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Cablegate: Sudan - Darfur Moving Wfp Food

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

UNCLAS ROME 002096

SIPDIS


GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA AND USAID/REDSO
KHARTOUM FOR RWINTER
NSC FOR JDWORKEN
ROME FOR FODAG
P U/S MGROSSMAN, AF A/S CNEWMAN, IO A/S KHOLMES, DAS
RTMILLER
STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DARFUR RESPONSE MANAGEMENT TEAM
USAID FOR D/A FSCHIECK, SUDAN TASK FORCE, AF/EA, DCHA,
DCHA/FFP LLANDIS

FROM THE U.S. MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PHUM EAID MOPS PINS SU WFP
SUBJECT: SUDAN - DARFUR MOVING WFP FOOD

REF: (A) ROME 001781, (B) MAY 21 USAID LETTER TO UN USG
EGELAND


1. Summary. The World Food Programme (WFP) tells us that
the two existing supply routes for feeding the hundreds of
thousands of Darfur refugees and internally displaced
people are in danger of immediate disruption due to the
soon-to-begin rainy season. The organization would like to
open a route through Libya to keep the flow moving and
would welcome US efforts to achieve Libyan cooperation.
According to WFP, the Libyans so far have been responsive
on the working level, but there are blockages on the
political level. The Libyan Ambassador to the UN in Rome
informed Ambassador Hall that the Government of Libya had
not completely finalized its position. End Summary.

2. In reftel A, we outlined WFP's challenge in getting
food shipments to refugees and internally displaced people
in Eastern Chad and Darfur, Sudan. Severe complications
are on the near-term horizon as the rainy season sets in
over the next few weeks, complicating existing surface
transportation routes from Douala, Cameroon and potentially
closing those from Eastern Sudan (entering through Port
Sudan). Both corridors are long and difficult, as is the
Libyan corridor.

3. On May 26, on the margins of the WFP's executive board
meeting, WFP director of transportation, David Morton, and
chief logistics officer, Pierre Carrasse (who lead the WFP
transportation assessment mission to Libya a few weeks
ago), told the Ambassador that WFP would benefit greatly
from another surface transportation route via Libya. This
could keep the flow of food moving during the rainy season.
WFP foresees that two million people will require emergency
food support between now and the end of this year.
Estimated needs are for 209,000 metric tons of food. Their
latest figures are that there are 179,000 refugees in Chad.

4. Morton and Carrasse added that, after an initial
openness and positive meetings in Tripoli and the Port of
Benghazi, the Libyans are now stalling with a response to
WFP's requests to open a land route through Libya. He said
it would be very helpful if the U.S. could influence Libya
to open the blockage, especially given the urgency of the
situation.

5. They gave three reasons why a third corridor is highly
desired, if not necessary: first, the quantity of food
required is taxing the current transportation capacity in
Cameroon, Chad and Sudan. Port Sudan could become very
congested and most trucks, rail cars and aircraft are
engaged. Second, the rainy season is expected to begin in
the next three to four weeks, making many of the roads in
Western Sudan impassable. The main road from Libya south
to Chad is paved, handles commercial traffic at present and
could continue in the midst of the rains. There are fewer
rivers to ford from Eastern Chad into Darfur, than coming
from Eastern Sudan into the affected region. Third, the
possibility that the situation could deteriorate and
security problems could complicate current deliveries
through Sudan. A third corridor could insure that food and
emergency supplies could get to those in need, even if one

other was closed.

6. In a separate discussion on the margins of the WFP
meeting, the Ambassador raised the question of moving food
shipments through Libya with Libyan Ambassador to the WFP,
Nuri Ibrahim Hasan. Hasan replied that the Libyan
government was evaluating the elements of the request and
that the ultimate decisions allowing WFP access to the
country's transport system would occur at the highest
political levels. He invited Ambassador Hall to raise this
in Tripoli and offered to assist with such a meeting.

7. Ambassador's Comment: Prior to these discussions, I
had been working on a trip to Darfur, especially in light
of the ongoing criticism the UN is receiving for the manner
it has organized humanitarian efforts on behalf of the
Darfur refugees (ref B). Note. A May 25 meeting with UN
USG for humanitarian affairs, Jan Egeland, with USAID
Deputy Administrator Schieck, Food For Peace Director
Landis and me further underlined the urgency of the
situation and these preparations. End note. I stand ready
to travel to Libya in response to Ambassador Hasan's offer
to discuss opening Libya to WFP shipments. Whether I
traveled there or not, WFP's point about opening another
transportation route via Libya is important and urgent.
Whatever the USG can do to urge Libyan cooperation with WFP
is essential for keeping the flow of food and supplies to
the hundreds of thousands, soon to be millions, of victims
of this horrible tragedy.

8. MINIMIZE CONSIDERED FOR KHARTOUM
HALL


NNNN
2004ROME02096 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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