Cablegate: Abyei Roadmap Implentation: Dsrsg Haq Outlines Un

DE RUEHKH #0925/01 1741446
P 221446Z JUN 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On June 21, DSRSG for Humanitarian Affairs for
told CDA that security is gradually being reestablished in Abyei as
the JIU moves into position. The UN expects about half of the IDPs
to begin to return immediately when they are told it is safe. UN
priorities are to assist IDPs in their current locations, prepare
for their return to Abyei, and prepare for continuing assistance and
reconstruction efforts in the region. The DSRSG agreed that many of
the existing irritants and flashpoints remain unresolved and the
potential for renewed violence is high. END SUMMARY.

Security Slowly Returning to Abyei
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2. (SBU) On June 21, Charge Fernandez discussed implementation of
the Abyei Roadmap and the humanitarian situation there with Deputy
Special Representative of the UNSYG (DSRSG) Ameerah Haq. CDA
Fernandez was accompanied by EconOff and AIDOff. Ms. Haq said that
deployment of the Joint Integrated Unit (JIU) to Abyei was
proceeding relatively smoothly. (Note: On June 22, the UNMIS Force
Commander told Emboffs that the JIU is now fully deployed.
Following a ten day period of training, it is scheduled to take over
security responsibilities by July 1, and both SAF (including the
notorious 31st SAF Brigade) and SPLA units are to withdraw from the
region. The UNMIS FC also said that UNMIS now is able to patrol
outside the town without restrictions for the first time. End
note.) In addition, UN demining engineers had arrived, confirming
that both sides had laid mines during the May fighting. She related
that the previous day, she had requested a map of the location of
SPLA-laid mine fields from GoSS Minister of Presidential Affairs
Luka Biong Deng, which he had promptly agreed to provide.

3. (SBU) The DSRSG said that GNU and GoSS are cooperating well on
forming the Abyei police unit, with half to come from the north and
half from the south. The GoSS had agreed that the new unit will be
trained in Khartoum because it has better training facilities.
Similarly, they had agreed to establish a regional humanitarian
assistance agency (combining HAC and SSRC), which they also will
staff on a 50-50 basis. Collection of the dead in Abyei town also
has begun after securing permission from both sides.

Preparing for IDP Returns
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4. (SBU) DSRSG Haq said that humanitarian relief for the IDPs in
Agok, to which the majority had fled, is hampered by the total lack
of infrastructure there and the fact that IDPs are dispersed. She
noted that UN humanitarian workers in Agok have been sleeping in
their vehicles. Therefore, now that security is being reestablished
in Abyei, the UN plans to begin operating initially from the UNMIS
camp there. (Note: Abyei is about 45 kms. from Agok. End note.) She
added that the UN also is fully aware of the need not to neglect the
5000-7000 local Misseriya IDPs who fled north to Mulglad.

5. (SBU) With the return of security to Abyei, the UN expects IDPs
to begin to return home, probably in greater numbers than originally
anticipated, possibly 50% of the total. UN forecasts had envisioned
the initial return only of adult men, but surveys of the IDPs now
indicate that many entire families plan to return as soon as
possible. Ms. Haq noted that it is the women who traditionally
construct the family shelters ("tukuls"), many of which had actually
not been destroyed. Education is another major factor. The
Sudanese school year already (on June 22) has begun and families are
anxious to get their children in class. Therefore, the UN is making
reconstruction of the rustic Abyei school system a priority.

GoSS Plans Town's Reconstruction
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6. (SBU) DSRSG Haq said that in their previous meeting, GOSS
Presidential Affairs Minister Luka Biong Deng outlined the GoSS's
plans for Abyei's reconstruction once the interim administration is
up and running. Luka told her that the SPLM plans to employ a town
planning advisor to assist in reconfiguring Abyei town's layout,
including relocating the town market, which was destroyed in the
fighting and the looting and fire that followed. This would have to
be done before the traders returned and occupied their previous
locations in the market, he noted. The DSRSG said she had cautioned
Luka not to delay the voluntary return of IDPs pending the
reconfiguration of the town. Ms. Haq said she also had discouraged
Deng from a proposal to construct housing for the returning IDPs
using prefabricated structures and had encouraged the use of local
materials instead. The CDA remarked that "a tukul is probably
better than a prefab."

