Search

 

Cablegate: As Un Reaches Jebel Moon, Splinter Emerges Within Jem

VZCZCXRO9985
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0346/01 0700748
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 100748Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0149
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000346

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF S/E WILLIAMSON, AND AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO UN AU SU CD
SUBJECT: AS UN REACHES JEBEL MOON, SPLINTER EMERGES WITHIN JEM

REFS: A) KHARTOUM 320
KHARTOUM 266

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) After an earlier dispute between the UN Coordinator for
Humanitarian Affairs and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
over access to Jebel Moon, West Darfur, a UN team reached the area
for a brief yet inconclusive visit to assess the humanitarian
situation. UN sources report that the bulk of JEM is "holed up" in
Jebel Moon and that the defection of a breakaway faction of the
movement, JEM/National Unity, has cut mainstream JEM off from a JEM
formation north of El Geneina, West Darfur. While some in the UN
predict that Sudan will take advantage of this fissure and launch a
renewed bombing campaign on Jebel Moon, MINURCAT anticipated a
ground offensive by Khartoum-backed Chadian rebels into Jebel Moon
and Chad "within one week." End summary.

-----------------------------------
UN Team Reaches Jebel Moon, Briefly
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) After an earlier dispute between UN Coordinator for
Humanitarian Affairs Ameerah Haq and JEM over access to Jebel Moon,
West Darfur, a UN team reached the base of the mountain on March 9,
Haq told CDA Fernandez. The UN team remained on the ground for only
40 minutes, according to a senior OCHA official, and a battle
between JEM and the Sudanese Government was ensuing five kilometers
from the UN's landing. While a JEM representative told the UN team
there were no internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the area, the
official commented that the UN is aware of 7,000 civilians living on
Jebel Moon. The OCHA official suggested that the UN needed a
"second effort" to investigate the situation in Jebel Moon before
making a conclusive assessment. In a March 3 press conference, Haq
criticized JEM for obstructing humanitarian access to Jebel Moon.
JEM later denied this accusation, claiming the UN never requested
permission to enter the area.

-----------------------------------------
AFTER NEW FISSURE, JEM CORE IN JEBEL MOON
-----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) The UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in West
Darfur reported on March 9 that the bulk of JEM forces remain "holed
up" in Jebel Moon. An internal fissure within JEM has emerged in
recent days, minimizing the movement's reach. A faction composed of
the Massaleit and Eringa tribes broke from the mainstream movement
and signed a ceasefire agreement with the Sudanese Government,
according to UN sources and a JEM representative in El Fasher.

4. (SBU) UNDSS estimated that this faction, JEM/National Unity,
consisted of 300 to 400 Eringa fighters from Sirba, Silea, and Abu
Sorouj, areas afflicted by an intense Sudanese bombing campaign in
February. (Note: The majority of JEM fighters are from the Zaghawa
tribe. End note.) Senior UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
officials speculate that Khartoum's success in fomenting divisions
within JEM has left the movement "split in half." The defection of
JEM/National Unity created a buffer between a minor JEM force north
of El Geneina and a force of 80 vehicles isolated in Jebel Moon.

5. (SBU) UNAMID Sector West confirmed in early March that
JEM/National Unity leaders Abdulhaleem Daoud and Mubushan Hajjar
Abdallah requested UN mediation with the Sudanese Government.
JEM/National Unity articulated five political-military objectives:
implementation of an immediate and enforceable ceasefire, equitable
development, cessation of human rights abuses, power and resource
sharing, and withdrawal of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) from
JEM/National Unity-controlled areas. According to Sector West,
which cross-checked information with the head of SAF military
intelligence in El Geneina, Sudan agreed to all of the
conditions--with the exception of SAF withdrawal.

---------------------------------------
Aerial Bombardment or Ground Offensive?
---------------------------------------

6. (SBU) One UNDSS officer in El Fasher predicted that the Sudanese
airforce will take advantage of JEM's isolation in Jebel Moon to
launch a bombing campaign in the coming days. "They're hunkered
down, and the Government will want to have a good crack at them," he
said. Another UNAMID officer asserted, however, that since a March
7 letter from UNSYG Ban Ki Moon to President Bashir cautioning
against further aerial bombardment, Government air strikes have
ceased. (Note: There is no independent confirmation of this
information. End note.) Positing that a ground offensive is more

KHARTOUM 00000346 002 OF 002


likely, the same officer said that he had read a "code cable" from
MINURCAT dated March 8 that anticipated a new surge of
Khartoum-backed Chadian rebels into Chad and Jebel Moon "within one
week." The cable also indicated that these operations would be
coordinated with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

---------------------------------
Repercussions of February Bombing
---------------------------------

7. (SBU) Haq told CDA Fernandez that 90-percent of the residents of
Sirba and Bir Degeeg had returned since the February bombing, as the
towns had not been heavily damaged and civilian police from Khartoum
are deployed - and local authorities had allowed daily humanitarian
access by NGOs and the UN. However, Haq said that Silea remains
empty due to destroyed infrastructure and lack of security. Haq
also noted that UNAMID has been slow to respond and needs to step up
its patrols in the area. She noted that both NGOs and Sudanese
police are "doing their part to restore order but UNAMID remains the
weakest link." It is not clear where the 11,000 residents of Silea
who did not enter Chad are now located, they may be the IDPs reputed
to still be on Jenel Moon or they may have moved further South
toward El Geneina.

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

8. (SBU) No sooner had the GOS deployed civilian police to Sirba and
Bir Degeeg (as we and the UN had requested on February 24) and
allowed the UN and NGO access to these areas, than it (allegedly)
began another apparent attack on Jebel Moon. The SAF clearly wants
to gain the upper hand in West Darfur by attacking a weakened and
divided JEM. In this particular case it appears that civilians were
not affected, with JEM positions being the primary targets. The
return of some IDPs to some villages in West Darfur is good news.
It shows that sometimes the GOS can do the right thing, even though
it is correcting a wrong which it caused in the first place. The
returns also confirm what many in the humanitarian community believe
- that it doesn't take a lot to restore a minimum level of security;
in this case some Sudanese police and aggressive follow-up by
unarmed and courageous NGO workers. One can only imagine what a
well-equipped, mobile and empowered UNAMID could do.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC