Cablegate: Goma Round-Up August 26 -- Plenary Of

DE RUEHKI #0705/01 2401616
P 271616Z AUG 08



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Goma Round-Up August 26 -- Plenary of
the Joint Commission

1. (SBU) Summary: After five hours of meetings with the
facilitation team, CNDP agreed to go forward with the concept of a
working group on disengagement. Prior to the August 26 plenary of
the Joint Commission, the team met Malu Malu and Etumba, who bought
off on the plan and pushed it through the plenary. End summary.

2. (SBU) The international facilitation team (EU, UK, U.S., MONUC)
had a four-hour meeting with the CNDP delegation in Goma (minus Rene
Abandi) on August 25, hoping to get CNDP's agreement on the idea of
a working group on disengagement, to be presented the following day
at the plenary of the Joint Technical Commission on Peace and
Security. CNDP's Bertrand Basimwa, with Abandi, had put forward the
concept at a meeting with the team August 20. However, the larger
CNDP delegation (seven of the eight) on August 25 raised a host of
other issues and appeared to be hostile to taking any action on
disengagement without a simultaneous resolution of all CNDP's
claims. Privately, after this excruciating meeting, Bisimwa
confided to poloff that the role of a negotiator was "extremely
difficult. Remember, (LRA's) Koni killed two of his negotiators."
The following day's plenary was shaping up to be a waste of time.

3. (SBU) After consultation with what he called his "base"
(presumably Nkunda) Bisimwa called poloff on the morning of August
26 to say that CNDP had "moved in your direction." Another hour's
meeting with the full delegation -- not free of difficult moments --
ended with the CNDP delegation's agreeing to the working group
concept in full. The delegation opened with a seven-point position:
(1) It accepted creation at the plenary of two ad hoc working
groups on disengagement, the one in North Kivu composed of FARDC,
CNDP, PARECO, with MONUC military and the international
facilitation; (2) It wanted verification of the complete separation
of PARECO and FDLR; (3) FARDC would have to accept pull-back of
forces on the same terms as CNDP; (4) Members of the provincial
"cellules" would have to be accepted as members of the working
group; (5) The concept of a working group would need to be extended
to other areas, e.g., brassage; (6) It agreed to a time limit of 15
days for the working group, after which the provincial structures
would be established; and (7) The international facilitation would
sign a memorandum certifying that it would put pressure on the
government to take the CNDP's list of claims seriously.

4. (SBU) The facilitation team responded that it took serious note
of CNDP's claims, but it would sign no memorandum with any single
group: its job was facilitation. It saw no problem with CNDP's
cellule members being in the working group but other parties would
name whom they chose. It expected FARDC to be wholly involved in
pull-back. Success of this working group could possibly lead to
other such working groups being created. CNDP concluded that it was
in "basic agreement" with the facilitation team, with the proviso
that its full set of claims would need soon to be addressed. The
facilitation team noted, on the basis of what it had been told by
Abbe Malu Malu, that the government would ask for one "non-contact"
armed group (i.e., other than PARECO) to be included in the working
group, as a way to placate the Mai Mais. CNDP acquiesced. The team
concluded by urging CNDP not to raise inflammatory issues outside
the agenda of the plenary.

5. (SBU) The facilitation team had hoped for an extensive meeting
with Malu Malu and Etumba prior to the plenary, but they arrived
from Kinshasa only briefly before the scheduled start of the
plenary. After a 20-minute exchange they described themselves as
content with the working-group concept as presented by the
facilitation team in a document with the following points:

-- Objective: Make the plan of disengagement operational. The
working group will submit its final report to the Commission within
15 days.
-- Mandate: Identify front lines; define zones of disengagement of
armed groups in contact and FARDC, and commit to reciprocal
withdrawal from these zones; determine means of securing these zones
(MONUC and DRC); establish rules of managing these zones and a
system of sanctions for non-respect of these rules.
-- Composition: Two technical groups for each province, with a
limited number of members, to be accompanied by experts of their
(a) North Kivu: One member from each armed group in contact (CNDP,
PARECO/FAP); one member from another group to be named by the
Commission; one from FARDC; one from MONUC; one from the
international facilitation.
(b) South Kivu: One member from each armed group in contact (FRF,
Mai Mai Yakutumba, Mai Mai Zabuloni, Mai Mai Kapopo); one from
FARDC; one from MONUC; one from the international facilitation.
-- Functioning: MONUC and FARDC will co-preside. An interim report
will be submitted within eight days.

KINSHASA 00000705 002 OF 002

6. (SBU) The plenary opened with a plea from Malu Malu that it was
time to get down to real work, in particular on the disengagement
plan. The first agenda item for the plenary was the presentation
(but not adoption, due to obvious CNDP objections) of the various
plans that had been hammered out at the sub-commission level (mostly
without CNDP and FRF participation), viz.: Disengagement,
Integration (with an annex on DDR), Return of IDPs and Refugees, and
Restoration of State Authority. With these presentations out of the
way, Etumba opened discussion of what he called "an idea worked out
by the co-chairmen of the Commission (i.e., Etumba and MONUC's
newly-designated Eastern Coordinator, Alpha Sow) to ease concerns of
all sides about the disengagement plan." Sow and Malu Malu joined
in presenting the working-group concept as outlined above. Malu
Malu noted that any armed groups which were not eligible for
participation in this working group would make an important
contribution, meanwhile, by taking "draconian steps" to reduce the
claimed number of members (which have been wildly inflated).

7. (SBU) The concept was accepted by the plenary with no
significant discussion. The plenary agreed that eligible parties
would convene on the next morning, August 27, to get to work. The
only major point raised by CNDP was a complaint about an incident
that had occurred at Mgunga 1 IDP camp (east of Sake) on August 24.
CNDP commissioner (and Goma delegation chairman) Kambasu Ngeve said
that a group of IDPs who were trying to leave the camp to return to
their homes in Ngungu (far southwest of the CNDP-controlled area)
had been beaten by the police. This action, he said, appeared to be
a "politicization" of the IDP-return issue. Etumba and Malu Malu,
uninformed about the incident, said that any aggression against IDPs
was completely unacceptable. They said that return of IDPs was the
most important indicator of success of the Amani process, all the
more reason, they noted, that it was essential to get down to
serious work on the disengagement plan. Malu Malu said he
envisioned that the pull-back would create not only areas of
military disengagement but, effectively, "real humanitarian

8. (SBU) The other principal agenda point was an evaluation of the
humanitarian situation in the Kivus, accomplished with eloquence and
thoroughness by Mamba Leonard Mashako, co-chairman of the
Commission's humanitarian sub-commission. He minced no words in
reviewing the dire conditions prevailing in much of the Kivus to an
audience representing groups largely responsible for bringing about,
perpetrating, and deepening the suffering in the region.


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