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Cablegate: South Africa: Great Lakes Special Advisor Wolpe

VZCZCXRO1544
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #2365/01 3221515
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181515Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0268
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 7340
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 1418
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 9697
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0077
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 1107
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1907
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 2198
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 6994

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 002365

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CG BU RW UG SF EAID KDEM
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA: GREAT LAKES SPECIAL ADVISOR WOLPE
DISCUSSES ENHANCED USG GREAT LAKES ENGAGEMENT

Ref: Pretoria 2181, Kinshasa 976, Kigali 736, Kampala 1304

PRETORIA 00002365 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: Great Lakes Special Advisor Howard Wolpe's
message on Washington's enhanced Great Lakes engagement was welcomed
warmly during the Special Advisor's October 30-November 2 visit to
South Africa. Wolpe renewed contacts with Deputy Foreign Minister
Ebrahim, SAG Great Lakes Special Envoy Dhumisani Kumalo, Belgian
Ambassador (former Great Lakes Special Envoy) Jan Mutton and Head of
MONUC's South Africa office Mujahid Alam, as well as an Institute
for Global Dialogue think tank team led by former DFM Aziz Pahad.
The visit helped open doors for greater local engagement on Great
Lakes issues. End summary.

-----------------------------------------
Deputy FM Welcomes U.S. Great Lakes Envoy
-----------------------------------------

2.. (SBU) Deputy Minister for International Relations and
Cooperation (DFM) Ebrahim Ebrahim welcomed Special Advisor Wolpe and
Ambassador Gips for a November 2 meeting at ruling African National
Congress (ANC) headquarters. Also present for the South African
Government were South Africa's Great Lakes Special Envoy Dhumisani
Kumalo and Director of U.S. Affairs at the Department of
International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Fadl Nacerodien. In
addition to Ambassador Gips, Wolpe was accompanied by POL Counselor,
Great Lakes Desk Officer Keith, and Deputy POL Counselor.

3. (SBU) Special Advisor Wolpe briefed Ebrahim on the
Administration's desire to restore balance to U.S. Africa policy by
reinvigorating our engagement on Kenya, Nigeria, and the Great
Lakes. Wolpe said his mission was to restore the kind of active
partnership on the Great Lakes that existed with former EU Great
Lakes Special Envoy Aldo Ajello and himself during the Clinton
Administration. Ebrahim said he remembered Wolpe from Burundi
talks. Wolpe briefed Ebrahim on his travel to engage European
capitals, where officials had complained about the recent drift in
international engagement on the Great Lakes. Wolpe spoke of
energizing the network of Great Lakes envoys, and expanding the
Great Lakes Contract Group to include all stakeholders, such as
Norway, Sweden, Angola, and China. Wolpe said there are plans for
the Great Lakes envoys to travel to Angola and China early in 2010.


4. (SBU) Ebrahim welcomed Wolpe's plans, stressing that South
Africa has been involved in trying to bring lasting peace to the
Great Lakes since well before the Sun City Accords of 2002. They
agreed that efforts had yielded concrete results in Burundi. The
DFM said that the approximately 100 South African peacekeepers
remaining in Burundi for VIP protection will be withdrawn at the end
of 2009. Kumalo said the SAG will send a "senior delegate" to
Bujumbura to sign "various" agreements at the end of December when
the SANDF contingent is due to leave.

5. (SBU) Ebrahim and Wolpe agreed that the security situation in
DRC will remain precarious as long as the Democratic Forces for the
Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) remains a threat and as long as
Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) are not regularly paid and
disciplined. The DFM and Wolpe welcomed progress in the
relationship between DRC and Rwanda, including the recent exchange
Qrelationship between DRC and Rwanda, including the recent exchange
of ambassadors (please see Ref C). Wolpe, DFM Ebrahim and Kumalo
compared notes on the military training and assistance that the U.S.
and SAG are providing to the GDRC. They agreed that curbing the
alarming rate of gender-based violence perpetrated by the military
and securing some assurance that trained units will maintain their
capabilities were enormous challenges. Ebrahim and Kumalo welcomed
Wolpe's efforts to harmonize donor approaches to FARDC military
training.

6. (SBU) Ebrahim commented that a regional approach was needed to
address linked conflicts and agreed with Wolpe on the importance of
the DRC-Rwanda relationship. Ambassador Kumalo credited
collaborative leadership training provided by the Woodrow Wilson
Center with creating possibilities to work with top leadership to
find solutions and hopes that will continue. Wolpe noted that he
planned to raise the possibility during his upcoming visit to
Kinshasa, adding that he sought to build a partnership with the GDRC
and President Kabila.

---------------------------
Former DFM Hosts Roundtable
---------------------------


PRETORIA 00002365 002.2 OF 002


7. (SBU) Former DFM Aziz Pahad welcomed Wolpe, the Ambassador, Pol
Counselor, Great Lakes Desk Officer, and Deputy Pol Counselor on
November 2 and introduced the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD)
policy think tank team led by Dr. Siphamandla Zondi, Program
Director for Africa and Dr. Francis Ikome, Program Director,
Multilateral. Also present was Research Associate (and long-time
South Africa resident Amcit) Francis Kornegay. Wolpe briefed the
IGD team on his mission to reinvigorate Great Lakes dialogue and to
strengthen and expand the envoys network. He spoke of the FDLR as
the most serious threat to peace in the DRC, and the need for better
measures to protect civilians, including possible MONUC-FARDC joint
planning.

8. (SBU) Asked what the USG will do to combat gender-based violence
in eastern DRC, Wolpe spoke of USG efforts to promote military
justice and provide mobile courts. Wolpe added that the fundamental
challenge is to move the players in DRC from zero-sum thinking to
collaboration. He spoke of the Woodrow Wilson Center's efforts prior
to the 2006 elections and expressed the hope that leadership
training for the FARDC military command might make a difference.
Wolpe spoke to the need for donors to harmonize military training
doctrines. He also raised the possibility of conditioning election
assistance to progress on security sector reform.

9. (SBU) Asked what donors are doing to establish a viable economy
in Burundi, Wolpe said regional integration will play a key role in
Burundi's economic future, and he pointed to coordinated action
among donors to support regional solutions, including the
International Conference on the Great Lakes he was about to attend,
as well as the Friends of the Great Lakes led by Canada and the
Netherlands.

-------
Comment
-------

10. (SBU) The Wolpe visit, capped by a dinner hosted by the ADCM,
was a good opportunity for the Mission to engage the SAG on Great
Lakes policy, an area where we enjoy deep and broad agreement.

GIPS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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