Cablegate: Situation Report for Drc - October 29, 2008,
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0946/01 3032038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 292038Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8694
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000946
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO PHUM PREF CG
SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT FOR DRC - OCTOBER 29, 2008,
AS OF 9:00 PM CENTRAL AFRICAN TIME (GMT + 1)
Protection of American citizens
Note: All times Kinshasa (GMT + 1) unless otherwise indicated
-- EAC convened at 9:00 am to discuss deteriorating security
situation in eastern DRC. EAC recommended continued travel ban to
eastern Congo and restricted movement to essential meetings only,
and will continue to monitor the situation. (Kinshasa 945)
-- Following warden message issued at 11:30 am:
"American citizens in the town of Goma and surrounding areas should
evaluate their security situation and consider departing. Fighting
in the area is likely to continue."
-- Draft Travel Warning message recommending suspension of all but
essential travel to eastern DRC is submitted to Department at 2:00
pm. Clearance process underway; issuance expected this afternoon
-- At 3:00 pm RSO recommended evacuating USG staff from Goma.
Charge d'Affaires concurred and employees were contacted
immediately. All USG personnel (two direct hire, two contractors)
were in Rwanda by 5:07 pm. RSO's, CDA/DCM embassies Kinshasa and
Kigali in frequent phone contact to coordinate evacuation.
-- Second warden message issued at 5:00 pm: "US Embassy staff are
evacuating Goma. American citizens are urged to leave the city by
any means available."
Citizens of other countries
-- Canadian embassy in Kinshasa took steps to evacuate Canadian
citizens to Rwanda.
-- The French embassy reported it has evacuated its personnel to
-- Meeting held at 5:00 pm at OCHA headquarters in Goma to discuss
UN humanitarian and OCHA contingency plans for North Kivu.
-- As of 6:00 pm UN did not plan to evacuate personnel but instead
confine all personnel to MONUC compounds in Goma. Bukavu, DRC, some
100 kms. south of Goma and capital of the province of South Kivu, is
the designated evacuation point if evacuation becomes necessary.
Political, military developments
-- Goma report for October 28-29 (Kinshasa 944) contains latest
information on developments as of 10:00 am on October 29.
-- Charge attended briefing by Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe
Mwamba at 10:00 am on his meeting yesterday with President Kagame.
Thambwe Mwamba stated that Kagame had turned President Kabila's
proposal for a summit in Dar-es-Salaam and that he would not discuss
the CNDP as it is an internal Congolese matter.
-- Thambwe Mwamba also confirmed the DRC would attend the Tripartite
Plus meeting in Kigali November 11-12.
-- At 12:30 pm SRSG Doss called Charge to inform of "credible
reports" of RDF APC's crossing into the DRC at Kivumba. Charge met
with DATT and ORA. He also called Kinshasa's officer in Goma and
DCM Kigali with request to seek greater information. Interlocutors
were unable to confirm reports.
-- At 12:45 pm Charge called French DCM to ask if he knew about RDF
APC's. He did not; he called back later to say French diplomatic
and military staff in Goma had heard similar reports.
-- At 1:15 pm poloff Goma reported that FARDC's 82nd integrated
brigade (IB) had abandoned its positions at Kivumba and was
retreating with family members and large numbers of IDP's towards
-- Charge attempted to reach SRSG Alan Doss at 1:40 pm. When unable
to do so he then called Brigadier General I. B. Quartey, MONUC's
acting force commander, to request more information. General
Quartey confirmed FARDC retreat and stated that MONUC alone had been
left defending Kivumba. He was unable to confirm reports of Rwandan
APC's. Charge informed USG interlocutors of conversation with
Quartey via e-mail.
KINSHASA 00000946 002 OF 002
-- Weekly Goma conference call held at 3:00 pm between AF/C, USAID
Washington, Embassy Kinshasa's Goma office, and Embassy Kigali.
Major events reviewed.
-- Ambassador (currently in DC) called charge at 3:45 pm per
Charge's message at 2:45. Charge briefed ambassador on all
-- Charge called UK ambassador at 4:54 pm to discuss evacuation of
UK personnel from Goma and British efforts to achieve a ceasefire in
Goma. Ambassador states that UK ambassador to Rwanda will demarche
-- Charge called Alan Doss at 5:10 pm. Doss confirmed that he had
spoken twice with Nkunda who had agreed to a cease-fire as long as
FARDC does not renew fighting.
-- Charge called Tim Shortley at 5:36 to discuss latest developments
and A/S Frazer's trip to Kinshasa tomorrow.
-- Charge discusses security for A/S Frazer with presidential
advisor Marcellin Cishambo at 6:49 pm. Cishambo states that in the
unlikely (his view) event of disturbances in Kinshasa a helicopter
will be made available for A/S and her party to proceed from the
airport to office of the president.
-- Conference call is held at 7:00 pm between Charge, A/RSO, DS,
AF/C and Ops Center's Crisis Management Staff. Kinshasa agrees that
EAC will discuss "reverse trip wires" for the return of USG
employees to Goma at EAC meeting Friday. Charge states that travel
ban into Kinshasa by USG employees is not warranted at this time.
-- At 7:30 pm Charge is briefed by Operations Center on Secretary
Rice's call at 12:04 EDT to President Kagame.
-- Charge calls Alan Doss at 8:05 pm who reports that what appear to
be renegade FARDC soldiers have violated the ceasefire near Goma,
shooting at the CNDP. Other FARDC soldiers have attacked civilians
and looted inside Goma. Doss has given instructions to shoot
would-be attackers. He is also reaching out to Nkunda to request
that he not end the ceasefire and to the GDRC to ask that every
effort be made to respect the ceasefire.