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Cablegate: New Wave of Congolese Expulsions From Angola

VZCZCXRO2342
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0598 2031213
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211213Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8210
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 1968
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000598

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PHUM PGOV PREL AO CG
SUBJECT: NEW WAVE OF CONGOLESE EXPULSIONS FROM ANGOLA

REF: A. KINSHASA 150
B. 07 KINSHASA 1428
C. 07 LUANDA 1221

1. (SBU) Summary: According to reliable sources, Angolan forces
have expelled more than 60,000 Congolese in the first six months of
2008. A CARITAS-Germany representative and a MONUC Joint Military
Analysis Center (JMAC) analyst told PolOff July 8-9 that Angola is
expelling Congolese nationals from four provinces along the DRC -
Angola border including a wave of more than 30,000 within the last
month. A MONUC investigative team confirmed cases of maltreatment
of expelled Congolese during a June trip to Bandundu province. The
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has
formed a working group to address the expulsions. Clearing the
border area in order to grant mining concessions is the most likely
reason behind the expulsions, according to OCHA. The GDRC has not
reacted and appears content to let the international community
address the humanitarian concerns. End summary.

2. (U) Angolan military forces have expelled undocumented Congolese
from Angolan territory, including Cabinda, Zaire, Malanje, and Lunda
Norte provinces (reftels). According to a CARITAS-Germany
representative and a MONUC JMAC analyst July 8-9, more than 60,000
Congolese have been expelled during the first half of 2008,
including a wave of more than 30,000 within the previous 30 days.

3. (U) The CARITAS representative said that MONUC facilitated a
multi-agency team to Kasongo-Lunda territory of Bandundu province
June 10 to investigate the new wave of expulsions. The MONUC team
reported cases of extortion, theft, and physical and sexual violence
against the Congolese committed by Angolan forces.

4. (U) The majority of the expelled Congolese arrive in the DRC
without food, water, or personal belongings. Both the CARITAS
representative and JMAC analyst told us these arrivals are putting
resource pressure on the local populations. The most desperate of
expellees resort to looting.

5. (SBU) In the absence of a response from the Government of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (GDRC), the UN's Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has formed a working
group of international organizations and NGO's to address the
expulsions. The working group meets weekly to discuss emergency aid
proposals and logistics. A Senior Field Coordinator from OCHA told
the working group July 14 that Ross Mountain, the Deputy Special
Representative of the Secretary and MONUC's second in command, was
to meet with DRC Interior Minister Denis Kalume July 16 to discuss
the growing humanitarian crisis (Note: An official from Mountain's
office confirmed to us July 18 that the meeting did take place and
that the results would be shared at the next working group meeting
July 21. End note). The OCHA officer also said that the Angolan
Interior Minister recently told an OCHA counterpart in Luanda that
the GoA is currently planning to conclude the expulsions near the
border and commence expelling illegal Congolese from Angolan cities,
potentially impacting as many as many as 150,000 Congolese.

6. (SBU) Comment: The two theories put forward by CARITAS and JMAC
for the expulsions are (1) the removal of potentially illegal voters
before the upcoming Angolan elections, and (2) the expulsion of
illegal immigrants to facilitate the granting of mining concessions
in the areas occupied by undocumented Congolese. The latter seems
to us more likely, as the registration period has already passed for
the Angolan elections. The areas have a high diamond extraction
potential. The expulsion of Congolese from urban areas may prove
difficult for the GoA due to the presence of families as opposed to
the majority of single men currently being expelled along the
border. The GDRC appears to be content to let the international
community address the expulsions due to its unwillingness to rock
the boat of good relations with Angola and because of its own lack
of border control presence and capacity. End comment.

GARVELINK

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