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Cablegate: Proliferation of Mai Mai Groups

VZCZCXRO3646
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0873 2671721
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241721Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0116
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 000873

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PGOV PREL MOPS PHUM KPKO CG
SUBJECT: PROLIFERATION OF MAI MAI GROUPS

Mai Mai rumblings
-----------------

1. (SBU) During a recent visit to Goma, AU Special Envoy Benjamin
Mkapa and his aide, General Sumbeiywo, received complaints from
various North and South Kivu Mai Mai (local militias) groups about
non-implementation of the March 23 agreements. Citing GDRC
inaction, especiall since the August meeting of the National
Monitoring Group, the groups noted that they still have not received
government positions, which they claim the GDRC promised to them.

2. (SBU) However, the groups also raised further concerns dealing
with the integration of their forces into the FARDC. Around 450
combatants, primarily from Mai Mai Yakutumba, Mai Mai Zabuloni, and
the FRF, have threatened to return to the bush because they have not
been given uniforms or been integrated into FARDC units, as
promised. In August, armed groups drew up "action plans" for their
integration, per a GDRC request, but the GDRC has not yet responded.


Yakutumba still not integrated
------------------------------

3. (SBU) Colonel Delphin, FARDC Commander of Kimia II in South
Kivu, apparently was stood up by Mai Mai "General" Yakutumba,
because Yakutumba refused to meet Delphin without a bodyguard.
Instead, Yakutumba met with FARDC General Dunia, an ex-Mai Mai who
had close ties to Laurent Kabila. Dunia, according to our sources,
attempted to convince Yakutumba to integrate his forces into the
FARDC (Note and comment: The bulk of Mai Mai Yakutumba remains
outside of the integration process despite sporadic indications
since January that it would integrate. Recent efforts by the FARDC
to meet with Yakutumba are encouraging, as they appear to
demonstrate the GDRC continues to work to integrate the group. End
note and comment).

Introducing the new Mai Mai groups
----------------------------------

4. (SBU) Over the last several months, there has been an increase
in new Mai Mai groups, including the following:

-- Mai Mai Manua Manua is based around Kishero in northern Rutshuru.
It is primarily ethnic Nande, claiming to protect the local
population against abuses by recently integrated CNDP elements in
the FARDC.

-- Mai Mai Coutumier is based around Bunyatenge in western Masisi.
It draws primarily from PARECO-Hutu, also protecting the local
population against ex-CNDP (now FARDC) abuses. It insists that it
does not collaborate with the FDLR.

-- Mai Mai Populaire is based in western Masisi and eastern
Walikale. Led by "General" Tabu Panda Pascal, a FARDC deserter,
this group claims to protect locals from ex-CNDP (specifically FARDC
211 and 212 Brigades) abuses. This group reportedly has recently
cooperated with the FDLR against the FARDC.

5. (SBU) Comment: Each of the new Mai Mai groups has its own
locally specific reasons for taking up arms. Nevertheless, there
are three reasons not to dismiss them as simple opportunists.
First, state authority is non-existent in a wide swath of the Kivus.
Second, newly integrated FARDC units (ex-CNDP) have now advanced
into areas where they are viewed with deep suspicion. Finally, FDLR
targeting of the civilian population since the beginning of Kimia II
has contributed to the formation of more local self-defense groups.
None of these groups, old or new, appears to want to or be able to
create wider instability. However, should these groups coalesce
with other anti-government forces (FDLR, Mai Mai Kifuafua, APCLS),
Qwith other anti-government forces (FDLR, Mai Mai Kifuafua, APCLS),
they could present a real challenge to the FARDC.

GARVELINK

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