Cablegate: Special Advisor Shortley's November 13 Conversation With
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1278/01 3181519
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141519Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7130
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001278
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KWMN PINS PREF MOPS CG
SUBJECT: Special Advisor Shortley's November 13 conversation with
Presidential Chief of Staff Tshibanda
REF: Kinshasa 1267
1. (SBU) Tim Shortley, in Kampala, spoke at length with Raymond
Tshibanda, DRC President Joseph Kabila's chief of staff on November
13. Shortley urged Tshibanda to press Congolese officials to move
quickly on implementation of the recent DRC-Rwanda communique
(reftel) on negative forces. Shortley also pressed the COS to
develop plans to win the "hearts and minds" of the population of
North Kivu to deprive Nkunda of his raison d'etre. Tshibanda
expressed concern over a recent attack on an IDP camp, allegedly by
dissident General Laurent Nkunda, and asked Shortley to call Nkunda
to pressure him to end his insurgency; Shortley agreed to call
Nkunda. Tshibanda also praised Shortley and USG efforts to end the
conflict in the Kivus, asking emphatically that the U.S. remain in
the driver's seat through the coming months as the Nairobi agreement
is implemented. Shortley agreed to update Tshibanda on latest
developments on Saturday, after the contact group meeting and
meeting with Assistant Secretary Frazer. End summary.
Nairobi agreement: a great success
2. (SBU) AF Special Advisor Tim Shortley and Raymond Tshibanda
spoke by phone for 45 minutes on November 13. Also participating
was Kinshasa charge Sam Brock. Tshibanda had requested the call to
get Shortley's observations on the Nairobi meeting at which a
ground-breaking communique on a joint approach to fighting negative
forces in the east of the DRC was issued on November 10 by
representatives of the DRC and Rwanda. Shortley called the meeting
a great success with great conclusions, and which met all sides'
requirements. The U.S., he said, looks forward to a rapid
implementation of the agreement and in that connection urged
Tshibanda to complete the plan on the FDLR, due on December 1 as
agreed in the communique, as soon as possible. Tshibanda also
agreed that rapid implementation is necessary.
3. (SBU) Tshibanda registered the GDRC's "strong concern" over an
incident earlier in the day in which Nkunda's men allegedly attacked
a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) in Mugunga.
Tshibanda noted that Nairobi had not sent the right message if
Nkunda goes out and attacks innocent people in an IDP camp. He
added: "We need to be harder with Nkunda." Shortley promised to
look into reports on Mugunga and expressed uncertainty as to whether
Nkunda had actually carried out the attack as he, Shortley, had
heard that Nkunda might be away from the area. If so, Shortley
stated, Bosco was in charge and would have attacked the IDP camp.
(Note: MONUC has not confirmed Nkunda's involvement; some reports
state that the FARDC attacked the camp. End note.)
4. (SBU) Tshibanda asked Shortley to call Nkunda to warn him, with
"very strong words," to stop. Tshibanda repeated this request later
in the conversation. He also reiterated several lines about the
possibility of hundreds of innocent people getting killed if Nkunda
is not removed quickly and the possibility of all the progress made
in Nairobi being undone because of one man. Shortley promised to
talk with Nkunda.
Depriving Nkunda of his raison d'etre
5. (SBU Shortley then stressed need to start moving on a parallel
track designed to undermine Nkunda's grievances and arguments, i.e.,
the issue of protection, meeting needs of vulnerable groups, etc.
Undermining Nkunda's arguments and winning hearts and minds program
for North Kivu, Shortley stressed, could help to meet needs of
vulnerable groups, provide protection, government services and goods
to the people of North Kivu. He added that based on this approach
Kabila could also win hearts and minds for the coming local
elections in May 2008.
6. (SBU) Shortley then referred to UN efforts to better protect
people and provide services and asked Tshibanda if he would like
hear about this from the UN. Tshibanda expressed interest; Brock
was tasked with setting up a briefing in the coming days. Shortley
continued that a three-track approach was needed for North Kivu:
(1) dealing politically, diplomatically and militarily with Nkunda;
(2) winning hearts and minds through a UN/DRC plan to provide
services and protection; and (3) quick action against the FDLR.
Tshibanda agreed that a quick attack on FDLR positions was needed to
show that the GDCR was serious when it said it wanted to remove the
FDLR as a negative force.
7. (SBU) Tshibanda ended the conversation with unqualified praise
for Shortley and the U.S., saying that "never has such progress been
made in ending the conflict in the east as had been achieved in the
last three months when the GDCR began to work closely with the U.S."
KINSHASA 00001278 002 OF 002
Without saying so explicitly, he was clearly referring to the many
recent signs of U.S. engagement (meetings with the Secretary and the
Assistant Secretary for African Affairs in New York, the White House
visit, intensified engagement between his staff and the U.S.
Embassy, frequent calls between the Assistant Secretary, the
Tripartite Plus process, etc.). Tshibanda welcomed continued
involvement from the UN and other international partners but made
clear that the U.S. must provide leadership and be completely
8. (SBU) Tshibanda ended the call asking Shortley to update him by
phone shortly after his return to the U.S. later in the week.
Shortly agreed to call him Saturday after the contact group meeting,
and after meeting with A/S Frazer.
9. (U) Special Advisor Shortley has/has cleared this message.