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Cablegate: News Reports of Bravo Mixed Brigade Depredations

VZCZCXRO4389
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1031 2421227
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301227Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6770
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 001031

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV MARR KJUS CG
SUBJECT: NEWS REPORTS OF BRAVO MIXED BRIGADE DEPREDATIONS
NOT NEWS IN DRC

REF: KINSHASA 00947

1. (U) Reuters reported August 22 that MONUC peacekeepers
had found the half-buried bodies of at least six people at
two abandoned North Kivu military camps, recently vacated
by soldiers of the FARDC Bravo "Mixed" Brigade. Bravo, one
of several units that include unintegrated FARDC troops and
soldiers allied with renegade General Laurent Nkunda, has
been implicated in dozens of serious human rights violations
since its formation in January.

2. (SBU) A MONUC Goma political officer told us August 23
that peacekeepers had found the remains of six people near
the villages of Katweguru and Kiseguru, approximately 60
miles north of Goma. She said the local Red Cross had
investigated and found what they believed were larger graves
with as many as 18 bodies. She speculated the victims were
most likely deserters or detainees who had been killed when
the Brigade decamped earlier this month. She said bodies were
also discovered July 5 after members of another "mixed"
brigade changed locations.

3. (SBU) MONUC human rights officers and North Kivu human
rights NGOs have told us of numerous similar abuses by Bravo
Brigade. According to the MONUC Human Rights Office,
at least 60 civilians have been summarily executed by Nkunda
loyalists within Bravo in the past five months. ASADHO
Butembo, a human rights NGO which works throughout North
Kivu, complained that the Nkunda-allied soldiers in the mixed
brigades "are never subject to prosecution; for them, all
attacks are permitted; they are little kings." A human
rights lawyer in North Kivu also told us that the local FARDC
command denies all responsibility for the acts of soldiers
allied with Nkunda.

4. (SBU) Comment: MONUC told us two months ago (reftel)
that the most serious human rights issue in North Kivu is
abuses by soldiers of the FARDC mixed brigades, notably
Bravo. Despite ample proof of violations, no action has been
taken against any mixed brigade soldier since the units were
first deployed in January. This is another symptom of
authorities' continuing impotence in dealing with the
problems posed by Nkunda and his allies. End comment.
BROCK

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