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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 23

VZCZCXRO3415
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1150 3581206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231206Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8949
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 001150

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 23

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 Situation
------------------

2. (SBU) MONUC confirmed that CNDP and PARECO forces engaged in a
firefight on December 19 on the Rutshuru-Kanyabayongo road, with
four PARECO combatants killed. CNDP and PARECO also clashed near
Ndoko, northwest of Masisi. According to MONUC, CNDP continues to
augment its forces in this region.

3. (SBU) On December 22, five armed men stopped an IRC vehicle on
the Goma-Rutshuru road, shooting several rounds into the air before
stealing cell phones, cash, and other personal property. The IRC
personnel were unhurt. IRC's provincial director told Goma Poloff
that she has ordered all IRC workers out of CNDP controlled
territory, but she was uncertain if the robbers were CNDP.

4. (SBU) As a result of this incident, MONUC has raised the
security level from yellow to red on the Goma-Rutshuru corridor. An
OCHA official told Goma Poloff that the road north of Rutshuru was
even more dangerous, with Mai Mai forces concentrated in the area.


5. (SBU) During the weekend of December 20-21, MONUC reported seven
cease-fire violations in South Kivu. Although the violations were
minor cases of harassment, MONUC expressed concern because the area
had been generally free of incidents for a significant period.

LRA - Operation Lightening Thunder
----------------------------------

6. (SBU) UPDF forces told MONUC that they found weapons, satellite
phones, and documents at abandoned LRA camps, suggesting the rebels
had fled suddenly. An unknown number of rebel bodies were also
recovered.

7. (SBU) Press reports claim that Kony is retreating towards the
Central African Republic, looting and abducting civilians en route.
MONUC reported that the LRA launched an attack in Southern Sudan on
December 18. Contrary to UPDF expectations, only 6-9 LRA dependents
have surrendered.

Humanitarian Situation
----------------------

8. (SBU) On December 20, two members of the USAID/DART team visited
the Mugunga III IDP camp in Goma to evaluate conditions and monitor
the progress of the UNHCR-initiated transfers to the Kibati camps.
The camp has expanded since the December 12 USAID/DART assessment
visit, with USAID/OFDA partner IMC consulting with 15-20 new
patients daily. This is in addition to the average caseload of
60-70 IDP's from the original camp population. IMC reported that
the transfers continue in an orderly and smooth fashion, as UNHCR
restricts group transfers to approximately 600 people daily.

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