Cablegate: Unmee "Regrouping"
DE RUEHAE #0086 0511322
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201322Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASMARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9454
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEPADJ/CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
UNCLAS ASMARA 000086
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPKO PBTS MOPS PREL ER
SUBJECT: UNMEE "REGROUPING"
1. (SBU) UNMEE Force Commander General Taisir told the
ambassador February 20 that the movement to consolidate UNMEE
forces in Asmara and Assab was underway and was generally
"OK, except in some areas."
2. (SBU) He said 200 of the 500 Jordanians were back in
Asmara and he expected the other 300 to arrive in a day or
two. The Jordanians' tracked APCs (M-113s) require transport
by low-bed trailers; eight have made it to Asmara, as have
ten shipping containers full of ammunition and other
sensitive equipment. The Indians have mostly wheeled APCs,
the general continued, and are moving from Central Sector
back toward Asmara slowly and in good order.
3. (SBU) Two problem areas were highlighted by General
Taisir. Four Jordanian M-113 APCs located near the Sudan,
Eritrea, Ethiopia tri-border junction have been loaded for
three days but have not been allowed by the local Eritrean
commander to depart for Asmara. Likewise, a local commander
in the far southeastern panhandle has not granted a
136-strong Indian company permission to transit to Assab.
Taisir said he didn't know if these two incidents arose
because local commanders just didn't get the word, or if the
units were being detained because of their particularly
sensitive locations. In general, the UNMEE Force Commander,
who has been extremely concerned about the safety and
well-being of his troops, seemed cautiously optimistic about
this regrouping operation.