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Cablegate: Darfur - Undp Rule of Law Overview

VZCZCXRO2635
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0572/01 1021245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121245Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6817
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 000572

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
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 AU SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR - UNDP RULE OF LAW OVERVIEW

REFS: A) KHARTOUM 2367 B) KHARTOUM 2165

C) KHARTOUM 1912 D) KHARTOUM 0308 E) KHARTOUM 0272

KHARTOUM 00000572 001.2 OF 003


-------
Summary
-------

1. (U) The USAID-supported UN Development Program's (UNDP) Darfur
Rule of Law Program, launched in September 2004, targets the
region's absence of rule of law practices and institutions. The
program has made a significant contribution to raising awareness of
human rights and rule of law procedures with authorities, non-state
actors, civilians, conflict-affected populations, the African Union
Mission in Sudan (AMIS), and the humanitarian community, including
the training of 25,000 people in Darfur on basic human rights and
the establishment of seven legal aid centers throughout the region.
UNDP Rule of Law Program efforts support the empowerment of local
stakeholders to prevent and bring an end to violations of
international standards, the restoration of confidence in informal
and formal rule of law institutions, and the gradual establishment
of a culture of justice. Since September 2005, the UNDP Legal Aid
Network, in collaboration with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Human
Rights and USAID-supported lawyers, has taken on over 400 cases on
behalf of victims of violence and injustice in Darfur, including
rape. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------
Rule of Law and Legal Aid Program Components
--------------------------------------------

2. (U) At the end of 2006, UNDP and its partners had trained over
25,000 people in Darfur on basic human rights, including members of
the Sudanese government, Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Popular
Defense Forces (PDF), non-state armed groups, local militias,
communities in proximity to armed conflict, and conflict-affected
civilians. To build capacity, UNDP also provided continuous
mentoring and monitoring of local groups. UNDP established legal
aid centers, formerly called justice and confidence centers (JCCs),
which train paralegals in collaboration with the International
Rescue Committee (IRC) and local members of the Darfur Legal Aid
Network. There are currently seven legal aid centers in Nyala and
Kass, South Darfur, Zalingei and El Geneina, West Darfur, and El
Fasher and Kutum, North Darfur, staffed by 25 paralegals each. The
paralegals liaise with local and international actors on
protection-related concerns, provide representation and mediation
services, as well as basic legal information to the community.

3. (U) In 2006, USAID provided support for five of these centers
through small, in-kind grants. USAID also supported the Darfur
Legal Aid Network and key actors in the network, including the
Goodwill Organization and the Amel Center. In addition, USAID
funded two Human Rights and Legal Aid Lawyers Colloquiums held in
Darfur in 2006. (Refs D and E) Legal aid centers are stronger in
some locations than others, and require continual monitoring and
training by UNDP. These centers have provoked harassment from local
authorities, requiring UNDP and UNMIS Human Rights to maintain close
relationships with legal aid center paralegals to monitor incidents
of arrest and harassment of local lawyers working on human rights
cases. Informed and aware of these incidents, the UN can advocate
on behalf of legal staff with authorities, visit them during
detention, and advocate for their release. In some locations,
partnering with the UN can also deter harassment.

4. (U) UNDP also serves as the coordinating agency for the ongoing
joint UNDP, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the UN Children's Fund
(UNICEF) program to strengthen AMIS capacity to protect civilians
through training on civilian protection, human rights, and child
rights in Darfur. UNDP and AMIS personnel report the need for
improved program management. Due to AMIS staff turnover, many
personnel have not received the training, while others received it
within days of their final departure. (Note: In 2006, the Japanese
government fully funded this program and has reportedly indicated
their willingness to continue supporting the program in 2007. End
Note.)

5. (U) The start of the program was initially delayed and it is not
as comprehensive as originally envisioned. Humanitarian actors
report that AMIS civilian police (AMIS/CIVPOL) do not effectively
use established field protection guidelines for assisting victims of
sexual violence, called referral pathways, to preserve dignity,
human rights, and confidentiality rights. In addition, AMIS
personnel require training in conducting community meetings with

KHARTOUM 00000572 002.2 OF 003


civilians, and organizing work plans to effectively implement
AMIS/CIVPOL women's desks, as well as detailed explanations of the
Sudan justice system and law enforcement personnel structure.
Humanitarian actors also identified the lack of institutionalization
of best practices throughout all eight AMIS Darfur sectors as a
significant gap. Some sectors currently have effective working
relationships with internally displaced person (IDP) communities and
others have no relationship, or worse, have been rejected by the IDP
community. (Comment: The program should coincide with the arrival
and field post deployment of AMIS personnel to improve its impact.
End Comment.)

