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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINSHASA1641
2005-10-03 10:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kinshasa
Cable title:  

LRA UPDATE: FARDC DEPLOYMENTS, CONTACTS WITH

Tags:   PREL  MARR  PGOV  KPKO  UG  CG 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001641 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2015
TAGS: PREL MARR PGOV KPKO UG CG
SUBJECT: LRA UPDATE: FARDC DEPLOYMENTS, CONTACTS WITH
KAMPALA, PRETORIA, AND THE EU

REF: A. KINSHASA 1626


B. KAMPALA 2118 AND PREVIOUS

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

Deployments
-----------



1. (C) MONUC Divisional Commander Gen Cammaert confirmed
October 1 separately to the Ambassador and PolCouns that
MONUC was initiating during the weekend the transport of
FARDC troops already in Aru (Ituri District, Orientale
Province) to Aba (Haut-Uele District, Orientale Province) to
deal with the LRA troops in the area. These troops will join
others already arrived from the Ninth Military District sent
by General Padiri. Other troops are en route from various
points, all apparently to be routed via Aru. Cammaert told
the Ambassador the deployment plan is to ferry the troops
over the roughly 130 km. distance from Aru to Aba by
helicopter. Trucks will attempt to deliver heavier support
supplies over the "track" that remains of the road to Aba.
Cammaert estimated road transport time at about 9 - 10 hours,
barring breakdowns or vehicles mired in the mud.



2. (C) The Ambassador asked about supply needs for the
deployed FARDC troops. Cammaert confirmed this is a serious
problem, especially food rations. He indicated that he had
given orders for MONUC forces to push as far as possible
within their authority to ensure adequate food rations to the
deployed FARDC forces. (Comment: Cammaert strongly implied
that in fact MONUC would go beyond that point. Cammaert
pointed out that the troops have to eat and no effective
operations can be expected from starving soldiers. End
comment.)

Contacts


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





3. (C) Presidency Ambassador-at-Large Antoine Ghonda told the
Ambassador Monday morning, October 3, that GDRC
representatives Presidential Private Secretary Kikaya and
Ambassador-at-Large Katumba were just in Pretoria to talk
with President Mbeki about the situation in northeastern DRC.
According to Ghonda, Mbeki indicated that he would get in
contact with Uganda President Museveni to urge, among other
points, that the Tripartite mechanism be used as the primary
vehicle for consultation and coordination regarding the LRA
problem, as well as in regard to ADF elements and Ituri
warlord militias, all on the bilateral Uganda/DRC agenda
regarding northeastern DRC. That is the reason for existence
of the Tripartite process. Kikaya and Katumba will go soon
on to Addis Ababa for consultations with the African Union.



4. (C) Ghonda reported that a number of people in the GDRC
believe that Museveni is attempting to manipulate the
situation with the LRA to deflect attention from Uganda's
continuing active support of warlord militias in Ituri
District. In its most extreme version, this thesis holds
that Museveni recognizes that the LRA troops in Aba represent
little threat to Uganda. The Ambassador countered that the
thesis appears misplaced. While Museveni certainly seeks to
advance his own interests, he and the Kampala government
generally have ample reason to consider the LRA a threat.
While the LRA combatants in Aba are not/not on the Uganda
border (note: Haut-Uele District borders Sudan, not Uganda.
end note), the Uganda government has been pursuing a long and
sustained campaign against the LRA who bear the
responsibility for a great many civilian killings and
suffering.



5. (C) The Ambassador encouraged Ghonda to explore direct
bilateral contacts from Kinshasa with Kampala as well. In
particular, it would be useful to have operational
coordination between FARDC operational commanders and Ugandan
commanders in charge of troops reportedly currently deployed
across the border in Sudan. Ghonda took the suggestion on
board. (Comment: Ref B noted that Kabila and Museveni spoke
on Thursday, September 29, although Ghonda made no reference
to the conversation. Cammaert told the Ambassador he had a
report that General Padiri was holding a meeting with UPDF
officers also during the weekend, but had no further
information as to what may have been discussed, if in fact
the meeting took place. End comment.)



6. (C) Comment: All GDRC contacts of the Embassy confirm that
the Congolese leadership would like nothing more than to be
rid of the LRA. The Congolese have deep suspicions regarding
Museveni, based on the ongoing activities of the Ituri
militias as well as Uganda's past involvement in northeastern
DRC which produced widespread death and destruction. For the
same reason, they are desperately anxious to avoid any excuse
for a reentry of UPDF troops into Congolese territory. The
building troop presence around Aba represents the opportunity
for meaningful action, but undoubtedly as the number of FARDC
troops increase, the de facto demands for MONUC support,
including food, will multiply. End comment.
MEECE