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Cablegate: Sudan - Iom Overview of Idp Returns

VZCZCXRO8432
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0507/01 0880643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 290643Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6673
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000507

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - IOM OVERVIEW OF IDP RETURNS


KHARTOUM 00000507 001.2 OF 002


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (U) The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the
primary operational agency in the return of internally displaced
persons (IDPs) to Southern Sudan, recently provided a breakdown of
projected IDP returns and an overview of current operations.
Although establishing the logistical infrastructure for large-scale
population movements has faced some delays to date, IOM now has a
solid structure and strategy in place and is optimistic that it will
meet its 83,000 return target by the end of the dry season in early
2008. However, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) commitments to
assist 115,000 returns from Khartoum in 2007 may be overly
ambitious. IOM's flexible approach also allows for the expedited
movement of IDP groups of special concern, often critical to
mitigate ethnic tensions and diffuse inter-communal conflict.

----------------
PLANNING FIGURES
----------------

2. (U) IOM has committed to assist in the return of 83,000 people
to and within Southern Sudan in 2007 and early 2008. The breakdown
by region and area of origin is as follows:

-- 35,000 from Khartoum to Southern Kordofan and Southern Sudan
(including 10,000 by air to Central, Eastern, and Western Equatoria
states
-- 15,000 within Blue Nile
-- 10,000 from Wau town, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, to Warab State
-- 10,000 from all three Equatoria states to Upper Nile
-- 13,000 from South Darfur to Northern Bahr el Ghazal

3. (U) The GOSS also plans to assist 115,000 IDPs to return from
Khartoum to Southern Kordofan and Southern Sudan in 2007. Combined
with IOM's 35,000, the overall planning figure of IDPs returning
from Khartoum in 2007 and early 2008 is 150,000. IOM will provide
some support to GOSS in its efforts as GOSS fleet management
capacity is limited.

4. (U) In addition to assisted IDP returns, IOM estimates that
there could be up to 300,000 spontaneous IDP returns and 102,000
refugees repatriating to Sudan in 2007.

----------------
PROGRESS TO DATE
----------------

5. (U) The most significant obstacle to date has been establishing
basic infrastructure for large-scale returns. However, IOM recently
completed departure centers in two of the main IDP camps in Khartoum
and will complete an additional facility in the coming month.

6. (U) IOM estimates that 230 trucks are required to complete
transportation of the planned number of IDPs within the year. IOM
currently owns only 30 trucks but is able to hire additional
vehicles and reports that trucking capacity is not delaying return
operations. In addition, GOSS will provide IOM 134 new trucks for
the movement of the 115,000 people from Khartoum that the GOSS has
committed to assisting.

7. (U) IOM-assisted movements from Wau to Warab have started, as
well as the assisted return of long-term IDPs from the Equatoria
states to Upper Nile and Jonglei. Also underway are the
IOM-assisted returns of Dinka IDPs from South Darfur to Northern
Bahr el Ghazal.

8. (U) While its planning figures reflect calendar year 2007
(largely to fit donor funding cycles), IOM stressed that the primary
window for returns to Southern Sudan is the dry season of October
through April. During this period, lack of rain ensures road access
to rural areas as well as the availability of dry grass, which is
used to thatch the roofs of traditional shelters. Since the dry
season straddles the calendar year, it is likely that IOM will need
the first few months of 2008 to meet the projected 2007 return
figures. IOM is structuring returns to maximize dry season access,
currently focusing on Central Equatoria, for example, while
postponing returns to Juba County which is less obstructed by rain.

9. (U) At the end of the current dry season (May 2007), and in line

KHARTOUM 00000507 002.2 OF 002


with the mid-term review of the U.N.'s Work Plan for Sudan, IOM and
partners will review progress, revisit IDP return planning figures,
and adjust the projections as necessary.

-----------------------------
SPECIAL IDP GROUPS OF CONCERN
-----------------------------

9. In addition to the 83,000 projected IDP returns, IOM's planning
allows for possible assistance to 20,000 spontaneous returns. This
includes groups that are determined to be "vulnerable, stranded or
distressed," as well as those IDPs that require expedited movement
to mitigate inter-communal conflict. IOM will assist with the
transportation of these groups and provide non-food relief items to
facilitate their return and reintegration.

10. (U) On March 20, IOM began transporting a group of 600 Sudanese
who had walked into the area around Boma, Eastern Equatoria, from
Dima camp in Ethiopia to various locations in Southern Sudan by air.
A precarious security situation near Boma, due to the Sudan
People's Liberation Army's disarmament of the Murle militia in
Pibor, requires the urgent relocation of this group.

11. (U) IOM will soon send a team to Kajo Keji and Nimule to assess
the possibility of transporting IDPs from those locations before the
rainy season begins in the coming months. About 3,000 IDPs now in
Kajo Keji need to return to Yei, Lainya, and Juba counties, a
relatively short distance that may fit within the window of the
current dry season. In Nimule, Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) has
registered 3,500 IDPs to return to Bor County. NPA will transport
1,000 of these IDPs under its FY 2006 grant from USAID's Office of
U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. IOM will look into the
feasibility of transporting the balance before the rains close rural
roads to Bor in June.


HUME

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