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Cablegate: Southern Kordofan - Lack of Integration May Spur Violence

VZCZCXRO2980
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1026/01 1911514
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091514Z JUL 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1279
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0083
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0245

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001026

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, PRM, AF SE WILLIAMSON
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND BPITTMAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SP, USAID/W DCHA SUDAN
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NEW YORK FOR FSHANKS
BRUSSELS FOR PBROWN
USMISSION UN ROME FOR RNEWBERG

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN KORDOFAN - LACK OF INTEGRATION MAY SPUR VIOLENCE

REF: KHARTOUM 967

KHARTOUM 00001026 001.2 OF 003


- - - -
SUMMARY
- - - -

1. (SBU) BEGIN SUMMARY. In a July 4 telephone conversation, Dr.
Ahmed Saed, SPLM Minister of Finance for Southern Kordofan State
told a USAID field officer that the security situation in the Nuba
Mountains IQQ',H{&y=utee, and thus is charged with
finalizing the recruitment and salary payment of administrators in
the SPLM-administered areas of Southern Kordofan.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LACK OF INTEGRATION FUELING NUBA FRUSTRATION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --

3. (SBU) On July 4, a USAID field officer spoke by telephone with
Dr. Ahmed Saed, the Southern Kordofan State Minister of Finance.
During the conversation, Dr. Ahmed expressed concern that his state
is on the brink of widespread armed conflict. According to Dr.
Ahmed, the state has seen increasing militarization and armed
conflict since the SPLM pullout of the state census. The pace
quickened after the mid-May outbreak of fighting in Abyei. Further,
Dr. Ahmed noted that, as of late June and early July, Nuba SPLA
soldiers have been returning from deployment in White Nile state,
the Popular Defense Forces have been remobilizing, and SAF troops
are building up north of Kadugli town. (NOTE: The UN also has
signaled a deteriorating security situation in Southern Kordofan,
and on June 30, elevated the state from security phase II to III.
END NOTE.)

4. (SBU) Dr. Ahmed indicated that Southern Kordofan's Nuba
population is becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of CPA
implementation. As a result, the Nuba are losing confidence that
the CPA will result in an acceptable situation in the state, and
they have begun to consider returning to conflict as a means of
acquiring adequate rights. (NOTE: The Nuba SPLM's recent rejection
of state census results is a further example of their dismissing CPA
implementation in Southern Kordofan. END NOTE.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
POLICE DEMAND INTEGRATION, THREATEN VIOLENCE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (SBU) According to Dr. Ahmed, two weeks ago, 100 SPLM police
officers arrived in Southern Kordofan's capitol Kadugli, and
threatened a return to violence if they were not paid salaries. The
SPLM police claim to have 3,000 officers. Currently, the GOSS pays
the salaries for 1,500 to maintain security, until they are
integrated into the state GNU. The GOSS does not support the
remaining 1,500 police officers because the GOSS argues that the
additional officers joined the police force after the signing of the
CPA.


KHARTOUM 00001026 002.2 OF 003


6. (SBU) According to Dr. Ahmed, the primary measure of CPA
implementation and the main source of increasing frustration among
the Nuba as the lack of progress to integrate Southern Kordofan.
Therefore, he sees the current period as the last chance to maintain
peace in the state, noting that "if there is no integration in the
next two months, then it is over." When pressed to clarify this,
Dr. Ahmed indicated that no integration would happen after two
months because after that, the Nuba will have returned to conflict.
When asked what could be done to avoid this, Dr. Ahmed replied that
if state administrative and police integration move forward
immediately and people in SPLM-administered areas know of the
progress and of future steps toward integration, the current
situation would calm.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -VISIT BY
FORMER SPLA GENERAL FUELS INCREASING TENSIONS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

7. (SBU) Dr. Ahmed also noted that the arrival in Southern Kordofan
of Ismail Jalab Khamis has further agitated the current situation.
According to Dr. Ahmed, Ishmael, the former SPLM governor and SPLA
general of Southern Kordofan arrived in Kadugli July 2 and has been
traveling to SPLA-controlled areas of the state, particularly the
former SPLA garrison towns of Tima and Julud. Dr. Ahmed indicated
that the nature of Ismael's trip is unknown, raising local
suspicions and tensions. (NOTE: Ismail is widely regarded as
having been an ineffective governor, but an astute military planner,
which is likely behind the above-mentioned suspicions. END NOTE.)


