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Cablegate: Aec Plenary Addresses Disarmament, Demobilization, And

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OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
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O 091046Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2039
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
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RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001499

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, SPG
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: AEC PLENARY ADDRESSES DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION, AND
REINTEGRATION

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On October 7, the Assessment and Evaluation
Commission's (AEC) monthly plenary session focused on disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration (DDR). A/CDA Asquino attended the
meeting for the U.S. Prior to a lengthy presentation by an UNMIS
DDR expert, AEC Chairman Derek Plumbly gave a report on his recent
travels to South Sudan, the AEC's operating budget, and the latest
agreement on the composition of Abyei's interim administration. END
SUMMARY.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
- - - - - - - - -
2. (U) Ambassador Plumbly opened by stating that he had spent part
of September visiting areas of the south in "an attempt to take the
mid-term evaluation beyond these walls." Plumbly visited Malakal,
Rumbek, Bor, and Juba to survey Southern Sudanese views on CPA
implementation. He said there were a number of reoccurring themes
emerging from the visit. First, South Sudan's state constitutions
need support. Second, communities near oil production areas voiced
concern about the industry's environmental impact and the lack of
consultation with local communities. Third, Plumbly noted that
joint integrated units (JIUs) of SPLA and SAF troops need immediate
attention in many areas. Plumbly stated that in Bor there is
absolutely no "joint-ness" in the JIUs, and that in other areas such
as Malakal there is a complete lack of logistical support for these
units.

3. (U) Plumbly also reported that he reached out to many
institutions established by the CPA in September, including: the
Commission for the Rights of Non-Muslims; the National Civil Service
Commission; and the DDR commissions in North and South Sudan.
Plumbly emphasized the importance of these often neglected, but very
important, commissions.

DDR PRESENTATION
- - - - - - - - -
4. (U) The majority of the meeting was then taken by a
presentation from UNMIS DDR Expert, Mr. Adrian Verheul Chief of
UNMIS's Integration. Verheul stated that on December 31, 2008,
UNMIS will end its interim programming (focusing on DDR institution
building) and begin its actual DDR programming on a test-basis in
Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Verheul emphasized that additional
funding is needed for this work, and that UNMIS will call a meeting
designed to be "more than just a pledging conference, as we need
more than just funds, but also stronger partnerships and structured
dialogue." Verheul estimated that DDR activities will require
approximately 430 million USD over the next three to four years.
Verheul stressed that Sudan's DDR program will be "the largest DDR
program on the planet," that it is part of the political process,
and that it requires the commitment and trust of all parties
involved. (Note: The AEC distributed a one-page "Briefing Note on
DDR." This document will be sent to AF/SPG and the Office of the
Special Envoy. End Note.)

5. (U) The SPLM's Angelina Teny responded that DDR programming
should have started two years ago, and that there are no guarantees
that the work will succeed. Verhuel agreed that, ideally, DDR work
should have started earlier, but then outlined the practical
impediments that had made this impossible. A/CDA Asquino stated
that the U.S. was pleased that South Kordofan had been selected as
one of the two areas chosen for DDR programming on a test basis.
Thousands of ethnic-Nuba SPLA soldiers remain disconnected from the
state government in South Kordofan, and have not been redeployed
primarily because they are from the Nuba Mountains and do not wish
to leave their homes. He commended Verheul for emphasizing that
"development" must be a part of DDR. Asquino said that in South
Kordofan, the Nuba people are very much concerned with such
development issues as property rights, and such problems must also
be weighed during the DDR process. The UK's Ambassador welcomed
the gradual approach of the pilot DDR program, while the NCP
representative expressed concern about the potential for a lack of
cooperation from local authorities in South Sudan and the
sensitivities involved in weapons collection. To the latter point,
Verheul clarified that DDR is not a weapons collection program "as
disarmament takes place in the barracks" and this program differs
significantly from civilian disarmament.

ABYEI, ELECTIONS, AND FOREIGN RESERVES
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6. (U) Chairman Plumbly said that the reported appointment of an
interim administration for Abyei and a secretary general for the
region's Unity Fund are "crucial" steps for stability in the region.
NCP representatives confirmed news reports and stated that there is
agreement between the SPLM and NCP on the "full composition" of
Abyei's administration. With respect to planning for the 2009

KHARTOUM 00001499 002 OF 002


mid-term elections, the Italian Ambassador (and chair of the Power
Sharing Working Group) stated that there has "been no significant
progress." A/CDA Asquino also urged the parties to agree promptly
on the membership of the National Election Commission so that body
can begin its important work.

7. At the conclusion of the meeting, working group coordinators
presented their recent activities and plans for future work. On
behalf of the Wealth Sharing Working Group (chaired by the U.S.,)
A/CDA Asquino stated that in the coming weeks the group would
prioritize issues of transparency in oil revenues and the oil
industry's environmental impact, as topics for future meetings.
The NCP representative responded by saying that the Wealth Sharing
Group should also address the refusal of the National Bank of
Sudan's affiliate in Juba to return foreign reserves to the central
National Bank in Khartoum. He emphasized that this was required
under the terms of the CPA. Asquino responded that the Wealth
Sharing Group was aware of the problem; if requested the group
certainly was prepared to offer technical advice and assistance to
both sides in the dispute. He added, however, that he understood
senior National Bank of Sudan officials in Khartoum were discussing
the issue, and believed the best outcome would be for them to find
an amicable solution.

8. Chairman Plumbly ended the meeting delivering a copy of the AEC's
budget (which will be forwarded to AF/SPG,) and thanked the U.S. for
its contributions to the organization.

COMMENT:
- - - - -
9. (SBU) The October 7 plenary demonstrated just how far the AEC
has come in the last year. Two representatives from both the SPLM
and NCP, all international members, and a room full of observers
packed the meeting. Rather than bickering, as had sometimes been
the case during past meetings, the NCP and SPLM both provided
constructive input and appeared to move closer to working in the
spirit of the CPA. Movement forward on Abyei certainly contributed
to the meeting's collegial atmosphere of cooperation. While this in
itself is cause for guarded optimism, no one should doubt that much
hard work remains for the GNU's major partners in the challenging
months ahead.

8. (SBU) Post will forward the minutes for the 36th AEC Plenary
Session to AF/SPG and the Office of the Special Envoy.

ASQUINO

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