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Cablegate: Supporting Civilian Security and Rule of Law in Southern

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OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1708/01 3301125
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251125Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2398
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001708

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: SUPPORTING CIVILIAN SECURITY AND RULE OF LAW IN SOUTHERN
SUDAN

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: As the major portion of the INL bilateral program
gets underway in Southern Sudan, the INL officer has made several
significant observations over the last two months (outlined in this
cable) which will result in adjustments to the INL program. The
current fragile condition of the criminal justice system in Southern
Sudan, coupled with a precarious political and security situation as
we head into the fourth year of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA), require some adjustments in the implementation of basic
police assistance and programs supporting the justice sector. Most
significant among these adjustments is that while the program had
originally been envisaged to be focused on the reconstruction of a
criminal justice system for the South following the long North-South
civil war, the INL Justice and Law Enforcement program will now also
direct assistance toward projects that will help maintain civil
order and aid civilian security forces in preparing for larger-scale
problems such as riot control and supporting efforts in other areas
of rule of law that are aimed at mitigating conflict. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Southern Sudan is experiencing one of the most challenging
periods since the Sudan People's Liberation Movement signed the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005. Despite extensive
reform programs being undertaken by the international community and
local actors, serious problems remain for the Government of Southern
Sudan (GoSS) in reforming the criminal justice sector. Some of the
key elements hindering reform in the administration of justice and
in insuring the security of civilians are detailed below. Following
that is a brief description of INL's planned bilateral program
activities over the coming year.

Political Situation Affecting Rule of Law
-----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Elections: The uncertain political situation surrounding
elections in Southern Sudan is a major source of concern with regard
to security. Both the Government of National Unity and the GoSS
had problems in forming a National Elections Commission and reaching
an agreement on the timing and specific parameters of the upcoming
elections. Frequently, GoSS contacts at the highest levels within
the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs
express their strong belief that Southern Sudan should forego
elections and move straight to a referendum on secession in 2011.
As INL attempts to navigate this environment and implement a project
to support an Elections Security Program for Southern Sudan, key
issues relating to logistics, division of responsibility between the
police and the military and the sheer scale of activities required
have not been contemplated to the degree needed. Indeed,
international and local actors working in the rule of law sector
have expressed the belief that Southern Sudan's vision of its own
development and future is not clear beyond 2011.

4. (SBU) Legislation: As the GoSS concentrates efforts on the short
term, a longer-term view, one that extends beyond the deadlines of
the next two years, takes a back seat. For example, the Ministry of
Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development have been pushing
legislation through the system as quickly as possible before the
Legislative Assembly breaks at the end of November, without enough
regard for content. In some instances, including with the Police
Bill, legislation has been submitted to the Legislative Assembly
only to be rejected. Key legislation within the criminal justice
field, such as the Criminal Procedure Code, does not undergo the
kind of consultation necessary to ensure proper due process,
protection of human rights or support of the balance of power. The
current Code grants overarching authority to prosecutors to issue
arrest warrants, direct investigations and dismiss cases. Caught in
the middle of this are the international advisors placed in the
Ministry assigned to provide mentoring assistance in areas of
legislative drafting. Due to the minimal capacity of many staff to
undertake their functions, especially at the lower levels, there has
been a tendency by international advisors and very senior GoSS
officials to undertake many jobs, such a the drafting and
proofreading of laws, on their own in order to meet tight deadlines.
As a result, those at the higher levels are not able to delegate
work, leaving them overburdened and unable to focus on policy and
reform and leaving lower level staff out of any substantive process
of mentoring or training to improve their skills.

5. (SBU) Decentralization: Another problem created by the uncertain
political situation is the push by the GoSS to move forward with
efforts at decentralization and devolution of power to the States
under the CPA without a clear concept of what the consequences of
this will mean in practice, particularly in the area of civilian
security and administration of justice. There is currently a
serious need for the Southern Sudan Police Service to adopt a basic
and universal police training program, one that is geared to a force

KHARTOUM 00001708 002 OF 003


with a low level of literacy and that focuses on turning
military-style thinking into an emphasis on civilian service, is an
example of a program that could potentially fall apart under a
decentralized model. Discussions on creating a national police
force capable of properly dealing with problems that will arise in
the course of elections and a referendum have not been a part of the
GoSS interagency dialogue.

6. (SBU) Return to Conflict: The final and probably most critical
factor in the current political and security climate in Southern
Sudan is the fear by many in the South that there will be a return
to conflict with the North. This expectation has dramatically
increased as a result of such events as the fighting in Abyei in May
2008, the ongoing disagreement over hard currency reserves and the
expected ICC indictment against President Bashir., Heightened
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) tensions along the Ugandan and DRC
borders also increase the potential for conflict. At the same time,
the SPLA is under considerable pressure to downsize its numbers.
These pressures have led the GoSS to: 1) spend massive resources on
building up the SPLA, including the military police, at the expense
of support to a nascent and beleaguered civilian police force and 2)
adopt a system of "transferring" SPLA and other armed groups to the
SSPS, the Prisons Service and other security forces such as the
Wildlife Service, rather than demobilize them. Over the last eight
months nearly 7,000 military personnel have been transferred to the
SSPS and the Prisons Service, where they are readily available to
take up arms again in the event of conflict. The Ministry of
Internal Affairs (MIA) has essentially taken on these personnel in
an effort to avoid the kind of internal conflict that might
accompany the release of these soldiers into civil society, where
most of them would probably not be able to find jobs. Many of these
"demobilized" troops are well-paid officers rather than lower paid
non-commissioned officers, thereby forcing the MIA to expend almost
90% of its budget on salaries rather than on severely needed
training and infrastructure support for the SSPS. The SSPS and
Prison Service have now been flooded with people whose loyalties are
uncertain and who are not dedicated to the development of a
democratic police and prison system. In what seems to be an attempt
to come to terms with this problem, a major element in draft
legislation for the police and prison systems has included a
requirement that these services create internal "courts" with the
power to pass death sentences on their own personnel. It is hoped
that this will serve as a strong deterrent to police and others who
carry weapons from participating in conflict and committing serious
offences.

