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Cablegate: Jane Holl Lute Previews Message to Unsc On Darfur

VZCZCXRO6749
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0573/01 1050829
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140829Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0553
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0156
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0027
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000573

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, SE RICHARD WILLIAMSON, S/CRS, IO
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: JANE HOLL LUTE PREVIEWS MESSAGE TO UNSC ON DARFUR

REF: A) KHARTOUM 502
B) KHARTOUM 434

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. United Nations outgoing Under-Secretary-General
in the Department of Field Support (DFS) Jane Holl Lute said that
the only way for the UN to deploy the bulk of UN-African Union
Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) forces in 2008 was with the parallel
provision of enabling assets, a point she intended to make at her
April 22 briefing to the UN Security Council (UNSC). Holl Lute
indicated she was in agreement with the USG plan to make troops
"deployable" according to UN standards by a certain date as long the
UN maintained the latitude it needs to subsequently send them to the
field as it sees fit. END SUMMARY.

DFS ON SAME PAGE WITH USG?
--------------------------
2. (SBU) In an April 13 meeting UN Under-Secretary-General Jane Holl
Lute, on a four-day visit to Darfur, told FieldOff she had come to
ground-truth the recently concluded UNAMID deployment plan and to
ensure that deployment was moving as well as possible, given the
logistical constraints crippling the mission. She confirmed that
the UN "wants to deploy the bulk of the force by the end of 2008,"
including most of the 19,000 military troops and an increased number
of police units.

3. (SBU) To do this, Holl Lute elaborated, would require the
international community to make good on its pledges of help. Rather
than just being seen as "doing something" (she referred specifically
to the "Gordon Brown Initiative," whereby the UK Prime Minister
offered to host a summit in London for Sudanese government officials
and rebel movement representatives in a latest diplomatic attempt to
resume peace talks, create a lasting ceasefire and foster
reconciliation efforts), Holl Lute recommended that the
international community address the real needs of UNAMID, a point
she intended to make at an April 22 briefing to the UNSC.

4. (SBU) According to U/SYG Holl Lute, these needs include enabling
assets necessary to prepare for the arrival of the new forces. They
included additional engineering capabilities, long-range transport,
communications equipment and borehole drilling equipment [NOTE: Holl
Lute made no mention of pre-existing as-yet undelivered engineering
assets, including those for the Chinese in Nyala, which remain held
up in customs due to UNAMID disputes with a local contractor. END
NOTE]. Holl Lute confirmed that her trip to Darfur was meant to
better inform this list of UNAMID needs, which she would then
outline for the UNSC on April 22. "The three most important things
to troops on the field anywhere," Holl Lute declared, "are ways to
connect back home [communications], means of getting back home
[transportation], and not being wet and hungry for long periods in
the meantime." With regard to rations (which have been plaguing
UNAMID for the past two weeks, with food either not reaching troops
or not being consumable by the time it reaches troops) Holl Lute
seemed surprised that ration shortages were an issue and assured
that this situation was under control. [NOTE: For the past two
weeks, UNAMID officials have been highlighting the rations shortage
issue as the number one problem facing the mission. END NOTE].

5. (SBU) U/SYG Holl Lute was receptive to the plan explained by SPG
representatives at a meeting of the Friends of UNAMID in New York
during the week of April 6, whereby the USG is procuring equipment
for troop-contributing countries in conformity with the UN's own
articulated standards and is training and equipping these TCCs to
deploy by a specific date. Holl Lute cautioned, however, that
essential to the success of this plan was assuring that TCCs know
the type of "austere" conditions into which they are dispatching
their forces. Also essential, said Holl Lute, was that the UN
maintained the "latitude" it needed to make final deployment
decisions.

UNANSWERED DEPLOYMENT QUESTIONS REMAIN
--------------------------------------
6. (SBU) Despite this agreement, U/SYG Holl Lute and Acting Chief of
Integrated Support Services (CISS) Nick Von Ruben saw some gaps in
UNAMID deployment. (Note: Von Ruben was formerly Holl Lute's Deputy
and was asked by her to stay on until December as CISS after the
intended appointment of Bruce McCaren fell through. End note.) They
identified helicopters as a persistent problem (despite the recent
donation by actor George Clooney of over five million dollars
earmarked for helicopter assets for UNAMID). Holl Lute explained
that UNAMID needs military helicopters outfitted with all the
"add-ons" (including night vision capabiQQ)PH7oflying. Both Holl Lute and Von
Ruben stressed the need to
match military helicopters with military pilots and to acquire the

KHARTOUM 00000573 002 OF 002


means to maintain these assets in order for them to be useful to the
mission.

7. (SBU) Acting CISS Von Ruben inquired about the status of the
USG's training and equipping efforts for incoming UNAMID battalions.
Von Ruben acknowledged that the Ethiopian and Egyptian battalions
were ready but expressed doubt at FieldOff's statement that at least
one Rwanda battalion could have its equipment by June 1.

8. (SBU) FieldOff asked U/SYG Holl Lute about the status of UN
efforts to deploy the incoming Ethiopian battalion to Kulbus/Silea
in Sector West, instead of to El Fasher in Sector North as
originally planned (Ref B). Holl Lute assured that this
notification was on track and that the Ethiopian Government was on
board, but she did not give specific indications that the requisite
Note Verbale to the Ethiopian Mission had been sent in New York.
Von Ruben confirmed that camp expansion was on track "per the Force
Commander's priorities" (which included construction of a camp at
Korma and expansion of camps in Kulbus and Silea, per reftels) to
receive new assets from split battalions. In a more downbeat
assessment, the Chinese Ambassador to Sudan told CDA Fernandez on
April 13 that UNAMID had woefully underestimated the availability of
water, not just at the Nyala supercamp being built but Chinese
engineers, but also in North and West Darfur.

COMMENT
-------
9. (SBU) U/SYG Holl Lute's comment about the desire of the UN to
deploy the bulk of its forces this year seems at odds with an
earlier statement made by the Acting CISS that UNAMID was only
capable of getting only 4,465 troops in by December 31 (Ref A). The
alarmist tone of two weeks ago has suddenly softened, due no doubt
to the need to put a positive spin on deployment in the presence of
his boss. Despite the happy face, outstanding questions remain,
including the need for definitive follow-up by the UN with the
Ethiopians to assure proper deployment of that country's incoming
battalion.

10. (SBU) It appears that Holl Lute's visit may not be to judge
conditions on the ground as much as to "ground-truth" her own
preconceptions (which is constructive). Her focus is on acquiring
the necessary military assets for UNAMID, such as military
helicopters (with pilots). Holl Lute wants UNAMID to own the assets
and not borrow them as it did with SKYLINK but the overall image
post has described repeatedly remains: a UN mission that is
disorganized, divided and under-equipped, with indifferent support
from DPKO, and this is a reality that no number of high-level
visitors from New York has yet been able to shake.

11. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

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