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07PRETORIA3873 2007-11-06 11:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pretoria
Cable title:  

SAG GREAT LAKES ENVOY URGES AID FOR FNL

Tags:   PREL BY CG SF 
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1. (C) SUMMARY. The internal PALIPEHUTU-FNL divisions are
complicating the Burundi peace process, according to the
South African Government (SAG) Great Lakes Envoy Kingsley
Mamabolo. Mamabolo urged the international community to
provide protection and humanitarian relief for FNL
"defectors," arguing that it would be "irresponsible" to do
otherwise. The SAG wants to hold a regional summit on the
Burundi peace process in the coming weeks, both to size up
the commitment of the parties to the process and renew/revise
the Facilitation's mandate. On eastern DRC, South Africa is
urging President Kabila to pursue dialogue with rebel leader
Laurent Nkunda and other dissident forces. Mamabolo does not
believe that Nkunda's exile to South Africa would resolve
tensions as another hardline leader would simply take
Nkunda's place. Post encourages AF Conflict Advisor Shortley
and/or DAS Swan to visit South Africa to consult with
Mamabolo and other SAG leaders on Great Lakes issues. END
SUMMARY.



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Burundi Process "Very Difficult"


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





2. (C) South African Government (SAG) Great Lakes Envoy
Kingsley Mamabolo told PolCounselor and PolOff October 31
that the situation in Burundi remains "very difficult." The
internal PALIPEHUTU-FNL divisions and recent "defections" of
some 1800 soldiers have led to renewed violence (refs A and
B), including the brutal killing of at least 35 people.
While some in the international community claim that the
defectors are not "truly FNL," Mamabolo said it is
"irresponsible" not to protect these people and provide them
with humanitarian relief -- regardless of their true
affiliation. Mamabolo also noted that the "defectors" were
armed and thus a destabilizing influence in the country. The
verification of the "defectors" as FNL can take place after
their security and basic humanitarian needs are met, he
argued.



3. (C) Commenting on the broader FNL peace process, Mamabolo
noted that "there is something wrong" with a process that has
not moved for more than a year. The FNL refuses to implement
the September 2006 Ceasefire Agreement and is trying to
reopen issues already negotiated, such as the Technical
Forces Agreement and power-sharing arrangements. South
Africa wants to hold a summit of the Regional Initiative in
the coming weeks to review the Ceasefire Agreement and "find
out if the parties are serious." "Perhaps we need a new
mandate or even a new facilitator," Mamabolo mused. South
Africa is trying to schedule the summit, but is having
difficulty confirming an available date for Ugandan President
Museveni, Mamabolo said.



4. (C) Considered a "negative force" in the region, the FNL's
refusal to participate in the peace process is a missed
opportunity to rehabilitate their image and avoid sanctions,
Mamabolo argued. The peace process offered them "legitimacy"
and an entry point into the political process. Commenting on
their possible motivations, Mamabolo noted that the FNL is
the oldest rebel movement and perhaps some of their
Qthe oldest rebel movement and perhaps some of their
leadership still have difficulty accepting the "second
fiddle" role. Others in the FNL believe that the current
CNDD-FDD government will soon "implode" so are trying to buy
time until their political environment is more favorable for
them.



5. (C) Mamabolo acknowledged that the internal divisions on
the CNDD-FDD and ruling coalition complicate the peace
process. South Africa has urged President Nkurunziza to give
former party leader Hussein Rajabu a fair trial. The SAG is
also concerned about the lack of transparency in government
finances.



6. (C) Asked about the role that Institute for Security

PRETORIA 00003873 002 OF 002


Studies (ISS) consultant Jan van Eck plays in Burundi (ref
C), Mamabolo said van Eck is "not helpful." Van Eck has
essentially become an "FNL spokesman" and is encouraging them
to raise issues that scuttle the process.



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


Dialogue Key to Resolving Eastern Congo


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





7. (C) On eastern Congo, Mamabolo said that sending renegade
rebel leader Laurent Nkunda into exile will not resolve
tensions. Another hardline Tutsi leader would simply emerge
in Nkunda's place. South Africa would be willing to consider
hosting Nkunda, as offered previously, but only if it
contributed to lasting peace. (NOTE: Mamabolo said he did
not believe that South Africa and DRC have an extradition
treaty. END NOTE.) DRC President Kabila is too focused on
the military option, Mamabolo argued. While pressure is
necessary, a long-term solution to the problems in Eastern
Congo requires real dialogue.



8. (C) The SAG is urging Rwanda to support national dialogue
in Eastern Congo. While the SAG does not believe that
President Kagame is supporting Nkunda's military agenda,
there is no doubt that "elements in Kigali benefit as
individuals" from the situation in Eastern Congo and use
Nkunda to protect their interests.



9. (C) Mamabolo asked about the role of Senior Advisor on
Conflict Resolution Tim Shortley in the DRC. He said that
SRSG William Swing told him that Shortley had some
interesting ideas on resolving tensions in Eastern Congo.
Mamabolo noted that he plans to be in the Great Lakes region
for much of November and would look forward to meeting
Shortley if they crossed paths.



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


Comment and Recommended Action


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





10. (C) COMMENT. The Great Lakes region remains one of South
Africa's top foreign policy priorities. With nearly 850
troops bogged down in Burundi under an AU mandate, South
Africa is losing patience with the continued intransigence of
the FNL and is looking for ways either to unblock the process
-- or perhaps even to move forward without the FNL. On DRC,
where South Africa also has 1200 troops serving in MONUC,
Mamabolo was unenthusiastic about the idea of hosting an
exiled Nkunda, instead falling back on the common South
African mantra than dialogue is the only way to resolve
tensions. END COMMENT.



11. (C) RECOMMENDED ACTION. Post encourages Senior Advisor
Tim Shortley and/or AF DAS Jim Swan to visit South Africa to
consult with Mamabolo and other senior SAG leaders on the
Great Lakes. Such a visit would offer an opportunity to
exchange information and align our actions in this high
priority region. In addition, South Africa views itself as
the key power in the Great Lakes region and would value
senior USG consultations on these issues.
BOST