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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 29

VZCZCXRO5859
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1163 3641004
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291004Z DEC 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8970
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 001163

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 29

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) The CNDP continued to accuse the FARDC of advancing into
areas from which the CNDP had withdrawn in early December. FARDC
denied the CNDP accusations and, according to MONUC, its
investigators have also refuted the CNDP claims.

3. (SBU) USAID/DART staff received unconfirmed reports of fighting
between CNDP and PARECO forces near Masisi town on December 24.
MONUC reported that Mai Mai forces had looted various sites in
Nyamilima, Vitshumbi, and Rwindi the weekend of December 27-28.
Starting December 24, the FDLR has increased its troop levels in
Virunga Park between Rwindi and Lake Edward, according to UN
sources.

4. (SBU) On December 23, UN security officials met with the CNDP
Liaison Committee in Rutshuru to discuss the recent spate of attacks
against NGO staff and vehicles. The CNDP blamed the FDLR for the
attacks, promising to take additional steps to prevent these attacks
in CNDP-controlled territory.

5. (U) Radio Okapi reported that, according to an unnamed human
rights activist, the CNDP has forcibly recruited five boys, aged 15
to 17, from the town of Kiwanja. CNDP officials denied these
accusations, noting that many young men have "voluntarily joined the
CNDP."

6. (U) DRC Defense Minister Mwanda Nsimba and DRC CHOD Didier
Etumba arrived in Goma December 28, reportedly to meet with their
Rwandan counterparts.

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

7. (U) Multiple media sources reported that LRA fighters attacked
the village of Faradje, near the Sudanese border, on December 24 and
25. Original estimates of 20 deaths have been revised upward to
over 75 civilian deaths, according to Medard Autsai Senga, Governor
of Orientale Province. Autsai Senga added that the central
government would soon send an important delegation to Faradje to
"help the devastated population." MONUC transported approximately
100 FARDC soldiers to Faradje on December 26 to boost security and
protect civilians.

8. (SBU) During a December 24 discussion with Goma PolOff, UNICEF
Officer in Charge (OIC) for Eastern DRC said that LRA troops would
almost certainly move towards the CAR. He added that LRA forces
"know the area and have traveled the road many times." The OIC
predicted that, unless the FARDC and MONUC establish authority in
remote areas, the LRA would return to Garmba Park, if the UPDF
withdraws.

9. (SBU) The OIC said that UNICEF has a program, in conjunction
with its Italian implementing partner Cooperazione Internazional
(COOPI), to rehabilitate and reintegrate LRA child soldiers. COOPI
has accepted 32 LRA child soldiers since August, apparently
successfully reintegrating the youth into their villages. UNICEF
had taken on five LRA dependents who surrendered following the
December 14 assault on LRA camps. According to the OIC, he has been
in contact with UNICEF colleagues in Bangui to commence this program
in the CAR, in the event LRA child soldiers appear in the CAR.

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

10. (SBU) According to OCHA, more than 15,000 families and 2,000
IDP households, originally displaced because of FARDC looting, have
returned to Kanyabayonga. Humanitarian organizations have also
registered accelerating returns in recent weeks to Bihamwe, Osso,
and Matanda, all in Masisi Territory.

11. (SBU) Nevertheless, humanitarian organizations noted that more
than 2,000 IDP families have recently registered in Masisi town.
The humanitarian situation in Masisi could deteriorate with the new
arrivals compounding growing concerns of food insecurity, as many
families missed the planting season.

GARVELINK

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