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Cablegate: World Food Program Discussions with Libya On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ROME 001781

SIPDIS

FROM US MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME

STATE FOR A/S PRM DEWEY, MCKELVEY AND KNUDSON, NEA/ENA,
IO/EDA BERHEND AND KOTOK
USAID/W FOR ADMINISTRATOR NATSIOS, D/A SCHIECK, AA/DCHA
WINTER, AA/AFR ACTING AND DAA/AFR BROWN, DCHA/D/FFP
LANDIS
USMISSION GENEVA FOR AMBASSADOR MOLEY AND USAID/KYLOH
BRUSSELS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS AND USAID/LERNER
NSC FOR JDWORKEN AND AFRICA DIRECTORATE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF EAID ELTN XA CD SU WFP
SUBJECT: World Food Program Discussions with Libya on
Opening New Transportation Corridors through Libya to
Darfur and Eastern Chad

REF: (A) N'DJAMENA 599, (B) ROME 1677

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY
1.(SBU) Summary. WFP is investigating the feasibility
of opening new surface transportation corridors through
Libya for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to
refugees and internal displaced personnel in Eastern
Chad and Darfur, Sudan. If WFP's initiative is
successful, relief efforts to Chad and possibly Sudan
will bnefit by the opening of alternate delivery
corriors. End summary.

2.(U) Overview. Reftel A exressed concern about the
sufficiency of WFP relif efforts to refugees in eastern
Chad, particulary in view of concerns about WFP's
ability to preposition commodities in advance of annual
rains. Typically beginning in mid-May, seasonal rain
hnders surface transportation and humanitarian
asistance efforts. Reftel B reported on WFP activitis,
but it did not address WFP's initiative to opn
additional surface transportation corridors though
Libya.

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3.(SBU) WFP's Mission to Libya, fom April 13 to 20,
2004, consisted of Pierre Carasse, Chief Logistics
Officer, and two other logitics officers. Its purpose
was to investigate te feasibility of opening new
surface transportaton corridors through Libya for
delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations
affected by the conflict in the Darfur region of western
Sudan and eastern Chad. On the Libyan side, Mr. Fakhri
El-Kreikshi, the Director-General of the Economic
Department in the General People's Committee for Foreign
Liaison and International, ably served as the Mission's
main contact.

4.(SBU) The WFP Mission visited Tripoli, Benghasi, and Al
Khofra, including ports, airports, truck depots and
warehouses at each Shaabya (regional government)
location.

5.(SBU) WFP Mission findings included the following:

-- The port of Benghasi is one of two or three ports that
WFP is considering for future operations because of its
modernity, infrastructure, and capacity.

-- The 1066 KM tarmac road corridor from Benghasi to Al
Khofra is in reasonably good condition and open year
round.

-- Al Khofra is itself already a transit hub and is
becoming a market center. Millet is produced and can be
purchased locally at a reasonable cost, and lorries
(typically 6X6 20T Mercedes trucks) with drivers are
available for hire.

-- Transportation arrangements can be made either in
Benghasi or Al Khofra for convoying supplies from
Benghasi through Al Khofra and on to Abeche (another 1600
KM), Matan as Sarah, and other locations in eastern Chad.

-- Discussions about operations from a Libyan port to
eastern Chad are proceeding on the basis that any new
arrangements will be as cost effective, more reliable,
and permit more timely delivery of supplies than current
arrangements from Yaoude, Cameroon.

-- WFP also considers that Al Khofra may be useful as a
staging area in the event air transport of commodities
becomes necessary.

-- Although the road from Al Khofra branches off to the

Sudan border at Al Awaynet, the Sudan border at Al
Awaynet remains closed. Accordingly, a
dditional
consultations with the GOS, possibly with the assistance
are permitted to enter Sudan from Libya. Note: WFP
Executive Director Jim Morris recently completed a fact-
finding mission to Darfur from April 27 to May 3, 2004,
and called on the GOS to facilitate humanitarian access.
End note.

-- WFP's talks with the GOL are progressing well. Among
other concessions, it appears that the GOL may agree to
waive transportation taxes and tolls estimated at US
Dollars (USD) 1200 per truck.

-- In addition to WFP's serious concerns about security
in Darfur, WFP seeks to conclude successful negotiations
to eliminate customs duties, road taxes and tolls, and
reduce rates for stevedores and trucking operators to
more competitive levels. Note. WFP Rome's Logistics
Service Chief David Kaatrud is in Sudan until May 6
working on these issues. End note.

-------
Comment
-------

6. (SBU) Although impediments remain, if WFP's initiative
is successful, relief efforts to Chad and possibly Sudan
will benefit by the opening of alternate surface delivery
corridors. These corridors from Libyan ports and through
Al Khofra are not as severely impacted by annual
rainfall, which causes roads to close from the Cameroon
side hence impeding humanitarian assistance efforts
particularly in the eastern Chad sector from June to
September every year. Accordingly, US Mission/Rome
welcomes WFP's aggressive initiative to explore all
avenues for addressing the emerging, potentially
catastrophic crisis in eastern Chad and Darfur.

7. (U) Minimize considered Hall


NNNN
2004ROME01781 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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