Cablegate: Lra Update Report - Drc
DE RUEHKI #1085/01 3491006
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151006Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0419
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1501
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 0025
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0033
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0209
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0001
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA 0312
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1307
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2302
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0802
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KINSHASA 001085
KHARTOUM PLS PASS JUBA
GENEVA FOR RMA
ADDIS FOR REFCOORD
KAMPALA FOR REFCOORD
NDJAMENA FOR REFCOORD
NAIROBI FOR USAID
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PGOV PHUM PREL MOPS CG
SUBJECT: LRA UPDATE REPORT - DRC
REF: STATE 118217
1. Below is information keyed to reftel request. This report
represents a compilation of statistics and information from
various governmental, non-governmental, MONUC, and press
sources. Post cannot fully verify the various information,
nor ensure that the information is exhaustive. It represents
our best estimate of the current situation.
2. How many LRA attacks have occurred during the reporting
Between January and August 2009, a total of 271 attacks
targeted the civilian population in the Haut Uele and Bas
Uele Districts of Orientale Province.
3. How many deaths, casualties, rapes, and abductions due to
LRA attacks have been reported?
Since January 2009, 1,288 people were killed and an
additional 2,079 were abducted with 515 of the abductees
being children. According to OCHA, since December 2007,
1,376 civilians have been killed and 2,337 (including 676
children) were abducted. There are rumors that the LRA will
launch an attack around Christmas 2009 in the province.
4. Where have the attacks occurred?
The majority of attacks and civilian population casualties
occurred in Haut Uele District.
5. What are estimated numbers of LRA combatants and
non-combatants and in what location?
The LRA in the DRC is made up of three groups: Ugandan
soldiers from Joseph Kony's Acholi tribe, Sudanese soldiers,
and conscripted Congolese. According to MONUC, there are
less than 70 LRA combatants currently in Bas Uele and Haut
Uele. They are concentrated in the areas around Bangadi,
Gilima, and Dungu. Due to large numbers of surrenders in
recent months, MONUC believes the LRA is losing its
cohesiveness in the DRC.
6. Have LRA movements been reported? To/from where?
Following the Ugandan army bombardment on December 14, 2008
of the main LRA base in Garamba National Park in Haut Uele,
the LRA rebels dispersed into smaller groups with increasing
capacity to harm civilians. After several large scale
attacks in December 2008-January 2009, LRA attacks have
diminished in size, though not in quantity. The groups moved
to the territories of Dungu, Faradje, Niangara and Watsa in
Haut Uele and Ango and Poko in Bas Uele. In September 2009,
a priest in Isiro-Nyangara and other witnesses stated that
the LRA was located along the banks of the Nzoro River near
Kafuli, Mariadro, Biriki, Kialo, Nyari, and Kariyo. There is
also a possible LRA base at Kirakedhe. Witnesses have
reported seeing LRA stealing food near Mowa Mountain and
7. Are other forces in the area that might be responsible for
attacks which are attributed (perhaps wrongly) to the LRA?
Attacks by small LRA groups are sometimes indistinguishable
from those of ordinary bandits or undisciplined FARDC
elements. LRA attacks can often be distinguished by
kidnapping and mutilation. Two additional militia groups
KINSHASA 00001085 002 OF 004
primarily located in Ituri District are responsible for
creating refugees and contributing to the unstable security
presence in the province. They are the Popular Front for
Justice in Congo (FPCJ) and the Front for the Patriotic
Resistance of Ituri (FRPI).
8. How many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees
have been displaced by LRA and related operations against the
LRA since September 2008?
The total number of LRA related displaced persons is between
400,000 and 540,000. In the two primary districts alone, at
least 261,000 people were displaced between January and
August 2009 and around 125,000 left their homes around the
end of August to early September 2009. Number of IDPs in
Haut Uele: 231,738 and in Bas Uele: 47,940. In addition,
42,500 LRA related IDPs are in Ituri District. Other
refugees are in Sudan and CAR with the breakdown as follows:
27,327 from Haut Uele and 161 from Bas Uele.
9. What is the location of refugee/displaced populations?
There are 10,000 IDPs located in Dingila and 15,000 families
in Ango. Other IDPs in Haut Uele are found in Dungu,
Faradje, Niangara, Rungu, and Watsa. In Bas Uele, IDPs are
located in Bondo, Bambesa, Buta, Poko, and Ango. Most of the
refugees from Haut Uele are in Central and Western Equatoria,
South Sudan while refugees from Bas Uele are in Obo, Central
10. What is the expected time-line for displaced populations
to return home?
OCHA and UNHCR believe that the situation is unstable and a
majority of the populations will remain displaced through
2010. In some cases, IDPs are likely to settle permanently.
On a positive note, 35,000 returnees registered in Dungu and
11. What host government actions have been taken against LRA
forces? UN actions? UPDF? Other?
