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Cablegate: Unamid Deployment Update

VZCZCXRO2178
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1670/01 3211228
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161228Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2324
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001670

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG
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: UNAMID DEPLOYMENT UPDATE

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1622
B) KHARTOUM 1524
C) KHARTOUM 1507
D) KHARTOUM 1468

1. (SBU) Summary: Poloff spoke with Commander Victor Luis Hernandez,
FPU Advisor/Coordinator for UNAMID, and Col. Nody Stafford, Chief of
Military Plans for UNAMID, November 12-13 to discuss UNAMID
deployment issues. UNAMID and contingent-owned equipment continues
to flow into Darfur, but additional air lift into El Geniena would
be helpful. Lack of donor support mean FPUs from Mali, Cameroon,
Gambia and Rwanda cannot deploy in the foreseeable future.
Alternate police contributing countries are being queried as to
their ability to deploy FPUs. Issuance of visas by the GoS for
non-Africans has lagged recently and disrupted the continuity of
operations. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Poloff spoke with Commander Victor Luis Hernandez, FPU
Advisor/Coordinator for UNAMID, and Colonel Nody Stafford, Chief of
Military Plans UNAMID, November 12-13 to discuss UNAMID deployment
issues. Stafford told Poloff that UNAMID military force strength
now stands at 9281 (up from last week's total of 9063) military
boots-on-the-ground or 46.5 per cent of the end of December goal.
Hernandez reported that Formed Police Unit (FPU) strength still
stands at three units (420 staff); combined with unarmed police
personnel the total number of police remains at 1995.

FPU Donor and Placement Issues
------------------------------
3. (SBU) Lack of donor support has affected FPUs from Mali,
Cameroon, Gambia and Rwanda as they reportedly do not have adequate
resources to deploy. UNAMID is attempting to identify alternate
Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) that possess the capabilities
required to deploy expeditiously at UN standards. UNAMID is
initiating informal capability assessments of two FPUs from Jordan
and one FPU each from Malaysia and Congo-Brazzaville, while
concurrently coordinating with DPKO and the African Union to receive
permission to proceed. Lack of donor support and delays in the
arrival of Contingency Owned Equipment Movement (COE) have also
impacted the deployment of the Togolese and the first Senegalese
FPUs, as both shifted from December 2008 to February and June 2009
respectively.

4. (SBU) Hernandez reported that site selection for the Egyptian FPU
due in February is still pending. The choice of Shagil Tobaya 50
kilometers south of El Fasher was rejected by the UNAMID 'move-con'
staff so alternate locations are being discussed. The Indonesian
FPU is making progress on the construction of its own camp but still
requires the expertise of construction managers from the U.S.,
Turkey, and the U.K who have not yet received visas. Local
contractors are filling the gap.

Equipment Movement - Ground
---------------------------
5. (SBU) Stafford reported that COE is moving into Darfur, and
UNAMID is pleased with the results of the six trucking contractors.
Sector West equipment remains the most critical, as it has been a
challenge to get COE into El Geneina. Ninety four containers of
Ethiopian Q~{(Q?fe placed on a train and are currently
en-route to Nyala, where they will be transferred to trucks and
hauled to El Geneina. Road conditions to El Geniena remain poor,
but contractors are providing their own engineers in the body of
each convoy who are helping with issues along the way. The Egyptian
heavy transport company has moved 79 per cent of their own equipment
to Nyala. The balance is still in El Obeid or en route.

5. (SBU) Currently 2,092 containers, 754 vehicles, and 388 break
bulk (loose pieces of disassembled equipment) remain in El Obeid.
(Note: Post is aware that these figures do not match those provided
by DPKO and will attempt to verify the correct numbers during the
course of a visit to El Fasher Next week. End note.) Contractors
have been tasked with moving 1,830 containers, 577 vehicles, and 157
break bulk pieces. The remainder requires air transport. UNAMID's
first priority for air movement is the Nigerian level two hospital
equipment now expected to arrive by mid-December. The next highest
priority is the Egyptian and Chinese engineering equipment, which is
anticipated by the end of November. Of the 94 containers belonging
to the Ethiopians, 49 are designated for the infantry battalion in
Kulbus in Northern West Darfur state, and the balance will be moved
to El Geneina for the multi-role logistics unit, transport company,
and sector reconnaissance company.

6. (SBU) Stafford recently visited El Obeid and was encouraged as he
personally saw a staff with a positive sense of urgency. He also

KHARTOUM 00001670 002 OF 002


saw two large disassembled container lifts that belong to
Bangladesh, and he is now considering commissioning them in place
for use in El Obeid. He feels the addition of this equipment would
"unlock lots of container movement."

Air Operations
--------------
7. (SBU) IL-76 aircraft operations resumed this week, and a second
IL-76 is expected to be added to the flight plan next week. As each
flight will be able to courier three containers or vehicles,
Stafford is optimistic the bulk of the COE currently in Obeid will
be in place by the end of the year. The IL-76 provided by UNMIS
"has been a disappointment." UNAMID is supposed to have the airlift
capability one day each week, but UNAMID "hasn't had the pleasure in
over a month."

8. (SBU) When asked about the possibility of a U.S.-provided air
bridge Stafford responded, "Want it! Need it desperately! It would
be a great means of flying equipment forward to Sector West." The
two runways at El Geniena are 1,620 meters and 1890 meters and
cannot support IL-76 operations. (As opposed to the runways at El
Fasher and Nyala that are 2970 meters and 3,000 meters respectively
and made of asphalt.) Stafford also spoke of the possibility of a
C-17 augmentation being discussed in New York. As this aircraft can
land on dirt strips and can carry up to three containers or vehicles
at a time, Stafford would welcome the addition.

Lack of Visas a Continuing Disruption
-------------------------------------
9. (SBU) Lack of visa issuance by the GoS for certain non-African
countries remains a problem. Stafford reports he continues to
receive assurances of the GoS cooperation on visa issues, but there
has been little progress. Among those assigned to UNAMID who remain
waiting are four UK engineers, several military staff officers, and
approximately five contractors needed to supervise the Indonesian
camp construction. The result of these hold-ups is the lack of
continuity in deployment and mission effectiveness. As people with
significant experience depart, they are not able to pass along
lessons learned to the incoming member; valuable knowledge is lost
and mission stability declines.

Comment
--------
10. (SBU) With equipment now moving into Darfur, UNAMID needs to
expand its search for fresh donors to boost the prospect of meeting
FPU deployment goals. FPUs directly impact the quality of life for
those in the IDP camps, and this is perhaps the one area where
UNAMID can now make the greatest difference in the shortest period
of time. Further pressure must continue to be placed on the GoS to
approve visas for non-Africans in order to allow UNAMID to maintain
corporate knowledge and operational stability. In the larger
picture of mission effectiveness, UNAMID and UN/AU Chief Mediator
Bassole also must be pressed to develop and negotiate a cease-fire
mechanism to give the Khartoum regime no space to hide since a
monitoring mechanism is not yet in place. Deployment should not be
a goal in itself, and the mission must test the GOS offer of a
cease-fire in order to improve security in Darfur to the extent
possible.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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