INL Program in Southern Sudan
-----------------------------

7. (U) In this environment, it is critical that criminal justice
assistance programs be highly focused. Broad initiatives aimed at
changing institutions and attitudes may not receive GoSS buy-in due
to a lack of political will and in the face of political uncertainty
over the next two years. INL programming, as designed, will continue
to support democratic legal institutions as envisaged in the Interim
Constitution of Southern Sudan. However, programs will focus on
minimizing the potential for conflict while seeking to demonstrate
what can be achieved for police reform in times of peace.

8. (U) INL programs, over the next year, will focus on four major
areas: basic law enforcement assistance; support to the police for
the acceptance of democratic administration of justice; basic
support to the corrections system and development of alternatives to
incarceration; and aiding the GoSS in developing an elections and
referendum security plan that will provide a key division of
responsibilities between the military and the police.

9. (U) INL's main contractor, PAE, will implement a basic police
training and support program as part of its Comprehensive Criminal
Justice Sector Development Program. International Police Advisors
have already begun to support the SSPS in drafting a new basic
curriculum that will standardize training across the region and
embody democratic concepts and respect for human rights as well as
one that includes basic English language training as a way of
building internal capacity. Once the SSPS has finalized the
training concepts and produced lesson plans, the program will
undertake a major effort to support instructor development and build
a cadre of Sudanese mid-level police who will train non-commissioned
officers across the region. The literacy program will draw on
support from the Ministry of Education of Southern Sudan to employ,
when possible, Sudanese English language teachers as part of the
training.

10. (U) As has been the case in other, similar INL programs, this

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light-footprint approach seeks buy-in from the host government and
allows for international advisors to be free to aid in other areas
of organizational restructuring and support where needed. In this
case, the advisors can help design a program for dealing with
"transferred" military officers who will need a place within the
system that utilizes them but does not threaten vulnerable
populations. Another area where INL will be focused includes
building an asset management control system to both assess needs and
build a system that will better track scarce resources. Over the
coming months, as INL future funding levels become clearer, it will
be necessary to utilize additional resources on a field officer
training and mentoring program and on developing a basic
communications system that builds on a project begun by the Germans
at the state level. Focus will be on organizing command and
control, understanding reporting procedures and increasing mobility
of the police to ensure that they can respond during emergencies and
protect civilians during times of conflict.

11. (U) Closely connected to the program above, the rule of law
program, carried out under the direction of the INL Criminal Justice
Advisor, will focus on developing key legislation that provides
targeted training on criminal laws and international fair trial
standards with core groups of police, prosecutors and judges. Legal
training of police will be a major focus of the program, as well as
developing networks between the statutory criminal courts system and
traditional leaders administering customary law, with a focus on
conflict mitigation, particularly in the area of violent crime. INL
is providing a print service management system to the Ministry of
Legal Affairs as a basic capability to print and disseminate laws to
the citizenry across the region. As police undergo basic training
and become more aware of laws and their responsibilities, their
ability to interact more effectively with the general population
increases exponentially, thereby improving essential relations
between the police and the public.

11. (U) To address the larger problems associated with protecting
the civilian population during periods of instability, INL will
undertake a major effort aimed at supporting elections security. A
senior advisor will work with GoSS military and police entities to
build a longer-term strategy for managing major events such as
elections with an aim toward helping the GoSS focus on the need to
remove the military from its current major role of providing
civilian security. Beyond policy, the program will provide specific
training and assistance to police units who will fulfill rapid
response functions such as riot and civil disorder management.

12. (U) Finally, INL is funding the United Nations Office on Drugs
and Crime to support a basic corrections reform program. Funds are
aimed at institutionalizing prison management procedures that
promote security and the well being of prisoners, with an emphasis
on the needs of vulnerable populations such as women and children.
One of the most significant aspects of this program so far has been
INL's involvement in the draft legislation of the Prisons Bill which
involved a multi-agency working group to hash out key aspects of the
rights of prisoners. The other main area of support is in helping
reduce the burden of prisoners within the system, almost 60% of whom
have not been arraigned due to the lack of capacity within the
statutory courts. Alternatives to incarceration such as instituting
probation and parole systems and decriminalizing adultery are some
aspects of the strategic plan that was drafted by a senior GoSS
working group last summer. Implementing this strategy will continue
through INL funding in the coming months.

13. (U) COMMENT: As Southern Sudan approaches key milestones such as
the 2009 elections and the 2011 referendum, the threat of armed
conflict increases and the need to contain conflict where possible
will rise. As CPA implementation progresses (in fits and starts),
critical and practical support to the police and administrators of
justice through targeted training, the provision of some equipment,
and key interventions with the GOSS on justice and law enforcement
will become a primary focus of the INL program. Continued and
increased funding to the INL program in Southern Sudan is now and
will become an even more vital piece of the U.S. contribution to
preserving stability in Southern Sudan and implementing US foreign
policy objectives in seeing the CPA survive.

FERNANDEZ

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