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Cablegate: Eastern Drc Notes - December 30

VZCZCXRO7297
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1169/01 3651410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301410Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8982
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001169

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM PREF KPKO CG
SUBJECT: EASTERN DRC NOTES - DECEMBER 30

REF: Kinshasa 1163

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) According to MONUC sources, DRC Minister of Defense
Charles Mwando Nsimba and FARDC Chief of Staff Didier Etumba met
with the full range of North Kivu commanders on December 29. Etumba
confirmed to MONUC that FARDC and CNDP forces outside of Goma
remained only 700 meters apart. Etumba told MONUC that FARDC troops
would not advance "one inch," but Mwando added they would also not
retreat.

3. (SBU) PARECO forces reportedly chased a small group of CNDP
troops from the town of Mwalimbi, and then proceeded on a looting
spree. MONUC has increased patrols in the area, which is north of
Masisi, to send a clear message to PARECO and the various Mai Mai
militias that increasingly assertive and predatory actions by these
groups will not intimidate MONUC.

4. (SBU) MONUC has identified and located some 15 different Mai Mai
groups in North Kivu. According to MONUC, the groups operate
primarily in FDLR-controlled territory, but they tend to ally
themselves with PARECO forces, rather than with FDLR, when engaging
the CNDP. MONUC sources opined that, while many Mai Mai forces
originally provided community defense functions, they have
increasingly turned to looting in the absence of state authority.


5. (SBU) A UN Human Rights Office team visited two prison cells in
Kiwanja, confirming that the CNDP holds eight adults and a 13-year
old boy in detention. Attempts to negotiate the boy's freedom were
not successful. CNDP officials refused access to another prison
facility in Rutshuru, claiming it was strictly for prisoners of
war.


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

6. (SBU) On December 26, LRA soldiers reportedly killed 89 people
during an attack in Doruma, located 25 miles from the Sudanese
border. A Ugandan military spokesman reported finding an estimated
45 individuals, who had been massacred, inside a Doruma church.
USAID/DART sources said that Ugandan and South Sudanese troops have
deployed to Doruma, but the LRA apparently occupies seven nearby
villages.

7. (SBU) According to USAID/DART sources, the LRA also attacked the
town of Gurba on December 27, killing an estimated 60 people.

8. (SBU) Following the LRA attack on Faradje (reftel), all of the
city's 30,000 residents fled into the forest, according to
USAID/DART sources. LRA soldiers apparently burned down 120 houses,
looted businesses, residences, and the hospital in Faradje. The
rebel group also kidnapped at least 20 children, according to local
sources. A USAID/DART member plans to travel to Faradje on December
30 to assess the humanitarian situation.

9. (SBU) FARDC CHOD Etumba told MONUC that FARDC forces
participating in Operation Lightening Thunder would protect the
civilian population, while UPDF forces would hunt down the fleeing
LRA troops. MONUC continues to provide lift capabilities to move
FARDC forces to the area.

10. (U) Radio Okapi quoted an OCHA spokesman who claimed that the
LRA has killed nearly 200 people in various attacks since Christmas.
NGOs, including WFP and Caritas, have distributed foodstuffs to
3,600 households totaling 18,000 IDPs in the region.


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

11. (SBU) UNICEF's water-trucking operations in Goma continue,
benefiting approximately 12,000 displaced people residing in
schools, hangars, and churches. UNICEF partners are also
constructing latrines and showers, as well as distributing soap at
23 IDP sites in Goma. UNICEF partner Solidarites also began
trucking water to a makeshift IDP camp near the MONUC base in

KINSHASA 00001169 002 OF 002


Kiwanja.

12. (SBU) In recent weeks, the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) has delivered approximately 80,000 liters of potable
water to the Kibati IDP camps. ICRC continues to repair and improve
the water-supply system in Sake to benefit IDPs and the town's
30,000 residents. Similar efforts are underway in Vitshumbi
(Rutshuru Territory), and near Butembo (Lubero Territory).

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