Cablegate: Prominent Banyamulenge Criticizes Nkunda

DE RUEHKI #0897/01 2911054
O 171054Z OCT 08



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Prominent Banyamulenge Criticizes Nkunda

1. (SBU) Summary: Enoch Ruberangabo Sebineza, a prominent
Banyamulenge leader, recently told post that Nkunda's actions were
in fact creating anti-Tutsi sentiment throughout the Kivus. Nkunda
was thus putting Congolese Tutsis at risk, rather than protecting
the community, as he constantly claimed his role was. Sebineza
maintains that Rwanda is supporting the CNDP, although Kigali should
realize that instability in the Kivus is not in its interest.
Sebineza said that Amani should be pursued, but, perhaps, at two
different speeds and with different elements for North and South
Kivu. Sebineza said that influential Congolese Tutsis continue to
live in the DRC and to cooperate with their Hutu compatriots. End

Nkunda Fanning Extremism on Both Sides

2. (SBU) On October 15, PolCouns and Poloff met with Enoch
Ruberangabo Sebineza, a Banyamulenge from the Uvira region and a
prominent member of South Kivu civil society. Sebineza presented a
communique, in which the "Banyamulenge Community" condemned the
"declaration of war" issued by CNDP leader Laurent Nkunda. The
communique maintained that Nkunda has endangered the interests of
Congolese Tutsis; he has encouraged extremists on both sides; and he
has exacerbated divisions between North and South Kivu. The
communique also reiterates support for the Amani Process and calls
on the CNDP to return to the process.

3. (SBU) Sebineza conceded that the Banyamulenge Tutsi community in
the Kivus is split between those who look to Rwanda to protect their
interests and others, like himself, who believe Rwanda is
complicating the situation. The interests of the Banyamulenge, in
Sebineza's view, are not necessarily aligned with the interests of

4. (SBU) Nkunda's words and actions, according to Sebineza, are
fanning the fires of Tutsi and Hutu extremists, especially in North
Kivu. He has created "one million Hutu Congolese" IDP's. Hutu
extremists are increasingly viewing the FARDC-CNDP conflict as a
"Tutsi War." Nkunda's intransigence and combativeness is therefore
harming the Banyamulenge community, rather than protecting it, as
Nkunda constantly claimed he was doing. Tutsi extremism was
breeding anti-Tutsi sentiment.

Rwanda Supporting CNDP

5. (SBU) Sebineza said it was obvious that Rwanda was supporting
the CNDP. Sebineza maintained that, when Colonel Jules Mutebusi and
Nkunda left Bukavu in 2004, Mutebusi left with 200 fighters for
Gikongoro, Rwanda. After the Gikongoro barracks were dismantled,
Mutebusi began "lending" fighters and officers, such as Major Elias
Rubibi and Colonel Eric Ruhorimberea, to the CNDP. Additionally,
Sebineza claimed that injured CNDP combatants are regularly treated
in Rwanda. Sebineza added that around 80% of the Kigali
Presidential Guard were from the Masisi region, Congolese Tutsis who
fought in the 1997-2003 wars, then went to Rwanda.

6. (SBU) In Sebineza's view, it was not in Rwanda's interests to
allow a "Somali-type" situation to exist in the Kivus. Rwanda could
achieve its security objectives without supporting the CNDP. The
international community, according to Sebineza, should put much more
pressure on Kigali to stop its support for the CNDP. The GDRC, for
its part, should concentrate more on reforming the FARDC.

Different Speeds for Amani in North and South Kivu
--------------------------------------------- -----

7. (SBU) Sebineza said that the Amani Program had weaknesses, but
he underscored that there was no other alternative but to push
forward with it. He noted that there had been more progress with
implementing Amani in South Kivu, where the origin of the rebel
groups was indigenous, than in North Kivu, where foreign involvement
had encouraged rebel activity. In Sebineza's view, Amani should not
be discarded, but, perhaps, it should be adapted to the particular
circumstances of North and South Kivu. This would allow for two
different speeds for implementation of Amani.

Congolese Hutu-Tutsi Cooperation

8. (SBU) Sebineza said that there are numerous examples of
Hutu-Tutsi cooperation in the DRC. Eugene Serafuli, former North
Kivu Governor and currently President of the National Electricity
Company (SNEL-Societe Nationale d'Electricite), is a Hutu with
connections to PARECO. However, he chose Leon Muheto, a Tutsi with
CNDP connections and also a cousin of CNDP spokesman Rene Abandi, as

KINSHASA 00000897 002 OF 002

his deputy. Sebineza claimed that there are "four Tutsi generals"
living in Kinshasa, as well as several senators (Edouard
Mwangachuchu and Moise Nyarugabo). Sebineza asked rhetorically if
Nkunda was really fighting for the rights of Tutsis.

Biographical Note

9. (SBU) Sebineza has been an active figure in inter-Congolese
dialogue. He served as a parliamentarian for three years and was an
unsuccessful candidate for a Senate seat. He told us that he has
been living in Kinshasa since January 2008, after the Goma Accords
were signed. He also lived in Kinshasa during the 2003-2006
transition period. He is now President of the Societe Siderurgique
de Maluku (SOSIDER), a steel manufacturing company.

10. (SBU) A MONUC contact said that Sebineza is a member of the
Badamurwa clan, a minor clan that also includes Zebede Gasore (FRF)
and Alexis Gisaro (RCD-G). According to our contact, Sebineza has
always played "an ambiguous game," for a time supporting the FRF.
However, at the January Goma Conference, the GDRC successfully wooed
Sebineza and Bizima Karaha to its side, isolating Azarias Ruberwa,
Moise Nyarugao, and the Basinzira clan.


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