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Cablegate: Kalma Idp Camp Update

VZCZCXRO9753
OO RUEHRN
DE RUEHKH #1303/01 2401433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271433Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1732
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0283
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001303

DEPT FOR A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG, PRM, AND S/CRS
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, BPITTMAN AND CHUDSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
BRUSSELS FOR JADDLETON
USMISSION UN ROME FOR RNEWBERG

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF EAID KPKO AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: KALMA IDP CAMP UPDATE

REF: Khartoum 1300

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
COUNTING THE COST IN KALMA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1. (SBU) UNAMID sources confirmed that 33 IDPs were killed on August
25, with 31 buried inside the camp following the fighting, and two
dying at the hospital in Nyala. The embassy received an unconfirmed
report from Fur tribal leaders that of the 33 dead, 11 women were
killed, two of whom were pregnant; and seven children were killed,
two of whom were infants. Witnesses report that army forces have
withdrawn, and UNAMID has taken up posts surrounding the camp.

2. (SBU) On August 27, Deputy UNSRSG Amina Haq briefed the monthly
UN-Donors Principals meeting on her visit to Nyala the previous day.
UNICEF had been allowed access to the camp and had evacuated 51
wounded to Nyala General Hospital, of whom two later died. 14 of
the surviving injured are children, she said, and 19 female. Haq
reported that DPKO had briefed the UNSC on the Kalma situation the
previous day.

3. (SBU) Haq was unable to enter the camp itself, but did meet with
South Darfur-state authorities, including the Deputy Wali.
According to Haq, the Deputy Wali defended the GoS actions, saying
that "Kalma is out of control" and posed a credible threat to
security, but added that he regretted the loss of civilian life.
The UN delegation had responded that the civilian deaths were
"unacceptable," and that there are better ways to establish security
in the IDP camps than periodic incursions, such as a permanent
police presence or joint patrols with UNAMID. The Deputy Wali
agreed that in the short-run the government must work with
humanitarian agencies to protect civilians and in the longer-term
must establish a mechanism for working with the UN and humanitarian
NGOs.

- - - - - - - - -
POLITICAL FALLOUT
- - - - - - - - -

4. (SBU) Political repercussions from the events in Kalma camp
spread across Darfur, as seven Fur leaders who held posts within the
government of South Darfur announced their resignations Wednesday,
and authoritative sources conjectured that the governor of West
Darfur would resign as well. Salah Mohamed Fadil, Fur sultan and
advisor to the Wali of South Darfur on IDP affairs, told Pol FSN he
tendered his resignation because the GOS is directly responsible for
the use of excessive force.

5. (SBU) Denying that it was a local decision on which he was
consulted, Fadil said it was most likely an order handed down from
Khartoum, as he had received word that the Wali of West Darfur was
similarly advised to depopulate the camps, but had refused the
order. Maqdoom Ahmed Adam Rijal confirmed that the Wali of West
Darfur had refused a similar order, and suggested that the assault
on Kalma camp was "part of a larger plan" delivered to Darfur when
Ali Osman Taha, an NCP insider and Vice President of Sudan, visited
Nyala secretly several days before. Al-Fadil Kaya, force commander
of SLM/Free Will, expressed his anger by withdrawing Free Will
integrated forces from GOS police and military units, and reiterated
that the GOS is not seriously interested in peace. A signatory to
the post-DPA Declaration of Commitment (DOC), Kaya announced that
Free Will intends to pull out of the DOC.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
POLICE DEFICIENCIES EXPOSED
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

6. (SBU) During a meeting attended by Poloffs at UNAMID headquarters
in El Fasher, UNAMID's civilian police unit emphasized that the
GOS's handling of the events at Kalma camp this week had exposed
deficiencies in the capabilities of Sudanese police in dealing with
angry mobs. Sudanese police officers, including those sent in to
deal with riots, are armed only with AK-47s; they generally respond
to angry demonstrators by shooting into crowds. Should donors
prioritize improving Sudanese riot-control capabilities, UNAMID is
prepared to reformulate what kind of training and commitments are
needed to equip Sudanese police to avoid such violent resolutions in
the future.


KHARTOUM 00001303 002.2 OF 002


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SLM/MM ADVISER: "EXCESSIVE FORCE" USED BY GOS AT KALMA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

7. (SBU) Poloffs met with Mohammed Basheer Abdalla, chief of staff
to Senior Presidential Assistant Minni Minnawi, on August 27 at his
office on the grounds of the Republican Palace to discuss his
insider's perspective on the August 25 fighting at Kalma camp.
Blaming the GOS for using what he called "excessive force," Basheer
was quick to dismiss the official GOS line that Kalma camp was a
militarized haven for rebel agitators intent on fomenting rebellion.
"It is not true to say that Kalma camp is armed. It is normal to
have arms and drugs inside an IDP camp, but the GOS has always been
concerned that they know too little about what is going on inside
the camp." A university classmate of the Wali of South Darfur,
Basheer was skeptical that the Wali himself commanded the forces
that surrounded, then fired on human shields and shooters inside the
camp. "Anything he does is ordered by my neighbors here," he said,
tilting his head in the direction of the Republic Palace, across the
palace grounds from his office.

ASQUINO

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