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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 18

VZCZCXRO9832
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1133 3531625
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181625Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8931
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 001133

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 18

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.


North Kivu Security Situation
-----------------------------

2. (SBU) According to information provided at the December 18 UN
security meeting in Goma, there has been heavy fighting between CNDP
and PARECO in Kahira and Bigogwe approximately 15 kilometers
northeast of Masisi Center, Masisi Territory. These two villages
had been controlled by PARECO, and the CNDP decided to attack them
at 5:00 AM this morning. The two villages are now under CNDP
control.

3. (SBU) Additionally, forced recruitment by the CNDP continues in
Rutshuru, Tongo, Rugari, Kibumba, and Rumangabo. The CNDP is
assessed to be recruiting more aggressively. The CNDP also
conducted a search of all houses in Kiwanja on December 17,
resulting in atrocities committed against the population. A health
center was looted and security guards were wounded because they did
not have the telephones and money that CNDP forces demanded.

4. (SBU) There was an exchange of fire in Goma during the night of
December 17 that lasted approximately 20 minutes. It turned out to
be between two groups of FARDC soldiers responding to a call of
armed robbery in a Goma neighborhood. The two groups did not have
communication equipment, preventing them from coordinating with each
other. Two soldiers were seriously wounded in the incident.

5. (SBU) It was also reported that heavily armed PARECO forces
(newly equipped with weapons they never had before) are concentrated
in Kisharu and Ishasha, Rutshuru Territory. Some of these forces
were seen yesterday moving toward Kiwanja, and were reportedly as
close as 15 kilometers away; the CNDP has also concentrated its
soldiers outside Kiwanja on the road to Ishasha. It was expected
that PARECO would reach Kiwanja the night of December 17, but as of
the present time no clashes have been reported in the area. Some
Kiwanja residents have started moving south toward Rutshuru.
Additionally, the FDLR has indicated that it will increase sabotage
operations in all CNDP controlled areas.

6. (SBU) At the December 16 UN security meeting, partners reported
that an armed attack occurred in the home of an international NGO
staff member in Goma town over the weekend. Additionally, sometime
between December 13 and 14, armed men in CNDP uniforms hijacked an
International Medical Corps (IMC) vehicle transporting two staff
members and a pregnant woman from the Kibumba health center to the
Virunga hospital in Goma. The soldiers threatened everyone in the
vehicle and ordered the driver to proceed to the Mahora IDP camp two
kilometers away. Upon arrival, a soldier who learned of the
hijacking arranged for the release of the vehicle and staff. As a
result of this incident, IMC has suspended activities in
CNDP-controlled territory pending a full investigation.

7. (SBU) NGO's held a meeting in Kiwanja on December 16 to discuss
the shooting death of the passenger in the AVSI vehicle on December
15. The CNDP attended and claimed they had apprehended an FARDC
defector responsible for the shooting. The CNDP used the
opportunity to demand the dismantling of the IDP camp just outside
the MONUC base in Rutshuru, a demand that MONUC rejected.

8. (SBU) MONUC is considering round-the-clock police patrol of the
Kibati IDP camp on the outskirts of Goma in an attempt to put a stop
to persistent cases of rape and harassment, typically perpetuated by
the FARDC. MONUC is concerned that these abuses could eventually
set off a broader conflagration.

Nairobi Process
---------------

9. (SBU) International Facilitation team will restart regular
meetings of the Joint Monitoring Group Task Force (JMG TF) in Goma
on December 19. USG Goma Poloff will chair the initial meetings.
Rwandan and DRC participants have agreed to attend and brief on
recent meetings of "4 x 4 commission" ministerial talks and the
ongoing Nairobi talks (Note: MONUC transported the eight person CNDP
negotiating team to Nairobi December 17. End note.). The restart of
the JMG TF could be a positive sign that the Nairobi process is
still alive.

GARVELINK

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