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DRC said neither side wanted GPA to fail

Democratic Republic of Congo Minister for International and Regional Cooperation Raymond Tshibanda told a United States embassy official that although the problems facing Zimbabwe’s two major political players in the inclusive government were complex, neither side wanted the process to fail.

The DRC had just assumed the post of chair of the Southern African Development Community.

Tshibanda said the DRC would pursue active but low profile “consultative engagement” with the parties to the Global Political Agreement, with the major goal of that policy being to see that sanctions on Zimbabwe were eventually lifted so that its people could benefit.

The United States embassy, however, felt that the DRC was not likely to change its policy towards Zimbabwe because of the strong ties between President Robert Mugabe and the Kabilas, both current president Joseph and his late father Laurent.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09KINSHASA664, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: SADC ATTENTION TO ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09KINSHASA664

2009-07-10 12:08

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Kinshasa

VZCZCXRO4226

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHKI #0664 1911208

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 101208Z JUL 09

FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9892

INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

C O N F I D E N T I A L KINSHASA 000664

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S – BRIAN WALCH

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/10/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL CG ZI

SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: SADC ATTENTION TO ZIMBABWE

GLOBAL POLITICAL AGREEMENT

 

REF: STATE 70664

 

Classified By: Ambassador William J. Garvelink for reasons 1.4 (b) and

(d).

 

1. (C) On July 9 DCM and acting polcouns delivered demarche

per instructions reftel to Raymond Tshibanda, Minister of

International and Regional Cooperation. Tshibanda

acknowledged USG concerns over SADC’s role in the Global

Political Agreement (GPA), noting that the GPA had already

produced results and that although the problem facing the two

sides was “complex” neither side wanted the process to fail.

He said the DRC had been engaged on this issue as vice

president of SADC and, after its assumption of the SADC

Presidency, would remain seized and would, consistent with

its role as president, become more active. Tshibanda said

the DRC will pursue active if low profile “consultative

engagement” between the GPA parties. He added that a major

goal of the process should be the eventual lifting of

sanctions to benefit the Zimbabwean people.

 

2. (C) Comment: Tshibanda confirmed that his office will

have lead responsibility for coordination on SADC issues once

the DRC assumes SADC’s rotational presidency in September at

the body’s Ordinary Summit in Kinshasa and noted that

planning is underway for that event. His familiarity with

and engagement on SADC questions was apparent, as was a

recognition of USG concern on the GPA implementation status.

His focused and measured responses augur well for an active

DRC presidency of SADC, not only because of mastery of SADC

issues but also because, as President Joseph Kabila’s former

chief of staff, he probably has the president’s confidence

(Note: not only was Tshibanda Kabila’s chief of staff, he is

the president’s choice to chair the GDRC commission

negotiating domestic armed groups’ integration into the

national army. End note). We do not, however, believe

Tshibanda or the GDRC will change the substance of its

Zimbabwe policy, which is to refrain from criticizing Robert

Mugabe, an African liberation leader who also supported

Kabila’s father, Laurent Kabila, in the war against Rwanda

and Uganda. End comment.

GARVELINK

 

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