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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06PRETORIA4726 2006-11-15 14:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pretoria
Cable title:  

VAN ECK SAYS FNL LOSING FAITH IN CEASEFIRE

Tags:   PREL BU SF 
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RR RUEHMR RUEHRN
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FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6930
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0945
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1081
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 6247
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RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0429
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 3625
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1180
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0308
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 004726 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR AF/C, AF/S

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/2016
TAGS: PREL BU SF
SUBJECT: VAN ECK SAYS FNL LOSING FAITH IN CEASEFIRE
AGREEMENT

REF: A. TRENKLE-CARROLL EMAIL OF 11/8/06

B. BUJUMBURA 937

C. PRETORIA 3420 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Don Teitelbaum.
Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY. ISS Burundi Analyst Jan van Eck says the
Palipehutu-FNL is losing faith in the Burundi peace process
and is "at the point of declaring the ceasefire agreement
dead." At an ISS seminar in Pretoria November 14, van Eck
outlined the FNL's major concerns: problems with the
immunity law and JVMM decrees, and lack of trust in the GOB.
He urged the South African Mediation to act to prevent the
Ceasefire Agreement's collapse. South African Special Envoy
Mamabolo reported that the Mediator, Minister Nqakula, plans
to return to the region soon. Mamabolo noted that the FNL
had some legitimate concerns, but urged them to return to
Bujumbura and deal with the issues through the JVMM. Acting
UNSRSG Satti said that he believes the FNL is "dragging their
feet" because they are uncertain about their political
future. END SUMMARY.



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


FNL Losing Patience


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





2. (SBU) Speaking at a closed November 14-15 Burundi seminar
sponsored by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the
Embassy of the Netherlands in Pretoria (Ref A), ISS analyst
Jan van Eck claimed that the Palipehutu-FNL is "at the point
of declaring the ceasefire agreement dead." Van Eck, who
just returned from three days of meetings with the FNL in Dar
es Salaam, stressed that unless "dramatic action" is taken by
the Mediation and Regional Peace Initiative, the September 7
Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement will not survive. Van Eck
strongly urged the South Africa Mediator, Minister for Safety
and Security Charles Nqakula, to meet with the FNL leadership
as soon as possible to salvage the process.



3. (SBU) Van Eck outlined the major stumbling blocks to
implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement from the FNL
perspective:

-- Immunity: Even though the Burundian Parliament passed a
law granting provisional amnesty to the FNL (Ref B), the FNL
objects to several provisions in the law. For example, it
does not accept that amnesty should only last until the Truth
and Reconciliation and Special Tribunal for Burundi are put
in place. It also objects to the absence of its full party
name (Palipehutu-FNL) in the decree, rejecting the GOB
contention that the political party law prohibits the
registration of parties with "Hutu" in their name. Van Eck
says the party name issue is a major problem that should be
negotiated now, not later.

-- Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM): The
FNL rejects the GOB's unilateral issuance of decrees on the
workings of the JVMM without consultations with them. In
their view, clauses in the decrees directly contradict
agreements in the Ceasefire Agreement.

-- Lack of Trust: More broadly, van Eck stressed that the
internal human rights situation in Burundi is undermining FNL
confidence in the peace process. If the GOB can strip former
President Domitien Ndayizeye of his immunity and throw him in
jail with common criminals, why should the FNL not expect
similar treatment?



4. (SBU) Van Eck emphasized that the FNL wants direct talks
with the GOB to deal with these issues before they will
return to Bujumbura and begin implementation of the Ceasefire
Agreement. He warned ominously that an "anti-government
alliance" is beginning to form, with the FNL emerging as the
"military wing of the internal opposition." The ability of
the FNL to destabilize Burundi is "consistently
underestimated."

PRETORIA 00004726 002 OF 002





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


Mediation Focused on JVMM


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





5. (SBU) South Africa believes that the Joint Verification
and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM) is the appropriate forum for
addressing the FNL's concerns, according to Department of
Foreign Affairs Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region
Kingsley Mamabolo. Ambassador Mamabolo agreed that there are
"loopholes" in the immunity law and that the "JVMM decrees
need to be corrected." But unless the FNL engages in the
process it will not be able to resolve the issues. Mamabolo
said that the Facilitation is tired of dealing with the
complaints of both parties, who should be meeting directly to
solve their problems.



6. (SBU) Mamabolo dismissed the FNL's immunity rationale for
not returning to Burundi, noting that the FNL had already
sent an advance team to Burundi and that the Mediation and AU
had promised to guarantee their safety. The FNL leadership
"would not be in danger" if they returned to Bujumbura.



7. (SBU) Mamabolo said that the Mediator, Minister Nqakula,
planned to return to Burundi and Tanzania in the near future.
He stressed that despite the frustrations South Africa is
not "throwing in the towel," because peace in Burundi is
essential for the region, and the FNL is the "one missing
piece in the Burundi jigsaw." Their continued exclusion from
the peace process hampers development and progress in Burundi.



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


AU and UN Perspective


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





8. (SBU) Acting UN Special Representative of the Secretary
General Ambassador Nureldin Satti said that he believed the
FNL was "dragging its feet on implementation" of the
Ceasefire Agreement. The substantive issues -- on immunity
or the JVMM -- could have been solved if they wanted. Satti
believes the FNL is unsure about its future and reluctant to
"take the plunge." Ambassador Mamadou Bah, Special
Representative of the African Union, urged the international
community to press the FNL to join the process, noting that
the CNDD-FDD returned to Bujumbura without explicit immunity
guarantees. He expressed concern that the FNL "is being
used" by the political opposition in Burundi to strengthen
their position.



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


Comment


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





9. (C) As we have reported previously (Ref C), van Eck has
worked closely with the FNL since 1999 and is sympathetic to
their views. (One South African think tank analyst, Che
Ajulu of the Institute for Global Dialogue, called van Eck
the "FNL's number one lobbyist.") According to several
sources, van Eck retains significant influence with the FNL
leadership, particularly Agathon Rwasa. Van Eck has used
similarly dramatic language about the FNL pulling out of the
peace process in the past, so it is difficult to judge from
Pretoria the seriousness of the FNL threats. South African
Great Lakes Special Envoy Mamabolo listens to van Eck's
advice, although by no means agrees with everything he says.



10. (C) Mamabolo's report that the Facilitator, Minister
Nqakula, is returning to the region is good news. Nqakula
has not devoted as much energy or time to the Burundi peace
process as his predecessor, former Deputy President Jacob
Zuma -- who for all his domestic legal and ethical problems
received rave reviews for his Burundi mediation efforts.
Nqakula, by contrast, does not know the Great Lakes region as
well and is preoccupied with South Africa's serious domestic
crime problem.
BOST