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Cablegate: The Apcls: The Hunde Military Force

VZCZCXRO1704
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1023 3221737
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181737Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0312
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 001023

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KPKO CG
SUBJECT: THE APCLS: THE HUNDE MILITARY FORCE

A Short APCLS Primer
--------------------

1. (SBU) Members of the APCLS (Alliance of Patriots for a
Free and Sovereign Congo) come almost exclusively from the
Hunde ethnic group. Hundes comprise about 5% of North Kivu's
population and are concentrated in Masisi Territory, where
the group historically controlled the land through its
traditional chiefs. In recent months, the APCLS appears to
have attracted increasing numbers of non-Hunde recruits,
primarily non-Rwandophones, but also some Hutus. Visitors to
APCLS-controlled areas report that the group maintains
excellent relations with the locals, who view them as a
protection force.

2. (SBU) APCLS's expressed objective is to protect Hunde and
other Congolese citizens, i.e., non-Tutsis, in its area of
operations. It was formed in 2006 as part of PARECO, but
split from the group in January 2008 when it refused to sign
the Goma Accords -- the only major armed group that refused
to do so. It claims about 1,500 fighters, organized into
four brigades; MONUC estimates have been as high as 2,500; we
believe its forces could number between 500-800. Its troops
appear to be reasonably well armed with assault rifles, light
mortars, and a few machine guns and RPGs.

3. (SBU) Sources have told us that decision making within
the APCLS is highly centralized around the group's leader,
"General" Janvier. All but one of the senior leadership is
Hunde and most have spent time in the FARDC.

How APCLS Makes Money
---------------------

4. (SBU) APCLS receives revenue from the small gold and
cassiterite mines in its operating areas. However, some
sources estimate that the primary source of funding for the
APCLS is support -- money and weapons -- from wealthy Hunde
politicians, landowners, and businessman. One of the most
commonly mentioned probable supporters is North Kivu
Vice-Governor Lutaichirwa Feller. Similar to most rebel
groups, the APCLS also taxes locals, primarily as the
population transports produce and goods between villages.

APCLS-FDLR Collaboration
------------------------

5. (SBU) The APCLS coordinates its activities with the FDLR.
It is not clear whether the FDLR supplies the APCLS with
weapons, munitions, or training, or whether there is joint
planning. Most observers believe the collaboration is
generally ad hoc, with both groups sensitive to retain their
separate identities. However, they both recognize that they
share a common enemy, the FARDC. Janvier, according to
several of our sources, does not view MONUC as neutral, but
as fighting in support of a CNDP takeover of the area.

Comment
-------

6. (SBU) The APCLS is likely to remain an irritant in Masisi
for the foreseeable future. It will continue to act as a
force to protect the Hunde community from real and perceived
threats from the Rwandophone agenda. It has undoubtedly
become more intractable in its opposition to any
participation in the peace process, as reports of FARDC human
rights violations in its area of operation have surfaced.
However, its ability to disrupt and combat FARDC/MONUC forces
will be limited; the real danger lies with a more systematic
cooperation amongst the APCLS, FDLR, and disgruntled Mai Mai
forces.
GARVELINK

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