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Cablegate: Hsp Delays Require Leadership

VZCZCXRO0193
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2048/01 3611158
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271158Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9618
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 002048

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU SU UNSC
SUBJECT: HSP DELAYS REQUIRE LEADERSHIP


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU)
officials must rapidly address key issues required for ensuring that
the Chinese and Bangladeshi HSP units become operational. While
there will always be some excuse for delay, the units have the
equipment necessary to do their jobs in the immediate term; the only
thing lacking is the leadership to make them go out and do it. At
its current pace, the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) will have
little to show for itself on January 1 and may have difficulty
absorbing additional troops given delays in construction of the
"supercamp." END SUMMARY.

"THEY ALREADY HAVE WHAT THEY NEED"
---------------------------------
2. (SBU) Based on a December 22 conversation between FieldOff and
UNAMID Chief of Integrated Support Services (CISS), the UN estimates
that the Chinese engineering unit of the HSP could start work in
Nyala using the equipment it presently possesses. According to the
CISS, the advance party of Chinese engineers currently in Nyala has
equipment, vehicles and camp support stocks sufficient to manage
operations until its heavy equipment - which consists of one grader
and one bulldozer - arrives. This equipment, traveling over land
via commercial contractor, was supposed to have reached Nyala ten
days ago.
3. (SBU) The CISS said that equipment deficits are merely an excuse
for Chinese inactivity, rather than the bona fide cause of it. He
attributed the failure of the Chinese unit to execute its mandate to
several factors. First, he noted the Chinese contingent commander's
(understandable) insistence on area protection for the unit's
movements between the PAE Forward Operating Base where it is lodged
and the site of the "supercamp" it is to construct (called the
"Green Field").

4. (SBU) The Nigerian battalion that would provide this area
protection presents a second problem, according to the CISS. These
troops claim they are insufficiently equipped to provide proper
protection, but the CISS insists they are not short of anything
which "isn't already in PAE stores" (including tents and radios) and
which could not have been provided to them by AMIS. The CISS noted
there is a general reluctance to be "the first to the Green Field"
among elements intended to deploy there. He alleged that this
sentiment is shared by the Bangladeshi Formed Police Unit (FPU) in
Nyala, which despite lacking only one APC, a water truck and some
small equipment, refuses to deploy before the Chinese "test the
waters."

5. (SBU) The final problem, according to the CISS, comes from the
absence of an Operational Order instructing the Chinese and
Bangladeshis to move. The CISS noted that this should be a routine,
two-day process: the Force Commander (FC) should issue the order, it
should be co-signed by the Police Commissioner, and then issued to
the Nigerian battalion, the Chinese engineers and the Bangladeshi
FPU. Issuance of this order, however, has been complicated by what
the CISS characterizes as a "debate" among the various command and
control structures at play. Because the Chinese and Bangladeshi
units are part of the Heavy Support Package, they technically fall
under the authority of the UNMIS FC, vice the AMIS/UNAMID FC. He
said this has created friction across the chains of command and
resulted in delays. The CISS reports that similar tensions exist
between the AMIS Sector South Commander and the Chinese contingent
commander. The CISS predicted that none of these players,
especially the "multi-hatted Force Commander," will move on getting
those units deployed before January 1.

AMIS DEPUTY FC: NO DEPLOYMENT PLAN
----------------------------------
6. (SBU) The lack of a deployment plan is another factor delaying
deployment of these units. The UNAMID Deputy Force Commander told
FieldOff December 22 that the UNAMID deployment plan was a
prerequisite for issuance of any Operational Order. He said the
original plan submitted to UN Headquarters in New York must be
revised to reflect the re-structuring of the area of operations from
eight to three sectors. The Deputy FC confessed that this revised
plan has not yet been re-submitted to New York for authorization and
is not likely to be submitted until after January 1, when the UNAMID
Chief of Operations and FC are back in El Fasher. The Deputy FC
insisted that UNAMID leadership will not wait for the entire
deployment plan to be approved before implementing priority parts of
it, but noted that nothing will start until the Chinese are fully
equipped and staffed. He said he did not expect the Chinese to
begin work in earnest until March 2008.

7. (SBU) The Deputy FC opined that area protection should not be an
obstacle to Chinese deployment. He said such protection need not be
more sophisticated than an infantry battalion cordoning off the
Chinese area of operations, and he assured FieldOff that the
Nigerians are ready and able now to carry out this task.

8. (SBU) COMMENT: With the Force Commander absent from El Fasher,

KHARTOUM 00002048 002 OF 002


the types of decisions required to move deployment forward will not
be made until sometime in January or later. The FC did not chair a
planned December 22 AMIS-UNAMID meeting on transition due to a late
return from his U.S. visit. He is now in Addis Ababa and is
expected to return in early January. The FC is the last word on
every document that authorizes the steps involved in deployment -
from finalizing the deployment plan to signing off on the
operational orders. Leadership is required to ensure that UNAMID
actually deploys the assets it currently has at its disposal. At
its current pace UNAMID will have little to show for itself on
January 1, and will be hard pressed to be able to absorb additional
troops before March due to delays in construction of the supercamp.

9. (SBU) Tripoli minimize considered.

POWERS

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