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Cablegate: Eastern Congo Developments: Nkunda-

DE RUEHKI #1024/01 3231223
O 181223Z NOV 08



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Eastern Congo Developments: Nkunda-
Obasanjo Meeting; CNDP Consolidating Military
Gains in Rutshuru; Dungu Population Flees LRA

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.

2. (SBU) Summary: During his November 16 meeting with UN Special
Envoy Obasanjo, CNDP leader Laurent Nkunda presented a list of
demands for the GDRC. Nkunda voiced his support for the principles
of the Goma Accord, but he declared Amani dead and the International
Facilitation as biased. Nkunda agreed to integrate the CNDP into
the national army, but only after the FDLR problem is dealt with.
Nkunda also said he wanted to integrate his administrative entities
in CNDP areas into Congolese government structures. President
Kabila has reportedly agreed to a GDRC-Nkunda meeting in Nairobi,
however, because of scheduling conflicts, the meeting may not take
place until December. The CNDP has overrun the FARDC base at Rwindi
and is on the outskirts of Kanyabayonga, but multiple MONUC contacts
told us that the CNDP has not attacked Kanyabayonga. MONUC believes
the CNDP will try to consolidate its gains in the Rutshuru area, and
perhaps turn its attention to Masisi. A military court in Goma has
sentenced four soldiers to life in prison for rape, looting, and
desertion following the near-collapse of Goma on October 29. The
LRA continues to evoke fear in Province Orientale: up to 34,000
people have fled Dungu, which has a population of 55,000. End

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Obasanjo-Nkunda Meeting

3. (SBU) Press reports that Nkunda outlined eight demands to
Obasanjo during their November 16 meeting at Jomba, two kilometers
from the Bunagana border with Uganda:

-- direct negotiations with the GDRC in a third country under
neutral mediation;

-- renegotiation of DRC-Chinese business contracts;

-- cessation of all FARDC-FDLR cooperation;

-- protection of all minority groups in the DRC;

-- integration of the CNDP into the national army;

-- integration of police and civil servants in CNDP-controlled areas
into the national administration;

-- promotion of good governance and anti-corruption measures; and

-- after all other conditions are met, a position in the national
army for Nkunda.

4. (SBU) According to a report from someone at the meeting in
Jomba, Obasanjo and Nkunda met alone for a long period before
holding an open session. Nkunda's main point was that the CNDP now
rejected Amani because it was a government-controlled process, with
a biased International Facilitation. Nkunda reportedly reaffirmed
his commitment to the principles of the Goma process, without
mentioning the Actes d'Engagement. He did not mention anything
about a "national liberation movement." Our sources speculated that
Obasanjo, in his one-on-one with Nkunda, had convinced Nkunda to
back away from his "national uprising" pronouncements.

5. (SBU) Nkunda agreed to honor the CNDP's unilateral cease-fire
and to respect humanitarian corridors. A MONUC contact told
PolCouns that while Nkunda met with Obasanjo, CNDP forces were
moving in the vicinity of Kanyabayonga; after the CNDP had
consolidated its positions, it announced to Obasanjo that it would
respect a ceasefire. Obasanjo subsequently called Nkunda to
complain about the ceasefire violation. Nkunda reportedly
re-affirmed his commitment to the ceasefire and to withdraw 40
kilometers from his front lines; there are no signs, however, that
he has done this yet.

6. (SBU) Regarding the integration of CNDP administrators into
national structures, Nkunda was unclear whether he meant into
national or provincial entities. Nkunda reportedly said he "was
ready to enter the government."

7. (SBU) Our MONUC contact told us that the Obasanjo-Nkunda meeting
had gone reasonably well, with Nkunda pledging his full support to
the Special Envoy. Obasanjo had proposed a verification mechanism
to guarantee a cease-fire. Nkunda agreed, but only without MONUC
participation. Our MONUC source added that in fact MONUC was so

KINSHASA 00001024 002 OF 003

stretched that it would not want to take on such a task. According
to MONUC, Nkunda was demanding that the "FDLR problem" be completely
solved before CNDP would integrate into the FARDC.

