Cablegate: National Assembly Adopts Crisis Plan to Deal
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FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8727
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 KINSHASA 000973
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TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS CRISIS PLAN TO DEAL
WITH CRISIS IN COUNTRY'S EASTERN REGION
1. (SBU) Summary: The National Assembly adopted on October 28 a
non-binding plan for the DRC to deal with the crisis in eastern DRC.
(Note: An unofficial embassy translation of the plan begins at
para. 9. End note.) The plan proposes alternatives for political,
military, and diplomatic dialogue between GDRC, CNDP, Rwanda and
regional and international partners. The plan suggests direct
negotiations between the GDRC and CNDP (level undetermined),
heretofore a redline for President Joseph Kabila. The deployment of
a multinational deterrent force to North Kivu under UN mandate is
recommended in the plan, as is continued DRC security sector reform.
The Assembly plan calls for a renewed effort at regional economic
cooperation and international monitoring of illegal mineral exports
to choke off financing for armed groups. The plan represents an
important forward step in the evolution of the Assembly as an
institution to be reckoned with. Also, the plan may represent
political cover for the GDRC to open discrete direct negotiations
with Nkunda without sacrificing ground to hawks in Kabila's inner
circle. End summary.
2. (U) The National Assembly, meeting in a special plenary session
October 28, adopted a non-binding proposal to resolve the crisis in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The crisis "exit plan" was
conceived by the Executive Bureau of the Assembly as a continuum of
the peace processes started in Lusaka, Pretoria, Luanda, and Sun
City. The plan places an emphasis on political and diplomatic
dialogue, but incorporates military and economic considerations as
3. (U) The plan, after recounting the current positions of the GDRC
and dissident general Laurent Nkunda's CNDP and noting the urgent
need for action, proposes direct political and military dialogue
between the GDRC and CNDP. In exhorting the CNDP to honor its Amani
Program commitments and follow the MONUC disengagement plan, the
plan also calls for direct negotiations between the FARDC and CNDP
via a MONUC-led Joint Military Committee. The military dialogue
would occur outside of the Amani framework, which the Assembly
labels as "too bureaucratic."
4. (U) The plan proposes a political dialogue incorporating the
GDRC, CNDP, armed groups, local North Kivu community leaders, and
civil society. The goal would be a signed agreement, possibly at the
AU in Addis Ababa or another suitable location, with the support of
the GDRC, rotational presidency of AU, AU Commission Chair, UN, and
EU. The terms of the dialogue would be defined by a preparatory
committee representing all the participants.
5. (U) In addition to direct political dialogue between the CDRC
and CNDP, the proposal calls for a renewal of diplomatic dialogue
between GDRC and Rwanda. The pathway to the restored relations
would include a review of the process initiated by the Nairobi
Communique, reactivation of the Mobutu-era regional economic forum
(CEPGL - "Communaute economique des pays des grand lacs" in French),
DRC-Rwanda ministerial-level meetings, and a series of regional and
international partner summits preceding a DRC-Rwanda head of state
summit publicly announcing a program to resume diplomatic
6. (U) The Assembly also endorsed the deployment, under UNSC
mandate, of a multinational intervention force of the type utilized
in 2003 during the Operation Artemis in Ituri District. The purpose
of the force would be to deter refractory armed groups and the force
would be led by the UN with support from the EU, AU, SADC, and U.S.
The plan cites progress towards peace as providing a window for the
reform of the FARDC, which must prioritize the recruitment of
competent, new soldiers and draw upon the institutional knowledge of
highly trained ex-FAZ ("Forces armees Zairoises" in French)
7. (U) The plan identifies three areas of economic focus to assist
in resolving the crisis: the need for emergency economic programs
as presented in the Amani Program; the re-launching of CEPGL
initiatives and other regional economic projects; and the
application of illegal mineral export (coltane, cassiterite, and
gold) monitoring measures by the international community. The plan
notes the material and economic benefit that armed groups derive
from illegal exports and the need to monitor airport transit points
in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Kenya. The plan references the
precedent of the UNSC sponsored monitoring measures applied in
Sierra Leone to counter the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) trade
in conflict diamonds.
