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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04KINSHASA2178
2004-11-29 15:32:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kinshasa
Cable title:  

KABILA DISCUSSES EASTERN SITUATION WITH FOREIGN

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  KPKO  RW  CG 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KINSHASA 002178 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO RW CG
SUBJECT: KABILA DISCUSSES EASTERN SITUATION WITH FOREIGN
AMBASSADORS

Classified By Ambassador Roger Meece. Reason 1.4 (b/d)



1. (C) Summary: President Kabila held a November 29
discussion with Ambassadors from the UNSC Perm 5 countries,
Belgium, South Africa, Angola, and Nigeria, and UN SRSG
Swing. While speaking in measured tones, Kabila made clear
his frustration with Rwandan President Kagame, and in essence
Kabila accused Kagame of seeking to wreck entirely the DRC,s
transition. Kabila and close advisors outlined steps being
taken by the GDRC to address the ex-FAR/Interahamwe threat,
and appealed for united international community support for
use of the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM), tripartite
process, and other political and diplomatic means to address
regional problems. Kabila reported Rwandan and Congolese
military chiefs should be meeting on the border this week.
He also noted, however, that the government is deploying
FARDC brigades to North Kivu to address threats both from
ex-FAR/Interahamwe as well as from Rwanda. In related
activity, Nigerian President Obasanjo is coming to Kinshasa
Dec 6., and MONUC is seeking to begin JVM operations this
week. A Joint Verification Commission meeting has been
proposed for December 9 in Kinshasa. The South African
Ambassador suggested that Mbeki is exploring how SADC may be
involved in solutions as well. Other items discussed during
the meeting will be reported septel. End summary.

Kabila Discusses the East


--------------------------





2. (C) Following his return to Kinshasa over the weekend from
the Ouagadougou Francophonie summit, President Kabila
convened the morning of November 29 what he characterized as
an informal discussion with the Ambassadors of the UNSC Perm
5 members, Belgium, South Africa, Angola, and Nigeria, plus
UN SRSG Bill Swing. Kabila was accompanied by Chief of Staff
Boshab, Special Advisor Kaputo, Ambassador-at-Large Okitundu,
Diplomatic Advisor Kapanaga, and his spokesperson.



3. (C) Kabila opened by emphasizing his concern over the
situation in the east, and specifically the threat of renewed
invasion by Rwandan forces. He noted that in recent weeks,
the DRC and Rwanda had been parties to signature of the Joint
Verification Mechanism (JVM) agreement and the
U.S.-facilitated Tripartite Agreement, and had taken part in
the Dar es Salaam summit and separate meetings with the
visiting UNSC. He and Rwandan President Kagama met in Dar.
Only a short time after all of this, Kagame made new threats
to send his forces across the DRC border, a possibility never
mentioned in their meeting only a few days before. Kabila
said he found the timing strange, and later added that even
though "some" do not believe Rwanda already has troops inside
the DRC, in fact they do. He asserted Kagame,s public

threat was only a justification of a course of action already
launched. Kabila also noted that the new Rwandan threat
occurred while 8th Military District Commander Obed is
"absent" from the area.

Meeting in Ouagadougou, Threats, Plans


--------------------------



--------------------------





4. (C) Kabila reported that he had met again with Kagame in
Ouagadougou. He said that Kagame had asked "officially" for
Rwandan troops to re-enter the DRC, possibly with 2-3
brigades operating with the Congolese to disarm
ex-FAR/Interahamwe forces in the region. Kabila reported he
deemed the proposal "inadmissible" as the Congolese people
would simply not accept the renewed acknowledged presence of
Rwandan troops on Congolese soil. Indeed, it would risk a
potentially violent public reaction in various parts of the
country.



5. (C) Kabila noted his own intent to deal with the
ex-FAR/Interahamwe, and had Special Advisor Kaputo expand.
Kaputo ran through a brief recent history of the JVM and
Tripartite processes, and said the GDRC had developed a plan
to deal with the ex-FAR/Interahamwe within the time frame
described in the Tripartite Agreement. Specifically, actions
were being taken to talk with Mai Mai and other local leaders
to locate and identify ex-FAR/Interahamwe forces and
specifically leaders. In the meantime, brigades are to be
trained at Kitona base within the next three months for
deployment to use against those elements who resist voluntary
disarmament and repatriation (DDRRR). Also during this time,
it is important for Rwanda to renew efforts in Rwanda to
encourage return.



6. (C) Given the current situation, Kaputo said that as an
interim measure the government is undertaking an "interim"
deployment of additional forces to North Kivu. Kabila later
added that just as significant new forces had earlier been
sent to South Kivu in response to the destabilization threat
posed by "dissident" Generals Nkunda and Mutebusi,
significant new forces will be sent to North Kivu now to
address the threat from both the ex-FAR/Interahamwe and from
Rwanda across the border. Kabila also reported that the
Congolese and Rwandan military chiefs are to meet this week
on the border, either on the border bridge near Bukavu, or in
the "no-man's land" border area near Goma.

Ambassadorial Responses


--------------------------





7. (C) SRSG Swing led the responses from the foreign
Ambassadors with three recommendations. First, JVM
operations in North Kivu should start immediately using
personnel already stationed in Goma and Gisenyi. He
indicated that the final formal document, a concept of
operations, had already been signed by GDRC
Ambassador-at-Large Ghonda and was awaiting signature in
Kigali by Great Lakes Special Envoy Sezibera. (Note: MONUC
DDR Chief told DCM and PolCouns later on Nov. 29 that
Sezibera did indeed sign the JVM concept of operations
today.) Secondly, Swing said that he obtained agreement from
both Kigali and Kinshasa to hold a meeting of the Joint
Verification Commission on December 9 in Kinshasa, although
it would be chaired by current incumbent Rwanda. Swing
noted, however, that Rwandan FM Murigande has recently
commented that he did not see the need to hold the meeting
before January. Swing asserted he believes it now more
important than ever to hold the meeting quickly. Thirdly,
Swing encouraged the Tripartite mechanism to be fully
utilized for dialogue among the respective regional players.



