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Cablegate: Human Rights Watch Criticizes Kimia Ii

VZCZCXRO5937
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0959/01 2941304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211304Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0236
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 000959

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL PREF MOPS KPKO CG
SUBJECT: Human Rights Watch criticizes Kimia II

REF: Kinshasa 945

1. (SBU) Summary: Senior Human Rights Watch (HRW) researchers told
Charge d'affaires that the impact of Kimia II on the civilian
population is more brutal than MONUC reports indicate. HRW proposes
a re-evaluation of Kimia II with pressure on both the GDRC and
international community. Two of the "FARDC 5" may be imprisoned
and one is apparently under surveillance. A prosecutor has
requested $70,000 to establish a military tribunal in the east. End
summary.

Kimia II: more brutal than other FARDC campaigns
--------------------------------------------- ----


2. (SBU) On October 7, Charge and poloff met with Anneke Van
Woudenberg, Senior Researcher-Africa Division, of Human Rights Watch
(HRW). Also present was Juliane Kippenberg, Senior Researcher,
Africa-Children's Rights Division. Van Woudenberg said the fallout
from Kimia II is more abusive and brutal than other operations
conducted by the FARDC. Although the operation is winding down, she
"does not believe MONUC reports." The costs outweigh the benefits
in her opinion. HRW, along with other NGOs, are working on a crude
cost-benefit analysis of the operation. Van Woudenberg asserted
that for each FDLR killed, captured, or repatriated, there is one
civilian killed, 7 women and girls are raped, 6 houses burned, and
900 people displaced.

3. (SBU) In the Walikale area of North Kivu, she noted, the
massacre of Rwandan Hutu refugees at Shalio by the FARDC, with
subsequent retaliation by the FDLR, was an example of the continuing
brutality. In late April/early May, 50 women and children were
killed in the mountain top village of Shalio. The remaining
villagers were told they would be marched to IDP camps but were
killed along the way. The FDLR responded by attacking Busunguri
village at the bottom of the mountain. There were reports of
slashed throats and acts of SGBV.

HRW calls for re-evaluation of Kimia II
---------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Although it does not condemn or condone Kimia II, HRW
believes the operation needs to be re-evaluated and reduced from a
widespread attack to a targeted and multi-pronged approach
emphasizing civilian protection. Van Woudenberg urged the
international community to push the GDRC for accountability in
prosecution of human rights abuses by any rank commanders.
Supporting military reforms and advocating an end to child
soldiering were also important steps the GDRC should take. MONUC
should put more conditionality on its assistance. With $6-7 million
spent on food and fuel, HRW believes MONUC continues to squander
possible leverage to push the FARDC to carry through a more
effective and civilian-friendly operation.

5. (SBU) Van Woudenberg continued that HRW has suggested that the
GDRC implement a vetting process for senior commanders.
International experience and pressure would be very important to
create such a mechanism. But the challenge is political will. On
several occasions, she said, the UN Security Council has urged that
a vetting mechanism be adopted (UNSCR 1856). One proposal to gather
information against commanders is to track abuses by unit.

6. (SBU) Van Woudenberg also cautiously suggested opening up
contact with FDLR elements to ensure the repatriation message is
getting through to the forces.

Update on "FARDC 5"
-------------------

7. (SBU) In May, UNSC ambassadors presented President Kabila with a
Q7. (SBU) In May, UNSC ambassadors presented President Kabila with a
list of five FARDC commanders wanted for human rights abuses:

- Colonel Mosala, accused of violently raping a 14-year-old girl in
May 2005;
- Colonel Safari, accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in May 2006
and persuading three other soldiers to also rape her;
- Major Pitchou, accused of rape, no other details;
- Lieutenant-Colonel Bebimobuli Engangela, a dissident Mai-Mai
officer accused of several rapes between 2004 and 2006, was also
held in detention for "insurrection" in March 2008; and
- Brigadier-General Jerome Kakwavu Bukande, accused of raping a
14-year-old girl in Ituri, and by March 2008 was stationed in
Kinshasa.

8. (SBU) Van Woudenberg reported there are unconfirmed reports that
two of the five are in prison. One is suspected to be Colonel

KINSHASA 00000959 002 OF 002


Safari. In addition, Brigadier-General Jerome Kakwavu Bukande is
currently under "monitored liberty." This is not house arrest, so
the meaning is unclear. HRW is encouraging the USG to push the GDRC
for clarity on this action (Note: In a subsequent meeting with
charge d'affaires (reftel), presidential chief of staff Adolphe
Lumanu Mulenda insisted that all five had been relieved of military
duties. End note).

9. (SBU) The prosecutor has requested $70,000 to bring a military
high tribunal to Ituri province to try Kakwavu. Since he has not
yet been arrested, there is a question of motive. Van Woudenberg
speculates this could be to demonstrate to the local population that
the GDRC is serious about enforcement. On the other hand it could
be a farce for the international community.

Kabila statement on conflict situation
---------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Van Woudenberg noted that President Kabila apparently
told a French delegation recently that "we (the DRC) are paying the
price for Rwanda and the international community is forcing us to
pay the price."

BROCK

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