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Cablegate: Special Envoy Attempts to Bridge Unamid Disconnect With

VZCZCXRO9652
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0883/01 1670516
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150516Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1047
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000883

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU SU UNSC

SUBJECT: SPECIAL ENVOY ATTEMPTS TO BRIDGE UNAMID DISCONNECT WITH
FORCE COMMANDER

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The Special Envoy and UNAMID Force Commander
aired shared frustrations in a May 31 meeting over the disconnect
between UNAMID in Darfur and UN Headquarters in New York, a
disconnect which led the Force Commander to declare that UNAMID had
actually regressed in the five months since Transfer of Authority
from AMIS. The Special Envoy pressed the Force Commander to
identify the top challenges to deployment, which the Force Commander
said were camp expansion and timely delivery of contingent-owned
equipment. The two officials agreed to convene a meeting in El
Fasher between the Force Commander, the Acting Chief of Integrated
Support Services and FieldOff as a first step in formalizing a
U.S.-UN mechanism for addressing immediate UNAMID deployment
problems. Such transparency is supposed to exist between the USG
and the UN Department of Field Support, but it is the very absence
of this cooperation that is creating the disconnect between UN
Headquarters and the field. Post recommends that the upcoming
brainstorming session result in a tangible take-away to New York
Headquarters that could perhaps herald the beginning of a new spirit
of collaboration between the USG and the UN; see paragraph 13. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Participants in the May 31 meeting in Nyala, South Darfur
included: UNAMID Force Commander GEN Martin Luther Agwai; UNAMID
Sector South Commander Brigadier General Fredrick Eze; UNAMID J5 COL
Geir Haignes; Special Envoy Williamson; Acting CDA Powers; SPG
Director Landis; Special Envoy Deputy Chapman-Gates; Special Envoy
staff McKeel; Special Envoy staff Mohamed; USUN Military Staff
Committee LTC Sadowski; and FieldOff Bruno (notetaker). USAID
Darfur Team Leader Khandagle (ControlOff) and USAID Nyala FieldOff
Richer were also present.

THE CHALLENGES TO 80 PERCENT DEPLOYMENT BY DEC 31
--------------------------------------------- ----
3. (SBU) In a May 31 meeting with the Special Envoy's visiting
delegation, United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
Force Commander (FC) Agwai revealed he was every bit as frustrated
with the state of UNAMID deployment as was the Special Envoy. Agwai
agreed with the Special Envoy that the gap between UNAMID, UN
Headquarters in New York, Friends of UNAMID and UNAMID
troop-contributing countries (TCCs) had to be bridged in order to
achieve the mutual goal of increased troops on the ground. "I wish
there had been a change since December 31, 2007 [date of Transfer of
Authority from the AU Mission in the Sudan (AMIS)]], but instead
we're going downward," Agwai lamented, adding, "We're still the old
AMIS."

4. (SBU) FC Agwai identified what he considered the greatest
challenges to UNAMID deployment, concerns he said he had already
voiced to the UN Department of Field Support (DFS) in New York. As
in previous discussions, Agwai said that without camp expansion and
faster means of moving contingent-owned equipment (COE) ahead of the
rainy season, "there is no way we will make our deadline" of
deploying 80 percent of UNAMID's mandated force strength by December
31, 2008. Agwai specified that no current UNAMID camp could accept
an additional 400 persons and that land in some areas had yet to be
secured for camp expansion. Agwai declared that UNAMID at present
had not a single self-sustaining TCC on either the military or
formed police unit side, with the possible exception of South
Africa. He flagged the need for more engineers (pointing out that
the 140 from China currently in Nyala were all the Mission had to
work with), as well as for Government of Sudan (GoS) clearance of
engineering equipment into Darfur.

5. (SBU) To illustrate his points on the enormity of the challenges
confronting UNAMID deployment, Agwai ran down the list of locations
in Sectors North and South of the UNAMID Area of Responsibility
(AOR) requiring new camp construction (El Fasher, Tawila, Mellit and
Korma in North Darfur; Nyala, Sheiria, Muhajeria and Buram in South
Darfur), and those requiring camp expansion (Zam Zam, Um Kadada,
Kutum, Um Barru, Sarif Umra and Kabkabiya in Sector North; Kas, Khor
Abeche, Graida and El Daein in Sector South). Agwai added that the
camp in Haskanita would require re-building as well.