6. (U) UNDP also plans to start Early Recovery Programming (ERP) in
Darfur. The capacity building needs in Darfur are immense and
strengthening capacity is critical to a sustainable peace. Programs
could include temporary employment schemes, public works sector
support, income generation, in addition to more typical UNDP
interventions. Even though the UN has dedicated USD 1 million in
'seed money' for the ERP initiative in Darfur, UNDP/Khartoum is
having difficulty implementing the program due to limited staffing
resources. In Darfur, UNDP rule of law programs welcome the new
initiative because of its projected impact on alleviating some of
the pressure and focus of local authorities on UNDP's rule of law
program, in particular on sexual and gender-based violence programs
which are primarily funded by USAID. (Comment: USAID should
encourage the ERP but ensure that the program does not become a
management burden on UNDP rule of law staff. End Comment.)

--------------------------------------------- --------
Obstacles and Challenges to Improving the Rule of Law
--------------------------------------------- --------

7. (U) UNDP efforts to strengthen the rule of law face a wide range
of obstacles in Darfur. First, the population mistrusts the
institutions tasked to protect them, including local law enforcement
officials and court systems. Harassment and violence against
civilians and humanitarian actors are prevalent. In addition, the
justice system suffers from the limited capacity of legal
professionals, overly complex bureaucratic procedures, high costs,
and pervasive corruption. Civilians in need of access to the
justice system confront widespread illiteracy, geographic distance
from courts and lawyers, and ignorance of the justice system.
Supporting literacy campaigns, mobile legal aid clinics, and
comprehensive judicial reform is needed to overcome these obstacles,
as well as in-depth training on human rights, and victim-centered
philosophies of rule of law and law enforcement. USAID has
supported small pilot literacy programs for women in Mukjar, West
Darfur, intended to contribute to the prevention of violence against
women through their empowerment. Other international
non-governmental organizations (INGOs), such as CHF International,
support similar programs primarily targeting women. However,
current efforts are insufficient to address the extensive literacy
needs in Darfur.

-------------------------
Success Despite Obstacles
-------------------------

8. (U) Despite ongoing conflict and Sudanese government
obstruction, the UNDP Legal Aid Network, in collaboration with UNMIS
Human Rights, and USAID-supported lawyers (Refs D and E) have taken
on over 400 cases since September 2005 on behalf of victims of
violence and injustice in Darfur. UNDP reported nine rape
conviction cases in Darfur during 2006, a significant achievement in
light of the prevailing climate and current obstacles to justice.
(Refs A, B, and C)

9. (U) Below are examples of cases represented by UNDP legal aid
networks with USAID support in 2006.

a) RAPE - April 2006, Sirba IDP Camp, West Darfur: 29-year old
women was raped by soldier. Permission was granted to try the
soldier in the El Fasher general court. On July 27, 2006, the court
found the soldier guilty on all charges of rape and abuse of power.
Sentence: 100 lashes and two years imprisonment.

b) CHILD RAPE - June 2006, Mornei IDP camp, West Darfur: 8-year old
girl was raped by armed man. The El Geneina Court found the man
guilty on all charges. Sentence: 100 lashes and two years
imprisonment.

c) MURDER CHARGE - March 2006, Kreinek IDP camp, West Darfur:
32-year old woman was accused of murdering a member of the SAF. The

KHARTOUM 00000572 003.2 OF 003


man accidentally shot himself in the accused woman's home. The El
Geneina Court found her not guilty.

d) ADULTRY AND ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGE - Spring 2006, Abu Shouk IDP
camp, North Darfur: Abandoned baby was found in latrine. Baby
survived and mother was charged by local police with unlawful sexual
intercourse and attempted murder. The woman informed the police
that she was raped by an unknown soldier and hid this due to shame
and fear. The court in El Fasher eventually dropped the charges.

e) CHILD RAPE - August 2006, Al-Malaga Market, Nyala town, South
Darfur: 15-year old boy was robbed and raped by two police officers.
One of the accused was convicted of rape and the other of robbery.
Sentence: 80 lashes and eight years imprisonment for rape and six
additional months for robbery.

f) CHILD RAPE - November 2006, location withheld: man was charged
with raping a 14-year boy. The accused was found guilty and
sentenced to 100 lashes and ten years imprisonment.

HUME

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