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Cablegate: 32nd Meeting of Jmg Task Force

VZCZCXRO5457
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0648 2201118
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071118Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8282
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 000648

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: 32nd MEETING OF JMG TASK FORCE

REF: (A) KINSHASA 647
(B) KINSHASA 630

1. (SBU) Summary: The 32nd meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group
Task Force July 25 was unusually short at just over three hours.
U.S. members of the International Facilitation were Nicholas Jenks
and Geoffrey Parker. Jean-Michel Dumont of the EU chaired the
meeting. Due to a misunderstanding, the sensitive issue regarding
the differing definitions of the term combatant between the DRC and
Rwanda had fallen off the agenda. Instead, participants received a
brief update on the Amani Process by Congolese 8th Military Region
commander General Mayala. This was followed by a security update
from the MONUC chief of intelligence for the Eastern Division,
Lieutenant Colonel Masri. End summary.

2. (SBU) Colonel Mamba of the DRC delegation began the meeting by
expressing his discontent with the fact that the issue of defining
the word "combatant" had fallen off the agenda. It had, in fact,
been touched upon briefly during the 31st JMG meeting, at which the
parties agreed to revisit it in depth at the following meeting. The
issue is important as Rwandan authorities receiving demobilized
fighters through MONUC's DDRRR process continue to apply a more
restricted definition, leading to much smaller numbers of combatants
than the DRC and MONUC believed had been demobilized. A UN legal
expert was supposed to come to brief the Task Force but this did not
happen, and the issue was put off to the following meeting. Rwanda
had also been under the impression that the issue would be
addressed. Bernard Sexe of the French embassy, who had presided
over the last meeting, apologized and said he was partly to blame
for the unintended omission.

3. (SBU) The meeting then moved to a basic and generic briefing on
the Amani process from General Mayala. It included a brief history,
a listing of the relevant legal documents and decrees, and the
current status of the Amani structures. The Rwandan delegation said
it was all interesting but that they wanted to know what was being
done about the FDLR. (Note: It is not clear why the Rwandans
expected to hear about actions against the FDLR in a briefing on the
Amani process. End note.)
Nevertheless, the Congolese delegation patiently explained how the
Amani process addressed the issue of Congolese armed groups, while
dealing with the FDLR was the mission of the Nairobi process. The
Congolese then also explained that while eight battalions had been
deployed to address the FDLR problem, there were several brigades in
both Kivus that were also tackling the issue, capturing FDLR
deserters and restoring security for commercial activity.

4. (SBU) The next briefing was given by MONUC's chief of
intelligence on the current security situation in North Kivu, the
substance of which was reported ref A.

5. (SBU) For the following meeting the Task Force decided to attend
a demobilization ceremony for FDLR/RUD fighters along with their
families in the North Kivu town of Kasiki (ref B). The idea was
raised by Dumont who had personally received an invitation (for the
entire Task Force) by the Congolese Foreign Minister. The Foreign
Ministry had also sent a high-level invitation to Kigali to ask
someone from Rwanda to attend in addition to the normal Rwandan
delegation at the Task Force. Dumont also mentioned that the
Congolese Foreign Minister attributed the GDRC's ability to convince
RUD fighters to disarm in large part to the arrest of FDLR executive
secretary Calixte Mbarushimana in Germany.

6. (SBU) Comment: This meeting was very short - mainly because the
Task Force was given two briefings with short Q&A sessions. Nothing
too sensitive was placed on the table for discussion, though it was
clear the "defining a combatant" issue needs to be addressed at the
earliest opportunity. End comment.

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