6. (SBU) FC Agwai continued that camp construction and equipment
deficiencies prevented arrival of new battalions, including the
Egyptians in Um Kadada and the Rwandans in Korma, where the land had
yet to be paid for and where the contractor had not yet moved
equipment from El Fasher (a process with a four- to eight-week lag).
On time lags, FC Agwai pointed out that moving UNAMID equipment
from Port Sudan to El Obeid took 40-50 days, followed by another two
weeks to then move the equipment from El Obeid to Nyala for onward
distribution. Agwai stated that UNAMID planned to fly sensitive
equipment into Darfur during the rainy season but said that the
Mission had only one Ileutian-76 and one C-130 available to do
this.


KHARTOUM 00000883 002 OF 002


THE FORESEEABLE SOLUTIONS
-------------------------
7. (SBU) To address some of these problems, the FC reiterated his
stance on the importance of reinforcing existing UNAMID battalions
before tackling plussing-up incoming ones. In particular, Nigerian
battalions 2,3 and 4, as well as Rwandan battalions 10,12 and 13,
needed to be increased by 120 persons each. South African
battalions in Kutum, Malha and Mellit in North Darfur needed 220
persons by June 8, and the Senegalese battalion in El Geneina, West
Darfur, needed 262 more persons by June 8 as well.

8. (SBU) FC Agwai also stressed the need for increased engineering
capacity, reinforced Movement and Control (MOVCON) capacity between
Port Sudan and Darfur, reinforced Air Operations capacity, and
increased inland road transport capacity. As items on his
"wishlist," FC Agwai mentioned his desire to have consolidated
scattered battalions throughout the AOR and a distinctive
multinational character to the operation.

SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
----------------------
9. (SBU) The Special Envoy noted that the FC's message, despite
having been submitted to New York Headquarters only days earlier,
had never been brought to the attention of the Friends of UANMID or
to the major donors who were anxious to play a more proactive role
in meeting UNAMID's deployment needs yet who were inexplicably kept
in the dark about the Mission's shortfalls by both DFS and IOT. He
warned that UNAMID would suffer due to New York's failure to
communicate, as would all of UN peacekeeping, and he pushed the
Force Commander to cooperate even bilaterally to accelerate
deployment as much as possible by December 31. "It's been three
months since the launching of the Friends of UNAMID," the Special
Envoy said, "and we have never once said 'no' to the UN."

10. (SBU) The FC could not explain why his messages were not
reaching the major donors so that their funds could be channeled
accordingly, but he promised to weigh in with UNAMID leadership to
ensure that the Friends of UNAMID had a full picture of UNAMID
deployment challenges. He also offered to ask the Department of
Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to provide the USG with details of
the UNAMID Enhanced Integrated Deployment Plan.

11. (SBU) The Special Envoy stressed the USG determination to nip
UNAMID deployment problems in the bud, which it could do only when
given enough advance notice about what these problems were. He
noted that "candor of communication between DPKO and Member States
isn't always what it should be," and suggested that the new
Assistant-Secretary-General for DFS could represent a change in this
regard [NOTE: Outgoing A/SYG Jane Holl Lute will nonetheless remain
at the UN until August 1. END NOTE].

12. (SBU) The Special Envoy suggested that the FC, the Acting Chief
of Integrated Support Services and FieldOff convene in El Fasher as
a first step in formalizing a U.S.-UN mechanism for addressing
immediate UNAMID deployment problems. This meeting will take place
during the week of June 9, when the FC returns to El Fasher from
travel in West Darfur.

COMMENT AND RECOMMENDATION
--------------------------
13. (SBU) Sidestepping DPKO and going directly to the Force
Commander for UNAMID information could be a tricky endeavor and is
likely going to be difficult to institutionalize in an organization
that adheres to lines of command and bureaucratic hierarchies.
However, a formal alliance of the frustrated may be just what is
needed to get the Secretary-General's attention and wake him up to
the fact that the international community wants to see a return on
its billion dollar UNAMID investment. Post recommends that the
upcoming El Fasher meeting result in a tangible take-away that can
be used as a basis for a new effort to encourage the UN in New York
to be more forthcoming in its sharing of UNAMID information, perhaps
even a letter to the Secretary-General proposing a more transparent
means of information-sharing to keep major partners abreast of
UANMID issues as they arise. With a more sympathetic A/SYG for DFS
on the way, the time just might be right to formalize a different
kind of partnership with the UN, one that takes it cues from the
field rather than from the 38th floor. END COMMENT AND
RECOMMENDATION.

14. (SBU) This message has been cleared by the Special Envoy's
staff.

FERNANDEZ

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