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Cablegate: Southern Kordofan - Humanitarian Update

VZCZCXRO6557
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0630/01 1150805
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240805Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0643
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0058
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0179
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0062
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0226

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KHARTOUM 000630

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, PRM, AF SE WILLIAMSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SP, USAID/W DCHA SUDAN
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND BPITTMAN
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
NEW YORK FOR FSHANKS
BRUSSELS FOR PBROWN
USMISSION UN ROME FOR RNEWBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN KORDOFAN - HUMANITARIAN UPDATE

KHARTOUM 00000630 001.2 OF 004


1. (U) Begin Summary: From April 5 to 15, a USAID/OFDA program
officer conducted site visits in Kadugli, Abu Gebeha, Talodi, and
Kauda areas in Southern Kordofan State. The USAID/OFDA officer
monitored USAID/OFDA-funded programs, particularly in the rural
health sector, and met with humanitarian actors and local officials
to review the current humanitarian situation in the state.
According to humanitarian agencies, additional emphasis on
reintegration and recovery activities is critically needed in the
coming months. The flooding that occurred from July to October 2007
negatively impacted the harvest in the areas visited, impeding
recent returnees' efforts to recover household assets and improve
their food security. During the USAID/OFDA officer's visit to the
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)-controlled area of Kauda,
it was apparent that the presence of two parallel governance systems
in the state -- one linked to the north and the Government of
National Unity (GNU) and one linked to the SPLM party in the Nuba
Mountains -- has resulted in a complex and highly politicized
environment within which relief organizations are struggling to work
with the relevant authorities to implement recovery and development
activities. End Summary.

----------------------------------
RETURNS IN SOUTHERN KORDOFAN STATE
----------------------------------

2. (U) During the war, many communities in the Nuba Mountains were
forced to flee from prairies, valley floors, and other low-lying
areas to the rocky hillsides where they terraced the steep slopes to
cultivate sorghum and other crops. Since the signing of the Nuba
Mountains ceasefire in January 2002 and the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA) in January 2005, communities have gradually gained
confidence in the security situation and begun to relocate to the
lower foothills and valleys where land is more fertile. This trend
is visible in Kadugli, Rashad, Heiban, Talodi, Dulami, and Abu
Gebeha localities where 'new' villages are being established.
Communities are struggling to re-establish social networks, clear
and prepare land for cultivation, and access basic services, such as
health, water, and education.

3. (U) According to the UN Mission in Sudan's Return, Recovery, and
Reintegration (UNMIS RRR) unit, Southern Kordofan has received the
second highest number of returnees of any state in Sudan since 2004.
Most people have returned spontaneously to areas of origin without
international assistance. While accurate estimates of returnee
numbers by locality/county and administrative unit/payam are
currently unavailable, the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) reported that the Kauda area is believed to have received the
largest proportion of returnees in the state. In addition, IOM
noted that many spontaneous returnees to the Buram area south of
Kadugli reportedly have not yet been identified or assisted by
relief agencies. The pace of return in the state has outpaced most
relief organizations' ability to monitor, assess, and assist
returnees settling in remote areas.

4. (SBU) IOM and UNMIS RRR have also faced challenges in identifying
an appropriate state government entity with which to coordinate
return and reintegration activities in Southern Kordofan State. In
the South, the UN and IOM coordinate with the Southern Sudan Relief
and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) and have developed effective
methods of tracking returnees and planning reintegration services.
USAID/OFDA contributed USD 4.5 million to IOM's returns program in
Southern Sudan in FY 2007. In northern Sudan, the GNU Humanitarian
Aid Commission (HAC) is tasked with coordinating internal
displacement and returns with the UN and other agencies. In the
Three Areas, where state governments were formed by merging
Government of Sudan (GOS) and SPLM systems under the CPA, SSRRC and
HAC were intended to jointly coordinate these activities. In
reality, the effectiveness of HAC/SSRRC coordination varies from
place to place. For example, in Abyei, USAID was told that the
original SSRRC/HAC office is now simply called SSRRC. In Kadugli,
IOM told USAID that a new government-affiliated organization called

KHARTOUM 00000630 002.2 OF 004


the Voluntary Returns and Reintegration Commission (VRRC) had been
created and would operate independently of SSRRC and HAC in order to
facilitate return tracking and reintegration in Southern Kordofan.
In private, IOM noted that HAC staff could not be used for return
tracking in the state because returnees and communities mistrust the
HAC's intentions.

---------------------------------------------
ISSUE OF INTEGRATION HINDERS RECOVERY EFFORTS
---------------------------------------------

5. (U) Two SPLM-controlled areas remain in the Nuba Mountains: the
Kauda area (locally referred to as the eastern jebels) and the area
southwest of Dilling (locally referred to as the western jebels). A
USAID/OFDA program officer visited the Kauda area from April 11 to
14 and met the local commissioner, the head of the Secretariat of
Health, the head of the Secretariat of Agriculture, and the local
SSRRC representative to discuss humanitarian and recovery issues.
The representatives from the various secretariats have limited
coordination with GNU ministry officials in Kadugli or Khartoum.