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PLANS TO MITIGATE SITUATION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

8. (SBU) According to Dr. Ahmed, in order to mitigate the current
situation in Southern Kordofan, the state government needs to
immediately include SPLM administrators and police on the GNU
payroll and follow up with a local capacity-building program. Two
committees have been recently set up to facilitate state
integration: the Administrative Integration Committee, chaired by
Dr. Ahmed and tasked with finalizing recruitment and paying
administrators in SPLM-administered areas; and the Police
Integration Committee, chaired by Phillip Mundari, the head of
Southern Kordofan's SPLM police, and tasked with finalizing state
police integration.

9. (SBU) A national committee, including Malik Agar, SPLM governor
of Blue Nile State, Abbas Juma, the SPLM's GNU State Minister of
Interior, and Ahmed Neroun, NCP Advisor to the President, arrived in
Kadugli on July 5 to discuss state integration. In hopes of calming
the current situation, the SPLM members of the joint SPLM-NCP state
committees plan to focus on immediately informing administrators and
police in SPLM areas about the integration process. According to Dr.
Ahmed, SPLM police are currently being mobilized at assembly points
in Um Sirdida (South of Kadugli and north of the SPLM/A headquarters
at Kauda) and Julud (north of Kadugli) to be briefed on integration
plans and to verify force numbers. (NOTE: On July 9, Malik Agar
announced that 1,500 SPLM police are being integrated into the state
GNU. END NOTE.) In addition, committee members are writing
proposals to request logistical and technical support for the
integration process. In the coming days, the proposals will be
presented to USAID for consideration and/or referral to other
potential donors.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
POSSIBLE POLITICAL BLOCKAGES TO INTEGRATION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10. (SBU) Dr. Ahmed stated that the joint integration committees
plan to prepare information on integration and present it to the NCP
Governor, accompanied by a request that the governor issue decrees
to implement the process. (Reftel describes how the SPLM Deputy
Governor's inaction has delayed integration, leading to Dr. Ahmed's
recruitment.) During the July 4 phone call, Dr. Ahmed remarked that
the current undertaking will be a final test of the governor's will
to integrate Southern Kordofan. If he fails to act, the Nuba will
interpret this as a sign that the CPA never will be implemented.

KHARTOUM 00001026 003.2 OF 003


(NOTE: In recent weeks, Bellandia, the NCP Nuba chair of the state
parliament has been calling for the NCP Misseriya Governor to step
down from his post, citing his biased hiring and development
policies, which have marginalized the Nuba with respect to
Misseriya. The governor's failure to issue the integration decrees
likely would increase Nuba calls for him to step down. END NOTE.)

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -

11. (SBU) The mid-May SPLA-SAF fighting in Abyei, combined with
state-specific factors, has increased tension and militarization in
the Nuba Mountains. By early July, factions of both armies and
proxy militias were positioned in the vicinity of Kadugli, giving
even a local clash the potential to erupt into widespread armed
conflict. Widespread conflict in Southern Kordofan is likely to be
more complex than the Abyei situation, potentially involving an
array of factionalized armed groups including forces from the SAF,
various competing SPLA factions, Hawazma and Misseriya PDF, SPLM and
government police and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). If
violence erupts in Southern Kordofan, the effects also would likely
be more widespread and more difficult for national actors to
mitigate and to effectively restore order than the previous, more
linear conflict in Abyei. The recent agreement to integrate 1,500
SPLM police should ease the threat of this group destabilizing
Southern Kordofan. That it took intervention by a committee
including the governor of Blue Nile state to resolve the issue
highlights the weak leadership capacity in the Southern Kordofan
state government (and this seems to be true of both the NCP and
SPLM) and its potential negative impact on moving CPA implementation
forward and maintaining stability.

12. (SBU) USAID will consider logistical and technical support to
implement integration and will encourage the participation of other
donors if they are better positioned to provide the required
support. Embassy Khartoum will continue to engage with the key
political actors to push for rapid integration in Southern Kordofan
in an effort to head off the slow and steady drift towards violence
in the Nuba Mountains.

FERNANDEZ

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