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2005-06-20 14:03:00
Embassy Kinshasa
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001010 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2015

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

1. (C) Summary: UN DPKO Africa Division Chief Dmitry Titov
briefed several diplomats June 11 on his visit to the DRC,
the first in two years. Titov spoke of particular concerns
regarding Ituri District, and negative influence from
neighboring states. In addition, Titov reported &palpable8
tension in the Kasai and Katanga provinces in the lead-up to
June 30, lack of progress to-date securing FDLR returns to
Rwanda, and continuing weaknesses in Independent Electoral
Commission operations around the country. Concerns
notwithstanding, Titov sounded a relatively hopeful note on
the situation in the Kivus, in fact we think a bit too
hopeful. The Ambassador and others encouraged DPKO to
submit MONUC elections support financial requirements to the
UNSC as soon as possible. Titov,s visit was useful,
although it is discouraging that the DPKO African section
chief has not paid a field visit in two years to DPKO,s
biggest operation. End summary.

2. (SBU) Several diplomatic missions were invited to a
briefing session June 11 by UN DPKO Africa Division Chief
Dmitry Titov at MONUC headquarters in Kinshasa. The South
African, French, and American ambassadors, along with the
Belgian and British Charges attended. Titov had just
completed roughly a week of travel in the DRC,s interior as
part of his first visit to the DRC in roughly two years.
Titov noted that he had not yet had time to review his
observations with SRSG Bill Swing, out of the country on
official travel, and therefore qualified his comments as
preliminary personal thoughts.

3. (C) Titov provided an extensive tour d,horizon, touching
on most of the subjects familiar to those following the DRC
transition process, including military integration and
security sector reform programs, elections planning, arms
trafficking, security concerns in various regions, especially
in eastern DRC, and continuing ill effects of ongoing illegal
resource exploitation by foreign and Congolese operators.
Titov expressed particular concern about the situation in
Ituri District despite progress in recent months to disarm
large numbers of militia combatants (further details septel).
Titov particularly singled out Ugandan Ituri-related
activities contributing to renewed security threats.
Titov,s comments implied doubt as to MONUC,s capacity to
undertake major new military operations in the Kivu provinces
while maintaining a high tempo of ongoing operations in Ituri.

4. (C) Titov also reported what he said was palpable tension
in Lubumbashi (Katanga) and Mbuji-Mayi (Eastern Kasai), as
well as Kinshasa in the run-up to the June 30 two-year DRC
Transition anniversary date. (Note: Tensions being fed by

opposition UDPS call for the transition to end June 30, with
street demonstrations intended to result in UDPS leader
Tshisekedi,s installation in a newly-established Prime

Minister position. End note.) He expressed hope that
efforts at dialogue could bring Tshisekedi around to some
kind of political compromise. Ideally, UDPS support for
election preparations could be secured.

5. (C) Titov also noted that the San Egidio-brokered Rome
declaration of FDLR readiness to return to Rwanda has thus
far not produced any significant movement. He observed that
the FDLR president would soon be completing his travel to the
field and held out hope that efforts could still produce
significant FDLR returns. Speaking of North and South Kivu
provinces more generally, Titov took a somewhat more
optimistic tone. He praised the performance of current MONUC
units in North and South Kivu, and suggested that concerns
over tensions focused on the Banyamulenge community in South
Kivu may be exaggerated. Noting that there have been recent
significant Banyamulenge returns to the province, he said he
believed there is decreasing hostility in the province, with
concern more centered on the lack of economic opportunity for
the provincial population in general. Titov spoke of the
possibility of generating renewed donor programs to create
&islands of hope8 in the Kivus.

6. (C) Titov also noted that the visible presence of the
Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) in much of the country
is very weak. More needs to be done to increase its
presence, as well as to reinforce its communications program.
Related, Titov described plans to extend further MONUC-run
Radio Okapi operations, included in the Kasai provinces.
Titov also pushed for early adoption of an electoral &code
of conduct8 to establish ground rules for parties and
candidates leading to general elections.

7. (C) During subsequent discussion, the Ambassador and
others strongly encouraged DPKO to put on the table as soon
as possible financial requirements for needed MONUC logistics
support to the election process to permit planning to move
forward. Regarding continuing serious concerns about needed
DRC election money, the French Ambassador speculated about
getting the issue on the G8 Summit agenda. The Ambassador
and others cautioned that, while Ituri,s security situation
may indeed take some extended time to be normalized, the
Kivus cannot simply be put on a back-burner awaiting Ituri
stability. Progress is needed in both regions. With others
concurring, the Ambassador expressed some skepticism that the
UDPS could be brought around to a compromise regarding June
30 and the transition, given Tshisekedi,s past record and
general unwillingness to engage in political negotiation.
Efforts, however, are worth pursuing. The South African
Ambassador spoke of the need to begin thinking about a
post-election role for the international community. Several
of the diplomats also praised MONUC,s reorganization, more
aggressive military posture, the performance of Eastern
Division Commander Major-General Cammaert, and SRSG Swing.

8. (C) Comment: The visit appeared to be useful in giving
Titov an exposure to MONUC current operations and the
situation on the ground in the DRC. It is disappointing,
however, that this is the first visit in two years of the
DPKO Africa Chief to the site of the UN,s largest
peacekeeping operation. We think Titov may be a bit too
optimistic regarding tension levels focused on South Kivu,s
Banyamulenge community, and believe that this will continue
to be an area needing continuing attention and active
international community engagement for some time to come.
Nonetheless, Titov is on target regarding the need for
stepped-up development efforts in the east. Finding
productive activities for the very large numbers of current
or former combatants will be a key to durable stability in
the region. Titov,s comments about MONUC capacity in Ituri
and the Kivus appears to reflect concerns in MONUC about
being stretched too tightly for too long a period of time in
a high-tempo operational pace over very large areas with
limited capacity. This is likely to be an ongoing discussion
in the foreseeable future. While this involves many factors,
including views of the troop-contributing countries and their
units in-country, some UN actions could help as well.
Notably, loosening DPKO,s highly restrictive rules regarding
night operations by the night-capable MONUC helicopter
flights crews in eastern Congo could significantly extend
MONUC,s overall combat effectiveness. End comment.