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Cablegate: Sudan - Ngos Brief Aa/Afr On Current Challenges

VZCZCXRO6588
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1856/01 3310912
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270912Z NOV 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9314
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001856

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 BPITTMAN
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PBROWN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - NGOS BRIEF AA/AFR ON CURRENT CHALLENGES

REF: Khartoum 1680

KHARTOUM 00001856 001.2 OF 002


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

1. On November 21, representatives from the Non-Governmental
Organization (NGO) Steering Committee and other USAID implementing
partners briefed the Assistant Administrator for USAID's Africa
Bureau (AA/AFR) Kate Almquist on the current operating environment
in Sudan. The NGOs reported that their most pressing concern was
responding to Sudanese government intentions to forcibly disarm
Kalma internally displaced person (IDP) camp. NGOs raised concerns
over focusing on recovery and development activities in Darfur,
stating that in the current operating environment these activities
are not feasible or appropriate. The NGOs also urged the USG to
advocate for the extension of the moratorium on restrictions, which
is set to expire at the end of January 2008, in order to avoid
delays in implementing humanitarian activities. End Summary.

---------------------------------------------
Plans to Disarm Kalma IDP Camp Raise Concerns
---------------------------------------------

2. According to the NGOs, the Sudanese government has escalated
pressure to support the return of IDPs in Darfur. The increasing
pressure for returns is occurring at the same time that fighting and
insecurity continues to displace thousands of people. NGOs stated
that the recent incident in Kalma IDP camp, which led to the
displacement of approximately 30,000 IDPs from the camp due to
inter-tribal fighting and the forced relocation of Kalma IDPs from
Otash IDP camp (REFTEL), should be viewed in the larger context of
increasing pressure on returns. As of November 23, humanitarian
agencies have not been able to verify the whereabouts of an
estimated 10,000 IDPs who fled Kalma camp oo Octobar 18(and18.
Qs. Oh NovabeR 09.`thE Afvion"U~i_n Eh3sioleo0Wud`n,(aOS(-anese government will "take all necessary
measures" to seize all remaining weapons in the camp. The letter
also mentions that the Sudanese government, along with AMIS, is
responsible for the safety of IDPs and is implementing this
disarmament campaign to protect the IDPs.

4. The NGOs noted significant concern over this proposed disarmament
plan and requested USG support in responding to the issue. NGOs
asked that the USG speak out against any forced disarmament in the
camp and support a phased disarmament plan that is coupled with
political negotiations. NGOs also stated that establishing the
UN-AU Mission in Sudan (UNAMID) police force for Kalma camp is
urgently needed to monitor the volatile situation. Further, the
NGOs asked that USAID pressure the UN to agree on a common position
on forced returns to avoid ambiguity between agencies and enable
rapid, unified responses from the UN to evolving situations.

5. Comment: In the current environment, a UNAMID attempt to disarm
IDPs could be problematic as it would be perceived as disarming only
one party to the conflict. However, weapons proliferation in IDP
camps is a significant security concern that needs to be addressed
to improve the safety and stability in IDP camps across Darfur.
USAID is closely monitoring the situation in Kalma camp through
field officers in Nyala, South Darfur, and working with USAID
implementing partners to continue to provide humanitarian services
in Kalma camp and reduce protection risks for those IDPs who fled
Kalma. On November 30, the CDA and USAID Mission Director plan to
travel to Nyala to urge restraint by the Sudanese government and
encourage non-violent solutions to the issue of armed elements in
Kalma camp. End Comment.

--------------------------------
Too Early for Recovery in Darfur
--------------------------------

6. NGOs expressed concern over the discussions to resume the Darfur
Joint Assessment Mission (DJAM) meetings, stating that it is too
early to be focusing on recovery efforts in Darfur. The NGOs

KHARTOUM 00001856 002.2 OF 002


believe that recovery and development activities should be a peace
dividend for Darfurians and that focusing efforts on these
activities now is misguided as humanitarian access is at its lowest
point. The NGOs also expressed concern that planning for recovery
and development activities plays into the hands of the Sudanese
government, which is encouraging IDPs to return to rural areas
despite pervasive insecurity and ongoing fighting throughout Darfur.
NGOs also want to see the macro-level peace process accompanied by
a parallel process that focuses on resolving local land issues.
(Note: Conflict drivers in Darfur include access to land, land use,
and access to water. When the 2.2 million people displaced by the
ongoing conflict decide to return home, complex issues over land
rights and land tenure will arise and need to be effectively
resolved. End Note.)

7. AA/AFR Almquist agreed that in the current environment
implementing recovery and development activities in Darfur is not
appropriate or feasible, but stressed the need to have a viable
recovery and reconstruction plan in place. Almquist also noted
that, even in Darfur, windows of opportunity for small-scale
development projects may appear and the humanitarian community needs
to be prepared to seize them when the opportunity arises. USAID
will continue to work with partners to plan and prepare for recovery
and development activities in Darfur to ensure that aid agencies can
rapidly switch gears from humanitarian to recovery activities when
the time is right. NGOs mentioned that their Darfur programs have
numerous peacebuilding components that could easily link into early
recovery activities at the appropriate time.

---------------------------------
Addressing the Perception Problem
---------------------------------

8. NGOs also stated that more funding for recovery activities in
Southern Sudan and the Three Areas is needed and reiterated the
frequently expressed sentiment that the people are not seeing peace
dividends. Further, the NGOs noted that there is frustration in the
Three Areas that the aid activities are Khartoum-managed and
highlighted that recovery in the Three Areas is a critical priority
for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

9. USAID regularly hears the complaint that Sudanese people feel
that nothing has changed in Southern Sudan since the signing of the
CPA and continues to grapple with how to address this perception.
AA/AFR Almquist noted that although we have a long way to go in
Southern Sudan, there are visible improvements throughout the region
since the CPA was signed, particularly in Juba where many people are
building new houses and economic activity has markedly increased.
Almquist said it was important for the humanitarian community to not
only focus on what still needed to be done, but to also acknowledge
the huge contribution from the humanitarian community and the
results that have been achieved. While additional recovery efforts
are certainly needed and life is still difficult for many Southern
Sudanese, USAID and its NGO partners need to work together to ensure
that communities are better informed of improvements.

10. AA/AFR Almquist has cleared this cable.

FERNANDEZ

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