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Cablegate: Unmis On Saf and Spla Redeployment

VZCZCXRO4835
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0137 0301133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301133Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9823
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000137

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE WILLIAMSON
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: UNMIS ON SAF AND SPLA REDEPLOYMENT

REFERENCE: (A) KHARTOUM 89
(B) KHARTOUM 26

1. (SBU) Summary: UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Joint Operations
Center (JOC) officer Major Ashe Brunton told poloff January 29 that
the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have largely complied with the troop
redeployments outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)
(apart from the oil fields) but that the Sudan Peoples Liberation
Army (SPLA) is not in compliance. Brunton said that the SAF has not
vigorously protested the SPLA non-compliance. He said that SAF and
SPLA forces probably remain in the Abyei oil fields but the UN has
not been able to monitor these areas. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Major Brunton said the SPLA partially redeployed it forces
in the days prior to the January 9 deadline after notifying the UN.
He said that SPLA moved to three assembly areas Aby Motorag, Jalud,
and Debab before stopping at Shafara and White Lake (near Bentiu)
which are above the 1/1/56 border. Brunton said that although the
SPLA is north of the 1/1/56 border, it had claimed to the UN that it
is "below the north-south border line." Brunton said that UNMIS
Force Commander Lidder has informed the SPLA leadership that its
forces are not in compliance with the redeployment conditions of the
CPA.

3. (SBU) Brunton said SAF had moved its forces at night without
informing the UN, but UNMIS located the troops as they crossed the
border. He said that 3,200 SAF troops are at Higilig and another
600 at Kosti. He added that UNMIS estimates that a small percentage
of SAF troops might remain south of the 1/1/56 border, but that
these troops appear to be residents in those areas.

4. (SBU) Brunton said the UN is concerned about 3,200 SAF forces
located at Higilig and 3,800 SPLA forces at White Lake (both located
near north of Bentiu). The close proximity of opposing forces is of
great concern to UNMIS, so it has established a permanent
observation post in the area, said Brunton.

5. (SBU) Brunton said UNMIS does not have freedom of movement in the
oil fields so they are unable to determine if the SAF or SPLA
redeployed their troops out of the region. However, he said UNMIS
believes both armies remain in place in Abyei. He said both the SAF
and the SPLA are claiming that they have transitioned to Joint
Integrated Units (JIUs) in Abyei. Brunton dismissed these claims
saying that only the UN can make that determination after SAF and
SPLA troops have met the JIU requirements and after a formal UN
declaration.

6. (SBU) Comment: Given their shared interest in the security of the
oil fields, the SPLA is unlikely to push too hard for now on the
SAF's total redeployment out of Abyei, though the border fighting
with the Misseriya PDF remains a growing problem which is rapidly
increasing tension. These Misseriya PDF penetrating into Northern
Bahr al-Ghazal constitute an open provocation by the North against
South Sudan, a provocation that has yet to catch the attention of
UNMIS. The SPLM will likely push instead for progress on the
deployment of integrated JIUs. The SPLA may keep some troops north
of the 1/1/56 border as leverage on this issue and the Misseriya
intervention.

FERNANDEZ

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