Cablegate: Eac Convenes: Goma Security Situation Remains Tenuous
P 301259Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8702
INFO AMEMBASSY KIGALI
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000952
DEPT FOR DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA, AF/EX
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT ASEC CG
SUBJECT: EAC CONVENES: GOMA SECURITY SITUATION REMAINS TENUOUS
1. (SBU) Post convened an EAC meeting on October 30 to discuss
yesterday's evacuation of USG staff and the current security
situation in Eastern DRC. EAC recommended continued travel
restriction to Eastern Congo and all Mission staff remain in Gisenyi
until further notice.
2. (SBU) American Citizens in North Kivu
Consular reported forty-four American citizens are currently in the
North Kivu area. Warden notices were sent through the consular
notification system regarding the deteriorating security situation
in North Kivu. One third of the Americans had already left the
region, another third decided to remain in the Goma area, and
Consular was having difficulty contacting the final third.
3. (SBU) Improved Communications
EAC discussed the potential repercussions of the fighting in the
East in Kinshasa in following days, and stressed the urgency of
ensuring embassy communication lists are accurate and up to date.
Post's new cellular phone message texting system is expected to come
online today, which will increase the speed and coverage of
emergency messaging. In addition, Post's phone list databases are
being revalidated. Post's management is instructing all LES to
ensure contact information is current and accurate. A Management
Notice will be distributed to all embassy staff this afternoon,
detailing the EAC's decisions and recommending preparatory steps for
possible demonstrations within Kinshasa.
4. (SBU) Reverse Tripwires
EAC also discussed reverse tripwires and recommended only essential
personnel return to Goma when the following conditions are met:
- Cessation of fighting within 20 kilometers of Goma.
- Civil order restored within Goma.
- Secure perimeter established within 20 kilometers of Goma.
5. (SBU) Post remains concerned about the potential for violent
demonstrations within Kinshasa, especially anti-MONUC
demonstrations. Post will continue to closely monitor the situation
and report ongoing developments.
6. (U) POC is RSO Christopher K. Gu at 243.81.884.4608 (cell) or
243.81.556.0151 ext. 2207 (IVG 934).