Cablegate: Charge Meets with North Kivu Delegation Of


DE RUEHKI #1172/01 2751716
P 021716Z OCT 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary. Seven of 48 National Assembly deputies from North
Kivu, representing nearly all the province's districts and ethnic
groups, were received by the Charge d'Affaires. They raised a number
of issues, including current insecurity in North Kivu, the return of
FDLR members to Rwanda, and the special problems of women in North
Kivu. They also proposed an inter-Rwandan dialogue. End summary.

2. (SBU) On September 27, Charge d'Affaires Samuel Brock received a
group of seven National Assembly deputies from North Kivu, led by
Come Sekimonyo, at the Embassy. The deputies requested the meeting
to offer their views on the causes of insecurity in eastern Congo in
general, and in North Kivu in particular. They thanked the U.S. for
having supported the organization of the process that led to
election of the president and parliament.

Calling for FDLR departure

3. (SBU) The deputies called for integration of dissident General
Laurent Nkunda's troops into the FARDC and the return of FDLR
members to Rwanda. They stated that FDLR members who participated
in the 1994 Rwandan genocide must be prosecuted, but believed that
80 per cent of the FDLR -- although Rwandan nationals -- are not
genocidaires. Nkunda's National Congress for the Defense of the
People (CNDP) includes members, such as Kakolele and Bosco Ntaganda,
who have been sanctioned under UNSCR 1596. The deputies stated
emphatically that the people of North Kivu do not deserve their
current situation.

Tutsis are not victims of segregation

4. (SBU) Contrary to Nkunda's allegations that Tutsis are segregated
and marginalized, the deputies noted that Tutsis are present in all
national political institutions: there are ten Tutsi generals in the
army; the one Tutsi deputy in the National Assembly, Dunia Bakarani,
was elected by non-Tutsi voters; and the Tutsis in the Senate,
Edouard Mwangachuchu and Moise Nyarugabo, were elected by provincial
assemblies (North Kivu and Kinshasa) with non-Tutsi majorities.
(Note: The delegation did not include the province's Tutsi deputy.
End note.)

The solution: an inter-Rwandan dialogue

5. (SBU) To achieve sustainable peace in the region, the deputies
stated an inter-Rwandan dialogue, similar to reconciliation
dialogues held in DRC, Burundi and South Africa, was necessary.
They noted that as long as there is no justice, there will be no
reconciliation. They urged that Rwanda contribute to the process,
because simply pushing the FDLR further inside the DRC will neither
solve the problem, nor appease the Rwandan government in the long
run. Besides, there are also Rwandan Tutsi refugees, such as King
Kigeri who is in the U.S., and the former Speaker of the Rwandan
parliament, Sebarenzi. They called for a corridor for returning
Rwandans home, and requested U.S. assistance for opening diplomatic
relations with Rwanda; with the FDLR problem resolved, they averred,
Mayi Mayi fighters will be redundant, and Rwanda will not need
Nkunda. The deputies also requested greater U.S. aid to the region
and a visit to the U.S. Senate to present their proposals for
peaceful solutions.

6. (SBU) Perhaps the most interesting and compelling statement
during the meeting was made by Ms. Sabine Muhima Bintu, the only
woman in the delegation and one of two women deputies from North
Kivu. She opened her presentation by saying she was making a "cry
from the heart" on behalf of the women she represents. With visible
emotion she went through a litany of the many forms of suffering and
humiliation of her female constituents. She asked the international
community for help in repairing women's physical and psychological
wounds and in enabling them through training to earn a living for
themselves and their children since many of them had been abandoned
by their husbands after being raped and, in many cases, injured

We hear you

7. (SBU) The Charge thanked the deputies for their visit and their
powerful testimony. He commended them for having taken the
initiative in requesting a meeting, because in so doing they were
working on behalf of their constituents, the top priority of an
elected official. Their presence, he said, was a demonstration of

the young Congolese democracy in action. He also noted that
although he and many Americans had learned of the ongoing fighting
in North Kivu, understanding the situation there was made easier by
hearing about it from persons who knew it first hand. He informed
them of the appointment of Timothy Shortley as Senior Advisor to the
Assistant Secretary for African Affairs for conflict resolution,
discussing his ongoing efforts to promote peace and development in
the Great Lakes region. The Charge also referred to USG assistance
in the region, including USAID efforts to promote DDR, good
governance, health, education and agriculture.

Deputies to organize a workshop

8. (U) The deputies informed the Charge that they are preparing a
Conference on Peace and security in eastern DRC, to be convened in
October in either Bukavu or Goma. They are holding discussions as
to who should participate, what topics should be dealt with, and
what results should be expected. They reiterated that it will be a
workshop, not an "intercommunity roundtable," because there is no
intercommunity struggle in Kivu. They concluded by saying that
Kagame should not make the error Habyarimana made by keeping fellow
citizens in exile. They called for the return of the FDLR to
Rwanda, because most are innocent, pending a trial for the guilty

9. (SBU) Comment: We were moved by the efforts of these elected
representatives to get their story across: "Our constituents are in
great distress and we need your help." Also noteworthy was the
fact that despite different political affiliations, they brought
with them a unity of purpose: service to their constituents. They
were serious and forthright, and the majority were articulate and
eloquent in expressing their positions and articulating the
suffering of people in North Kivu. The Conference they have
proposed may not resolve all problems, but it is a positive step in
getting all Congolese stakeholder groups to discuss the problems and
contribute to their solution. Finally, they will likely push for a
meeting with Tim Shortley during his next visit to the DRC. End


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