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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Icc and Un Peacekeeping in Cahoots

VZCZCXRO3340
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1579 2981203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241203Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2168
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001579

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG, DRL
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: ICC AND UN PEACEKEEPING IN CAHOOTS

1. (SBU) Summary: This week the pro-government Khartoum newspaper
Al-Rai al-Aam printed front-page headlines claiming proof of
collusion between International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor
Miguel Moreno Ocampo and the UN. Citing three-year old reports and
statements made in press interviews, the paper paints the UN as an
eager and willing supplier of high-value intelligence for the ICC.
Although the paper stopped short of directly connecting Bashir's
indictment with UNAMID and UNMIS peacekeeping and humanitarian
missions in Sudan, Post anticipates stronger language on the same
theme from more media outlets in the weeks to come as the regime
prepares the ground for either further escalation or conciliation
with the international community on the ICC issue. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On October 22, Al-Rai al-Aam referred to a quote from June
22nd, 2005 by Jean Marie Guehenno, former Undersecretary General for
Peacekeeping Operations, in which Guehenno allegedly confirmed that
the UN and ICC had entered into a pact to share intelligence
gathered in the course of everyday UN peacekeeping operations. "I
would like to thank you for mentioning clause 18, paragraph 4 of the
agreement," the newspaper quotes Guehenno as writing to Ocampo over
three years ago, "which indicates facilitation of each others'
roles, particularly the confidentiality of shared information and
protection of sources..." The paper then accuses the UN as "ready
to provide the office of the ICC with relevant photos and
documents," and colluding to not disclose the secret documents and
their contents to "suspected and indicted individuals."

3. (SBU) The following day, under the front-page headline "Ocampo
Acknowledges Secret Coordination with the UN," Al-Rai al-Aam claims
that both Ocampo and the UN have matter-of-factly acknowledged their
cooperation. The paper quotes as proof Ocampo's defense the
previous day on Al-Arabiya satellite television channel: "The UN
could not collect intelligence information as it contradicts its
mandate. However, the UN could gather different period reports
described as legal reports." The articles continues: "From its side
the UN acknowledged its coordination with the ICC, and mentioned
that the peacekeeping force is authorized to present detailed
reports in its operational zone."

4. (SBU) Comment: Al-Rai al-Aam has intentionally confused UN
peacekeeping operations' regular bureaucratic reporting requirements
as "intelligence sharing," but as these articles are under the
heavy-hand of the National Congress Party (NCP), such a simplistic
view is not surprising. While the headlines above were limited to
one influential newspaper, the issue bears watching, as the NCP
appears to be hinting publicly that alleged collusion between the
ICC and UNMIS/UNAMID gives the NCP cause for expelling at least some
members of UN peacekeeping organizations if an arrest warrant
against President Bashir is issued. The regime has also accused
NGOs of providing Ocampo with information, so we expect that if
there are expulsions, Western humanitarian NGOs operating in Darfur
may be targets of the regime as well.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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