|09STATE118318||2009-11-17 11:55:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Secretary of State|
1. (U) This is an action request. USUN should draw from the
points in paragraph 4 below for the Lord's Resistance Army
(LRA) UN Security Council (UNSC) consultations on November
17, with a goal of setting the scene for additional
consultations about the upcoming renewal of the MONUC
2. (U) Background: of the three UN missions operating in
LRA-affected areas, the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) is the
most affected by LRA actions. MONUC has troops deployed in
LRA-affected areas in northeastern DRC and is authorized to
provide limited support to the armed forces of the DRC
(FARDC) in its operations against the LRA. MONUC's mandate
does not give it the explicit authority to support the
Ugandan armed forces (UPDF), who are now carrying out the
bulk of military activities against the LRA directly.
3. (U) The small CAR-based presence of the UN Mission in CAR
and Chad (MINURCAT) has a mandate to facilitate the delivery
of humanitarian assistance and to protect humanitarian actors
and UN personnel in eastern Chad and NE CAR. The MINURCAT
contingent is based hundreds of miles away from affected
areas, and does not have the mandate to address this new
threat. The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is currently focused
on assisting with mandated elections and would need more
political direction to help address the LRA threat. The
Darfur regions of Sudan and the UN-African Union Mission
there (UNAMID), are currently not impacted by LRA activities
and are hundreds of miles away from the affected areas.
UNAMID faces challenges covering the vast area of Darfur and
would require additional assets to counter the LRA. Direct
action against the LRA by these missions would require a
change in their mandates, although a strengthened role in
civilian protection against the LRA is possible under
currently mandates. We would suggest that the UNSC discuss at
a minimum having more effective coordination and information
sharing among the several UN peacekeeping missions regarding
the LRA and its impact.
Objectives: Support well-planned operations against LRA,
which must establish the proactive protection of civilians as
its number one priority, condition MONUC support for FARDC on
its respect for human rights, recognize the UN's DDRRR work,
encourage the UN to do more, especially regarding child
soldier reintegration efforts, and investigate the
possibility and practicality of a better-coordinated UN
effort to protect civilians against LRA abuses.
4. (U) Begin talking points:
Support Plans against the LRA/ Ensure Intra-UN Information
-- We remain seriously concerned with the LRA's continued
presence in northeastern DRC and expansion into the Central
African Republic and Southern Sudan, and the resulting
attacks on the civilian population across the wider area.
While we are encouraged by some positive trends, including
the recent surrender of LRA's eastern commander Charles Arop,
we must remain vigilant to make sure gains made against LRA
-- We understand that MONUC,s efforts mainly focus on
information sharing on the FARDC and on protection of
civilians in the area of operations.
-- We support this information sharing and encourage MONUC
and other peacekeeping missions to establish mechanisms to
systematically and routinely share information, as it is
critical to increase the protection of civilians.
DDRRR/Child Soldier reintegration:
-- The LRA,s tactic of using child soldiers remains one of
the most horrific legacies of its reign of terror. The
efforts to coordinate child protection, and the return and
reintegration of child soldiers, is necessary to help these
young victims be able to create a normal life. We wish to
recognize the UN,s work on DDRRR, which is helping to
coordinate repatriation of former combatants and abductees.
-- An increased focus on LRA-affected areas should not take
away resources from ongoing MONUC efforts in areas of eastern
Explore the Merits of an Increased UN Effort:
-- While we note the threat to regional stability posed by
the LRA, we are acutely aware of the limitations of the tools
the UN has to address this concern. As we begin discussions
of MONUC,s mandate, and think about the other UN actors in
the region, we must take care not to ask the UN, especially
MONUC, to do more without also providing it with the
resources required. We must also ensure that a
coherent UN civilian protection strategy framework, which
MONUC continues to develop, governs all activities.
Furthermore, MONUC support for FARDC in LRA-affected areas
must be rooted in the significant enhancement of information
sharing by the FARDC with MONUC, so that MONUC--and other UN
actors in the region--can be more able to take proactive
steps to protect civilians amid operations against the LRA.
-- In the renewal of UNMIS, mandate this year, the UNSC
requested that UNMIS make full use of its mandate on
protection with regard to the activities of the LRA. As we
debate the upcoming renewal of MONUC,s mandate, we would
appreciate a report on the extent to which UNMIS has been
able to make use of its civilian protection mandate.
-- How can the UN increase its cross-mission coordination to
address the threat the LRA poses to civilians in several
-- How can we ensure that an increase in resources for
LRA-affected areas does not take away MONUC resources or harm
MONUC resolve in areas of eastern Congo that are not affected
by the LRA, namely in North and South Kivu provinces, where
conflict involving other armed groups and militia continues
to fuel a humanitarian and human rights crisis?
-- How can we ensure that information sharing by the FARDC
with MONUC and the UN in general can be improved to better
enable MONUC to take proactive actions to protect civilians?
End talking points.