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Cablegate: Monuc/Rwanda: Uk Holding to Six-Month Renewal, Thoughts On Rwanda in the Commonwealth

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #2743/01 3431621
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 091621Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4212
INFO RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 3542
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA IMMEDIATE 0123
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI IMMEDIATE 0088
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1522

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 002743

NOFORN SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/C, IO/PSC (HEATHER VON BEHREN) E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2019

TAGS: PREL UNSC KPKO PINR RW CG ZF FR UK

SUBJECT: MONUC/RWANDA: UK HOLDING TO SIX-MONTH RENEWAL, THOUGHTS ON RWANDA IN THE COMMONWEALTH REF: A. STATE 125749 B. LONDON 2716 C. LONDON 266

Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville, reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1.(C/NF) Summary. The UK is holding firm to a six-month mandate renewal for MONUC, with Foreign Office officials saying (a) conditionalities in the mandate would prevent any potential political bump for DRC President Kabila during the June 2010 independence celebrations, (b) that the international community has encouraged the UN to take ownership of MONUC which it is doing with the SRSG and DPKO proposals of a six-month mandate, and (c) that MONUC should not be a "stick with which to beat the DRC government." They have also suggested the U.S. and UK have a joint dialogue with the Government of Rwanda about the way operations against the FDLR will change in the future. They assess Rwanda's recent Commonwealth membership will give the UK an additional venue to press the Government of Rwanda on governance and human rights issues, such as media freedom, and may have contributed to Rwanda's decision to mend fences with the French. End summary.

MONUC: The Tide Is For Six-Months ---------------------------------

2.(C/NF) Both Foreign Office East and Central Africa Deputy Head Graham Zebedee and Peacekeeping Team MONUC Desk Officer Robin Budd argued strongly in separate December 9 discussions with Poloff that the USG's concerns about a six-month MONUC mandate renewal playing into DRC President Kabila's hands during the June 2010 independence celebrations were unfounded and were not in step with the UN and rest of the international community's thinking on the issue. Explaining the UK's position (which appears to have become more firm since reftel B), Zebedee and Budd argued: - The six-month mandate is stronger because it will keep pressure on Kabila to maintain progress, particularly on SSR. Conditionalities and other language in the mandate will clearly indicate when and how MONUC will drawdown, independent of whatever Kabila decides to do during the independence celebrations. - The international community has been encouraging the UN to take greater ownership of MONUC. The UN Secretary General and DPKO demonstrated leadership in advocating for a six-month mandate and in the Secretary General's report, which "offers a clear narrative on how it will use the next six-months." - In considering the DRC government's relationship with MONUC, it is important to create a context where the DRC and MONUC can work together. Using MONUC's size and duration as a "stick with which to beat the DRC government" does not provide that context.

3.(C/NF) On the counter-proposal of a possible four-month extension, about which they had already heard ruminations from their colleagues in New York, Budd and Zebedee simply state that it would not give the UN or the DRC government enough time to accomplish what it needs to. Budd also noted that the UK had been surprised how strongly the French had argued in favor of the six-month mandate in New York discussions, as he had heard in Paris that the French would not be vocal on the issue. He understands the Russians also support a six-month mandate.

Rwanda: The Future of Operations Against the FDLR --------------------------------------------- ----

4.(C) Zebedee said the UK would like to propose to the USG having a joint U.S.-UK discussion with the Rwandan government about the way forward for operations against the FDLR as the model moves from Kimia II to more focused operations. He said he will be in touch with more specifics, but wanted to offer a heads up. Poloff will follow-up with Zebedee and report septel.

Rwanda: The Commonwealth's New Member -------------------------------------

5.(C/NF) Zebedee said that with immediate effect Rwanda has become a member of the Commonwealth, following the November 29 decision at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, and the UK's Embassy in Kigali has become a High Commission. Zebedee said it will not have a major impact on UK-Rwanda relations but it does give the UK another venue in which to have discussions with the Rwandan government about governance and human rights issues, particularly freedom of the press. He said Rwanda will also be able to access Commonwealth programs, including media training projects and parliamentary exchanges. He also assessed that Rwanda's Commonwealth membership may have also pushed the Rwandans to mend fences with the French, as an appeal to Rwanda's francophone elite to indicate that the country was not aligning itself entirely with the anglophone world.

Comment -------

6.(C/NF) The UK's position on the length of the MONUC mandate renewal may, at least in part, be based on the Foreign Office's Peacekeeping Team's "evidence-based approach" to peacekeeping operation mandates, as outlined in reftel C. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
Susman

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