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Cablegate: Frf Agrees (Possibly) to Rejoin Amani Process

VZCZCXRO7478
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0614 2100813
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280813Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8231
INFO 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 000614

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: FRF AGREES (POSSIBLY) TO REJOIN AMANI PROCESS

1. (SBU) Summary: Apollinaire Malu Malu and members of the
International Facilitation (IF) traveled to Kamombo, South Kivu July
22 to persuade the leadership of the FRF (Forces republicaines
federalistes in French) to rejoin the Amani process. The FRF agreed
to return to the process should the Congolese armed forces (FARDC)
stop brutalizing the local population and if allegations against
three specific officers are investigated. However, it remains
unclear whether the FRF agreed to rejoin the process
unconditionally, or if their return is conditioned on satisfaction
of these demands. End summary.

2. (SBU) Amani Program coordinator Apollinaire Malu Malu and
members of the International Facilitation (to include EU Special
Representative Roeland van de Geer) traveled to Kamombo July 22 to
meet with the FRF leadership. The purpose of the meeting was to
persuade the group to rejoin the workings of the Amani process.

3. (SBU) Malu Malu and van de Geer emphasized that the FRF must
rejoin the process, as participation is "equivalent to being for
peace" and non participation is "equivalent to being for war."
USAID Goma officer Nicholas Jenks exhorted FRF, as IF does with all
armed groups, to stop brutalizing the population.

4. (SBU) The FRF reiterated their principal concerns to Malu Malu
and the Facilitation, namely human rights abuses committed by the
FARDC against the local population. These have included the rape
and murder of women, the killing of children, and pillages. The FRF
cited three FARDC officers with direct involvement in these crimes:
a Major Santos, a Major Mikeno, and a Captain Birume.

5. (SBU) Nevertheless, at the end of the meeting, the FRF said that
they would rejoin the process, but two concerns need to be
addressed. The first is that the FARDC must do everything possible
to stop its soldiers from brutalizing the population. The second is
that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (GDRC)
and FARDC need to investigate FRF allegations against the officers
named previously.

6. (SBU) Malu Malu and the Facilitation then traveled to Bukavu for
a meeting with South Kivu governor Muderhwa and 10th military region
commander Masunzu, at which the South Kivu police commissioner and
MONUC South Kivu staff were also present. The meeting, however, was
overly formal and Malu Malu was forced to do the "real work"
afterwards.

7. (SBU) Malu Malu reported to USAID Goma officer Jenks later that
Masunzu had agreed to call the three aforementioned FARDC officers
to Bukavu and investigate the FRF charges against them; Masunzu is
also in agreement to pull the FARDC out of the high plateau (Note:
the FRF sees itself primarily as defender of the Banyamulenge
community of the high plateau area of South Kivu. End note) In
addition, Malu Malu reported that Interior Minister Kalume is
sending a police battalion to Bukavu for acclimatization, and it
will be deployed soon to the plateau.

8. (SBU) Comment: The FRF's apparent commitment to rejoin the
Amani process is a positive step, and it should be noted that the
group has backed off from its previous conditions that the FARDC be
withdrawn from the high plateau and Masunzu removed from his post.
At the same time, in discussions with Malu Malu following the day's
meetings, it remained unclear to all if the FRF agreed to rejoin the
process unconditionally, or if their return is conditioned on
satisfaction of the concerns outlined in paragraph five. End
comment.

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