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Cablegate: Un Begins Training Abyei Joint Police Officers

VZCZCXRO1505
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1237 2280905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 150905Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1623
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001237

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON
NSC FOR BPITTMAN AND CHUDSON
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI UNSC SU
SUBJECT: UN BEGINS TRAINING ABYEI JOINT POLICE OFFICERS

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1121
B) KHARTOUM 1103
C) KHARTOUM 904

1. (U) On August 11, UNMIS police started training the first of the
Abyei Joint Integrated Police Units (JIPU) officers under a Rapid
Deployment Package (RDP) approved by GONU Police General Al-A'del
Ajab Yagob and GOSS South Sudan Police Service Inspector General of
Police Lt. General Makuei Deng Majuc (ref B). The UN said they plan
to conduct a ten-day basic training module, held in Abyei town, to
be followed by a 45-day crises response training segment.

2. (U) UNMIS police, with the assistance of UNDP, developed the
ten-project 1.8 million USD RDP immediately after the Abyei Roadmap
Agreement was signed on June 8. As of August 11, the UK has
committed to funding the first five projects, including basic police
orientation for the Abyei JIPU; post conflict trauma sensitivity;
conflict resolution methods; office equipment; uniforms and personal
equipment for 600 JIPU officers at a cost of USD 526,000. Germany
has committed to funding USD 122,000 worth of basic communications
equipment. Donors have not agreed to fund 1.2 million USD to support
JIPU transportation needs, a women's and children's aid post,
temporary accommodation for 600 JIPU personnel, or training and
equipment to support a 120-troop crisis response unit.

3. (SBU) On August 4, UNMIS Police Commissioner Kai Vittrup told
potential donor nation poloffs and development officers that the
idea of a joint police unit is new to UN peacekeeping and to the
CPA. He said that a number of practical issues have yet to be
worked out, but that JIU commander Brigadier Valentino Tokmac and
JIPU Commander Col. Luka Deng Kual have agreed not to arm the JIPU
officers. (Comment: UNMIS DPKO operations staff told us that they
want to avoid the significant potential "blue-on-blue" risk posed by
police carrying weapons in close proximity to JIU forces. It is not
clear to us how realistic this approach will be in the long run in a
region like Abyei, which needs law and order. End comment.) Asked
whether gun-toting civilians would represent a problem for the
unarmed police, Vittrup said that for the long-term he plans to work
with UN IDDR to develop a disarmament program. In the short term he
will propose a firearms ban in Abyei city, along with combined JIU
and JIPU patrols. Vittrup said the issue of ID cards also appears
to be resolved with the GNU agreeing to issue ID cards to the JIPU
(ref A).

4. (SBU) Obstacles remain, Vittrup said, including the high level of
mistrust between northern and southern police officers and a wide
disparity in materiel resources from each side. "The southern
police officers have nothing; no communication gear and no
vehicles." UN Abyei Head of Office Chris Johnson expressed concern
to poloff about the long-term challenge of maintaining a civilian
police force, noting that meeting transportation and communication
requirements is vital if the police are to patrol all of Abyei's
surrounding areas where Dinka-Misseriya ethnic clashes are most
likely to flare up. She said that with Abyei's infrastructure
largely destroyed, maintaining a police force will require
significant support from the UN. This echoes remarks from UNMIS
Senior Operations Officer Major Mark Hainsworth who said that the
"life support" for the military JIUs is already problematic with
many JIUs already complaining about short rations.

5. (SBU) Comment: Continued progress on implementation of the Abyei
roadmap is a good thing, but the lack of resources will become a
significant problem over time and will affect morale and unity in
both JIU and JIPU ranks. The international community and especially
the UN need to move quickly and aggressively to address these gaps
and not let them fester, as has been the case previously at the JDB
regarding JIU support. Embassy will be reaching out to both the GNU
and GOSS Interior Ministries to, at the very least, encourage full
funding and support for the JIPU in Abyei. An effective JIPU and JIU
are absolutely essential in preventing new pressures from building
up in this unstable region. A report on international support to the
JIU in Abyei will be transmitted septel.

FERNANDEZ

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