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Cablegate: Unamid Tries Harder While Darfuris Fume

VZCZCXRO5859
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0454/01 0870843
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270843Z MAR 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0321
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0117
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000454

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: UNAMID TRIES HARDER WHILE DARFURIS FUME

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: March 25 visits to two UNAMID camps in Darfur
revealed that UNAMID troops, while bringing much needed relative
security to their immediate areas of control, currently lack the
troops and equipment to be in some of the most
operationally-important areas. The visits also revealed disparity
between UNAMID's analysis of security and that of many of the
internally displaced persons (IDPs). Local populations and UNAMID
staff did agree, however, that the continued presence of janjaweed
and their integration into Sudanese security structures damages
IDP's faith in law enforcement, judicial systems, and their overall
perception of the feasibility of improvements that UNAMID hopes to
bring to Darfur. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On March 25 emboffs traveled to Mukjar and Zalingi to conduct
an inventory of high-end items (vehicles, generators, armored
personnel carriers, etc.) for rotating Rwandan peacekeeping
battalions. Emboffs will continue through March 30 conducting such
inventories at base camps where Rwandans are located. (Note: The
results of the inventory will be sent via e-mail to interested
parties. At the end of the week-long inventory, septels on logistics
and an overall assessment of UNAMID at the field level will follow.
End Note).

"WE NEED TO GET OUT THERE"
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
3. (SBU) Although Mukjar base commander T. Kareiou said that the
immediate area around his UNAMID camp is secure, he stated that his
troops are not able to visit the most operationally important areas
in their sector. Kareiou stated that in particular there has been
decreased security in the town of Um Dukhum on the Sudanese-Chadian
border. Kareiou stated that he needs access to helicopters to get
to some of the most difficult and important areas under his mandate
such as Um Dukhum. He said that in his four month tour he has only
visited this area one time. "We need a UNAMID camp like this one in
Um Dukhum and then we could really make a difference and have a
sense of what is going on" said Kareiou. According to Kareiou, Um
Dukhum has been used as a staging ground for the supply and training
of Chadian opposition rebels by the Sudanese Government and that the
region has become increasingly militarized and dangerous.

4. (SBU) Nigerian civpol chief Adewuyi also separately reported
that "we are thin on the ground." He stated that he does not have
sufficient men to have a presence in some of the IDP camps under his
control with a population as large as 90,000. "It will take much
time and will require more and more troops on the ground to ensure
total security," stated Adewuyi. Adewuyi added that the UNAMID
presence has made a difference (especially with an added depth of
activities including firewood patrols, tribal chief meetings, and
long-range patrols,) but that it is difficult to patrol a vast area
where weapons are just floating around and people have a
warrior-mentality."

DIFFERING PERCEPTIONS OF SECURITY
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) In Mukjar, Gambian civpol chief Ahmed Abd Al-Aziz gave a
glowing review of the area under his control (using the much cited
UNAMID phrase "stable, but unpredictable"), while a brief visit to
the nearby IDP camp revealed a much different perception. Tribal
elder Zakariah Kojer told emboff in the IDP camp that the situation
within the camps is not secure, as they are restricted to the camps
and that within them there are occasional robberies, attacks, and
rapes. Kojer complained that the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement had
not done anything for the region, and said that while the UNAMID
presence has helped, it has not completely solved Darfur's lack of
security. UNAMID civpol repeatedly interrupted the tribal chief
attempting to lead his answers and eventually said to emboff, "He
[the Tribal Chief IDP] doesn't know what he is talking about."

JANJAWEED INTEGRATED INTO SECURITY AND ABOVE THE LAW
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6. (SBU) Almost all UNAMID representatives expressed concern about
the continued presence of janjaweed, their "free reign over the
camps," and their status above the law. Hisham Rashid, an Egyptian
civpol in Zalingi, stated that they recently conducted an
investigation that provided strong evidence for and led to the
arrest of one former Arab militia member. Rashid stated that they
followed the standard procedure of turning the accused over to the
Sudanese police, but that the suspect was transferred from police
station to police station, never tried, and eventually released.
"This isn't the first case of where someone close to the government
avoids a criminal sentence," stated Rashid.

7. (SBU) Gambian civpol in Mukjar told emboffs that the janjaweed
have been fully incorporated into the police reserve and other
government security forces such as border units. Abdelaziz stated
that on one recent patrol his men stopped an armed man riding a
camel. Abdelaziz reported that the man was dressed in the style

KHARTOUM 00000454 002 OF 002


typical of janjaweed fighters and carrying an AK-47, but that he
produced two official IDs, one for the border police and another for
the Sudanese Armed Forces.

9. (SBU) Mukjar base commander T. Kareiou reported that during the
last three weeks he has witnessed an influx of Arab militiamen in
Toyota landcruisers traveling west - towards Chad - through his area
of control. "These cars are going westward and are not coming
back," stated Kareiou. He stated that the Zalinji-Garsila and
Kubum-Mukjar roads have been particularly busy. He added that these
vehicles bypass required government checkpoints and that when they
do stop, they interact with the guards at the checkpoints in a
collegial way.

COMMENT
- - - -
10. (SBU) The visits revealed the need for continued follow-up by
emboffs to assess the actual the situation in these more remote
areas - and the extent to which UNAMID is unable to fulfill its
mandate. Many of the camps we visited revealed that outside
observers had a poor understanding of the conflict, were quick to
simplify its complex tribal and ethnic dimensions, or prone to
sugar-coat their reporting in order to please superiors. (The one
exception to this was the locally-employed Sudanese language
consultants who appeared to understand the complex ethnic and social
dynamics around them. UNAMID could consider expanding the use of
local Sudanese staff, not only for menial jobs, but for more analyst
positions at the bases.)

11. Comment continued: The reports of the integration of janjaweed
into Sudanese security structures, their free reign and display of
firepower in areas they once terrorized, and their avoidance of
Sudanese judicial systems is nothing new. This fact demonstrates
the actual intentions of the Khartoum regime on the ground in Darfur
to keep its forces intact and its allies happy, and continues in the
face of UNAMID and over two years after the signing of the DPA,
which included security provisions (e.g. articles 24-27) designed to
disarm and demobilize the janjaweed.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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