mbeki meeting was preceded by a
ministerial August 20 and experts meetings August 16-19.
Thirteen ministers, nearly all of Mbeki's cabinet, attended
the meetings, which were chaired by Foreign Ministers Antipas
Mbusa Nyamwisi and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Press reports
indicate that the sessions also focused on evaluation of 28
existing bilateral accords. Although the agreements date as
far back as August 2004, only six have been ratified by the
Congo. Mbusa promised that the DRC would speed up the
ratification process and said "the Congolese government
recommits to have these agreements
ratified by Parliament."

4. (U) The French text of the joint declaration has been
sent to AF/C.

5. (SBU) Comment. Relations between the RDC and South
Africa are clearly intensifying. South African manufactured
goods are increasingly available throughout the DRC, to the
chagrin of European exporters. The South Africans are also
believed to exercise considerable political influence here,
much of it behind the scenes. This visit is the latest in a
series of high-profile encounters between Congolese
authorities and African counterparts and comes on the heels
of presidential meetings with counterparts from Angola,
Congo-Brazzaville, and the SADC. The Tripartite Plus
Commission with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi is scheduled for
September. It is unclear whether this recent spate of
diplomacy vis--vis regional partners represents a new focus
on Africa, or if Kabila is simply cementing ties as an
elected president. End comment.
BROCK

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