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Cablegate: "Guehenno Is Lying" On Unamid Deployment, Sudan Claims

VZCZCXRO3992
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1924/01 3391019
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051019Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9450
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001924

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE NATSIOS
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU, NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: "GUEHENNO IS LYING" ON UNAMID DEPLOYMENT, SUDAN CLAIMS
PROGRESS, COMPLIANCE

REF: (A) KHARTOUM 1906
(B) KHARTOUM 1842
(C)KHARTOUM 1804
(D)KHARTOUM 1787

1. (SBU) See para 8 for action request.

2. (SBU) In a December 4 meeting with CDA Fernandez, State Minister
for Foreign Affairs Al-Samani Al-Wasila decried recent UN
allegations that the Government of Sudan (GoS) is obstructing the
conditions necessary for the deployment of the AU-UN hybrid force.
Al-Samani referred angrily to recent statements that UN DPKO
Under-Secretary General Jean-Marie Guehenno made to the UN Security
Council - that the GoS has intentionally raised barriers to UNAMID
deployment by rejecting non-African troop contingents, failing to
provide land for the construction of UNAMID headquarters, and
creating operational restrictions.

BOTH U.S. AND UN ON THE GROUND KNOW THERE IS PROGRESS
--------------------------------------------- --------

3. (SBU) Al-Samani called Guehenno a "liar" and claimed the reason
for the GoS' refusal to allow the Norwegian and Swedish engineers to
deploy was that their requests arrived too late, after the TCC
composition had been discussed with the UN. Al-Samani said the
issue of land for the construction of UNAMID headquarters had
already been resolved, and was visibly irritated that Guehenno had
publicly stated otherwise. Regarding the equipment delays,
Al-Samani scolded the UN for not presenting specifications and prior
information about the materials, which in turn led to delays in its
clearance and distribution. He claimed that both the US Embassy and
even UN officials on the ground know that there has been progress.
He recalled the issue of "night flights in Darfur" had shown that
Sudan was not lying or intentionally obstructing deployment (Emboffs
in El Fasher have essentially confirmed his view on the night flying
issue).

4. (SBU) CDA Fernandez reassured Al-Samani that the USG understands
the difficulties of UNAMID deployment are not entirely due to GoS
obstruction (reftels). However it is important to take all
necessary steps to facilitate deployment and rapidly approve
materials and other items for the mission. This is very important
given the very deep lack of credibility that Sudan has on the
international stage. CDA acknowledged the USG's awareness of the
lack of UN organization in the preparation and deployment of UNAMID.


5. (SBU) Regarding troop contributions, CDA urged Al-Samani to
convince his superiors "at the very least" to allow Thai and
Nepalese units to be deployed soon to Darfur. CDA stated this would
be a good way to put a stop to the UN's allegations that the GoS is
not cooperating on UNAMID roll-out. CDA said that if the GoS were
to allow these Asian units to deploy, it would gain credibility with
the UN and the U.S. at a point when US-Sudanese relations could
improve or further deteriorate. CDA warned Al-Samani not to think
they can solve one issue and obstruct on another - "don't think you
can accept the Thais and then obstruct American companies like
Dyncorp which are providing logistics for UNAMID and that we'll be
happy with this."

SOFA SOLVED FOR NOW, COMMO FOR NEXT WEEK
----------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Al-Samani responded saying "we must talk about these
issues, rather than forcing them" noting that companies like PAE and
Dyncorp are chosen without Sudanese input but promised to discuss
the proposal on the Thai and Nepalese units with his superiors. He
said that the Nordics had already been rejected as part of the HSP
and were not wanted. There was also the issue of the Scandinavian
cartoons on the Prophet Muhammad and the fact that high profile
Western troops would be a magnet for Al-Qa'ida. He said that he
expected the UNAMID communications equipment to be cleared by next
week (delays caused by improper UN paperwork and lack of follow up
by them) and that Sudan had cleared up misunderstandings on the
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the acceptance of the Model
SOFA until at least the end of the year. He pulled out the minutes
of a meeting with the UN's Muhammad Yunus which showed progress on
land use for camps which seemed to directly contradict Guehenno's
public complaints.

7.(SBU) Comment: Although reports from the field indicate that
UNAMID has made plenty of mistakes that have delayed deployment, it
is also clear that the GoS is not doing everything possible to
facilitate deployment. The GoS is certainly maneuvering to control
the timing of deployment, as well as the composition and
capabilities of the Mission. Although the GoS has some valid points

KHARTOUM 00001924 002 OF 002


on troop contributions (the Nordic unit was not among the TCCs
initially proposed for the mission) its habit of making an issue out
of every step of UNAMID deployment - from clearance of equipment to
flight permissions - is certainly not gaining it any points with the
UN and the international community. The GoS' passive-aggressive
actions will continue to set back UNAMID deployment and ensure that
it is a long, arduous, painful process for all involved. Sudanese
actions are not helpful, and its long history of dishonesty and
delay is a cause for deep skepticism, but the greatest factor for
delay is the very cumbersome, clumsy and deliberative process an
apparently reluctant UN has for setting up peacekeeping activities
in Darfur.

8. (SBU) Recommendation: At the very least, the US and international
community should push for the early inclusion of Thai and Nepalese
troops since the Sudanese have been vaguely positive about the
acceptance of these units. The GOS has no ready excuse for not
accepting these units (except that African infantry contributions
are over-subscribed and that the Thais are "not needed") and its
allies on the UNSC should be encouraged to press them on this point.
The inclusion of these units plus a tactical helicopter element
could qualitatively improve the force on the ground.

FERNANDEZ

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