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Cablegate: Update On Darfur Security and Humanitarian

VZCZCXRO9330
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1514 1781449
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271449Z JUN 06 ZDK AS REQUESTED 2ND TIME
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3437
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001514

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR D, AF/FO, AF/RSA, AND AF/SPG
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/EA AND DCHA SUDAN GROUP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MOPS KPKO PREF UN AU SU
SUBJECT: Update on Darfur Security and Humanitarian
Access - June 27, 2006

REF: Khartoum 1361

1. Security Update:

A. The security situation in North Darfur remains tense.
Reports have been received of Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)
factional clashes, confrontations between Zaghawa and Fur
ethnic groups, and aggressive posturing of the SLA
faction led by Abdul Wahid.

B. On June 27, USAID partner Relief International (RI)
reported that RI staff in Tawila received a formal letter
from the SLA/Wahid faction on June 24 ordering the
relocation of all non-Fur staff. The house of a Zaghawa
employee was vandalized by Fur elements believed to be
SLA/Wahid on June 26. RI has since relocated the man and
one other Zaghawa employee to El Fasher. RI is
assembling staff in El Fasher from June 29 to July 2 for
discussions regarding next steps but has not expressed
any plan to suspend or discontinue activities in the
Tawila area.

C. RI also described alleged SLA/Wahid plans to stage an
attack on SLA/Minawi forces in Tawila. Observers fear
that if an attack occurs, SLA/Wahid combatants may seek
refuge in the internally displaced persons (IDP)
gathering situated near the compound of the African Union
Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and that SLA/Minawi forces may
storm the area. AMIS is currently patrolling Tawila and
surrounding villages, but this action may not be enough
to deter an attack.

D. On June 27, AMIS reported small but widespread
harassment of civilian populations by Arab militias, SLA
elements, and bandits in North Darfur.

E. On June 27, the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that several attacks
on several villages located north of Tawila have occurred
in recent days. The UN Department of Safety and Security
(UNDSS) confirmed one attack on June 25 and reported
livestock stolen, four civilians killed, and an unknown
number of women raped.

2. Humanitarian Access Update:

A. On June 26, the GNU authorized UN agencies to resume
operations in Darfur. On June 25, the Sudanese
government had ordered the suspension of all UN programs
in Darfur, except those of the World Food Program
(WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The
suspension did not result in a deterioration of the
humanitarian situation. The GNU ordered the
suspension on the grounds that the UN Mission in Sudan
(UNMIS) overstepped its mandate when UNMIS reportedly
flew the former SLA/Minawi humanitarian coordinator from
North Darfur to Southern Kordofan State.

B. As per reftel, on May 20, SLA/Minawi
allegedly arrested SLA humanitarian coordinator Sulayman
Jamous, accused of not supporting the Darfur Peace
Agreement (DPA), which SLA/Minawi signed in early May.
On June 14, a UN team visited Jamous. On June 22, Jamous
was released to UNMIS and taken to El Fasher under UN
protection. On June 24, an UNMIS helicopter reportedly
transported Jamous from El Fasher in North Darfur to
Kadugli in Southern Kordofan. GNU officials stated that
the action constituted a violation of Sudan's
sovereignty.

C. This incident has significantly strained the
relationship between UNMIS, UNDSS, and GNU officials in
North Darfur. In addition, on June 22, an UNMIS human
rights team reportedly picked up a wounded SLA/Wahid
combatant and transported him via helicopter to El
Fasher. GNU police were waiting at the airport when the
UNMIS helicopter landed and took the combatant into
custody. The SLA/Wahid have interpreted this event as an
UNMIS attempt to make amends with the GNU and are now
mistrustful of UNMIS impartiality.

HUME

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