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Cablegate: Drc - Tip Watch List Interim Assessment

VZCZCXRO1226
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1009/01 3191440
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141440Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8775
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001009

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SMIG KTIP KCRM KWMN CG
SUBJECT: DRC - TIP WATCH LIST INTERIM ASSESSMENT

REF: STATE 110849


1. (SBU) Summary: The GDRC has taken first steps to address human
trafficking. The Congolese National Demobilization Agency (in
French--Unite d'Execution du Programme National de Desarmament,
Demobilisation, et Reinsertion (UEPN-DDR)) launched a national
awareness campaign of zero tolerance for child soldiers in June.
The Congolese Government has assisted in the demobilization of 540
children during 2008. There are no new developments with the prior
year cases of Gedeon and Colonel 106. They remain in indefinite
detention. In April, a FARDC officer was successfully prosecuted
for recruiting child soldiers. Provincial ministries of education
work closely with NGO's to reinsert children working in mines back
into the formal education system. There is a growing recognition by
government officials of the problem of child prostitution, however
they have yet to take concrete action. The GDRC has shown a growing
political will to address trafficking problems, especially at the
provincial level, but additional efforts should be taken.

Child Soldiers
--------------

2. (SBU) The GDRC has taken positive steps in 2008 to address human
trafficking. Attempting to address the problem of child soldiers,
the Congolese National Demobilization Agency (in French--Unite
d'Execution du Programme National de Desarmament, Demobilisation, et
Reinsertion (UEPN-DDR)) launched a national awareness campaign of
zero tolerance for child soldiers in Kinshasa, Goma, and Bukavu
respectively on June 16, 21, and 23. Through lobbying efforts it
targeted both military and political leaders. For the general
public, UEPN-DDR produced sketches, public service announcements,
and debates broadcasted by six radio and TV stations in July and
August. According to its September 30 quarterly report of
activities, UEPN-DDR also sent field teams to 23 sites throughout
South Kivu, North Kivu, Katanga, and Equateur Provinces.

3. (SBU) The GDRC, along with assistance from MONUC and
international NGO's, has assisted with the demobilization of 540
children this year, according to MONUC Child Protection. The
children have come from all the different rebel groups, including
31% from various Mai Mai, 19% from PARECO, 19% from CNDP, 19% from
FDLR factions, and the remaining 12% from other small groups.

Update on Prior Cases
---------------------

4. (SBU) According to the United Nations Human Rights Office in the
DRC (UNHRO), the Kynugu Mutanga (a.k.a. Gedeon) trial still
continues in limbo after its suspension on July 1. The Lubumbashi
Bar Association initiated a strike on that day to protest the arrest
of four lawyers without due process. The lack of lawyers forced the
Lubumbashi Military Court to postpone the trial indefinitely. The
Military Prosecutor's office and the Bar Association are in current
negotiations to resolve the impasse.

5. (SBU) Colonel 106 continues in confinement at Makala Prison in
Kinshasa, per the UNHRO. Although suspected of recruiting child
soldiers, military authorities initially only charged him with
rebellion and conspiring against the state following his September
2007 arrest. Authorities have not brought any new charges against
him, nor has a trial date been set.

Successful Prosecution
----------------------

6. (U) According to MONUC's Child Protection Division, the Bukavu
Military Court sentenced FARDC Major Bwasolo Misaba to five years in
prison on April 7 for recruiting children between 10 and 14 years
old and for illegal use of military ranks. Per MONUC, this is only
the second time that authorities have convicted a FARDC officer for
recruiting children.

Child Labor
-----------

7. (SBU) Per the Ministry of Labor, the National Committee Against
the Worst forms of Child Labor has finally been established.
However, it has yet to take any action. The committee is awaiting
approval of the 2009 budget before commencing with enforcement
activities.

8. (SBU) Although the national government has not addressed the
issues of debt bondage and child labor in the mining sector,
provincial ministries of education are working with NGO's to address

KINSHASA 00001009 002 OF 002


the problem. Representatives from Save the Children and Solidarity
Center told us that they coordinate closely with the provincial
education ministries in Mbuji Mayi, Bunia, and Lubumbashi to
implement projects that aim to reinsert children working in mines
into the formal education system.

Child Prostitution
------------------

9. (SBU) Government officials in Kinshasa, Goma, and Lubumbashi
have told us that they recognize that child prostitution is a
growing problem in the DRC. However, authorities have yet to take
concrete action against it.

10. (SBU) Comment: Even though the GDRC faces capacity limitations
in its efforts to combat trafficking-in-persons, it has shown
positive steps and a growing political will to attack the problem.
Although there may appear to be inaction at the national level at
times, provincial officials are often at the forefront of
governmental response to trafficking problems. End Comment.

BROCK

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