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Cablegate: Ugandan Military Clashes with Congolese Rebels

VZCZCXRO6601
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1756 3190359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150359Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9628
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001756

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/C FOR LEADER; AF FOR SWAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS ASEC PINS PHUM PGOV PREL CG UG
SUBJECT: UGANDAN MILITARY CLASHES WITH CONGOLESE REBELS

REF: KAMPALA 01696 and preceeding

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) A Congolese rebel associated with General Laurent Nkunda
was killed during a gunfight with the Uganda People's Defense Force
(UPDF) in the southwestern district of Kisoro on November 11. In
response, the GOU increased border security in the troubled area,
and vowed to push forward with plans to bring peace and stability to
eastern DRC. Meanwhile, humanitarian agencies reported that
thousands of Congolese fled fighting in eastern Congo and were
settled in Kisoro. The presence of dissident groups in eastern DRC
continues to be of great concern to the GOU. End Summary.

--------------------------------
UPDF Kills Armed Congolese Rebel
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) UPDF Division Commander Brigadier General Hudson Mukasa
confirmed to the DATT on November 13 reports of a November 11 clash
between Congolese rebels and the UPDF's 17th Battalion near the
Bunagana border post in Kisoro District. Mukasa said that Congolese
General Laurent Nkunda's forces entered Uganda to raid neighboring
villages for supplies, dismissing rumors spread by Nkunda of a
deliberate provocation. One Congolese rebel was killed during the
skirmish. The UPDF announced that it would launch a full
investigation into the incident.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
Border Security Tightened; GOU Studies Plans For Peace
--------------------------------------------- ---------

3. (SBU) UPDF Second Division Spokesperson Lt. Kiconco Tabaro told
EmbOff on November 13 that the situation along the border had
returned to normal, but noted that the UPDF had taken appropriate
security measures. Tabaro expressed frustration over previous
incursions into Ugandan territory by Congolese rebels, recounting
incidents of injury, murder, and theft in nearby villages. As a
result, he explained, all Congolese nationals crossing over the land
border would be subjected to security screening, and those found to
be in Uganda illegally, detained.

4. (SBU) MFA East African Community and Ring States Office Director
Julius Kagamba expressed GOU discontent over the incident to EmbOff
on November 14. Kagamba said that the GOU plans to push for
long-term peace and stability in eastern DRC as agreed upon at the
September Tripartite meeting in Kampala. He was hopeful that the
issue would be addressed more thoroughly after the Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) ends later this month.

---------------------------
Thousands in Transit Center
---------------------------

5. (SBU) UNHCR reported that an estimated 12,832 Congolese nationals
have registered at Nyakabande transit center in Kisoro District
since October 19.
Of these, 216 Congolese were relocated to Nakivale Refugee Camp.
Humanitarian agencies, including the World Food Program and UNHCR,
were involved in providing food and shelter.

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Comment
-------

6. (SBU) This was the first clash with Nkunda's Congolese rebels
that the GOU has publicized. Other recent incursions as referred to
by Lt. Tabaio, have involved other rebel militias, renegade FARDC,
and the ADF/NALU. The government remains concerned over what they
claim to be an increase in the number of clashes between UPDF forces
and armed Congolese rebels, and its potential impact on public
security in western Uganda.
CHRITTON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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