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Cablegate: Goma Notes - November 17

VZCZCXRO2772
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1015 3221346
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171346Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8789
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001015

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: GOMA NOTES - NOVEMBER 17

1. (U) The items contained in this report consist principally of
spot information from various sources. This report is not
exhaustive, nor can all the information contained therein be
confirmed at this time.

Security and Humanitarian Situation
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) A November 17 OCHA briefing reported continued heavy
fighting in Mirangi, 12 kilometers south of Kanyabayonga, beginning
on November 16. The fighting was most likely between FARDC and
CNDP, but FDLR involvement is also possible.

3. (SBU) There are increasing troop movements in the areas of
Kanyabayonga, Rwindi, Kiwanja, and Kikuku. FARDC has moved
southeast from Kanyabayonga toward Rwindi without encountering
resistance. CNDP is moving north toward Kanyabayonga from Kikuku.


4. (SBU) There was heavy artillery around Kanyabayonga on November
16, but it lasted only 20 minutes. However, the shelling caused
panic in Kanyabayonga town. CNDP forces have allegedly infiltrated
into town, causing the FARDC to be suspicious of any young men in
the area. Most of the women and children from Kayna and Kirumba
have moved toward Lubero and Butembo. The remaining residents,
primarily men, spend the night in the bush.

Political Developments
----------------------

5. (SBU) Newly-appointed UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes,
Olesugun Obasanjo, met Laurent Nkunda November 16 at Jomba, 80
kilometers northeast of Goma. At an ensuing press conference,
Obasanjo declared that Nkunda had fully accepted the former Nigerian
President in his role as Special Envoy. According to Obasanjo,
Nkunda agreed to respect the CNDP's unilateral cease-fire and to
continue to allow unconditional access to humanitarian corridors.


6. (SBU) Obasanjo said that Nkunda had transmitted to him a series
of demands and concerns, which he wanted Obasanjo to present to the
GDRC. During the press conference, Obasanjo mentioned the following
CNDP demands:

--direct discussions with the GDRC, without conditions, on questions
in the political, economic, and security spheres;

--recognition of the need to deal with the FDLR question;

--protection of minority groups;

--the question of integration of CNDP forces into the FARDC; and

--the integration of certain CNDP political elements into regional
administrative structures.

7. (SBU) During a November 15 briefing of Kinshasa-based
Ambassadors, Obasanjo said that he was encouraged by his discussions
with President Kabila and other senior DRC officials, as well as his
telephonic discussion with Nkunda. He said that there was "a level
of tolerance and accommodation" on both sides, which bodes well for
progress.

8. (SBU) Obasanjo stressed that it would be important to keep MONUC
strong, and not allow a perception of MONUC weakness to develop,
because MONUC would need to guarantee any durable cease-fire.
Obasanjo said that the successful implementation of any political
agreement would require additional financial support from the
international community. Most importantly, it would be important to
identify "some low-hanging fruits" to build some momentum in the
process.

9. (U) According to Radio Okapi, DRC Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Alexis Tambwe Mwamba, following a two-day visit to Kigali, announced
that the GDRC had proposed allowing a certain number of RDF
intelligence officers to operate with FARDC forces in North Kivu.
Tambwe Mwamba denied rumors that the GDRC had asked for RDF troops
to assist in combating the FDLR. Tambwe Mwamba said that Rwandan
intelligence officers on the ground would be in position to confirm
that the FARDC had not integrated FDLR forces, nor was it
cooperating with the rebel group.

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