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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINSHASA1356
2005-08-23 10:18:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kinshasa
Cable title:  

ATTACKS ON VOTER REGISTRATION CENTERS IN ITURI

Tags:   PGOV  KDEM  KPKO  PREL  CG 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L KINSHASA 001356 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/23/2015
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO PREL CG
SUBJECT: ATTACKS ON VOTER REGISTRATION CENTERS IN ITURI

Classified By: Poloff Gons Nachman for Reasons 1.4 B and D



1. (SBU) Armed elements attacked two voter registration
centers in the areas of Bule (120 kms NE of Bunia) and
Komanda (80 kms SE of Bunia) in Ituri on August 22, UN and
Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) sources reported.
According to the sources, armed elements from the Union of
Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia attacked the Bule center as
people were registering to vote. According to Petronille
Vaweka, the Ituri District Commissioner, Congolese army
(FARDC) soldiers responded to the incident and repelled the
attackers before they could seize any of the registration
equipment. During the exchange of gunfire, a local chief
working for the CEI as a permanent witness at the center was
hit by a militia bullet and killed. The District Commissioner
confirmed that she saw armed UPC militia in Bule the day
before the attack.



2. (SBU) In a separate but almost simultaneous incident,
unknown armed elements attacked a voter registration center
in Mangiva near Komanda, an area of Irumu territory
controlled by the Front of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri
(FRPI) militia. According to CEI sources, people fled the
center and there were no reported casualties. Following these
incidents, the CEI issued a press statement strongly
condemning the attacks and calling on MONUC and FARDC to
provide security to electoral workers and equipment.

Comment


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





3. (C) It is unclear why UPC or FRPI militia would target
voter registration centers since their Hema and Ngiti/Lendu
communities have expressed overwhelming support for the
electoral process. Knowledgeable NGO sources in Ituri
speculate that remaining UPC and FRPI militia fighters have
become criminal gangs, and the attackers could have acted on
their own to steal valuable computer equipment. The almost
simultaneous nature of the attacks, however, could also
suggest some coordination and planning. In Vaweka's view, it
is possible that Uganda is using these groups to intimidate
the population and disrupt the ongoing voter registration
process.
MEECE