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Cablegate: Spla and Saf Troop Withdrawal Deadline in Jeopardy

VZCZCXRO6568
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0026 0080639
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080639Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9670
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000026

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: SPLA AND SAF TROOP WITHDRAWAL DEADLINE IN JEOPARDY

REF: 07 KHARTOUM 2003
(B) KHARTOUM 0015

1. (SBU) Chief Operations Officer Colonel Ajay Sah at the UN Mission
In Sudan (UNMIS) told poloff January 3 that as of January 2, no
Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) units have redeployed and none of the
3,600 SAF troops show signs imminent movement either. He said that
some of the 50,000 Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) north of the
1/1/56 border have moved but then abruptly stopped about halfway to
the southern border.

2. (SBU) Sah said that the UN offered to airlift some 1,800 SPLA
troops to the south during the holiday season that started 19
December. He said that the UN received no reply from the SPLA and
that as of January 1, the UN no longer has surplus airlift capacity
to move SPLA soldiers.
3. (SBU) Separately, Joint Defense Board (JDB) spokesman Abdelrahman
Mohamed Zayn told poloff that the JDB agreed on January 5 that
northern Sudan troops would pull out of oil areas by January 9, and
that Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) would take their place. However,
Zayn acknowledged that the lack of transport assets, lack of
funding, and insufficient joint integrated units will also create a
delay in redeployment. Zayn said that the JDB has plans to start
JIU training in March in order to address the lack of JIUs.

4. (SBU) Sah said that given the preparations he has witnessed,
troops for both sides will not be able to redeploy in time to meet
the January 9 deadline (Ref A). He opined that they would probably
not move their troops at all and even if they started immediately,
they would be hard pressed to move them to their respective borders
even if the deadline is extended another month.
5. (SBU) Comment: Despite several JDB resolutions that SPLA and SAF
forces will redeploy, post has no reason to believe that the January
9 deadline will be met. As we noted in Ref A, neither the SAF nor
the SPLA wants to move their troops first. SPLA officials have
acknowledged openly to CG Juba officers that there is no way the
SPLA can possibly meet the deadline, though more
politically-oriented SPLM and GoSS officials continue to insist that
the South will meet the redeployment deadline (now only one day
away). We suspect that despite the public and private posturing,
neither side is in any rush to redeploy and is unlikely to do so due
to the critical lack of trust between the CPA partners.
POWERS

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