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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 19

VZCZCXRO0679
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1136 3540847
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 190847Z DEC 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8938
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 001136

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 19

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) MONUC and other sources report that the CNDP has been
reinforcing its positions around Masisi for several weeks and that
these actions have lately been accompanied by troop movements to the
northwest and north. MONUC reported on December 18 that a recent
CNDP advance in the direction of Pinga was allegedly repulsed by
PARECO. Additionally, MONUC briefers told the International
Facilitation team on December 18 that reliable sources report a
"massive" CNDP build-up in Kitchanga, to the north-east of Masisi.

3. (SBU) A senior MONUC military source in Goma speculated to
poloff that the CNDP may stage a military strike in the near future
as a way to keep pressure on the negotiations in Nairobi. He noted
that such a move in the vicinity of Masisi would break Nkunda's
promise to maintain his current lines, but would be consistent with
his past behavior.

4. (SBU) To the north of CNDP territory, MONUC has noted an
increase in the Mai Mai presence south of Kanyabayonga. CNDP forces
are nearby in Kirumba, and the possibility of a clash is high,
according to Rutshuru-based MONUC patrols.

5. (SBU) A USAID DART staff member, touring USG-funded facilities
in North Kivu from December 13-17, reported seeing a large number of
FARDC troops camped on hillsides in the small town of Kamandi, at
the southern tip of Lake Edwards. The FARDC had blocked the road to
the town, but the hills overlooking the lake were still visible.
The DART member was unable to estimate the numbers, but said a
Doctors without Borders source told him the FARDC had moved four
brigades (12,000 soldiers) into the vicinity of the town, and that
all the citizens had fled.

6. (SBU) Comment: Shootings in town, movement of forces, and
rampant rumors have contributed to higher tensions in Goma. Upon
investigation, many reports turn out to be false or exaggerated.
But potential flashpoints remain very real, and MONUC is braced for
the possibility of a larger clash, particularly in the strategic
Masisi region. End comment.

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