Search

 

Cablegate: Fighting in Kalma Camp, South Darfur

VZCZCXRO7894
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1289/01 2381242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251242Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1706
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0109
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0295
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0115
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0278

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001289

AIDAC

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, PRM, AF SE WILLIAMSON
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, BPITTMAN, CHUDSON
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 JADDLETON
USMISSION UN ROME FOR RNEWBERG

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: FIGHTING IN KALMA CAMP, SOUTH DARFUR

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1274

KHARTOUM 00001289 001.2 OF 002


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) On August 25, USAID staff received reports of fighting and
casualties in Kalma internally displaced person (IDP) camp, South
Darfur. As of 1100 hours, implementing partners and the UN-African
Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reported ongoing fighting,
fires, and undetermined casualties and deaths. To date, UNAMID and
local leaders have provided contradictory accounts of the events and
lead up to the fighting. Post continues to monitor the situation
and will provide updates as more information is available.

------------------------------
THE CURRENT SITUATION IN KALMA
------------------------------

2. (SBU) According to UNAMID, early on August 25, government forces
in 30 vehicles surrounded Kalma camp in preparation for a weapons
search and seizure of the camp area. During the impending weapons
raid, resident IDPs resisted, and the government forces reportedly
began firing randomly on the camp residents. As of 1130 hours,
UNAMID indicated that fighting was ongoing and there were an
undetermined number of casualties. UNAMID has scheduled an August
26 meeting with the South Darfur Wali (governor) to discuss the
situation and the latest fighting, which is a violation of the
previous agreement with the wali.

3. (SBU) UNAMID reported that government forces detained Kalma
camp's sheikhs (community leaders) during the week of August 18.
(NOTE: Although the cause and duration of detainment remain unclear,
the UNAMID staff member posits that the two incidents are related.
END NOTE.) According to UNAMID, SAF notified UNAMID of the impending
plans for a weapons raid; however, UNAMID did not respond and was
not present in the camp at the time of the raid. (NOTE: The UNAMID
staffer said that UNAMID did not have enough time to prepare, and
did not want to be identified with government forces. END NOTE).

4. (U) According to international news media, community leaders
contradict UNAMID's account of the event, and indicate that more
than 100 vehicles surrounded the camp on August 25 at 0500 hours and
began firing in an attempt to clear out camp residents. The
community leaders report at least 18 deaths, many injuries, houses
on fire, and call upon UNAMID to act on its mandate to protect the
IDPS.

5. (SBU) Salah Muhammad Fadul, a sultan of the Fur and resident of
Nyala in South Darfur, told poloff by phone that the confrontation
actually started on August 24, when a Central Reserve Force police
unit surrounded Kalma camp, allegedly intending to conduct a weapons
search in the camp. According to Fadul, on the morning of August
25, an IDP within the camp fired on the force, igniting the fighting
between the police and IDPs. Fadul stated that although the number
of dead and wounded is impossible to confirm at this early stage, he
has heard reports ranging from 20 to 90 deaths among the IDP
population. (NOTE: Separately, a member of SLA/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW)
contacted poloff on August 25 and claimed that "intense fighting" in
Kalma camp resulted in more than 300 dead IDPs. END NOTE.) Fadul
stated that he has offered to serve as a mediator between the IDPs
and the government, as Kalma's IDPs are refusing to talk
directly to the police force. Fadul requested immediate
international medical assistance for the wounded.

6. (SBU) On August 25, USAID's implementing partner International
Rescue Committee (IRC) reported the arrival of approximately 20
wounded civilians at IRC clinics. According to USAID's implementing
partner World Vision International (WVI) the UN has confirmed that
the fighting killed more than 50 camp residents. As of 1130 hours,

KHARTOUM 00001289 002.2 OF 002


SAF forces were trying to forcibly remove the dead from the camp.
In addition, WVI received reports that several IDP homes and the WVI
receiving shelter for food distribution burned down during the
firefight.

7. (SBU) A/CDA raised the issue with MFA U/S Mutriff Siddiq during a
meeting August 25, 2008. Siddiq said he had not yet heard about the
incident, but promised to look into it.

----------
Background
----------

8. (U) Kalma camp is home to approximately 90,000 IDPs. On July 31,
a UNAMID team visited Kalma camp to investigate reports of a
Government of National Unity (GNU) weapons raid in the camp.
According to IDP leaders, three to five GNU land cruisers with
mounted machine guns entered Kalma camp on July 28. UN added that
Sudanese government officials confirmed the raid on Kalma camp and
reported that GNU forces seized weapons from IDPs in the camp, a
statement that the IDP leaders denied. At the time of the incident,
community leaders indicated that the government forces did not harm
or arrest any IDPs. Aid workers and IDP leaders expressed concern
that the GNU raid is part of a strategy to close down Kalma camp and
split up the IDP population. In late 2007, GNU forces planned to
divide Kalma camp into nine smaller camps. According to
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the plan would have separated
IDPs along ethnic lines and moved IDPs closer to areas of origin.
Humanitarian agencies condemn forced relocations and GNU pressure on
IDPs to return to places of origin. In October 2007, approximately
30,000 of the 90,000 total IDPs fled Kalma camp in response to
politically motivated inter-ethnic fighting. In November 2007, IDPs
built road blocks to obstruct GNU disarmament campaigns in the camp.


--------
COMMENT
--------

9. (SBU) Although it is essential that UNAMID meet with the South
Darfur Wali, we are not hopeful that the meeting will produce any
result. The Wali has been a continued source of difficulty to the UN
and NGOs, and a source of irritation to the regime in Khartoum, due
to his inability to be easily controlled and his tendency to be
erratic in his governing style. It is still unclear whether this
morning's incident was a result of the Wali acting independently of
Khartoum, or if it represents the Wali's implementation of an order
that passed down from Khartoum. We suspect the former rather than
the latter given recent history, the Wali's problematic behavior,
and the regime's current interest in showing progress in Darfur.

ASQUINO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC