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Cablegate: Laurent Nkunda Situation - Perspectives On Ddr of His

VZCZCXRO4236
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1237/01 3041242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311242Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7064
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KINSHASA 001237

SIPDIS

AIDAC

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

AID/W FOR AFR/EA, DCHA/OFDA, DCHA/CMM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS PGOV MARR KPKO CG

SUBJECT: LAURENT NKUNDA SITUATION - PERSPECTIVES ON DDR OF HIS
TROOPS

Summary. A joint USAID-UNDP Mission traveled to Goma October 16-18.
The purpose was to determine: The number, composition and location
of Nkunda's troops in North Kivu; the numbers expected to elect for
DDR or incorporation into the FARDC; and options for managing the
DDR caseload (if/when it materializes. 3,000-5,000 is the estimated
total men under arms at the current time. Approximately 1,400 FARDC
deserters and others who had voluntarily or involuntarily joined
Nkunda have escaped or surrendered over the last two weeks, and are
being transported to Kamina and Katona for ad-hoc brassage. Of the
3,000-5,000 troops, 1,500-2,000 are thought to be hard-core Nkunda
Tutsi loyalists. There are 1,000 troops originally from the FARDC
battalions that were "mixed" with Nkunda's forces. Finally, there
are an additional 1,000 bandits, thugs, mercenaries and forced
conscripts. The Nkunda forces are currently in three areas of south
North Kivu. The FARDC has succeeded in interposing itself between
the troop concentrations so that they are physically isolated from
each other.

The deserters (i.e., those troops who were originally FARDC and then
were "mixed" with Nkunda's battalions, will mostly choose the FARDC
over DDR. The child soldiers will choose DDR. The bandits, thugs,
mercenaries and opportunists will mostly choose DDR. The forced
conscripts will choose DDR. Nkunda's loyalists will probably
overwhelmingly choose DDR. They would be very happy to elect to
remain in the FARDC if they were guaranteed that they could stay in
North Kivu, but the GDRC is not/not offering this. The total
estimated DDR caseload is 2,500-3,000. The FARDC buildup continues,
with daily arrivals of troops and ammunition in Goma. FARDC has
25,000 men under arms in the province. Both of their two attack
helicopters are now operational. MONUC is providing heavy logistics
support.

Subsequent to the Mission, the team learned that the current GDRC
plan is to send all of Nkunda's forces to Kamina or Kitona. They
will all go into nine weeks of brassage, following which they will
all receive three months of MONUC military training. Subsequent to
that, they will choose to stay in the FARDC or go into DDR. This
plan, if they stick to it, will mean that any DDR for those who want
to go this route will be four-five months into the future.

There are a number of design issues for a DDR program for these
troops: A. Timing of DDR - as yet quite unclear; B. Content of the
reintegration package - need to reconcile UNDP and MDRP packages; C.
The role of UNDP; D. The role of NGOs in reintegration; E. Inclusion
of Mayi-Mayi troops in the program; F. the role and funding of the
MOD project implementation unit. Planning should move forward for a
DDR program for 3,000 ex-combatants from Nkunda's forces, plus an
additional as yet unspecified number of Mayi-Mayi troops. End
Summary.

2. A joint USAID-UNDP Mission traveled to Goma October 16-18. The
team was composed of: Nicholas Jenks, USAID Program Officer; Cheryl
Anderson, USAID Peace and Security Team Leader; Fernando Larrauri,
UNDP; and Menada Wind-Andersen, UNDP.

3. The team met with: MONUC/North Kivu Head of Office; MONUC
Political Officer; MONUC North Kivu Force Commander; Governor of
North Kivu; Commander of the FARDC 8th Military Region (North Kivu);
Minister of Defense; Director of the Congolese DDR Agency; UN
Agencies; and NGOs.

4. The purpose was to determine: The number, composition and
location of Nkunda's troops in North Kivu; the numbers expected to
elect for DDR or incorporation into the FARDC; and options for
managing the DDR caseload (if/when it materializes.

5. Military Situation. The situation is tense and fragile. The
fragility is in essence coming from an emerging belief that a
decisive victory by FARDC is needed to resolve the stand-off between
FARDC and Nkunda's forces, and that the prospects for victory are
far from certain. The FARDC is fundamentally weak. In the recent
battle for Sake, where the 15th and 16th integrated brigades (IBs)
were used, the 15th IB essentially ran away, and MONUC had to step
in to keep Nkunda forces from taking the town. However, there are a
number of factors in the GDRC's favor. The 15th IB has been replaced
by the 116th regular brigade; the GDRC is sending in a continuous
flow of reinforcements, and with comprehensive logistical support
from the North Kivu MONUC Bgde, the FARDC is poised to take
Mushake.

KINSHASA 00001237 002 OF 004

6. Some observers believe that Nkunda is low on ammunition. If his
forces cannot re-supply, the consensus is that FARDC will win,
though it may take two months. Supply lines have been cut, evidenced
by the fact that Nkunda is targeting FARDC ammunitions caches, while
conserving ammunition whenever engaging. However, should Nkunda be
re-supplied, the conflict could extend by up to a year.

7. Even should Nkunda be re-supplied, the dynamic is changing on the
ground. Approximately 1,400 FARDC deserters and others who had
voluntarily or involuntarily joined Nkunda have escaped or
surrendered over the last two weeks, and are being transported to
Kamina and Katona for ad-hoc brassage. The GDRC is actively
encouraging this by paying surrenderees 20,000 Congolese Francs
($40).

8. Number of troops. 3,000-5,000 is the estimated total men under
arms at the current time. It is noted that desertion (whereby
Nkunda's troops steal away from the rebellious units and surrender
or otherwise present themselves to the FARDC) and recruitment (both
forced and mercenary recruitment) is ongoing. The desertion rates
have led observers to believe that the force - at one point 6,000
strong, now comprises 5,000 or fewer. Approximately 1,400 have
deserted to date.

9. Composition of the troops. Organizationally, the force is
composed of 14 operational and two HQ battalions of between 300-400
men each. Of the 3,000-5,000 troops, 1,500-2,000 are thought to be
hard-core Nkunda Tutsi loyalists. Of the remainder, 300-900 are
child soldiers (although this number is on the increase); very few
are female. There remain 1,000 troops originally from the FARDC
battalions that were "mixed" with Nkunda's forces, which are not
sympathetic to Nkunda's agenda; this is the group that is currently
in the process of deserting/surrendering to the FARDC/MONUC and they
are sometimes referred to as "hostages." Finally, there are an
additional 1,000 bandits, thugs, mercenaries and forced conscripts.
In summary form:
A. Nkunda Tutsi loyalists: 1,500-2,000
B. FARDC troops (mixed with Nkunda's): 1,000
C. Bandits, thugs, mercenaries and forced conscripts: 1,000
D. Child soldiers: 300-900

10. The forces are marked by a strict command and control structure,
led by a small inner-circle of commanders. Four members of this top
leadership have either ICC or GDRC warrants against them. They are
currently divided into three groups, but all are under the command
and control of Nkunda through his lieutenants. Some Rwandan
uniforms have been reported.

11. Location of the troops. The Nkunda forces are currently in
three areas of south North Kivu. The FARDC has succeeded in
interposing itself between the troop concentrations so that they are
physically isolated from each other. Nkunda's troops are in the
areas defined as follows:
A. From Bunangana (on the Rwandan border) to a point east of
Rumangabo
B. North of Sake as far as Mweso extending east towards by not
reaching Rutshuru
C. West of Muksake extending to Gungu

12. Numbers that will choose incorporation into the FARDC or DDR.
The various sub-groups of which Nkunda's force is composed will make
different choices. The deserters (i.e., those troops who were
originally FARDC and then were "mixed" with Nkunda's battalions,
will mostly choose the FARDC. The child soldiers will choose
(actually the choice will be made for them) DDR. The bandits,
thugs, mercenaries and opportunists will mostly choose DDR. The
forced conscripts will choose DDR. Nkunda's loyalists will probably
overwhelmingly choose DDR. They would be very happy to elect to
remain in the FARDC if they were guaranteed that they could stay in
North Kivu, but the GDRC is not/not offering this. The message
currently is unequivocal - if they choose the FARDC they will be
brassaged, and subsequently assigned, outside - probably far
outside, North Kivu.) In summary, estimated DDR caseload:
2,500-3,000.

13. Caveat on the above. There is a lack of consensus on how many
of Nkunda's forces would choose brassage, and how many would choose
reintegration. FARDC sources indicate that not more than 15%-20%

KINSHASA 00001237 003 OF 004


would choose brassage, while other sources suggest that between 90%
and 50% would do so. Coloring the debate is the fact that 30% of the
Ituri DDR participants were expected to choose reintegration into
FARDC, based on global rates under the National DDR Plan. In fact,
none of the Ituri participants chose to join the army

14. Situation of the "deserters." They are deserting for two
reasons: A. They do not back Nkunda's agenda, and/or, B. The
conditions are poor (and deteriorating) in the bush were they
are/were located. Nkunda's commanders and officers exercise heavy
command and control of their forces, and kill deserters if they can.
It is estimated (by the FARDC force commander) that 30% of
deserters are killed.

15. The wave of deserters is being dealt with by the SMI (Military
Integration Structure, the FARDC entity responsible for the
logistics of forging the new integrated FARDC.) The principle of
one man, one weapon, is not being applied, because many have arrived
without weapons, and it is clear that Nkunda is not permitting his
men to hold weapons at all times. Additionally, the FARDC tactical
strategy is to reduce Nkunda's troop strength as well as weapons
stores. The ex-combatants are being regrouped in Kituku transit
site, and sent to Kamina once 100 persons are present. The rationale
for the transport to Kamina is safety, in that Kituku is part of an
active operational theatre. They are being informally registered,
and although the SMI says that they will be given a choice of
brassage or reintegration into civilian life once they arrive in
Kamina, the element of coercion is certainly a strong possibility.
The UEPN-DDR Director has proposed setting up formal registration
with the IRIS system at both Kituku and Kamina using equipment which
would be brought in from the Ituri DDR sites. This would allow the
transition to a formal DDR process, and mitigate the coercive
element. (However, this may not happen - see para 20.)

16. Negotiated solution or a military solution? Depends on whose
crystal ball you choose. MONUC force commander (North Kivu) says
that the Nkunda hard core will not give up, and it will be a
military solution. The Commander of the 8th Military Region says
they do not want war, and are using a combination of measured
military pressure on Nkunda and negotiation. Kabila extended the
10/15 deadline for ten days, for further evaluation at that time.
He has also said that this situation must be resolved before the end
of the year. Finally, he said publicly that he has given the green
light to preparations for a military assault if negotiations do not
resolve the situation.

17. The GDRC is pursuing three simultaneous tactics. Against Nkunda
loyalists, it appears committed to forceful disarmament. The "give
peace a chance" rhetoric and lack of immediate offensive appears
designed to appease the international community, allow FARDC to
reinforce and regroup, and facilitate the hemorrhaging of
non-loyalists elements from Nkunda. At the same time, the GDRC is
actively negotiating with other negative forces in North Kivu, to
prevent to all too frequent alliance-hopping that has marked the
conflict from reinforcing Nkunda. Reportedly, ranks have been
provided to the Jackson Mai-Mai and 775 of his troops surrendered in
Bingi.

18. The door to a negotiated settlement with Nkunda has perhaps
closed. The GDRC's position is that Nkunda has a criminal warrant
against him, and therefore, should he go into exile, the GDRC would
seek his extradition. On his part, Nkunda has reportedly stated that
he would rather commit suicide than surrender. There is the
possibility that Nkunda's core group could splinter into hardliners
and those willing to disarm. One source indicated that not all of
the loyalist leadership agree that fighting to the end is the
correct course.

19. FARDC buildup. This continues, with daily arrivals of troops
and ammunition in Goma. FARDC has 25,000 men under arms in the
province, and they figure that they need six attackers per defender.
Both of their two attack helicopters are now operational. MONUC is
providing all logistics support short of arms and ammunition, attack
helicopters and tanks.

20. Sequencing of FARDC integration and DDR. Subsequent to the
Mission, the team learned that the current GDRC plan is to send all
of Nkunda's forces to Kamina or Kitona. They will all go into nine
weeks of brassage, following which they will all receive three

KINSHASA 00001237 004 OF 004


months of MONUC military training. Subsequent to that, they will
choose to stay in the FARDC or go into DDR. This plan, if they
stick to it, will mean that any DDR for those who want to go this
route, will be four-five months into the future. (This new
information reportedly comes from Kabila, passed through the SRSG
and on to us.)

21. The dynamics in relation to other Negative Forces. There is a
very strong consensus that all negative forces must be included in
North Kivu DDR, not just Nkunda's men. There are five armed Mai-Mai
groups, and three non-FDLR militias (ADF-NALU, RUD, and RPR) also
present and active. Some of them have linked their disarmament to
that of Nkunda's factions, and some, such as Jackson's Mai-Mai's,
having made that linkage in the past, have proceeded even without
this pre-condition being met. Estimates are that with the inclusion
of these groups, the total number of potential participants in a
brassage/DDR process jumps to 14,000-19,000. Not all of these
persons would be eligible for the PNDR, raising the point that
careful coordination from the earliest stages is necessary to ensure
that eventual World Bank funding can be applied to aspects of the
program.

22. The reintegration package. GDRC officials spoken with all
vigorously opposed "safety net" cash payments as part of a DDR
package. This is part of the National DDR Program (PNDDR) in place
through the World Bank, which is currently without funding. There
appeared to be a widespread misapprehension that the PNDR does not
have a livelihoods-based reintegration element, or that this was or
is a failure. The Governor of North Kivu raised the argument that
when the safety net payments exceed what a soldier is paid, this
serves as a draw to choose civilian life, whether of not the
participant fully understands the choice. As a result, when the
funds run out, so does the commitment to remain in civilian life.
The current situation is that the GDRC (or at least the MOD and the
DDR Agency) and UNDP want to use a different package than has been
used by the MDRP/CONADER in the past. Reintegration package
harmonization and public sensitization is required.

23. Capacity to implement DDR. The SMI is currently implementing
ad-hoc proto-DDR with FARDC funding. The UEPN-DDR has administrative
structures in place in North Kivu and nationally. However, while
staff are still working, they have not been paid, and the
electricity at the North Kivu office has been cut for non-payment.
MONUC has the capacity, and the will to stand up the necessary
disarmament points and regroupment camps, and conduct disarmament.
UNDP has the capacity, if not the funding, to effectively implement
demobilization.

24. The capacity for reintegration is mixed. UNDP is willing to
manage an Ituri model reintegration program, but has yet to
illustrate its effectiveness. The UNOPS capacity to provide HIMO
appears adequate, even for the higher number. Among the NGOs already
present in North Kivu, a sampling of those most likely to have the
capacity to implement a reintegration/expanded reintegration program
shows absorptive capacity sufficient for approximately 3,500 adult
XCs. This means that in order to ensure sufficient reintegration
program capacity on the ground for Nkunda's forces, other armed
groups that choose to join the process, and the remaining 4,500 in
UEPN-DDR prior caseload in North Kivu who have not yet received

SIPDIS
reintegration assistance, additional capacity will need to be
mobilized.

25. Design issues for a DDR program for these troops:
A. Timing of DDR - as yet quite unclear
B. Content of the reintegration package - need to reconcile UNDP and
MDRP packages
C. The role of UNDP
D. The role of NGOs in reintegration
E. Inclusion of Mayi-Mayi troops in the program
F. Role and funding of the MOD project implementation unit

26. Bottom line. Planning should move forward for a DDR program for
3,000 ex-combtants from Nkunda's forces, plus an additional as et
unspecified number of Mayi-Mayi troops. Howeer, concrete plans
cannot be finalized until som of the important variables (above)
are better defined. USAID will actively monitor the situation, nd
continue to push DDR planning for this group forward.
BROCK

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