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Cablegate: Drc Response to Msf Report On Angolan Abuse

VZCZCXRO2684
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1428 0010806
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 010806Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7321
INFO RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 1958
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 001428

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL PREF AO CG
SUBJECT: DRC RESPONSE TO MSF REPORT ON ANGOLAN ABUSE
OF CONGOLESE EXPELEES IS LESS THAN ENERGETIC

REF: LUANDA 1221

1. (SBU) Summary: On December 5, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
published a report describing atrocities being committed by Angolan
forces against Congolese citizens in Angola. PolOff discussed the
report with MSF reps on December 6 to discuss the report. On
December 12, a Caritas representative (Caritas is operating
reception centers for Congolese expellees) also confirmed the
allegations in the report. On December 13, PolOff and RefCoord met
with the Congolese Social and Humanitarian Affairs Minister to
discuss the GDRC response. The minister complained about his
ministry's lack of capacity to relieve the plight of Congolese in
the border area and said the problem was basically economic. The
GDRC does not appear to be overly concerned regarding the reports of
abuses of its citizens in Angola. End Summary.

2. (U) On December 6, PolOff met with MSF representatives to
discuss a report that NGO published December 5 in which 100
witnesses interviewed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
side of the border described brutalities by Angolan forces against
Congolese. Among the abuses reported were illegal detention, mass
rape, forced labor, forced conscription, and torture. MSF also
reported that 44,000 Congolese have been forcibly expelled from
Lunda Norte province since January 2007. On December 14, at a
humanitarian cluster meeting, MSF further reported that the
expulsions were continuing with an estimate of 1,860 expulsions in
October 2007 and more than 1,000 in November.

3. (U) On December 12, PolOff met with a Caritas representative who
confirmed that abuses are being committed by Angolan forces. The
representative said Caritas is operating 7 different sites along
DRC-Angola border, specifically near Kamako and Luiza, to receive
Congolese expelled from Angola. They estimate that between the 7
sites approximately 5,000 expellees are being assisted.

4. (U) On December 13, PolOff and RefCoord met with Social and
Humanitarian Affairs Minister Jean-Claude Muyambo to discuss the
GDRC's response to the MSF report. Muyambo acknowledged the report
and said he was monitoring the situation and that Prime Minister
Antoine Gizenga was aware of the situation. He blamed the presence
of Congolese citizens in Angola on poor economic conditions in the
DRC. He said the diamond mines provided the incentive for the
Congolese to cross over the border to look for work.

5. (U) Muyambo also complained that at the present time his
ministry does not have the capacity to receive the expellees back
into the DRC. At best, he said, the government could undertake a
public awareness campaign to urge Congolese not to cross the border
into Angola. He said that in 2008 his ministry is planning on
forming a team to visit Congolese refugees in several surrounding
countries. Muyambo did not mention, however, any plans to visit
Congolese living in Angola.

6. (SBU) Comment: The GDRC does not appear to be too exercised
about the reports of Congolese citizens subject to abuse in Angola.
The Humanitarian Affairs Minister feigned helplessness in his
responses to inquiries from PolOff and RefCoord. His view that the
problem is essentially economic evinces ignorance at best or
indifference at worst. Without a concerted effort by the GDRC to
address the plight of its fellow citizens such abuses are not likely
to stop. End Comment

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