6. (U) The humanitarian community has significantly improved
infrastructure and basic services in the Kauda area, including a
newly opened hospital run by the Diocese of El Obeid, several newly
renovated schools, well equipped health clinics, and vocational
training programs since the war ended. Despite these services and
the years of emergency relief assistance provided to the Kauda
community, the transition from relief to recovery is proving to be
difficult and entangled with political issues surrounding CPA
implementation and integration. Kauda is well positioned to
transition existing agriculture, food security, livelihood, health,
and water programs established during the relief phase to
longer-term development programs. However, the Kauda community is
resistant to recovery programs that include cost recovery for
medicine, agriculture inputs, and health services. NGOs have
commented that people in Kauda developed a dependency on
international relief aid and have not yet adapted to
recovery-oriented programs that encourage self-sufficiency and
sustainability.

7. (U) Meetings between the USAID/OFDA program officer, implementing
partners, and local authorities revealed that the local authorities
have linked the relief-to-recovery transition to progress on CPA
implementation and state integration. The Secretariat of Health
asked USAID not to stop providing relief assistance, such as free
medicine and free health services, until the CPA has been fully
implemented because the GNU has not yet taken responsibility for
providing basic services to the citizens in the Kauda area.
Effective transition from relief to recovery requires local
authorities to assume responsibility for basic service provision.
In Kauda, the local authorities clearly do not have the financial
resources, the technical capacity, or the political will to begin
administering services, particularly in the health sector. This
dilemma puts USAID and its implementing partners in the difficult
position of trying to implement recovery and development programs
without support from local authorities, hindering the recovery
process.

--------------------------------
RECOVERY AND REINTEGRATION NEEDS
--------------------------------

8. (U) During the USAID/OFDA program officer's site visits and in
meetings with community leaders, food security and agricultural
inputs were repeatedly cited as a pressing need for returnee
communities because of the bad harvest in 2007. On April 14, the
first rains began in Southern Kordofan and many farmers will plant
seeds in May and June. Seed and tool distribution needs to occur in
the coming weeks. The 2007 rainy season, which resulted in heavy
flooding, destroyed many crops that returnees planted. As a result,
these households have not built up seed supplies or improved

KHARTOUM 00000630 003.2 OF 004


household food security as anticipated. In 2007, general food aid
distribution was phased out in many areas of Southern Kordofan to
reduce dependency on food aid and stimulate agricultural production.
USAID/OFDA will continue to support agricultural and food security
interventions that specifically target returnee communities in the
coming months.

9. (U) USAID/OFDA partners have implemented a wide range of
livelihood programs in the state, including goat restocking,
beekeeping, flour mills, and fruit tree nurseries. These programs
have had a positive impact and assisted in getting local economies
restarted. Small-scale livelihood activities will continue to be a
need in areas of high return in the coming months.

--------------------
DARFUR IDPS IN KAUDA
--------------------

10. (U) On April 13, a USAID/OFDA program officer and a Save the
Children staff member visited the Darfur internally displaced person
(IDP) camp in Kauda and met with thQdlQ5s|Kauda
to Abu Gebeha town or refugee camps in Kenya, such as Kakuma. As of
April 2008, only 150 households remain in Kauda. The IDP leaders
told the USAID/OFDA program officer that most of the group had moved
to other locations with better employment opportunities and
services. Interestingly, they found services in Kauda poorer than
what they had left in Darfur. The IDP leaders also reported that
the current IDP group fled insecurity in El Fasher in North Darfur,
Mornei in West Darfur, and areas near Foro Baranga in West Darfur.
In some cases, the IDPs traveled for three months to reach Kauda,
stopping in various places along the way.

11. (U) The IDP camp in Kauda is located behind a weigh station and
has three tattered UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) tents that serve as
schools for the IDPs. Concern has supported the IDPs with vegetable
seeds for gardening and has provided kits of relief commodities to
all households. The IDPs also receive a UN World Food Program (WFP)
food ration every two months consisting of sorghum, oil, and sugar.
The IDP camp currently has two hand pumps, one of which was broken
at the time of the visit, and 11 latrines. The Darfur IDP families
pay approximately USD 1.50 per month to send each child to school in
the nearby UNICEF tents. The IDPs have access to free health
services and medication at the USAID/OFDA-supported Save the
Children health clinic.

12. (U) The IDP leaders expressed a desire to be allocated land and
given seeds to farm this season, a request which local authorities
and aid organizations are currently considering. Most IDPs generate
income by selling charcoal, making bricks, or working as day
laborers in town. The leaders characterized the security situation
in Kauda as safe for their families. Overall, the Darfur IDP camp
in Kauda has sufficient basic services and relief organizations are
responding to the IDPs' needs as they arise.

-------
COMMENT
-------

13. (U) The US Mission will continue to engage with the local
authorities in Kauda to emphasize that the transition from relief to
recovery assistance is in the best interests of the community and
its leadership. The current local authorities in the Kauda area did
not serve in the Nuba Mountains during the war and have little
training in governance and administration. Their perspective
articulated to USAID staff that "things have gotten worse in the
Nuba Mountains since the signing of the CPA" does not reflect the
reality on the ground, nor does it acknowledge the efforts of the
international community over the years. Aid workers who lived and

KHARTOUM 00000630 004.2 OF 004


worked in the Nuba Mountains during the war can list many peace
dividends, particularly in infrastructure, daily life for Nuba
citizens, and humanitarian conditions, since the end of the war.
While great needs still exist in Kauda, the emergency situation has
ended and recovery-oriented programs are best suited to respond to
the needs in the current context. If the current mentality persists
among Kauda authorities, recovery and development will remain
difficult to implement and parallel governance systems will continue
to hinder CPA implementation from a development point of view.

FERNANDEZ

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