In September, relatively well-trained, disciplined Republican
Guard forces were replaced by FARDC troops, many of which
were integrated CNDP and Mai Mai troops. Currently 6,000
FARDC troops are deployed in Haut Uele. MONUC believes that
due to lack of regular salary payment, the FARDC may be
losing control of these troops. In consultation with the
humanitarian community, MONUC deployed to Dingila but
peacekeeping forces are still needed in Ango, Banda, and
Dakwa. Fifty-six LRA rebels have been demobilized through
MONUC's DDRRR program through August 2009. The UPDF's
actions between Faradje and Kurukwata have weakened the LRA
in that region.
12. Have any cross-border coordination efforts taken place
between these forces/agencies? N/A
13. What are the effects on civilians of operations against
the LRA? Have there been reports of human rights abuses by
security forces responding in LRA-affected areas?
There are unconfirmed, but persistent reports of the LRA
mutilating civilians who the group accused of talking to
KINSHASA 00001085 003 OF 004
authorities. NGOs have reported that the FARDC stationed in
the area have been generally well-disciplined, but there is
concern that newly arrived, newly-integrated battalions may
be less disciplined.
14. Has information sharing and coordination by national
militaries with the UN been sufficient to allow proactive
civilian protection efforts by peacekeepers?
The UPDF primarily acts unilaterally against the LRA, and it
does not share tactically relevant information with the FARDC
15. What are future plans for anti-LRA operations and/or
civilian protection efforts by these forces/agencies? N/A
16. Have UN peacekeeping operations effectively conditioned
support to national militaries on their respect for human
rights, or does such support continue despite reports of
human rights abuses by those militaries against civilians?
Three hundred soldiers of the 508th battalion attended a
workshop on the protection of civilians. The protection
cluster of Kisangani organized the event. UNHCR, MONUC/Human
Rights, and the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) presented modules on international humanitarian law,
international protection of civilians and human rights.
17. Which host government agencies, UN agencies,
non-governmental organizations, community-based
organizations, etc. are responding to humanitarian needs in
LRA affected areas?
There is no knowledge of host nation agencies responding to
the humanitarian needs in these areas. Active UN agencies
are WFP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNOCHA, and MONUC. USG funds support
all of these agencies. Active NGO agencies supported by USG
funding are Mercy Corps, Premiere Urgence, Samaritan's Purse,
and German Agro Action. Solidarites and COOPI are indirectly
funded by the USG, as they are the implementing partners for
UNICEF/OFDA projects. Other active NGOs are Oxfam-Quebec,
Medecins Sans Frontieres, Medair, LWF, ShelterBox, and
Oxfam-Great Britain. There are twenty international and
national NGOs operating in areas outside of Dungu.
18. Please describe humanitarian operations/activities
currently underway in support of LRA-affected populations.
OCHA has a sub-office in Dungu, Haut Uele District, Orientale
Province. UNHCR has partnered with Oxfam-Quebec on
comprehensive protection monitoring in addition to
distribution of NFI kits to 2,655 households as of July. It
is also active in SGBV, HIV and health and nutrition
activities. As part of the UNHCR protection strategy,
Premier Urgence and LWF with funding from CERF are
implementing a shelter program in both districts.
ShelterBox, another transitional shelter company is in talks
with UNHCR to provide services in Bas Uele. Access to
affected areas has been hampered by volatile security
conditions and minimal road infrastructure. This is
particularly true in the Dungu region. MONUC established a
base in Dingila in July 2009 enabling food and non-food
humanitarian assistance for approximately 10,000 IDPs. In
Qhumanitarian assistance for approximately 10,000 IDPs. In
addition, humanitarian groups have created joint protection
team (JPT) missions for protection needs assessments. The
establishment of MONUC bases in Duru and Faradje has somewhat
improved the security situation for humanitarian
KINSHASA 00001085 004 OF 004
organizations operating in the area.
19. Please describe coordination of these efforts. Is OCHA
coordinating? Host government? Are there regular protection
cluster meetings focusing on LRA affected areas? Is there
adequate information sharing among NGOs on the ground, UN
peacekeepers and national militaries involved in operations
against the LRA?
OCHA coordinates the efforts in Dungu and Bunia. The host
government does not participate in these coordination
efforts, but some local civil society groups like CARITAS are
involved in the coordination. Regular protection cluster
meetings on LRA affected areas take place in Bunia. There is
informal consensus among NGOs and UN humanitarian agencies
that there is a lack of adequate information sharing between
the FARDC and MONUC.
20. What are the current humanitarian gaps in LRA affected
NGOs and UN agencies have provided food and non-food
humanitarian assistance to 45% of the IDP population in Haut
and Bas Uele. There are still 13,000 IDPs around Faradje
that have not received any assistance for the past four
months. The security situation and lack of road
infrastructure make delivery of assistance difficult.
21. Have there been attacks on NGOs/humanitarin groups, and
if so how has this impacted efforts to respond to
humanitarian needs in LRA affected areas?
Between April and June 2009, seven attacks occurred after
humanitarian distribution. The humanitarian community is
implementing a "Do No Harm" principle in coordination with
conditions formulated by CPIA (the provincial humanitarian
coordination mechanism). In September, LRA elements in Obo,
CAR killed three members of the Italian NGO COOPI. In March,
members of MSF were captured near Banda and Boeli but managed
to escape via motorbike.