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Cablegate: Spla Accused of Toturing Suspects While Spla

VZCZCXRO0394
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0922 1741026
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221026Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1113
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000922

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SPLA ACCUSED OF TOTURING SUSPECTS WHILE SPLA
COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE ARREST ANOTHER OFFICER FOR BEATING A DETAINEE

1. (SBU) Summary: SPLA military police have been accused of
torturing employees of a U.S. company operating in Juba, Sudan. Two
of these individuals were reportedly subject to psychological abuse
as well as beatings and sodomy. In an unrelated incident, a
counter-intelligence officer was arrested for beating a suspect. End
Summary

2. (SBU) In mid-April of this year eight third country national
employees of the U.S. company Dyncorps, contracted by the U.S.
Department of State for construction and training programs in
Southern Sudan, were taken into custody at the Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA) headquarters located in Juba. These
individuals are employed by Dyncorp to provide services and training
to the SPLA. This group, along with 16 SPLA soldiers, were
suspected of stealing the SPLA April payroll of approximately
400,000 Sudanese Pounds (about US $200,000).

3. (SBU) Upon learning of the arrests, the US Consul General visited
the SPLA headquarters to investigate the facts behind the case, and
was successful in persuading the SPLA to release four of the
detainees after a week of detention. The other four, however, were
relocated to a detention facility in the western part of Juba known
as "Customs Market." Two of these individuals allege they were
forced to stay inside large windowless metal containers without
lights while enduring the noise of individuals beating on the sides.
During their period of incarceration at this facility these two
detainees also allege they were taken to a local cemetery next to
the Nile River where they claim they were beaten and sodomized with
a foreign object. Other maltreatments allegedly include mock
executions and the receipt of false information that the rest of
their party had been executed. Three of the four detainees were
ultimately moved to a separate location in the vicinity of SPLA
headquarters where they allegedly received more humane treatment, to
include obtaining food three times a day from their employer.
Dyncorps also was allowed to have a doctor examine the detainees
periodically, who reported back to the Consul General at the time
that they were in fair condition, although they showed signs of
having been caned and shackled. The fourth detainee, however,
allegedly remained shackled with his arms raised above his head in
what has been described by him as a "torturous position." Food
deliveries to this individual were alleged to have been more
inconsistent.

4. (SBU) Upon further notification of this continuing detainment,
the acting U.S. Consul General in Juba lodged additional complaints
with the SPLA leadership and the Southern Sudan Police Service
(SSPS) Inspector General. The SSPS was not aware of these arrests
prior to these complaints. The SSPS Inspector General, in turn,
lodged formal complaints with the SPLA and the Southern Sudan Human
Rights Commission on the grounds that the SPLA, a military
organization, had no mandate to hold civilians.

5. (SBU) One day after these complaints were made the remaining
detainee at the Customs Market detention facility was reunited with
the other three. Following additional contact with the SPLA Chief
of Staff by the U.S. Consulate General, all were released on house
arrest. These detainees were of Kenyan and Ugandan nationality.
All the detainees are currently still in Juba and are now continuing
their work for Dyncorps. It is not clear whether they are free to
leave Sudan at this time or whether they have been formally
charged.

6. (SBU) A separate event involving the abuse of a detainee resulted
in the arrest of a SPLA intelligence officer. According to a member
of the SPLA counter-intelligence unit, a SPLA captain was detained
after it was discovered that he had beaten a foreign national
suspected of belonging to a terrorist group. It is reported that
the suspect was beaten so badly that he required hospitalization.
His present condition is reported to be satisfactory.

7. (SBU) Comment: Post is extremely concerned about these abuses by
the SPLA, not only because they were directed at a US contractor,
but also because they show the extent to which the SPLA takes
matters into its own hands without informing civilian authorities or
following due process. CG Juba will continue to follow up with the
SPLA and the GOSS to see whether any formal charges were filed or a
proper investigation was conducted, and whether the soldiers
involved in these incidents have been disciplined.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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