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Cablegate: Joint Monitoring Group Task Force Meeting

VZCZCXRO8879
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0700 2391443
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261443Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8339
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 000700

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: JOINT MONITORING GROUP TASK FORCE MEETING
OF AUGUST 22, 2008

1. (SBU) Summary: MONUC/DDRRR reported that in July, it had
transferred 97 FDLR members to Rwanda, although Rwanda classified
fewer than half that number as ex-combatants. The GDRC did not
object, as long as those repatriated were properly accepted in
Rwanda. The Rwandan side stressed the importance of field trips to
the DRC but expressed safety concerns. End summary

2. (SBU) The 36th Joint Monitoring Group Task Force met in Goma
August 22, focusing on continued repatriation of FDLR members in
July, with a presentation by MONUC/DDRRR, and on future field
visits. There were minor disagreements about minutes from the
previous meeting, but the mood was relaxed and convivial. While the
GDRC was represented by its usual head, Colonel Augustin Mamba, the
Rwandans were represented at a lower level than usual.

3. (SBU) Ndiaga Diagne of MONUC/DDRRR said that in July it had
transferred 97 FDLR members (61 ex-combatants, 35 dependents, one
undetermined) to Rwanda. Rwanda, however, classified only 47 of
these as ex-combatants, with 49 classified as civilians and one
still to be determined. MONUC, by contrast, characterized all FDLR
who had disarmed as ex-combatants. The 47 were transferred to the
charge of the Rwandan demobilization and reintegration commission,
the others to UNHCR.

4. (SBU) Colonel Mamba said that the DRC did not care about
combatant-civilian distinctions, but wanted to be sure that all were
properly accepted in Rwanda. The Rwandan delegation told Mamba that
those who were declared civilians and who had been transferred to
UNHCR were not being treated as refugees in Rwanda. Rather, UNCHR
was overseeing their reintegration into Rwanda. Diagne said that 75
of these 97 had been transferred from North Kivu, the remainder from
South Kivu. Diagne said that MONUC had greatly improved its ability
to detect "recycled repatriates."

5. (SBU) Concerning field visits by the Task Force, the Rwandan
delegation noted, on the one hand, its desire for more visits to DRC
than to Rwanda. On the other hand, the delegations raised concerns
about security during such trips. It recounted aspects of previous
DRC trips that had caused concern. Examples raised were those of an
RUD member bearing a weapon on the visit to Kasiki, an FARDC
commander at Rutshuru stating that he believed the FDLR was
well-informed about the Task Force visit, and an FARDC commander at
Mwenga stating that the FARDC believed that it was too dangerous to
venture off the road on which they were traveling. Colonel Mamba
insisted that all visits had been fully safe, as would all future
trips inside the DRC.

6. (SBU) Regarding future travel, the Rwandan delegation said it
would not be useful simply to continue visiting Rwanda's center at
Mutobo. The Rwandans suggested that trips need not alternate, but
it was nonetheless contemplating arranging a visit to its center for
child combatants and another to the UNHCR transit camp. Colonel
Mamba agreed that the DRC was the "main theater of operations" and
that, therefore, it was not essential to keep to an alternating
schedule. However, the DRC was not ready for another visit. Task
Force Chairman Bernard Sexe noted that trips to Rwanda were
important to demonstrate to the FDLR that the Task Force was working
closely together and that former FDLR members were being properly
reintegrated in Rwanda.

7. (SBU) The GDRC reiterated its request to move the meeting from
Friday to the middle of the week, because of difficult airline
connections and because Friday was the most important day to be in
Kinshasa for government meetings. The Rwandan delegation said it
could not contemplate breaking up its work week but might consider a
Monday meeting. The GDRC said Monday would be more difficult than
Friday. There was no consensus, so the meeting day remains Friday.

8. (SBU) Finally, both sides agreed that, in the next meeting, they
would draw up an evaluation for the upcoming Joint Monitoring Group
meeting of the progress thus far in carrying out the Nairobi
communique.

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