Cablegate: Goma Report October 4: Nkunda On Okapi;

DE RUEHKI #0840/01 2801323
O 061323Z OCT 08



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Goma Report October 4: Nkunda on Okapi;
Acting SRSG in Goma

1. (SBU) Summary: Nkunda gave an interview to MONUC's radio Okapi
October 4 which was even more truculent than his BBC interview, and
complained when Okapi refused to air it. Acting SRSG Mountain came
to Goma and assured Abbe Malu Malu that MONUC would continue with
the Amani program, with a focus on disarmament in South Kivu and the
Grand Nord of North Kivu. EU Special Envoy van de Geer regretted
that there seemed to be little role at present for the international
facilitation with CNDP. The ceasefire on the ground held for the
fifth day, but CNDP may be building up on its western front. End

Nkunda's Okapi Interview

2. (SBU) Following MONUC's October 3 statement condemning Nkunda's
October 2 interview with BBC, Nkunda gave an interview October 4 to
MONUC's Radio Okapi. Given its bellicose tone, MONUC did not air
the interview.

According to a summary provided by MONUC, Nkunda's main points

-- Over the past three years, none of CNDP's claims has been met by
the government. CNDP has tried every negotiation path and none has
succeeded. Now CNDP has decided to accelerate the pace and to use

-- Actions by FARDC killed the Amani program. MONUC has lost its
neutrality and joined the FARDC/proxies/FDLR coalition. MONUC shot
at CNDP, but when FARDC committed ceasefire violations, MONUC did
nothing. The Nairobi process has similarly gone nowhere.

-- MONUC should not present a disengagement plan. Only the
conflicting groups can do so, with MONUC there to execute it.

-- The Amani program was the government's plan, and that government
has resigned. CNDP wants a new and neutral framework, to be
discussed in a secure and neutral place, with a neutral mediator.

-- The international facilitation failed. MONUC failed. MONUC
cannot give CNDP security. It cannot even secure itself any longer.
It has been stoned and shot at, not only in North Kivu but also in
Ituri, where it was recently fired on by a militia and was unable to

-- If MONUC has received the order to use military force against
CNDP, then CNDP will react militarily. (To the interviewer's
question whether this was a declaration of war, Nkunda responded,

-- We urge all Congolese who are suffering all over the country to
stand up. The President has betrayed his people. He should be
tried for high treason. If we need to use arms, we shall.

3. (SBU) Deputy Eastern Coordinator M'hand Ladjouzi received a
telephone call from Nkunda a few hours after the interview (the
first call he had received from Nkunda since August). Nkunda
complained that the interview had not yet been aired, and Ladjouzi
told him that it would not be. Nkunda responded angrily, when the
line was cut.

Military Review

4. (SBU) Acting SRSG Ross Mountain brought a large delegation to
Goma for the day, for the purpose of engaging Amani National
Coordinator Abbe Malu Malu in a discussion of ways to go forward
with Amani in the absence of CNDP, with a particular focus on DDR of
armed groups in South Kivu and the northern part of North Kivu. EU
Special Envoy Roland van de Geer arrived with him and will remain
several days in the region. U.S. Charge Brock also made the trip,
returning to Kinshasa the same day. The visit began with a military
overview by North Kivu brigade commander Brigadier General Bipin
Rawat and an internal discussion among MONUC and the facilitation

5. (SBU) Rawat said that the ceasefire was being maintained, now
into its fifth day. The disengagement plan accepted by the
government September 18 was to have been completed October 4. In
fact, there had been some progress, despite numerous ceasefire
violations especially on the part of the FARDC, with the worst being
at Tongo in the northern sector. In the eastern sector, FARDC had
fully withdrawn from Mutabo, partially withdrawn from Ntamugenga,
but not withdrawn from Kisherero and Rugarama. CNDP had withdrawn
from Kanombe and Himbi Height, but refused to pull back in other

KINSHASA 00000840 002 OF 003

areas envisioned in the disengagement plan so long as FARDC
continued to occupy Tongo. In the southern zone, a small number of
CNDP were present in Ngungu but would probably leave when North Kivu
moves its base there nearer to the now-abandoned town. In the
western zone, CNDP had agreed to pull back from the proposed
expanded zone of separation, but only if FARDC withdraws from

6. (SBU) To FARDC's claims in recent days that CNDP was building up
its forces for attacks in the north, east, and west, Rawat said that
North Kivu brigade was now observing a possible CNDP build-up in the
west, near the Masisi road at Mema. He assessed that the FARDC
force present there, buttressed recently by elements of battalions
trained to combat FDLR, was in a good defensive position to ward off
any CNDP attack. Rawat had advised FARDC to stay in a defensive

7. (SBU) Mountain asked Rawat about the adequacy of MONUC's
military capacity, how to ensure that the zones of separation
promoted civilian security, and about the status of anti-FDLR
operations. Rawat replied that MONUC had adequate military capacity
to monitor the zones of separation, but he would need more troops to
mount a Chapter 7 application of force. He said that ensuring
civilian security within the zones of separation would be difficult.
There were already reports of banditry in the zones by persons
wearing FARDC uniforms. It would be advisable to deploy police in
the zones. As for protecting NGOs, particularly on the Masisi road,
North Kivu was now offering a heavier deployment on that road on
Mondays, as an alternative to MONUC escorts which NGOs now tended to
reject (for reasons of neutrality).

