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Cablegate: How to Restructure a Ceasefire Commission Without An

VZCZCXYZ4104
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #0319/01 0641144
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041144Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0105
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000319

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UN US SU
SUBJECT: HOW TO RESTRUCTURE A CEASEFIRE COMMISSION WITHOUT AN
EFFECTIVE CEASEFIRE IN DARFURUNAMID UNABLE TO STOP FIGHTING IN WEST


DARFUR BUT WILLING TO TRY TO SUPPORT HUMANITARIAN EFFORT

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) This cable provides an update on the most recent activities
of the UNAMID Ceasefire Commission (CFC), impediments to its
functioning and an analysis of measures the CFC Secretariat can take
now to enhance its effectiveness if and when a genuine ceasefire
takes hold in Darfur. The USG should push for an immediate Joint
Commission meeting to address ceasefire and monitoring
mechanism-related issues. End summary.

-----------------------------
CFC CURRENT STATUS: IN STASIS
-----------------------------

2. (SBU) The UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Ceasefire Commission
(CFC) remains effectively "suspended," pending progress on the
Darfur political front and resolution on a range of thorny
questions, including the level of support UNAMID may offer rebel
representatives, rules of procedure and the composition of the CFC
itself. No regular CFC meetings are being held; Darfur Peace
Agreement (DPA) signatories and non-signatories alike have been
ejected from UNAMID facilities and required to return all equipment
(e.g., vehicles, phones) previously provided by the African Union
Mission in Sudan (AMIS). The Government of Sudan (GoS) expelled
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) representatives from all
GoS-controlled areas in January, and the few Sudan Liberation Army
Non-Signatory Faction (SLA-NSF) members still present in El Fasher
are permitted to stay only long enough to collect outstanding
Mission Subsistence Allowance (MSA) payments.

3. (SBU) MSA, which for months impaired the functioning of the CFC
and exacerbated tensions between the rebels and AMIS, was paid (with
a few individual exceptions) through September 2007 at the original,
inflated rate. In December 2007, AMIS committed to paying rebel
representatives for the last three months of that year, but at
reduced rates (1000 dollars for CFC headquarters reps and 500
dollars for reps at the sector level). To date, the last tranche of
MSA still has not been disbursed, though, according to one of the
Special Assistants to Joint Special Representative (JSR) Rodolphe
Adada, "the funds are sitting in Addis and are ready for payment."
Force Commander Martin Luther Agwai stated from the outset of his
command that, under UNAMID, no MSA will be paid, though the CFC may
reasonably lend some logistical support to liaison officers (the new
term for rebel CFC reps) to facilitate their participation in
CFC-related activities.

4. (SBU) With no scheduled meetings, few rebel representatives in
town or at sectors, no assigned European Union observer and, above
all, no genuine ceasefire, the vestigial CFC Secretariat is focused
on developing a concept for operations--with new rules of
procedure--for a "re-born" CFC, if and when there is a cessation of
hostilities and a more formal agreement in place. Its work,
however, is impeded by the inconvenient reality that fundamental
issues, such as CFC composition and ceasefire modalities, are
presently impossible to determine given the unsettled political and
military landscape in Darfur.

-----------
WAYS AHEAD?
-----------

5. (SBU) South African CFC Chief of Staff Colonel Steven Van Neel
explained to FieldOff in late February that the Commission continues
to consider organizational issues, including the number of liaison
officers. Van Neel recommends that for each ceasefire party
represented on the CFC, it will have one liaison officer at CFC
headquarters in El Fasher and two at each of the Sector
headquarters. UNAMID will offer only logistical support to those
liaison officers who are needed for an investigation or to
facilitate access to rebel-held areas. Ceasefire investigations and
reports will not require the consensus or approval of liaison
officers for UNAMID to take action or forward to the political
level. (Comment: The viability of the CFC is linked to the
effectiveness of the Joint Commission, which, in theory, should
provide political guidance to the CFC and deterrence to would-be
ceasefire violators. A dysfunctional Joint Commission, as was the
case under AMIS, will inevitably result in an impotent CFC. End
Comment.)

