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Cablegate: Encouraging Recruitment of Strong Unmis Leadership

VZCZCXRO3713
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHC #1806/01 1121710
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 211704Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1415
INFO DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 041806

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPKO PREL PGOV UNSC SU
SUBJECT: ENCOURAGING RECRUITMENT OF STRONG UNMIS LEADERSHIP

REF: A. STATE 17092

B. STATE 7222
C. ACCRA 489
D. STATE 1335
E. KHARTOUM 543


1. This is an action request. Please see para. 6

2. Background: The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is the UN
peacekeeping operation mandated to monitor and support
implementation of Sudan,s historic Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA), which ended 21 years of civil war between
northern and southern Sudan when it was signed on January 9,
2005. Under the CPA, the parties to the agreement (e.g. the
National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan Peoples
Liberation Movement (SPLM)) are provided a six-year interim
period during which a census, national elections, and a
referendum on the South,s determination to secede or remain
part of a united Sudan will take place. Sudan,s national
census, a milestone under the CPA, is scheduled to take place
April 22 ) May 6. Also, the international community is
eagerly anticipating planning for the 2009 national
elections. Sudan,s disputed oil-rich border region of Abyei
continues to see an escalation of tension and violence
between local Misseriya tribes, local Dinka Ngok, the Sudan
People,s Liberation Army (SPLA), and Sudan Armed Forces
(SAF) elements, as the Presidency continues dialogue on
resolving the problem.

3. Two key positions within UNMIS are undergoing
transition. The position of Deputy Senior Representative of
the Secretary General (D/SRSG), formerly held/soon to be
vacated by Taye Zerihoun, has not been officially filled. In
addition, the tour of UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Force
Commander Lt. General Jasbir Singh Lidder ended on/about
April 8, 2008 (reftel A,B). The loss of UNMIS staff is
particularly unfortunate at this time when respected
leadership is crucial to fulfillment of the UNMIS mandate
amidst civil and military challenges.

4. The Department is unaware of formal announcements
related to the replacement of either position, but has heard
rumors about and received endorsements for potential
candidates. The Washington SPLM mission reported to the
Department its understanding that Mr. Azouz Ennifar, D/SRSG
for the UNMEE mission, would replace Zerihoun and expressed
its concern over the appointment of a Muslim individual given
the tense Muslim/Christian environment in Sudan (Note: The
SPLM was equally disappointed with the appointment of SRSG
Qazi because of his Muslim religious and cultural
affiliation; the SPLM was not consulted on his appointment,
either. End note). With respect to the replacement of FC
Lidder, the Department has not been informed of potential
candidates, but has received requests to endorse at least one
West African military commander (reftel C). While we are
taking these comments on board, we do not see any reason to
break with our usual policy in this case. Proposed TALKING
POINTS:

z UNMIS is making a difference on the ground in Southern
Sudan, due in large part to the presence of capable and
competent staff.

z The continued provision of such fully functioning and
capable UNMIS staff is crucial for implementation of the CPA,
as well as for maintaining the achievements of the UNMIS
operation thus far.

z The D/SRSG and FC positions cannot remain vacant during
this critical period. Moreover, they should be filled by
individuals capable of undertaking the massive
responsibilities of the CPA, including possessing the ability
to work productively with the constituents of the CPA, namely
the SPLM.

z With respect to the UNMIS FC, an appropriate candidate
must be capable of moving forward on creative peacekeeping
initiatives, such as the nascent JIU support cell (reftel D),
and making progress amidst difficult circumstances, such as
monitoring efforts in Abyei and increasing violence in
Kordofan (reftel E).

z We recognize the complex difficulties associated with
UNMIS and Sudan generally, but encourage the UN nonetheless
to remain committed to a fully operational UNMIS. End
points.


STATE 00041806 002 OF 002


5. ACTION USUN: Drawing from the Background and suggested
Talking Points, Post is requested to approach the UN
Secretariat and obtain information on prospective candidates

SIPDIS
and a timeline for the replacement of both D/SRSG Zerihoun
and UNMIS FC Lidder. USUN is requested to underscore to the
Secretariat the importance of finding appropriate and

SIPDIS
competent replacements for these individuals.
RICE

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