|06KIGALI731||2006-08-01 14:14:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Kigali|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L KIGALI 000731
1. (U) Summary. On 25 July Rwandan foreign affairs and
defense officials briefed diplomatic corps on a variety of
issues including the African Union (AU) Summit, the GOR's
position on The Great Lakes Conference, the African Union
Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the African Peer Review Mechanism
(APRM). The presentation also included the GOR's current
position on the recent return of Rwandan nationals from
Tanzania and specific Rwandan Defense Force (RDF) criticisms
of AMIS. According to Minster of State in charge of
Cooperation Rosemary Museminari, the GOR is happy with the
APRM peer review report delivered in Banjul. She reported
that the governments of Rwanda and Tanzania would form a
joint task force to investigate the cases of Rwandan
nationals allegedly forcibly returned to Rwanda by GOT
forces. And Rwandan Colonel Michael Nkurunziza detailed the
GOR,s criticism of the AMIS. End summary.
GOR View of the AU Summit
2. (U) After a brief introduction by Foreign Minister Charles
Murigande, Museminari reported the following from the Banjul
-- AU leaders rejected a Libyan proposal to develop a "United
States of Africa" but recognized and reaffirmed the eight
standing Regional Economic Communities (COMESA, ECOWAS, EAC,
etc.) as the key institutions to further integrate African
-- The Rwandan APRM report "was received warmly" in Banjul,
Museminari divided the GOR's response into three categories:
- Best practices. Museminari noted the GOR's high
marks for low corruption, good governance and its
- Improvements. The GOR recognized the need for
capacity building in certain sectors. (Note. Museminari did
not specify which sectors. End note.)
- Criticisms. The GOR "agrees to disagree" with APRM
report's position on gacaca and the political party forum.
She commented that the APRM did not account for the unique
context of Rwanda's historical situation and she added that
the "GOR seeks the understanding and help of partners to
explain this to others."
-- The Great Lakes Conference on the margins of the AU summit
was chaired by Tanzania and discussed the following issues:
- Dates for next Great Lakes Summit: 12-15 Dec 2006.
- The permanent location of Secretariat. Candidates
are Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia
- Leadership of Secretariat. Candidates are Tanzania,
Uganda and Sudan.
- Modalities to establish Secretariat.
-- Museminari had the following comments about the AU Peace
and Security Commission meeting chaired by South Africa:
- The GOR is happy the Darfur Peace Agreement is in
place and agrees that the rebels who haven't signed it need
to be monitored, however, there is no need for sanctions yet.
- The AMIS financial problems, including the payment of
Rwandan troops, are a serious problem.
- The AMIS Political and Military leadership is
- The government of Sudan will not accept an AMIS
re-hat to UN.
- There is no current AMIS mandate to deal with the
Chad-Sudan issue, any mandate expansion will depend on the
troop contributing countries.
- There is no AU consensus on how to deal with the
Somalia situation, but Rwanda does not support the "radical
Rwandans Expelled from Tanzania
3. (C) Museminari reported that she went to Rwandan-Tanzanian
border with Tanzanian Ambassador Alexander Muganda to
investigate the flow of Rwandan nationals recently forced to
return to Rwanda. (Background. UNHCR, NGOs and press
report that Tanzanian government forces have forcibly
expelled up to 1,000 Rwandan nationals from western Tanzania.
On 20 July, Chris Huggins (protect), Human Rights Watch
country representative, told poloff that the recently
expelled Rwandans claimed that in the process of forcing them
from Tanzania, members of Tanzanian military, militia and
police forces had stolen cattle and other property, burned
huts, separated families and raped women. The majority of the
recently expelled Rwandans are currently residing in
temporary shelter in the Kiyanzi transit camp, Kirehe
District, Eastern Province. End background.) Museminari
announced that there would be a GOR-GOT joint committee
formed to study each individual case and determine a course
of action. (Note. In a private conversation that evening,
Ambassador Muganda told poloff that the Rwandans were removed
from Tanzania because they were illegal immigrants who did
not have the appropriate Tanzanian documentation and had
never applied for a legal status as refugees or as permanent
residents. He indicated that the GOT considered them
Rwandans that need to remain in Rwanda. End note.)
RDF Expresses Dissatisfaction with AMIS
4. (U) RDF Colonel Michael Nkurunziza closed the presentation
with a summary of the RDF's role in AMIS. After outlining
the basics of the Rwandan participation in the mission (over
1,700 troops and 30 Military observers), Nkurunziza directed
criticism at AMIS political and military leadership. He said
the RDF was "not happy with the management of AU", that the
Force Headquarters was "ineffective" and the leadership was
"nervous" as to when and how to deploy the troops.
Nkurunziza remarked that troops from other nations would not
"go the extra mile" and he specifically criticized AU
leadership for continually paying the Rwandan troops late,
noting that payments have regularly been up to two months in
arrears. Nkurunziza closed by stating the GOR would be happy
to pledge troops to a UN Force if effective leadership was in
place, but would be forced to question its continued
commitment to AMIS if it continues to be ineffective.
5. (C) Comment. While he did not name names in his
presentation, Col. Nkurunziza,s attacks were targeted at the
Nigerian leadership and the conduct of the South African
patrol who surrendered their weapons without a fight. At
both the military and political levels, the Rwandans have
made no secret of their lack of faith in the ability of AMIS.
6. (C) Despite the understandable frustration over the
reported lack of medicine and late payments it is unlikely
that the GOR, granted ACOTA status this year, would take the
extreme step of withdrawing from AMIS this late in the game.