8. (C) Other Ambassadorial interventions fully supported the
need to start immediately JVM operations, to make use of the
Tripartite, and to avoid recourse to military actions. While
endorsing these sentiments, I also noted the long-standing
seemingly intractable nature of the problem represented by
Hutu extremist forces. In addition to whatever problem they
pose to Rwanda, they certainly threaten the security of
Congolese in the east and general stability as well, but a
solution has been hard to find. While Congolese efforts to
neutralize these forces are needed and welcome, I encouraged
consideration of other potential offers that may be made by
other countries (comment: thinking specifically of South
Africa) which could be useful in this regard. The French
Ambassador pointed out the problem of the "expenditure chain"
which has delayed many issues in the GDRC, including military
integration and training, in reference to the planned
training in Kitona. (Comment: This is an allusion to control
by Vice President Bemba of key portfolios, and the delays and
political problems arising from the divided
responsibilities.) The UK Ambassador underscored the
importance of concrete results in the east. The Belgian
Ambassador emphasized the importance of Rwandan actions to
create an environment conducive to the return of Rwanda Hutu
combatants in the DRC, commenting that Brussels does not
believe the signals to-date "have been sufficiently clear".



9. (C) The South African Ambassador made an allusion to my
remarks, but did not describe any specific offers or ideas
that President Mbeki may have made to Kabila in recent
contacts. He did say that Mbeki is exploring how SADC may be
involved and helpful to a solution.



10. (C) The Nigerian Ambassador reported that President
Obasanjo will be arriving in Kinshasa on December 5 or 6 in
follow-up to his participation in the Ouagadougou meeting.
He reportedly plans to continue on to Kigali following his
Kinshasa stop.


Presidential Wrap-Up


--------------------------





11. (C) In his final summary, Kabila said that he has been
trying to determine what the Rwandans really want. While the
ex-FAR/Interahamwe are a continuing problem, he does not
believe they represent any longer a threat to fundamental GOR
stability. He opined that there may be three basic
motivations. Rwanda retains strong coltan mining and other
commercial interests in North Kivu, and they presumably want
to preserve them. Secondly, they may wish to derail the DRC
transition process. Surely they are aware that a renewed
acknowledged large-scale troop presence in the DRC could set
off major public violent demonstrations that could wreck the
fragile transition process. Thirdly, he wondered if in fact
the Rwandans want the hard-line core of remaining Hutu
extremists back. A new military operation, or even threatof
a military operation, acts as a motivator to stay away.
Kabila also speculated about a DRC threat to enter Rwanda,
for example to seize General Mutebusi or his people. Would
this be regarded in the same way?



12. (C) Kabila also expressed frustration with meetings and
declarations. Kabila said he refused a Belgian request in
Ouagadougou for a joint declaration with Kagame, adding that
the Congolese people have seen too many statements that seem
to mean nothing (comment: a clear allusion to the JVM and
tripartite accords, and the Dar es Salaam regional
conference). Kabila noted again his intention to deploy new
troops to North Kivu to address both threats, from the
ex-FAR/Interahamwe and from Rwanda. He appealed for support
for these deployments, and for general international
community support for political and diplomatic efforts to
avoid renewed general warfare in the area.

Comment


--------------------------





13. (C) Kabila spoke in measured tones throughout the
meeting, but clearly projected a sense of frustration and
resentment over the Rwandan threat. It is unclear which
troops are to be involved in the Kitona training plan, but
this may be linked to the Angolan government effort to train
significant numbers of troops in Kitona, primarily
Presidential GSSP. The GGSP is widely viewed as the only
potential FARDC force capable of undertaking any kind of
sustained offensive military operations. Kabila,s reference
to 8th Military District Commander Obed,s "absence" from
Goma likely reflects Kabila,s intent to block Obed,s return
permanently. Obed has been largely viewed in the Presidency
as unresponsive to Kinshasa, and likely working in
cooperation with Kigali. Obed,s removal, much less a new
deployment of supposedly Kinshasa-controlled troops into
North Kivu, could certainly effect a major change in the
overall balance of forces and influence in the province.
This, along with the recent reported failure of the joint
FARDC/MONUC operation against ex-FAR/Interahamwe forces in
North Kivu due to the lack of FARDC logistical support
capability, may indeed not be unrelated to the timing of the
current threat and general situation. As reflected in our
reporting, we have been aware for some weeks of significant
new renewed political maneuvering in North Kivu by one or
more key players, including the Kinshasa government,
RCD-Goma, and North Kivu Governor Serufuli. We may be
witnessing the denouement.



14. (C) Comment continued: Whatever the causes, the
overriding priority from our perspective at this point must
be the avoidance of renewed large-scale fighting that could
engulf the region in a renewed period of warfare. Such a
development would certainly bring crashing down the overall
DRC transition as well. Insofar as a solution to neutralize
the remaining Hutu extremist forces can be identified,
possibly with South African or other foreign troops to help
take on the task, so much the better to eliminate the
long-stated GOR major concern, as well as an ongoing threat
to the security of all in the region. Clearly, we should
also use our efforts to support the range of political
efforts underway, including the JVM and tripartite, and what
we hope will be coordinated efforts by Obasanjo and Mbeki.
End comment.



15. (U) Bujumbura minimize considered.

MEECE