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Cablegate: Goma Round-Up August 19

VZCZCXRO5886
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0689/01 2341533
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211533Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8327
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000689

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG BE
SUBJECT: GOMA ROUND-UP AUGUST 19

REF: KINSHASA 664

1. (SBU) EU representative Veronique Aulagnon told Goma PolOff
August 19 that EU envoy Roeland van de Geer planned to attend the
September 1 meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group in Kinshasa. He
planned to travel first to Kigali, to meet Sezibera August 27, and
then to Goma on August 28. Van de Geer had spoken with Tim Shortley
and had hoped to meet up with him in Goma, but van de Geer would not
be able to travel to Goma after Kinshasa as he had to attend a
meeting of the Great Lakes Forum.

2. (SBU) Nkunda's status: Goma PolOff met M'hand Ladjouzi, MONUC
PolOff (protect), and asked about Nkunda's status, in the wake of
CNDP's refusal to meet van de Geer several weeks ago. Ladjouzi said
that he got a return call from Nkunda in the past few days, so
Nkunda is certainly still around. Ladjouzi alluded to swirling
speculation about Nkunda's health (in fact, in recent meetings he
had looked fatigued and his face spotted) and political-military
discord within the organization (likely true, especially following
the issuance of a warrant for Jean Bosco), but he discounted that
the blockage occurred because of confused signals within the CNDP.
He believed Nkunda was angry with the international facilitation
which he perceived has abandoned him in favor of the government,
which was attempting to gain through the Amani process what it had
failed to achieve on the battlefield.

3. (SBU) Meeting of Joint Commission Plenary: At a subsequent
meeting with the full team, Ladjouzi said the "Bureau Executive" of
the Peace/Security Joint Commission had met August 18 (Note: "The
Bureau" included General Etumba, Ladjouzi in place of Alpha Sow who
is accompanying Alan Doss on a visit to the Kivus, and CNDP's Rene
Abandi as permanent secretary. End note) They agreed to a plenary
on August 26, with the agenda of formally presenting the four
reports drafted without the CNDP at the sub-committee level and the
ad hoc report of the working group on restoration of state authority
(reftel). Abandi said that there could also be discussion at the
plenary of a fuller disengagement (pull-back of forces), as long as
it was disengagement with weapons retained. The meeting began
testily, with Etumba and Abandi criticizing each other hotly, but
the tenor improved.

4. (SBU) Members of the International Facilitation debated whether
the plenary would do more harm than good, and agreed if it could not
be further postponed (noting that Interior Minister Denis Kalume had
insisted at the recent Steering Committee meeting in Goma that the
plenary must take place at once), then it would be important to
prepare the way in advance with Etumba and the CNDP. Ladjouzi noted
that Etumba had departed for Kinshasa and would not return to Goma
before Saturday, August 23. Some team members encountered CNDP
local representative Bertrand Basimwa after the meeting (he was at
MONUC for a meeting with Alan Doss, who had traveled overland to
Masisi but failed to return as planned by helicopter due to poor
weather), who said he and Abandi would need to get back to "their
leadership" by Thursday to confirm strategy for the plenary and
would then not be back in Goma before the plenary. (Note: The IF
team will try to get with CNDP tomorrow. The least bad scenario may
be that CNDP complains at the plenary but agrees to some discussion
of pull-back at Kimoka. End note).

5. (SBU) The IF team will meet Doss tomorrow (August 20) at 1800.
UK rep Tom Pravda offered to do a draft of priorities for the
discussion. He proposed (1) demilitarization of the Haut Plateau in
South Kivu, (2) North Kivu disengagement (pull back), and (3) DDR
for peripheral armed groups. Ladjouzi objected to the last as
worthy but unattainable at present due to disinterest on the part of
the government and unavailability of donor resources. Aulagnon said
it was key to get on with the High Plateau since the FRF (Forces
republicaines federalistes) had been coaxed into beginning to be
amenable. MONUC PolOff Phil Winter noted that Doss was keen on
proceeding with work on the road from Fizi to the Haut Plateau,
while he said that Alpha Sow (formerly head of office in Bukavu) had
strongly remonstrated with Doss (which is not characteristic of Sow)
that people in South Kivu would see undue preference given to the
Banyamulenge. Doss had agreed that "equal preference" should be
given to the road from Bukavu toward Kisangani via Hongo (much more
important to most people in South Kivu). Meanwhile, according to
Willet Weeks, consultant to the Amani Program Coordinator, Malu Malu
has taken a particular interest in a third corridor, to Shabunda
(direction Kindu), apparently due to interior mineral resources and
FDLR presence. Weeks added that it was important for the team to
raise with Doss the absence of an effective or open
ceasefire-monitoring mechanism.

6. (SBU) Ceasefire incident: Winter said that the North Kivu
Brigade had reported earlier in the day an incident August 17 just
northwest of the old JTN plantation, 15 kilometers northwest of

KINSHASA 00000689 002 OF 002


Kitchanga. FARDC from the north opened fire from long range on CNDP
elements from the south reportedly within the so-called "exclusion
zone" and the CNDP returned fire. The NK Brigade said it intervened
at once, stopped the exchange of fire, and a meeting would be held
at JTN among the parties to discuss. Two children suffered minor
injuries. (Note: It appears that the NK Brigade is doing some key
monitoring in at least the sensitive JTN area. End note).

GARVELINK

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