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Wikileaks: US Embassy in Kinshasa on RUD-Urunana and RPR Leaders: Part 1

Over the year  2008, Rwandan rebels based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) engaged in negotiations with the DRC government with the facilitation of the the Catholic Organization, Sant’Egidio Community and the Norwegian SIK. The rebel organizations involved included the mostly Hutu Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana) and the mostly Tutsi Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR), led mainly by  former Rwandan Patriotic Army officers.

According to the cables released by Wikileaks, the US Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was closely following the negotiations and provided opinions on RUD and RPR leaders, especially Felicien Kanyamibwa, Jean Marie Vianney Higiro, Augustine Dukuze, General Musare and another only labeled “Jean Michel”.

In one of the cable marked Sensitive  describing the events of May 26, 2008 in Kisangani, the US Embassy in Kinshasa says: ” … attended the May 26 Kisangani meeting at which the  GDRC and elements from FDLR-RUD and the RPR made public a document  (copy to be e-mailed to AF/C) related to these armed groups’  disarmament and repatriation or resettlement, previously worked out  in meetings in Italy.  The meeting was ceremonial, lasted  approximately two hours, and featured principally speeches from  representatives from the GDRC, the international community, and the  armed groups hailing the agreement.”

The cables then focuses on the leadership and notes: “ Less clear were the identities of the members of the FDLR  in attendance, who appeared to number approximately 25-30.  A few of  their wives and children also came to the conference.  The FDLR-RUD  leaders Felicien Kanyamibwa and Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro were not  obviously present (Note: Kanyamibwa signed the roadmap at the Rome  meeting May 9 in the name of the “National Congress for Democracy”  which appears to be a melding of the FDLR-RUD, the RPR, and perhaps  other elements as well. End note) MONUC and GDRC representatives  told us in advance that it would be primarily members of the RUD who  would come to the conference, though a few FOCA members were  reportedly present as well. 

7.  (SBU) Two representatives from the armed groups spoke at the  conference, one in the name of the aforementioned National Congress  for Democracy and the other seemingly in the name of the RUD military wing and the RPR.  The former was Augustin Dukuze, who  lives in Canada and who has previously been identified as a RUD  spokesperson; the latter was introduced simply as “Jean-Michel.
The US embassy apparently closes the cable by expressing the support of the US government  for the RUD/RPR  initiative, while remaining skeptical on the aggressive timetable:
“9.  (SBU) Comment: The timetable’s projected dates for disarmament  and transfer to relocation sites seem ambitious; MONUC  representatives should be involved in working out these modalities  and we will follow up on the status of the implementation.  In  previous meetings, GDRC representatives told us that this process  should affect approximately 500 fighters plus dependents, for a total of around 3,000 FDLR members.  While this will not solve the  entire FDLR problem, as certain elements have publicly rejected this  process, it could be a start and demonstrate the progress that  political dialogue can affect.  Embassy Kinshasa will also follow up  to attempt to confirm the names of those representing the armed  groups at the conference.  On a final note, one of Ambassador  Ngwej’s staff came up to poloff after the U.S. statement was read  and noted its “strong” tone.  We hope the statement created a  similar reaction among FDLR attendees at the Conference.  End
In the subsequent cables on the initiative, the US Embassy in Kinshasa appear to confirm its guarded support for the disarmament process.
© 2011 AfroAmerica Network.


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