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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered to Drc Human Rights Minister:

VZCZCXYZ0010
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKI #1141 3580948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240948Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0495

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001141

SIPDIS

FOR G/TIP (RYOUSEY)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB KCRM KMCA KTIP PGOV KWMN PHUM PREL SMIG
CG
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED TO DRC HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER:
CHILD SOLDIER PREVENTION ACT

REF: STATE 121328

1. Per reftel, on December 22 DCM and Poloff delivered
information on changes to the Child Soldier Prevention Act to
Minister of Human Rights Upio Kakura Wapol. Kakura responded
with candor after listening to the salient points of the
demarche concerning the definition of a child soldier, the
impact of appearing on the list in 2010, and a recognition of
existing legislation regarding the recruitment of child
soldiers. He acknowledges there is a gap between the
existence of Congolese laws and their application,
particularly in the area of child soldiers. Referring to the
CNDP integration process, he pointed out that there are
differences between the political and practical processes of
integration and that this gap has an impact on the presence
of child soldiers in armed groups. Once effective
integration will take place, he said, the next challenge will
be what to do with the child soldiers. After a child has
been demobilized, there exists the strong possibility of
re-recruitment by other groups. For those child soldiers who
are now 18 years of age or older, there is a choice between
staying in the army or attempting civilian integration, each
with their own difficulties.

2. Kakura mentioned the existence of an inter-ministerial
(Ministries of Defense, Human Rights, and Justice among
others) steering committee for demobilization and
reintegration that is tasked with these questions. One of
his personal ideas is to set up a reintegration school that
would be compulsory that all ex-child soldiers would attend
to assist them in readapting to a normal life. Finally,
Kakura asked what specific information he should provide in
order to show what the GDRC is doing in stopping the presence
of child soldiers. DCM replied that information on GDRC
programs and existing laws vis-a-vis child soldiers,
statistics on the dimensions of the problem in the DRC, on
the Government's successes and failures in dealing with child
soldiers, and on programs dealing with child soldiers carried
out by NGO's, churches, etc. would be helpful.

3. (Bio note and comment: Trained as a lawyer, Kakura was
elected to Parliament in 2006 having worked previously as
legal advisor for the Airport Authority (RVA) and as a member
of the governing board for Lignes aeriennes congolaises
(LAC). He is a member of the Alur tribe from Mahagi, Ituri
District, Orientale Province and speaks both French and
English, preferring French, however, when speaking with us.
Kakura has consistently demonstrated openness and a
willingness to engage with us when discussing human rights.
In DCM's view, based on nearly two and a half years at post,
he is one of the DRC's more accessible, and pleasant cabinet
members. End bio note and comment.)
GARVELINK

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