7. (SBU) CDA Fernandez noted that during his April visit to Abyei,
he was told that many town residents then were in fact IDPs unable
to continue on to their homes in outlying areas and stranded in the
town. DSRSG Haq confirmed this, saying that the return of many

KHARTOUM 00000925 002 OF 002

earlier IDPs had been stalled by insecurity in their home areas,
especially to the north of the town. Many of the current IDPs in
Agok were in that situation and will return to it when they go back
to Abyei.

8. (SBU) The DSRSG expressed concern at the SPLM's intention to
limit full citizenship under the interim administration to long-term
residents of Abyei. The DSRSG said she had pressed Luka on whether
this would not favor Ngok Dinka at the expense of the Misseriya. He
replied that the Misseriya "come and go" during the year and thus
are not full-time residents of Abyei. The CDA commented that among
the SPLM leadership, Luka always has pressed hardest for the most
literal reading of the Abyei Protocol definition of "residents" as
only "members of the Ngok Dinka community and other Sudanese
residing in the area" (Para. 6.1 (a)). Luka's interpretation tends
to marginalize the Misseriya as merely "other Sudanese" with no
special ties to the region.

UN Humanitarian Priorities
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9. (SBU) DSRSG Haq outlined the UN's three priorities on which she
would brief the major donors at a meeting the following day. The
most immediate priority is humanitarian assistance for the IDPs at
their current locations in Agok, Muglad, and elsewhere. The second
priority is to prepare for their return to Abyei by de-mining, and
rebuilding the town's infrastructure, including electrical power,
water and the market, which were destroyed, and perhaps assisting
the interim administration with reconfiguring the town's layout.
The third top priority is to reestablish the UN agencies that were
diminished by looting and displaced by the conflict in order to
continue and expand humanitarian and development assistance, and
prevent future conflicts.

Potential Flashpoints Remain
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10. (SBU) AIDOff noted that Misseriya militia had looted the town
following the inhabitants' flight and had vandalized anything they
could not carry off. The town's brand new USAID-funded power
station, for example, had been deliberately burned. When IDPs
return to find this destruction, it will further stoke Dinka
bitterness at the Misseriya in general. He noted the danger that
the Ngok Dinka may respond by seeking to use this current situation
as an opportunity to keep ethnic Misseriya with local ties from
returning. If the Dinka do respond by blocking Misseriya returnees,
he commented, it will tend to marginalize moderate Misseriya leaders
and drive the majority of Misseriya toward extremists, such as
Mohammed Al Ansari.

11. (SBU) AIDOff also noted that the UN Regional Coordinators office
has reported that most potential returnees want to go straight to
their villages, rather than Abyei town. Ms. Haq agreed that this
will create more potential flashpoints in the areas north of the
town. This is the area where Ngok Dinka farmers and Misseriya
herdsmen are in closest contact and where a clash is most likely to
occur. (Note: The recent round of fighting was sparked initially
by a clash north of the town on May 13. End note.)

- - - -
12. (SBU) The Abyei roadmap's most basic and most concrete building
blocks - security and humanitarian relief - appear to be very
gradually getting in place on the ground. However, the more
problematic political aspects, such as forming the new interim
administration, are taking longer. Post will report separately on
the latest developments in NCP-SPLM negotiations in Juba, which have
focused primarily on the arbitration mechanism for the ABC report.
Even when all of the roadmap components are in place, many of the
underlining sources of conflict will remain and threaten to explode
again unless carefully managed. It is actually in both parties
financial interests to contain the conflict, but as many of our
contacts have noted in the last two weeks, there is no logic to


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