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Cablegate: Death of Economy and Trade Minister Futa

VZCZCXRO0015
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0907 2751111
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021111Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0162
INFO RUCNSAD/SADC COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0141

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000907

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PGOV PREL CG
SUBJECT: DEATH OF ECONOMY AND TRADE MINISTER FUTA

1. (U) Minister of Economy and Trade Andre Philippe Futa died in
Paris October 1, 2009 from an apparent heart attack. Futa had
stopped in Paris on route back to Kinshasa after representing
President Kabila at the Africa-South America Summit hosted by
Venezuela. No foul play has been reported, though details on his
death remain limited.

2. (SBU) Note: French DCM told Charge October 1 that the French
embassy here has been in touch with authorities in Paris and there
does not appear to be any indication that Futa's death is the result
of anything other than natural causes. End note.


3. (U) Futa, a Luba from Eastern Kasai who received a doctorate in
the United States, was sixty-six at the time of his death. His
career included over twenty years with the African Development Bank
and a variety of government positions, including several ministerial
postings. Known as a loyal supporter of President Kabila, Futa
served as Coordinator of the AMP (Alliance Presidential Majority)
and Chairman of the Party of National Alliance for Unity (PANU).
4. (SBU) Comment: While Futa was a close contact of ours on trade
issues, particularly AGOA, his death will likely not have a
significant immediate impact on the DRC's economic and political
landscape. Rumors of a cabinet reshuffle continue and it was
unclear if Futa would have retained his position. Despite his
position as Minister of Economy and Trade, his influence on economic
policy was less than those of other ministers responsible for
economic and financial issues, particularly the heads of the
ministries of budget, planning, and finance. His death does,
however, leave President Kabila without a key supporter in the
Kasais provinces as the country moves toward the 2011 elections.
End comment.
BROCK

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