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Cablegate: Unamid Civilian Recruitment Proceeds Slowly

VZCZCXRO4491
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0062 0170543
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170543Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9713
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000062

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: UNAMID CIVILIAN RECRUITMENT PROCEEDS SLOWLY

1. (SBU) Deputy Director of the UNAMID Recruitment Office Haris
Pajtic told poloff January 9 that civilian recruitment for the 5,500
civilian UNAMID positions is underway but admitted that serious
obstacles remain. He said that his 12-person office expects to have
recruited 50 percent of the positions by June 2008 and currently has
filled 896 of its 1,147 positions, mostly with AMIS and UNMIS
transfers. UNAMID plans to recruit 1,500 international staff, 700
to 1,000 United Nations Volunteers, and 3,000 national staff
positions.

2. (SBU) Pajtic said that UNAMID has 600 vacancies in El-Fasher that
it has not been able to fill from transferred UNMIS or AMIS staff,
or even through local hires. He said that a week into the
transition, UN headquarters in New York has still not provided final
budget and personnel authority. As a result UNAMID is unable to make
any recruitment decisions beyond the UNMIS or AMIS staff that was
already in place. Once this is sorted out, he said UNAMID should be
able to quickly recruit civilian personnel. Unlike UNAMID's
military operations, Pajtic pointed out that there is no requirement
for the civilian component to maintain an African character.

3. (SBU) Pajtic voiced familiar complaints that GoS visa issues are
a "nightmare" and expressed concern that this will pose a serious
obstacle to getting UN personnel into Sudan quickly. In addition,
Pajtic pointed out that recruiting a UN employee for a new UN
mission takes a significant amount of time. Once selected, given
the need for training and processing of credentials, it could take
several months for a new UN civilian hire to arrive in Sudan.
However, he said this could be cut to two weeks for a transferred UN
employee.

4. (SBU) Pajtic noted that retention will be also be a problem, as
the conditions at UNAMID sites in Darfur are austere. However, he
was optimistic that both recruits and transferred UN staff would see
the career advantages inherent in working in Darfur. Despite this,
Pajtic expressed concern that as of the first week in January, the
UN has succeeded in hiring only five percent of the positions that
had been deemed as "critical," such as technical and experienced
senior staff.

5. (SBU) Comment: As with most aspects of UNAMID deployment,
recruitment can be expected to proceed slowly. However, once the
critical positions are filled we expect UNAMID's capacity to improve
dramatically.

FERNANDEZ

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