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Cablegate: Amis Takes Stock

VZCZCXRO8464
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1956 3450807
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110807Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9493
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001956

SIPDIS

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: AMIS TAKES STOCK

1. (SBU) The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) held a combined
review session, awards ceremony, and tribute to fallen AMIS soldiers
on December 9. Speakers included Darfur Peace Agreement
Implementation Team (DPAIT) Head Sam Ibok, Joint Special
Representative Rodolphe Adada, and AMIS Military Advisor Lt. Col.
Ferdinand Eze.

2. (SBU) DPAIT Head Sam Ibok told the 150 plus audience members that
"tonight AMIS gets to tell its side of the story." He said that
AMIS' job was "mission impossible," but while the international
community expressed concern for Darfur, it was Africans that single
handedly acted. AMIS arrived in Sudan without any previous
experience, without equipment and without funding, he said, "but one
doesn't wait around while your neighbor's house burns down."

3. (SBU) Ibok thanked the European Union, the UN, and countries
including the U.S for their support. He thanked the Government of
Sudan, saying "without them we would have no parameters." While we
were frustrated with the GoS, we found that when we engaged, we had
the ability to come out ahead. AMIS was set up to fail, and some
have called us the "African Mistake In Sudan." "They asked us how
we could work with the same government that was trying to undermine
us, but we dd."

4. (SBU) Ibok said that critics need to portray the AU as a failure
in order to pave the way for UNAMID. However, we need to manage the
expectations of UNAMID because in the end, the problems of DARFUR
require a political solution, and the AU is the pre-eminent
political body on the continent.

5. (SBU) Comment: Other speakers echoed Ibok's recognition for
African sacrifice in the face of a lack of resources and expressed
gratitude to all troop and financial contributors. Billed as a
stock-taking event, the atmosphere was intended to be upbeat but
there was a decidedly somber mood among participants, not least
because of the ceremony commemorating the AMIS troops who were
killed in the line of duty. Uncertainty among the AMIS staff
regarding their future is undoubtedly another reason. Many AMIS
staff members have submitted applications to UNAMID, but few hiring
decisions have been made, and UNAMID seems to be casting its net
widely to find the best applicants.

FERNANDEZ

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