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Cablegate: Difficulties Providing Embassy Support for Codel Payne

VZCZCXRO3342
RR RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0008/01 0021646
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021646Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9652
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000008

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDAS LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD AND AF/SPG

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP ASEC AMGT PGOV PREL KSCA OTRA EAID CDC SU KE
ER, SO, CD
SUBJECT: DIFFICULTIES PROVIDING EMBASSY SUPPORT FOR CODEL PAYNE

REF: KHARTOUM 0001

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Even without the need for increased security in
the wake of the January 1 attack on an Embassy Khartoum vehicle,
resulting in the deaths of an FSN driver and an American USAID
officer, post is facing enormous challenges in providing support for
the visit of CoDel Payne. This is the result of extremely limited
access to information from the CoDel with respect to its itinerary,
and considerable pressure that some aspects of the visit not be
shared with Sudanese authorities normally responsible for
authorizing and coordinating such visits. Given these factors, Post
strongly urges that the CODEL be requested to defer travel to Sudan
until a later date. In the event that the visit is not postponed,
post will do its best with limited resources to support the visit.

Aftermath of Shooting:
----------------------

2. (SBU) Embassy Khartoum is currently dealing with the security and
human resources implications of the January 1 fatal shootings of two
USG employees. The entire Mission is in a state of disbelief and
grieving the loss of esteemed colleagues. Post is currently
`operating through the end of the week with reduced staff performing
only essential work. (See Reftel for details) Due to year end
holidays, a single RSO is coordinating the security needs of the
Mission, and following up with Sudanese police authorities on the
shooting deaths.

Lack of information:
--------------------

3. (SBU) Post still has nothing in writing accurately reflecting
CoDel Payne's proposed visit. The country clearance request cable
(State 170458) is almost completely wrong with regard to the Sudan
portion of their trip - arrival/departure dates and times, point of
entry/departure, etc. An accurate country clearance is critical for
post to fully respond to the proposed visit.

Confusion over Guests:
----------------------

4. (SBU) Only very belatedly were we informed that Rep. Payne is
traveling with guests. We first were informed Dec. 31 that the
Congressman was traveling with "a guest," so the entire Delegation
would stay in a hotel in Juba, as they understood that non-official
personnel were prohibited from staying on the AID compound. We then
informed the CoDel that the guest would be allowed to stay on
compound for the Congressman's security and in order to best utilize
ConGen Juba's very limited resources (i.e., vehicles, etc.).
(Note: Official USG visitors are currently not authorized to stay
overnight off the compound for security reasons). It was only then
that we were informed that there were in fact two guests - Ms. Mia
Farrow (the actress) and her son, Ronan Farrow (aged about 20). The
size of delegations is a significant factor, as lodging on the
compound is extremely limited, and the required support staff from
Khartoum for the visit must also be factored in to the equation
(i.e., RSO and control officer). It is worth noting that the
delegation has requested that the visit of the Farrow family not be
announced. We were instructed that their visit is private, and they
want to keep the official and private portions of the visit
separate. Unless accommodations are found on the compound for
everyone, the delegation has stated that they will all stay in a
hotel. This would severely stress our ability to provide security
for the CoDel.

Problems in communicating with CoDel:
-------------------------------------

5. (SBU) From the time Embassy was informed of the visit, we have
had extremely limited contact with the CoDel point of contact.
Until December 31, the contact person (Mr. Ted Dagne) had never
answered his cell telephone. Our repeated and urgent answering
machine requests that he contact us ASAP usually were unheeded.
This situation greatly complicated our task of making preparations.
The need for contact was particularly acute since we had no accurate
information in writing concerning the visit.


Limited Personnel in Juba:
--------------------------

7. (SBU) Given the holiday season, Embassy staffing is extremely
reduced in Juba. US ConGen Juba's new CG will arrive December 4,
just two days before the scheduled arrival of the CoDel. Currently,
there is only one RSO in country, who must devote his efforts to the
January 1 shooting incident and the investigation support teams on
their way to Khartoum The Juba RSO is on leave.

KHARTOUM 00000008 002 OF 002

Visa complications:
-------------------

8. (SBU) All visitors to Sudan must obtain a valid visa prior to
entry. As of January 1, the MFA has not received notification of
visa applications having been submitted by the delegation. It
appears that the delegation now intends to apply for visas in Asmara
or Nairobi. In order to assist with visa issuance, it is critical
that the delegation inform post as to where it prefers to collect
visas, if approved by the MFA. Under no circumstances should the
delegation travel to Sudan without visas.

Vague Itinerary:
----------------

9. (SBU) We have had extremely limited information about the CoDel's
itinerary. Embassy staff did not learn until December 31 that their
itinerary was not limited to Juba. In fact, the CoDel also intends
to visit Nuba and Boma. In its diplomatic note announcing the
visit, post informed the MFA that the delegation intended to visit
Juba only. The delegation has requested that their proposed travel
outside of Juba not be announced. Mr. Dagne, in support of this
request, stated that, given the terms of the CPA, they are not
required to inform the GoNU, and that any insistence on informing
them amounted to a "violation of sovereignty" of the GoSS.

10. (SBU) Post informed Mr. Dagne that it is customary for an
Embassy officer to accompany CODELS when they travel in country.
Mr. Dagne confirmed that Embassy personnel were welcomed to travel
with the delegation. The details of the itinerary have still yet to
be identified.

11. (SBU) If the visit cannot be deferred, it is critical that the
delegation provide forthwith the following to Embassy Khartoum: 1)
Precise itinerary with arrival and departure information; 2) Precise
information with respect to the members of the delegation; 3)
Confirmation that visas have been obtained or information concerning
when and where applications were submitted; 4) Information with
respect to travel outside of Juba; and 5) An accurate country
clearance requesting identifying all members of the delegation.
Post will fully support the CODEL visit with it limited resources
and will endeavor to ensure that the visit is a success. Failure to
provide the above information immediately may jeopardize the CODEL's
chances of obtaining visas, which are absolutely required for any
visit.

POWERS

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