8. (SBU) Comment: The genesis of the plan by the National Assembly
represents a forward step in the continuing evolution of the
institution and its relationship with the Presidency. National
Assembly president Vital Kamerhe of North Kivu is heavily invested
KINSHASA 00000973 002 OF 005
politically in the Amani process as a member of the Wise Men's
Committee ("Comite des sages" in French) during the Goma Conference;
his political interest in spearheading functional alternatives to
the crisis cannot be discounted. The statement by the newly
confirmed GDRC government November 3 rejecting direct talks with
Nkunda, which was criticized by several North Kivu deputies, would
appear to signal a partial rejection of the Assembly plan. However,
and perhaps more likely, it may represent the creation of political
cover for the GDRC to open discrete direct negotiations with Nkunda
without sacrificing ground to hawks in the Kabila circle. End
9. (U) Unofficial embassy translation of exit plan follows.
Begin unofficial embassy translation:
Democratic Republic of Congo
EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO CRISIS EXIT PLAN ADOPTED AT THE
PLENARY SESSION OF WEDNESDAY 29 OCTOBER 2008
EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO CRISIS EXIT PLAN
In light of the events that our population in the East of the
country are currently living, it can be said, one the one hand, that
history repeats itself, and on the other, that they represent the
last obstacle in a long process that began in Victoria Falls on 8
August 1998, went through the Lusaka, Pretoria, Luanda, and Sun City
Agreements, up to the elections.
In either case, there is no need to be pessimistic or defeatist.
Problems in North Kivu are not much more complex than those that
were seen at other times in Boende, Lisala, Kabinda and Kabalo, when
the plans being implemented were called the Kampala Disengagement
Plan and the Sub-plans of Harare. As those of the past, the current
problem can also be untangled through political and diplomatic
Thus, in its plenary session of this Wednesday 29 October 2008,
devoted exclusively to the crisis in the East, the National Assembly
has just adopted the present Crisis Exit Plan.
A. PLAN SPECIFICS
I. Emergency humanitarian plan
The situation on the ground has degraded badly these last few days,
causing a veritable humanitarian catastrophe. This calls for a
general mobilization on both national and international levels.
Available statistics indicate that at least 50 children die each day
in camps for displaced persons, not counting adults, especially
pregnant women and the elderly, who perish from lack of basic
medical care. Others, especially children, die from lack of food
and potable water.
This picture takes on apocalyptic tones when we receive information
describing attacks on camps where people displaced by war were
assembled, i.e. defenseless civilians, who are now dispersed in the
bush and in the forest, at the mercy of all sorts of diseases, wild
animals, weather, and are thus exposed to unimaginable violence and
suffering. This is genocide in all but name.
We will never say it loud enough: in North Kivu, there are nearly
two million internally displaced people who are without assistance
right now. This situation is five times worse than Darfur!
In this context, the question to be asked is how many displaced
people, how many deaths, in short, how many casualties will it take
to turn the International Community's attention to the tragedy that
is taking place today in North Kivu, in Ituri, Haut-Uele and
A large-scale humanitarian plan is now more urgent than ever.
II. Background on the Government and CNDP Positions
1. CNDP Position
-- direct negotiations with the Government outside the AMANI Program
and outside the country.
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2. DRC Government Position
-- the CNDP must unconditionally implement the resolutions of the
Goma Conference which include a statement of commitment to which it
-- the AMANI Program remains the only framework for discussion and
for resolving the conflict in North Kivu;
-- no direct political negotiations between the Government and the
-- the CNDP must adopt the disengagement plan and apply it
3. Compromise Positions
Here, the objective is to bring both camps toward a median position
so that there is no clear winner and loser. This position requires,
therefore, concessions on both parts.
a. Concessions of both parties
-- Concession on the part of CNDP:
Return to the AMANI Program;
Adopt the disengagement plan.
-- Concession on the part of the Government:
On the one hand, accept military and political dialogue with the
CNDP, and on the other hand, accept diplomatic dialogue with
III. Military Dialogue
Discussion between the FARDC and CNDP Operations Commanders in the
presence of MONUC, with a view to:
-- obtain a cease-fire;
-- explore all possible modalities to make the disengagement
-- set up joint verification mechanisms.
Note: Keeping in mind the experience of the Kampala Disengagement
Plan, a permanent military dialogue should be maintained in order to
avoid possible misunderstandings. To do this, a Joint Military
Commission (JMC) shall be established, chaired by MONUC and the two
Operations Commanders from the FARDC and CNDP.
This formula has the advantage of being at the same time effective
and pragmatic, and to restrict the problem to a strictly military
context, thus removing it from the AMANI Program which has become
too bureaucratic. It also offers more guarantees to the parties in
To be clear, the Joint Military Commission that will arise from this
dialogue will set up a realistic calendar to which all parties will
commit to accept.
IV. Political Dialogue
-- Examine the CNDP's list of grievances
-- The location will be determined according to constraints of the
moment, and, if not held in DRC, this dialogue may be held in Addis
Ababa, seat of the African Union, or in Dar Es Salaam, this year's
Chair of the African Union;
-- In addition to the Government and the CNDP, these talks will
include the participation of delegates of armed groups of various
axes, as well as representatives of grassroots communities and civil
-- A political compromise shall be adopted and signed by these
representatives in the presence of the President of the Democratic
Republic of Congo, the then-President of the African Union, the
President of the African Union Commission, and representatives of
the United Nations and the European Union;
-- A Joint Preparatory Committee will be set up to prepare and
elaborate the terms of reference of this dialogue.
V. Diplomatic Dialogue
KINSHASA 00000973 004 OF 005
-- Evaluate the Nairobi Process;
-- Launch the CEPGL by designating three representatives for the
DRC, in accordance with the Goma Conference;
-- Begin the process to normalize diplomatic relations with Rwanda,
following the steps below:
1. Symbolic restitution of the Rwandan Embassy building, located on
Avenue de la Justice, currently occupied by squatters;
2. Meeting between the two Foreign Affairs Ministers, which shall
end with a simple statement of intent to normalize diplomatic
3. Quadripartite meeting in the presence of delegates from the
United States and the European Union, between the DRC, Rwanda, the
United Nations and the African Union, to explore mechanisms to
reinforce the Nairobi Plan as achieved by operation Kimia;
4. Preparatory meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers for a
Mini-Summit of the DRC and Rwandan Heads of State;
5. Mini-summit of the Presidents of DRC and Rwanda, facilitated by
the African Union or the United Nations Secretary General;
6. As the outcome of this Summit, a solemn statement shall be
published announcing a program to reestablish diplomatic relations.
VI. Deploying an Artemis-type intervention force
Guaranteeing the success of the military, political and diplomatic
dialogues will require a strong commitment of the International
Community, headed by the United Nations, the European Union, the
African Union, the SADC and the United States of America.
We think that adopting a Security Council Resolution creating
Artemis-type special force in the East will constitute a dissuasive
challenge to the persistent groups in North Kivu and South Kivu
provinces in particular, and in the Great Lakes region in general.
VI. Economic Development
To maximize the plan's chances of success, the poverty that
underlies the violence in the Sub-Region must be addressed. Thus,
concomitantly with the military, political and diplomatic work, the
rapid launching of development projects to use the manpower that
will be made available by demobilization is essential.
On this topic, the Goma Conference had elaborated an Emergency
Development Plan taking into account the need to establish a healthy
economy completely under the control of the state.
VII. Restart of CEPGL
In the same order of ideas, wishing to consolidate the peace and
stability in the Great Lakes Region, it will be necessary to restart
economic projects of common interest.
The projects to be restarted include:
b. exploitation of methane gas (SOCIGAZ);
c. construction of Ruzizi III;
d. roads and telecommunications.
IX. Measures to control the illicit exploitation and
commercialization of coltan, cassiterite and gold
It has been established that the ex-FAR Interahamwe and all armed
groups obtain supplies, among other things, from the illicit
exploitation of cassiterite, coltan and gold. Therefore, measures
to control and certify these materials are essential. The
International Community will have to establish surveillance posts in
export areas of DRC airports, and transit areas in Rwanda, Burundi
and Kenya airports. This is nothing new, for the Security Council
had at one time taken analogous measures against "blood diamonds" in
Sierra Leone to cut off RUF rebel supplies.
To make this measure successful, the Federation of Congo Businesses
and other employer organizations of the transit countries mentioned
above will have to be involved, by making their affiliates aware of
the evils of this illicit precious metals "blood" trade, under
KINSHASA 00000973 005 OF 005
penalty of prosecution and severe sanctions. The International
Community, however, with disconcerting complacency, takes into
account import statistics of these countries.
Great works will also have to be carried out in Ituri, Haut-Uele and
Bas-Uele to eliminate all the demobilized combatants currently
roving in these areas.
X. National Army Reform
Applying the peace plan will thus allow the State seriously to work
on the meteoric rise of a professional and dissuasive Army capable
of protecting the lives and goods of people living on Congolese
This vast reform of the Army will focus on recruiting young soldiers
according to criteria such as physical aptitude, civic values and
Officers trained in military schools of higher education, who served
in the national army in the Zaire era, and are currently inactive
(commonly called ex-FAZ), will also be called upon.
Peace, or at least a similarly intervening respite, is essential to
the in-depth reform of the Army.
Kinshasa, October 29, 2008
End unofficial embassy translation.