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Cablegate: Developing Peace Dividends in Darfur

VZCZCXRO0405
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1469 2611152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181152Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8557
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001469

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREC PHUM EAID UN SU

SUBJECT: DEVELOPING PEACE DIVIDENDS IN DARFUR


1. (SBU) Summary: On September 16, the Darfur Donors Coordination
Group convened for the first time in several months to discuss
criteria for resuming the DJAM and possible activities taking place
in Darfur outside the DJAM framework. In addition to core donor
representatives, non-traditional donors (China, India and Egypt)
were also present. Though security is still unstable, there was some
consensus that the time is right to examine a "bottom up" type of
early recovery strategy in Darfur, especially in areas where
populations had refused to participate in violence. End summary.

2. (SBU) The September 16 meeting was one in a string of recent
meetings in which donor partners have discussed the possibility of
reinvigorating the defunct Darfur Joint Assessment Mission (DJAM),
abandoned one year ago amidst increasing insecurity on the ground.
Two criteria were identified for its resumption: security and the
real possibility of inclusive consultations. (Note: At the last Core
Contact Group (CCG) meeting in March, it was decided to hold off on
the DJAM; the Sudanese government representatives objected, while
the SLM representatives did not. The Dutch will convene another CCG
meeting in the coming weeks. End note.)

3. (SBU) While agreeing that the primary focus of international
assistance in Darfur should remain humanitarian, the group also
debated what types of mostly early recovery activities could be
implemented in the coming weeks and months. CDA Fernandez, pointing
out that while the criteria for resuming the DJAM were still valid,
there would never be a guarantee of one hundred percent security
throughout all of Darfur at any given time. The October peace talks
could provide an impetus to begin some small development activities
in areas where there had been no forced expulsions or where local
populations had refused to take part in fighting. We should reward
these areas, he said. On its part, the World Bank stressed the need
to look at microfinance projects and activities that would put
people's livelihoods back in their own hands.

4. (SBU) Non-traditional donors such as China and India were more
positive in their assessment of the current security situation in
Darfur. (Note: Several Asian ambassadors recently visited Darfur
accompanied by Sudanese government representatives. End note.) Much
of their current or proposed funding in Darfur is water-related; CDA
and others pointed out that while water is a tremendous issue in
Darfur, we must be careful not to formalize the structures that
created the conflict, and questions of ownership and land rights are
paramount. The Egyptian representative also briefly referred to the
October Arab donors conference on Darfur, though had no specifics to
offer.

5. (SBU) Comment: It is clear that the resumption of the DJAM is
still many months off. The UN and World Bank estimate 3-6 months
before they can complete necessary validation studies and
outstanding consultations. There are also lingering suspicions
surrounding the DJAM based on its connection to the DPA. However,
small, carefully selected development and early recovery projects
within communities who have remained outside of the violence in
Darfur could serve as both an incentive in the peace process (and
perhaps inform the upcoming negotiations in Libya), as well as a
"reward" for those communities. Such activities would not have to be
directly linked to benchmarks in the political process, but could
also exist outside of it. End comment.

FERNANDEZ

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