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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KINSHASA457 2006-03-17 11:09:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kinshasa
Cable title:  

RCD-GOMA DEBATES CONTINUE

Tags:   PGOV PREL KDEM CG 
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VZCZCXRO2570
PP RUEHMR
DE RUEHKI #0457/01 0761109
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171109Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3469
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000457 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM CG
SUBJECT: RCD-GOMA DEBATES CONTINUE

REF: KINSHASA 0424

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



1. (C) A delegation of CIAT Ambassadors, including UN SRSG
Swing and the European Commission, Canadian, British, and
American Chiefs of Mission, met with Vice President Ruberwa
Thursday evening for about an hour and a half to discuss the
ongoing debate about RCD-Goma's status and continuing
participation in the Transition Government and election
process. Ruberwa was accompanied by Chief of Staff Emungu,
and three other RCD-Goma members, the latter all sharing
relatively hard-line views. The CIAT Ambassadors ran through
arguments very similar to those presented by the American
Ambassador on Monday (per reftel), essentially that RCD-Goma
interests, those of their followers, and indeed those of the
Congolese people generally would be much better served by
continuing RCD-Goma engagement in this final phase of the
Congolese Transition and elections.



2. (C) Ruberwa ran through a by-now familiar litany of
complaints. In essence, Ruberwa and his colleagues argued
that the issue of territorial status for Minembwe
(essentially the central area of South Kivu's Banyamulenge
base) and the related question of assured representation in
the future national assembly served as a proximate symbol of
bad faith shown by Congolese political leaders generally, and
specifically by President Kabila and his advisors. Ruberwa
at one point presented an emotional argument that the Tutsi
people had long suffered as a persecuted minority in
Zaire/DRC. If there could not be some compromise on this
question now, how could there be any faith that a future
government likely headed by an elected, and thus politically
stronger, President Kabila be trusted to undertake any
further progress? Indeed, it seemed to Ruberwa that movement
backwards would be more likely. Ruberwa did end the evening,
however, by promising to take account of what he called the
clear "consensus" view presented by the assembled mbassadors
of the need to stay engaged. Ruberwa reported that another
meeting of the RCD-Goma founders' group is scheduled for
Friday afternoon, March 17 to discuss the issue further.



3. (C) South African President Mbeki had been in town for a
two-day visit and met at least twice with Ruberwa as well as
President Kabila. According to Ruberwa, Mbeki had sought to
arrange a joint Mbeki/Kabila/Ruberwa meeting, but had been
unable to do so. It was unclear what Mbeki had managed to
obtain during his visit. Ruberwa did say he understood that
Kabila was willing to call for a meeting of the Espace
Presidentiel (President Kabila plus the four DRC Vice
Presidents) on Monday, March 20 with Minembwe on the agenda,
but Ruberwa asserted that a Monday meeting would be too late
to permit the RCD-Goma to discuss any possible deal coming
out of the meeting and still prepare comprehensive lists of
candidates in accordance with the Electoral Commission's
candidate registration deadlines. The CIAT Chiefs of Mission
noted in the discussion that other senior-level leaders
expected to arrive imminently in the DRC include European
Union foreign policy chief Solana, scheduled to arrive
Sunday, March 19, and UN SYG Kofi Annan with a planned
arrival on Tuesday, March 21.



4. (C) Comment: At this point, it is clear that Minembwe
representation and potential territorial status has become an
emotional issue for Ruberwa, tied up with long-standing
discrimination against Congolese Tutsis and an entrenched
sense of victimization. It is also clear that any sense of
trust between Ruberwa and Kabila and at least many of their
close advisors has all but completely broken down. While
many of Ruberwa's complaints have a justified basis, he is
nevertheless dealing from a weak hand, and he is reluctant to
acknowledge that withdrawal from the process would only make
it weaker still. Should he attempt to insist on withdrawal,
further splintering of RCD-Goma is likely. The RCD-Goma Vice
President, North Kivu Governor Serufuli, appears strongly
committed to participating in elections; others within the
party such as Defense Minister Onusumba are ready to move to
try to seize control of what might be left of the national
party apparatus and are also committed to participation.
There are Minembwe representation proposals on the table, as
previously reported, that could form the basis of a deal at
least minimally acceptable to Ruberwa and the Presidency. It
is even conceivable that the basic deal has been reached
privately, but Ruberwa is keeping it in his pocket to try to
wrest further concessions, or for tactical reasons prior to
the RCD-Goma Friday meeting. Nothing, however, is
particularly clear. We will follow up during the course of

KINSHASA 00000457 002 OF 002


the day with Presidency officials as well as try to get a
better take on the current status of talks. End comment.
MEECE