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Cablegate: Chad: Ngo Head Killed in Apparent Carjacking

VZCZCXRO6567
RR RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0201/01 1271615
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061615Z MAY 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6214
INFO RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 1501
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 1688
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0070
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS BE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0472
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2311
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 1061
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1392
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0547
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 3059

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000201

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PHUM PGOV CD MARR MOPPS CT SU
SUBJECT: CHAD: NGO HEAD KILLED IN APPARENT CARJACKING

NDJAMENA 00000201 001.2 OF 002


---------
SUMMARY
----------

1. (SBU) The UN and NGO community is assessing the security
environment in eastern Chad after the tragic death of a Save the
Children representative in an apparent carjacking attempt on the
heavily traveled Abeche-Adre corridor. With banditry rising in
eastern Chad, EUFOR/MINURCAT's ability to provide what it calls a
"dissuasive security umbrella" will be severely tested. In private
discussions, EUFOR commanders cite NGO reticence to coordinate
activities and share information (including basic information on
communications and travel) as a critical obstacle to protecting
humanitarian workers. The force and the humanitarian community
clearly need to improve their ability to work together effectively
while respecting their separate mandates. End summary.

2. (SBU) On May 1, UN Resident Representative and Humanitarian
Coordinator Kingsley Amaning convoked the UN Inter-Agency Standing
Committee (to which donor countries are invited as observers) to
inform them that Save the Children Representative in Chad, Pascal
Malingue had been killed in what appeared to have been a carjacking
attempt. The assault took place some 20 kilometers from Farchana
(where a EUFOR battalion is based), on the Abeche-Adre road, a major
transportation route. Two armed men in military fatigues stopped a
convoy of three vehicles (two UNICEF, one Save the Children).
Occupants of the vehicles were told to get out of the cars and lie
down. Malingue was the last one out. He was shot in the head with
a Kalashnikov while standing with his arms up, according to
witnesses.

3. (SBU) It is not clear if the shooting was close range and
deliberate but initial reports appeared to rule out an accidental
discharge. The attackers reportedly "panicked" and attempted to
escape in the Save the Children vehicle. Not being able to locate
the keys to this car, they took the UNICEF car and fled the scene,
leaving a Kalashnikov rifle in the Save the Children car. Malingue
was rushed to Farchana in a Medecins Sans Frontieres vehicle but had
already expired. EUFFOR used helicopters to search for the stolen
vehicle without success.

4. (SBU) Representatives of the UN and NGO community at the meeting
were clearly in shock at the horrific event. Nonetheless, it was
noted that armed carjackings had been rising in recent months;
perhaps it was only a matter of time before one of these would have
ended tragically. Participants agreed that the Government of Chad
needed to be strongly urged by the UN/NGO community and by major
country donors to take stronger measures to enforce security in the
region. Despite differing views on whether a suspension of
humanitarian activities to protest the lack of security was
justified or not, UN and NGOs elected finally to suspend all
non-essential ('life-saving' such as water, health or food-aid
logistics) activities for 48 hours. The temporary suspension ended
late on Saturday, May 3.

5. (SBU) Heads of UN agencies and major NGO partners met with the
Prime Minister on May 3 and delivered a letter which explained the
suspension and called on the government to take stronger measures to
ensure security in the east. The letter noted that since January 1,
2008, there had been 31 attacks on humanitarian operations,
including 3 homicides and 15 car thefts.

6. (SBU) For their part, in private discussions with misoffs, EUFOR
commanders in Abeche have become increasingly frustrated with their
relations with NGOs. The commanders acknowledge that EUFOR is still
building up its forces and capabilities in the East. Even so, they
cite NGO reticence to coordinate activities and share information
(including basic information on communications and travel) as a
critical obstacle to protecting humanitarian workers.

--------
Comment:
--------

7. (SBU) The tragedy of this happening 20 kilometers from a EUFOR
military battalion was not lost on those who had attended the
meeting. With banditry rising, EUFOR/MINURCAT's ability to provide
what it calls a "dissuasive security umbrella" will be severely
tested. In addition, EUFOR maintains that MINURCAT deployment is
essential to realization of this dissuasive presence, but MINURCAT
has been slower in deploying. Nonetheless, the international forces

NDJAMENA 00000201 002.2 OF 002


and the humanitarian community clearly need to improve their ability
to work together effectively while respecting their separate
mandates. NIGRO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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