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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE6907 2000-12-07 14:20:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

SENIOR FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL COMMENTS ON

Tags:   PGOV PREL MOPS CG ZI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

071420Z Dec 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO4724

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7793
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RWANDA COLLECTIVE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 006907 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/10
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS CG ZI
SUBJECT: SENIOR FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL COMMENTS ON
SIGNING OF DISENGAGEMENT AND REDEPLOYMENT OF FORCES
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 06907 270831Z
AGREEMENT

REF: LUSAKA 5410

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5
B/D.



1. (C) ON DECEMBER 7 DCM HAD BREAKFAST WITH A VERY
TIRED DAVID HAMADZIRIPI, A SENIOR OFFICIAL OF THE
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CURRENTLY POSTED IN
KINSHASA. THE ZIMBABWEAN DIPLOMAT, WHO ATTENDED THE DRC
DISENGAGEMENT MEETING IN HARARE, REPORTED THAT HIS
GOVERNMENT EXPECTED THE SIGNING CEREMONY TO BE NON-
CONTROVERSIAL, BUT NEGOTIATIONS THAT BEGAN ON DECEMBER 5
STRETCHED INTO THE EARLY HOURS OF THE NEXT MORNING. HE
CONTINUED THAT SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGOLESE REBEL
MOVEMENTS, PARTICULARLY THE MOVEMENT FOR THE LIBERATION
OF THE CONGO (MLC), OBJECTED TO THE JOINT POLITICAL
COMMITTEE'S ADOPTION OF THE SUB-PLANS FOR THE
DISENGAGEMENT AND REDEPLOYMENT OF FORCES IN THE FOUR
MILITARY SECTORS OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
(DRC)(REFTEL). THE MLC, WHICH WAS REPRESENTED AT THE
MINISTERIAL-LEVEL MEETING BY ITS RELATIVELY JUNIOR
MEMBER ON THE JOINT MILITARY COMMISSION, REFUSED TO SIGN
CLAIMING HIS MOVEMENT WOULD ONLY DO SO WHEN THE INTERNAL
DIALOGUE IN THE DRC HAD BEGUN. HAMADZIRIPI THOUGHT THAT
IT WAS A PLAY FOR TIME, AS JEAN-PIERRE BEMBA PROBABLY
HAD NOT GIVEN HIS DELEGATE A MANDATE TO JOIN THE
CONSENSUS.



2. (C) HAMADZIRIPI MADE A STRONG PLEA FOR A SIX-MONTH
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06907 270831Z
EXTENSION OF THE MONUC MANDATE AND AN EARLY DEPLOYMENT
OF THE UNITED NATIONS' PEACEKEEPING BATTALION. "WITHOUT
IT THESE AGREEMENTS ARE A DEAD LETTER," HE SUMMED UP.
HE HOPED THE USG WOULD SUPPORT THE HARARE EFFORT AT THE
WORLD BODY. THE SIGNING OF THE DISENGAGEMENT PLAN
SHOULD BE SEEN AS A SIGN THAT THE DRC PLAYERS ARE
SERIOUS ABOUT A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION, HE DECLARED. HE
ADDED THAT ZIMBABWE HAD BROUGHT HOME TWO BATTALIONS FROM
THE CONGO, WHICH IT DID NOT INTEND TO REPLACE. THE
FIGHTING NEAR PWETO SHOULD NOT DETER MONUC DEPLOYMENT
BECAUSE MONUC COULD EASILY DEPLOY TO ANY OTHER AREA OF
THE FRONT, WHICH IS MOSTLY QUIET. WHEN ASKED WHETHER
THE REPORTED TAKING OF PWETO BY REBEL FORCES POSED A
THREAT TO THE AGREEMENT, HAMADZIRIPI STATED
CATEGORICALLY, "NO."



3. (C) COMMENT: HAMADZIRIPI, A RELIABLE CONTACT ON DRC
MATTERS, WAS UNUSUALLY KEEN ON RECEIVING US SUPPORT FOR
THIS LATEST DIPLOMATIC EFFORT TO DISENTANGLE THE WARRING
PARTIES IN THE DRC. PRESIDENT MUGABE, WHO ADDRESSED
LOCAL DEFENSE ATTACHES ATTENDING THE SIGNING CEREMONY,
URGED THEIR GOVERNMENTS TO GET BEHIND THE DISENGAGEMENT
PLAN. THIS EXTRAORDINARY DIPLOMATIC PLEADING COULD BE
AN INDICATION THAT THE DRC ALLIES ARE INCREASINGLY
DESPERATE TO STOP THE FIGHTING BEFORE REBELS MAKE ANY
MORE ADVANCES. ALTHOUGH ZIMBABWE MAY HAVE INTENDED TO
CONTINUE A GRADUAL WITHDRAWAL, RECENT ADVANCES BY THE
REBELS MAY FORCE THE ZIMBABWE DEFENSE FORCES TO REDEPLOY
FORCES TO THE CONGO. THE ALLIES COULD FEAR THAT THEY
ARE LOSING MOMENTUM TO THE REBELS, PARTICULARLY IN LIGHT
OF REPORTS OF A HASTY RETREAT BY DRC ALLIES FROM PWETO.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06907 270831Z
WITH HIS DOMESTIC CHALLENGES MOUNTING, MUGABE, IN
PARTICULAR, CANNOT AFFORD AN INTENSIFIED WAR IN THE DRC
OR A MAJOR MILITARY REVERSAL. END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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