Cablegate: Demarche On Unmis Force Commander
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHC #7222/01 0240020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 240018Z JAN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 5328
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0321
INFO DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 5097
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4532
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 007222
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS PGOV UNSC SU IN
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON UNMIS FORCE COMMANDER
REF: A. STATE 170092
B. KHARTOUM 70
C. 2007 NEW DELHI 5410
1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 5 & 6.
2. (U) Background: The tour of UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)
Force Commander Lt. General Jasbir Singh Lidder, originally
set to expire in early January (ref a), has been extended
three months and is set to end in March 2008 (ref b). We,
however, would like his tour extended for at least six
months, through June 2008. UNMIS is the UN peacekeeping
operation mandated to monitor and support implementation of
Sudan,s historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which
ended 21 years of civil war between northern and southern
Sudan when it was signed on January 9, 2005. Under the CPA,
the parties to the agreement (e.g. the National Congress
Party (NCP) and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM))
are provided a six-year interim period during which a census,
national elections, and a referendum on the South,s final
status as part of a united or divided Sudan will take place.
3. (U) UNMIS is at a critical juncture during the CPA,s
interim period-- between signing of the agreement and the
vote on North/South unity in 2011. Before the onset of the
rainy season in the spring, Lidder,s leadership and
expertise is needed to facilitate the redeployment of Sudan
Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People,s Liberation Army (SPLA)
troops from the border, as well as to lead efforts to train,
equip, and reposition the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) (SAF
& SPLA combined units) in sensitive border and oil regions.
The extension of Lidder,s tour for at least six months as
opposed to three months will give him the chance to make
headway on these pivotal areas before the onset of the rainy
season when military movement is infeasible.
4. TALKING POINTS:
- We believe that Lt. Gen. Jasbir Singh Lidder is an
effective and capable leader of a very difficult mission.
Given Lt. Gen. Lidder,s proven track record, we would like
to see his tour as UNMIS Force Commander extended for at
least an additional three months, bringing the full extension
to at least six months.
- We believe that should Lt. Gen. Lidder,s term not be
extended, it would have an adverse effect on both UNMIS and
the implementation of the CPA. Without strong and experienced
leadership, UNMIS,s already challenging mission would be
made even more difficult. Moreover, the United Nations does
not yet have a leader positioned to replace him.
- It is also important to note that this request comes at a
critical time. Progress in certain key areas under Lidder,s
command, such as the redeployment of SAF and SPLA troops, as
well as the training and equipping of the JIUs, must continue
in order to support implementation of the CPA. Once the 2008
rainy season begins in May/June, weather conditions will make
military maneuvering nearly impossible.
- By securing an additional three-month extension of Lt. Gen.
Lidder,s tour of duty, we will be able to keep UNMIS on
track and moving forward. Once the rainy season begins,
there will be a natural window of time in which to replace
Lidder, if necessary. Meanwhile, he will have continued to
be effective in his role as UNMIS Force Commander.
5. ACTION REQUEST TO NEW DELHI: Drawing from the background
and talking points above, Post is requested to approach
appropriate high-level officials within the Indian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense to urge an
extension of Mr. Lidder,s tour for at least an additional
three months so he can remain in Sudan until the rainy season
begins in May/June. If his tour can be extended beyond June,
until his replacement is named for instance, that would be
6. ACTION REQUEST USUN: Drawing from the background and
talking points above, Post is requested to approach Indian UN
counterparts at the highest possible level to underscore that
we are requesting an additional extension of UNMIS Force
Commander Lidder,s tour of duty for at least three months
and that we are also making similar requests in New Delhi.
We look forward to India,s cooperation on this issue.
7. Please respond no later than January 25. POCs in AF/SPG
STATE 00007222 002 OF 002
are Pamela Fierst and Raja Seshadri.