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Cablegate: Hac Promises to Cooperate On Dai Issue

VZCZCXRO0881
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0106 0250816
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250816Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9779
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000106

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: HAC PROMISES TO COOPERATE ON DAI ISSUE

REF: (A) KHARTOUM 100
(B) KHARTOUM 91

1. (SBU) CDA Fernandez met January 24 with Minister of Humanitarian
Affairs Haroun Ron and Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Hassabo
Abdel Rahman for the second time this week to attempt to resolve the
issue of USAID-funded transition partner Development Alternatives,
Inc. (DAI). Post is concerned about the escalation of threats made
against DAI by HAC NGO Director Moutassim Abulgassim (reftel). When
HAC Commissioner Hassabo effectively avoided all of our calls
throughout the day (and with acting MFA Ali Karti also avoiding us)
we finally succeeded in meeting with Minister Ron late in the
afternoon. When Minister Ron heard about the escalation of threats,
he and and Under-Secretary Charles Manyang, both sympathetic SPLM
officials, immediately convoked HAC Commissioner Hassabo to his
office.

2. (SBU) CDA relayed reports that Mutassim had reportedly threatened
DAI and given a 48-hour deadline to resolve labor disputes and turn
over various documents to the HAC. He said this was an unnecessary
escalation of the situation given that AID Director Fleuret and
Hassabo himself had met on this issue only days before. As discussed
with USAID before the meeting, CDA suggested some self-discipline by
the HAC on the issue, USAID is very willing to discuss all the
DAI-related issues upon Fleuret's return to Sudan in two weeks and
USAID can accompany the HAC to Darfur to sort out whatever
misunderstandings there may be. CDA pointed out that the reported
accusations against DAI, that they had given money to opposition
groups and had even armed them, were ridiculous and untrue. CDA
noted that Minister Ron and Hassabo had requested that USAID
transition from humanitarian assistance to development, and that in
order for this to happen we must avoid situations like the one with
DAI. CDA requested that Hassabo direct Mutassim to stand down on
his insistent and improper demands and wait two weeks until Fleuret
and Hassabo had a chance to address the situation themselves in
Nyala.

3. (SBU) Hassabo claimed there must have been a misunderstanding and
insisted that no threats or ultimatums had been delivered to DAI.
He noted the agreement reached with Fleuret to resolve the situation
in two weeks when they could travel together to Nyala. Hassabo
assured CDA and the Minister that everything would be resolved
amicably.

4. (SBU) Comment: We hope that with this second meeting the
escalation of rhetoric and reported threats will subside.
Unfortunately, the good offices of the SPLM appointed Minister and
Under-Secretary often do not avail before the nefarious influence of
Hassabo and the Minister of State, indicted war criminal Ahmed
Haroun. It seemed to work this time and our sense is that Hassabo
will in fact call off his henchmen for now. But this is only one
small skirmish in a drawn out war of attrition by influential
elements in the regime against the NGO community, the West, and
American interests in Sudan.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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