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Cablegate: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Ct -- Proposal for Khartoum

VZCZCXYZ0017
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #0578/01 1060750
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150750Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0561

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000578

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS, NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

E.O. 12958: DECL: N/A
TAGS: ASEC EFIN KCRM KPAO PTER KHLS AEMR SU
SUBJECT: U.S. AMBASSADORS FUND FOR CT -- PROPOSAL FOR KHARTOUM

REF: STATE 20081

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Below is Embassy Khartoum's submission for the
U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Counterterrorism. The proposed project
would take place at the Spring Youth Center in Omdurman, the
historic capital and working-class hub of the Khartoum metropolitan
area. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) BACKGROUND: Many of the factors known to breed extremism
are prevalent in Omdurman, including high levels of poverty,
population density, unemployment, and youth under 25. Local press
reported in February 2008 that pro-Al-Qaeda graffiti was scattered
throughout Omdurman. Within the last year, one extremist Islamic
terrorist cell attacked and killed an American USAID officer and a
local USAID employee, and other individuals were discovered in
August 2007 while attempting to make a bomb for terrorist purposes.
Though Sudan continues its cooperative commitment against terrorism
with the United States, it is well known that infamous terrorists
such as Osama bin Laden and Carlos the Jackal all sought refuge and
operated within Sudan in the 1990s. END BACKGROUND.

3. (SBU) NAME OF PROPOSED PROJECT: Omdurman Community Adolescent
Athletic Outreach (OCAAO).

4. (SBU) CONTACT OFFICERS: Eric Barbee (BarbeeEM@state.gov) and
Walter Braunohler (BraunohlerWM@state.gov).

5. (SBU) PLANNED START DATE: August 15, 2008.

6. (SBU) ESTIMATED TOTAL COST: USD 42,500

7. (SBU) POTENTIAL SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCES OF FUNDING: Donations from
American soccer associations and major soccer equipment suppliers.
In-kind donations from the youth center and its volunteers.

8. (SBU) TARGET AUDIENCE FOR PROJECT AND DESIRED EFFECT ON AUDIENCE
PERCEPTIONS: Adolescent boys ages 13-17 (approximately 250 direct
participants in an 8-week tournament), with approximately 500 weekly
spectators. In addition, there will be the enormous multiplier
effect of newspaper, radio, and television media coverage. With the
help of local police and religious leaders, in addition to national
sports heroes, young participants will be encouraged to reject
extremism.

9. (SBU) PROJECT METHOD: Inform, persuade, develop.

10. (SBU) TASKS AND ACTIVITIES: The core of the program is a 10-week
soccer and basketball tournament, held weekly at the Spring
Community Youth Center in Omdurman, Sudan. Each week, guest
speakers will conduct a "time out" presentation before or after each
game focusing on anti-extremist messages, highlighting values of
moderation, tolerance, and pluralism. Local police commissioners,
mosque leaders, and other community leaders (including sports
celebrities) have all agreed to participate in this program. The
Head of Protocol at the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the
Sports Director at the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sports have
both approved of this program. At the end of the program, an awards
ceremony for the competition's winners will be held and a pamphlet
highlighting each week's guest speaker message will be delivered to
all participants.

11. (SBU) EXPLANATION OF HOW THE PROPOSAL WILL ENHANCE THE ABILITY
OF LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATIONS TO DETER TERRORISTS AND TERRORIST
GROUPS: This project will afford local law enforcement direct access
to a vulnerable youth population and will enable them to establish a
better relationship with influential religious, political, and
community leaders. This program will empower these credible voices
and give them a chance to network with other community leaders while
giving at-risk youth alternative activities to extremism. The
strength of this program is in its community focus, the weekly
repetition of anti-extremist messages, and in the positive
reinforcement that athletic competition can provide.

12. (SBU) The Spring Youth center is an ideal location for this
program. The physical grounds of the youth center are enclosed,
allowing for control of participation and monitoring of visitors.
While continuing high levels of programming, the grounds and
equipment show signs of wear and decay. After years of constant
use, the basketball backboards and nets are on the verge of
disintegration. The soccer field, once green grass, is now a dusty
pitch. The youth center would truly notice and appreciate the small
injection of funds, attention, and resources that preparing it for a
series of events would require. Small additions such as new
goalposts and basketball hoops would go a long way in improving the
facilities. Most importantly, the Embassy has already successfully
conducted outreach events to the center in the past and has a good
working relationship with it. Suheil Ghandour, an extremely active
volunteer at the center, is extraordinarily pro-American, having
spent a significant amount of time in the U.S. The youth centers'
leaders have good relations with local police and religious leaders
and have enthusiastically recruited their participation as we have
developed this proposal.

13. (SBU) MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS: Numbers of youth directly
participating, spectator attendance, media coverage, new
relationships forged between law enforcement, religious leadership,
community leaders, and political figures.

14. (SBU) PLAN TO DISSEMINATE BEST PRACTICES, IF APPROPRIATE:
Following the program, a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of
the project will be conducted by the Embassy in coordination with
the youth center.

15. (SBU) Pictures of the youth center and a spreadsheet detailing
the breakdown of estimated costs will be e-mailed to Emily Goldman
(GoldmanEO@state.gov) and Aldray Aiken (AikenA@state.gov).

FERNANDEZ

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