8. (SBU) Rawat said that none of the ten battalions that MONUC had
trained to combat FDLR were being used for that purpose but were,
rather, all now in and around the Petit Nord to deal with CNDP. He
said that every FARDC and government interlocutor had made clear to
him that their priority was CNDP and not FDLR. MinDef Chikez had
commented, for example, that there had been no FDLR atrocities over
the past five years. The agreed disengagement plan had called for
getting those battalions back into action in Operation Kimia, but
this had not commenced yet. He had hoped to restart training of new
battalions by September 15, but such did not now seem possible
before November 15. Meanwhile, he planned to pursue three small,
sequential, joint anti-FDLR efforts in Walikale territory, at
Nyabiondo in Masisi, and near Nyamalima in Rutshuru, where FDLR had
emplaced road barriers. (The first of these small operations should
already have taken place but had been deferred due to bad weather.)

What to Make of Nkunda

9. (SBU) In the follow-on non-military internal discussion,
Mountain said that MONUC in its public statement of October 3 had
firmly condemned Nkunda's BBC interview (which had called for the
overthrow of a democratically elected government). MONUC considers
the Acte d'Engagement to be valid, and continues to support the
Amani program. Moving faster in South Kivu and the Grand Nord was
not an abandonment of Amani. CNDP was welcome to return to the
process. One or two declarations did not mean the end of the peace
process, but CNDP was not the only armed group that needed to be
dealt with. MONUC would follow a robust Chapter 7 approach of
convince or compel, with peaceful means preferred. MONUC could and
should not be neutral between the government and a renegade military
group, and yet it had put heavy political pressure on the government
to make FARDC stop its attacks. There had not been a rapid
response to this pressure, but at last this pressure appeared to be

10. (SBU) Van de Geer said that Nkunda had gone completely
overboard. However, van de Geer still did not believe that there
was a military solution. As he had told President Kabila in
mid-September, the international facilitation had lost its link to
Nkunda. Now even if Nkunda wanted to meet, such a meeting would
need to be under the pre-condition of his re-embracing the Goma
process. However, if the government wanted the international
facilitation to meet Nkunda without pre-conditions, he would
consider the request in the interest of promoting peace. Ladjouzi
noted that Nkunda had become much more inflexible than the CNDP
advisors, both political and military, with whom the facilitation
and North Kivu brigade had maintained continual contact.
(Privately, to poloff, Ladjouzi characterized Nkunda, with whom he
has had contact for many years, as suddenly having become mentally

11. (SBU) MONUC political advisor Christian Manahl observed that,
while there might not be a military solution, it was nonetheless

KINSHASA 00000840 003 OF 003

necessary for MONUC to apply military pressure to advance both the
Goma and Nairobi processes. He noted that Rwanda's announcement of
non-attendance at the weekly Task Force meeting had come in the
midst of Nkunda's ever more intransigent statements. The Rwanda
angle needed more research. It could not be excluded that there was
a degree of encouragement (of Nkunda's intransigence) by Rwanda, and
also by Uganda.

Meeting with Malu Malu

12. (SBU) The afternoon meeting with Abbe Malu Malu included the
governors of North and South Kivu, PNDDR head Ntumba Luaba, and
General Mayala and other FARDC officers. Malu Malu did not dwell
long on the CNDP and Nkunda's BBC interview, other than to say that
MONUC and the international facilitators needed to show firmness
toward CNDP and a complete rejection of its anti-constitutional

13. (SBU) The subsequent lengthy discussion revolved about how best
to proceed in South Kivu and the Grand Nord to promote disarmament
of armed groups. Mountain suggested that building fourteen proposed
regroupment centers would be both costly and time-consuming, while
nine mobile units for registering demobilizing fighters already
existed and could be used. Malu Malu said that it was important,
particularly in the Grand Nord, to ensure that fighters were removed
from their home areas. The pre-existing brassage center at Nyaleke
in the Grand Nord would not require much investment to make it
ready. He urged that construction commence on all the regroupment
centers, while the mobile units could be used in some areas where it
made sense.


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