Potential GDRC-CNDP Meeting

8. (SBU) Obasanjo reportedly obtained President Kabila's commitment
to direct GDRC-Nkunda talks in Nairobi. Nkunda has also agreed to
this format, but it is unlikely they will happen until December, at
the earliest because of logistical issues and travel schedules.

Other Political Developments

9. (SBU) UK Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Asia, and the
United Nations Lord Malloch Brown arrived in Kinshasa November 17
for a two-day visit to discuss the conflict in the East. He will
travel on to Goma.

Security Situation

10. (SBU) Information from a November 17 MONUC briefing in Goma
indicated that the CNDP had overrun the FARDC base at Rwindi, 10
kilometers southeast of Kanyabayonga. FARDC troops have retreated
northward toward Lubero, exhibiting very poor command and control.
MONUC reported that the CNDP has declared that it will not advance
on Kanyabayonga.

11. (SBU) Although Radio France International reported that the
CNDP had attacked Kanyabayonga, both MONUC Goma and MONUC Kinshasa
insisted that the CNDP had not attacked the city. A member of
MONUC's Joint Mission Analysis Cell told PolCouns that,
strategically, CNDP did not need to attack Kanyabayonga. Our MONUC
contact predicted that the CNDP, which now controls most of the
Rutshuru area, will consolidate its gains in the region. The CNDP
now controls commercial flows from the Grand Nord to the Petit Nord,
as well as trade from Uganda. Our MONUC interlocutor added that,
perhaps, the CNDP might now instead turn its attention to the Masisi
area. The CNDP was carrying out a big recruitment drive in the
areas it has recently conquered.

12. (SBU) In the view of our MONUC contact, it was a moot point
trying to determine whether or not the CNDP had broken its
unilateral cease-fire. The pattern was clear: CNDP would claim a
FARDC provocation, then it would capture territory. CNDP
rank-and-file had been frank with MONUC about their offensive

13. (SBU) Speculating as to why the CNDP would initiate an attack
on Rwindi during the visit of Special Envoy Obasanjo, Alpha Sow,
Head of MONUC Goma, said the Nkunda had claimed that FDLR forces
were at Rwindi. MONUC Colonel Cunliffe said that the North Kivu
Brigade had confirmed the presence of FDLR in the area. However,
MONUC JMAC told PolCouns that it doubted whether there were FDLR
forces in sufficient number at Rwindi to attract the CNDP's

14. (U) Radio Okapi reported that, as of early morning November 18,
a firefight continues between FARDC and Mai-Mai Pareco forces near
Kirumba, 250 kilometers north of Goma in southern Lubero. The
Pareco commander, "General" Lafontaine Mukambutho, told Radio Okapi
that his forces had engaged FARDC forces, which had deserted
Kanyabayonga northwards to Lake Edward. Lafontaine said the action
was intended to force FARDC forces back to Kanyabayonga.

15. (SBU) A military court in Goma sentenced four FARDC soldiers to
life in prison November 17 for desertion, rape, looting, and
unlawfully distributing ammunition. The same court sentenced
another FARDC soldier to six months in prison for shooting a
civilian. Three other FARDC soldiers, accused of desertion and
misdemeanors, were acquitted. All of the infractions took place
October 29-30, when the FARDC in Goma collapsed. Military officials
are reportedly investigating other dossiers involving soldiers
accused of murder, rape, looting, and desertion.

LRA Update

16. (U) According to Radio Okapi, 34,000 people have fled the city
of Dungu, which has a population of 55,000. The population fears
continued attacks by the LRA, and has fled into the bush and to
areas near Niangara and Isiro. Schools and business operations have

KINSHASA 00001024 003 OF 003

ground to a halt, as students and teachers have fled to outlying
areas. The territorial administrator remains concerned about the
fate of 350 pupils who have been kidnapped by the LRA.

17. (U) Radio Okapi reported that on November 16, a joint operation
by the FARDC, Congolese National Police, and the national
intelligence service netted 38 suspected LRA rebels in the village
of Isiro, 600 kilometers northeast of Kisangani. The security
forces acted based on rumors circulating that LRA rebels were among
the large number of IDP's who had recently moved from Dungu to


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