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Cablegate: Unamid Deployment Update

VZCZCXRO4725
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1622/01 3111501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061501Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2250
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001622

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: UNAMID DEPLOYMENT UPDATE

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1524
B) KHARTOUM 1507
C) KHARTOUM 1468

1. (SBU) Summary: On November 5-6, Commander Victor Luis Hernandez,
FPU Advisor/Coordinator for UNAMID, Hugo Wyers, FPU coordinator,
Sector North, and Ian Divers, UNAMID Logistics Officer told Poloff
that UNAMID is optimistic it will make its desired goal of 60
percent boots-on-the-ground by December, with 80 percent by March.
Equipment is moving from El Obeid and Port Sudan to Darfur faster
than previously; but the lack of airlift into El Geneina, in West
Darfur, continues to be the weakest link. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Poloff spoke with Commander Victor Luis Hernandez, FPU
Advisor/Coordinator for UNAMID, Hugo Wyers, FPU coordinator, Sector
North, and Ian Divers, UNAMID Logistics Officer during November 5-6
to review UNAMID deployment issues. Divers told Poloff that UNAMID
now stands at 9,063 military boots-on-the-ground or 46 percent of
its end of December goal. There are now three of nineteen Formed
Police Units (FPU), which is 16 per cent of the needed FPUs. Divers
is optimistic the desired 60 percent FPU goal by the end of December
will be met and the 80 percent goal by March should be well within
reach.

FPUs in Darfur
--------------
3. (SBU) Hernandez said three 140-strong FPUs are currently in
Darfur. The Bangladeshi unit has been on the ground for almost a
year at volatile Kalma IDP camp outside Nyala. It will transfer out
in late November to be replaced by another FPU from Bangladesh.
This unit is considered successful in its ability to be
self-sustaining, provide protection for UN property and staff, and
implement community policing centers in Internally Displaced Person
(IDP) camps. It began to provide a 24/7 police presence inside
sprawling Kalma in early September. The Nepalese unit is at the
Nyala super camp, and is starting police operations in the nearby
IDP camps.

4. The Indonesian contingent arrived in El Fasher, Northern Darfur
on October 12, and is currently in the El Fasher transit camp while
its constructs its own camp. Wyers stated the Indonesians are
already patrolling successfully through Abu Shook and Al Salaam IDP
camps despite being short six armored land cruisers and three
containers that remain in Port Sudan. Notwithstanding the equipment
setback, the group is considered very professional and effective by
Commissioner of UNAMID Police Mike Fryer. The Indonesians trained
for three years to prepare for this mission, and this investment
appears to be paying off.

5. (SBU) Other anticipated FPU arrivals include a Nigerian
contingent that has postponed its arrival date from the end of
December to June 2009. A second Indonesian FPU, originally scheduled
to arrive in December, will now not be on the ground until November
2009, The arrival of another FPU from has slipped from December to
February. And Senegal has changed the date of arrival of its FPU
from December to June of next year. The Egyptian FPU and a second
Bangladeshi unit are expected shot arrive in February 2009. FPUs
from Burkina Faso and Senegal are expected to be on the ground next
June.

Equipment Movement
------------------
6. (SBU) Equipment movement is progressing well, but is still
dependent on road conditions and contractor motivation. The six
contractors hired by the UN are finally all at work, and UNAMID
continues a daily push to ensure equipment continues to move.
Divers noted most high-priority equipment currently in El Obeid and
Port Sudan is either being loaded onto convoy transport or already
is moving to Darfur. Roads are dry enough to permit convoys to
start for El Geneina. The Ethiopian battalion split between Western
and Northern Darfur along the Sudan-Chad border is expecting their
gear to arrive by December 15.

Airlift a Constraint
--------------------
7. (SBU) The biggest hold-up continues to be lack of air transport
to El Geneina. Dangerous and high-priory equipment, including
ammunition and hospital equipment, requires being airlifted. A
large amount of Ethiopian and Pakistani cargo is critically needed
to sustain operations. The possible U.S. contribution of a C-130
air bridge is anticipated to make a huge contribution to the amount
of cargo that can be brought into El Geneina. Currently UNAMID is
"de-stuffing containers and throwing gear into helicopters to get
capability on the ground." Divers is apprehensive about running out
of air assets before the new year, but he emphasized that
pre-planning going on now should alleviate any problems in making

KHARTOUM 00001622 002 OF 002


the 60 per cent goal.

8. The IL-76 currently in maintenance is still anticipated to be
back in operation on November 10, with air operations from Port
Sudan and El Obeid going to El Fasher and Nyala commencing one week
later. Some equipment will still require transportation to El
Geneina, and Divers sees the lack of airlift capability as UNAMID's
"critical weakness."

GoS Cooperation Improved
------------------------
9. (SBU) Divers stated that GoS cooperation is much improved.
Despite some visas not being issued and problems with officials
demanding to open containers, he said that the overall relationship
between UNAMID and GoS is "better than I have ever seen it". The
Sudanese Civil Aviation provided much-needed support, and the
immovable PAE equipment and critical supplies were released. Divers
stressed the relationship is not perfect, but he saw "a great deal
of positive effort on both sides." Customs problems remain, but he
conceded the problems are predominantly on UNAMID's side as
documents required by the Sudanese government continue to be lacking
when UNAMID tries to process containers.

Death Knell for PAE
-------------------

10. (SBU) Pacific Architects & Engineers Inc. (PAE) demobilized
almost all operations by the end of October. Sixty to seventy of its
workers will depart this week. Those remaining will be consolidated
in El Fasher. PAE is completing electrical work and fencing in the
transit super camps, and UNAMID is conducting final inspections. To
compensate for the loss, UNAMID is developing "field teams"
comprised of most of the skilled and semi-skilled local staff left
behind by PAE. The teams will complete any leftover work, and
expand and create camps for the Troop Contributing Companies (TCCs).
Chinese and Egyptian engineers have also been working to ease the
interruption, and UNAMID sees other support in engineering companies
coming from Egypt, Senegal, and Ethiopia. Divers said these teams
plus TCC engineers provide solutions for Northern and Southern
Darfur, but he had no acceptable proposals for Western Darfur.


Comment:
--------
11. UNAMID is backing its optimism with an active push to ensure
contractors are doing their job, and equipment doesn't stall. The
planning involved and active participation should have the desired
positive results in meeting UNAMID deployment goals. Pressure must
be maintained to ensure that the arrival of the very valuable FPUs,
which provide improved security in Darfur's miserable and volatile
IDP camps, does not slip further.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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