6. (SBU) Van Neel elaborated on the vision for the CFC, emphasizing
that it should be a single chamber that includes all relevant
parties to an eventual ceasefire agreement. JEM and the SLA
factions of Abdulwahid and Ahmed AbdulShafie must participate.
Also, additional technical expertise, such as legal officers and


forensic and criminal investigators should round out the CFC
Secretariat to supplement its capacity to carry out credible

SIPDIS
investigations.

7. (SBU) FieldOff underscored for Van Neel, based on previous CFC
missteps, the importance of ensuring a civilian presence in the
ceasefire mechanism. This participation could come from UNAMID
political affairs or the Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST), who
inevitably engage many of the same non-signatory groups and
interlocutors as the CFC. Van Neel agreed that embedding UNAMID's
civilian component in the ceasefire mechanism, in addition to
enhancing information flow across all parts of the mission, would
help ensure that political issues arising in the CFC could be more
expeditiously addressed than in the past. (Comment: Among AMIS
CFC's greatest failings was the lack of any AU political
participation in the mechanism--as well as a paucity of guidance
from the Joint Commission-- compelling the Force Commander to make
political decisions--such as cuts in MSA--beyond his authority,
sometimes with disastrous consequences. End Comment.)

------------------------------
ASSESSMENT: CFC IN THE INTERIM
------------------------------

8. (SBU) With progress on the political front in Darfur stalled, no
meaningful implementation of the DPA's security provisions and no
effective ceasefire in place, the CFC must attempt to re-cast itself
for the time being as an interim monitoring mechanism. A February
19 letter from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)
to UNAMID Headquarters requested that the CFC consider steps to
bolster its relevance and enhance its collaboration with the JMST.
There are three areas where focused efforts by the CFC could set the
foundation for greater effectiveness if and when a ceasefire takes
hold in Darfur.

9. (SBU) First, the CFC can continue to serve as the military focal
point for dialogue with the rebel fighters in the field.
Maintaining these channels of communication is essential in
facilitating UNAMID's overall acceptance and access to
rebel-controlled areas. The Force Commander and CFC Chief of Staff
have already engaged with non-signatories, but these efforts must be
sustained until and beyond the adoption of a ceasefire. Developing
these relationships early is critical. SLA Non-signatories faction
(NSF) representative LTC Abdou conveyed to FieldOff his frustration
that UNAMID was already beginning to resemble AMIS, caving to GoS
manipulations (on TCCs, expulsion of non-signatory CFC
representatives and renewed fighting in West Darfur) and not
sufficiently consulting with factions outside of the DPA.

10. (SBU) Second, the CFC must shift its immediate focus to
monitoring and verification of hostilities impacting civilian
population. These activities should be undertaken in concert with
the civilian component--especially the UN Department of Safety and
Security (UNDSS) and UNAMID Protection--to allow for a more
comprehensive understanding of events on the ground. As the Joint
Mission Analysis Cell (JMAC) grows and UNAMID gains greater force
capacity, the CFC should be able to better monitor and verify
hostilities, which will inform the civilian arm of UNAMID involved
in any ceasefire or, eventually, broader political negotiations.

11. (SBU) Third, the CFC, drawing upon expertise from DPKO and
international partners, must continue to closely examine the
security provisions of the DPA to identify areas that require
strengthening, acknowledging that any future ceasefire must, above
all, be "implementable" by the parties and backed up by robust
international verification. Connected to this, the CFC should
clarify its rules of procedure, with oversight from UNAMID political
leadership, to ensure that it does not stray--as has happened in the
past--from its mandate or authorities.

-------
Comment
-------

12. (SBU) An eventual cessation of hostilities and ceasefire will be
the cornerstone of any peace process in Darfur. Without an
effective mechanism and the capacity to enforce such an agreement,
an end to the crisis in Darfur will remain elusive. The USG must
continue to urge international partners and the UN/AU-led mediation
process to focus on this objective and be willing to lend the
necessary resources and political capital to make attaining it a
realistic possibility. Post recommends that Washington demarche
DPKO, Addis and Darfur partners to convene an immediate Joint
Commission meeting to address ceasefire-related issues and re-focus
attention on the establishment of a verification and monitoring
mechanism under UNAMID.

FERNANDEZ

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