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Cablegate: No. Darfur Unmis Office On Dddc, Security, & Humanitarian

VZCZCXRO9932
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1674/01 1971110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161110Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3715
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001674

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/SPG AND S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO PREL PREF PHUM UN AU US SU
SUBJECT: NO. DARFUR UNMIS OFFICE ON DDDC, SECURITY, & HUMANITARIAN
ISSUES

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The North Darfur UNMIS office is moving
cautiously in promoting the DDDC, acknowledging a lack of
coordination between the UN and the AU. Local UNOCHA staff express
concern that the international community's "preferential" treatment
accorded to Minni Minawi is further undermining the DPA and
exacerbating tensions on the ground. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------------
UNMIS THINKING AND ACTION ON DDDC
---------------------------------

2. (SBU) Active Response Corps (ARC) officers met July 9 with UNMIS
Civil Affairs officers Amin Bakhsh and Insaf Idris to discuss the
Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC) process and UN
efforts to promote it in North Darfur. Bakhsh offered that the best
prospects for encouraging the DDDC were through the local "elites,"
to include sheiks, omdas, and select IDP leaders. He noted that
UNMIS is attempting to meet with this group on a regular basis to
hear its views on the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and political,
humanitarian, and security environments. Bakhsh and Idris echoed
the common view that with renewed fighting in North Darfur and a
perceived lack of clarity regarding key provisions of the DPA -
namely on compensation - implementation of the document will be
difficult. Darfurians' skepticism of the DPA compensation mechanism
is compounded by the utter inefficacy and lack of follow-through
demonstrated by the GNU National Compensation Committee that visited
Darfur in 2005.

3. (SBU) Responding to ARC officer's query on UNMIS thinking about
promoting the DDDC, Bakhsh noted that progress in South Darfur was
further along than in the North. He reiterated Darfurians' concerns
that the process, which itself might be viewed as an affirmation of
the widely criticized DPA, would be manipulated by the GNU. Bakhsh
opined that the success of the DDDC would be largely dependent on
the Preparatory Committee and the extent of its consultations with
Darfurian stakeholders. Some key open questions that have yet to be
answered, Bakhsh remarked, was weight would any recommendations and
findings made by the DDDC have, and how would they be implemented.
He underscored the preference of many of his interlocutors that the
DDDC's recommendations be incorporated as additional provisions to
the DPA (or included as a separate addendum to the agreement).

4. (SBU) Bakhsh further noted that there was effectively no
coordination between the African Union (AU) and the UN on
DPA-related activities, adding that the AU was not seen by most
Darfurians as a credible partner in DPA implementation. (Note:
This contradicts reports from South Darfur that the AU and UNMIS
have agreed to a joint plan on preparatory meetings for the DDDC and
have already held joint workshops on DPA implementation. End note.)
Nonetheless, UNMIS is proceeding, although at a slower pace in
North Darfur, with plans to promote the DDDC through a variety of
workshops. The first venue will be a UNDP-sponsored Sufi conference
on July 21-22, during which UNMIS will deliver a presentation on the
DDDC. Bakhsh further explained that his office has received funding
to support a series of future symposiums (dates TBD) on
"reconciliation and dialogue" organized by the Darfur Forum. Bakhsh
invited ARC officers to attend these events.

--------------------------------------------- --------
OCHA STAFF: MINAWI FAVORTISM UNDERMINES DPA, SECURITY
--------------------------------------------- --------

5. (SBU) ARC officers later attended the UN Office of the
Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)-run interagency
coordination meeting. On security, the briefings, like others
attended by ARC officers and as widely reported in the press,
focused on recent fighting around Korma, Tawila, and nearby
villages, and the accompanying humanitarian effects. On the margins
of the meeting, senior OCHA Protection Officer Cate Steains
animatedly conveyed to ARC field officer her opinion that the DPA is
having a detrimental effect on the security of civilians on the
ground. Nonplussed by arguments that killings and attacks on a
wider and more violent scale have decreased since the DPA, Steains
contended that the international community's "blind support for
Minni Minawi" is misplaced, given that he has only spotty support
throughout Darfur (based on her information from local NGOs and
contacts) and is "as big a criminal" as the other faction leaders.


6. (SBU) Steains added that recent reports of joint GNU-SLA-Minawi
attacks in Birmaza only hardened most Darfurians' views against
Minawi and the DPA, which she alleged is now being used as
justification to carry out military operations. Steins acknowledged
that she viewed the security issue primarily through a "protection"
lens, and not necessarily a political one. Pressed to provide her
views on a viable solution to the current situation, she ceded that
the international community must work with the signatories to the
DPA, but that more effort must be paid to hearing out the other

KHARTOUM 00001674 002 OF 002


factions and seeking their inclusion. Finally, Steains remarked
that many Darfurians' distrust of the DPA has been augmented by G-19
claims that AMIS was involved in the Birmaza attacks, presumably
because of unconfirmed reports (NFI) that a white helicopter was
viewed circling the area. (NOTE: The SAF has been observed and
photographed using white, or even AMIS-marked, air assets on several
occasions in violation of agreed livery differentiation. The rumor
of AMIS involvement in Birmaza was repeated in a separate
conversation ARC field officer had with Sudan Social Development
Organization (SUDO) head Khalil Dukran on July 10. END NOTE.)

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COMMENT
-------

7. (SBU) Steains' views - colored by the imperative she places on
neutrality in providing protection to the civilian population - have
not been as stridently expressed by other UNMIS staff. Her
opinions, however, are transmitted to UNMIS head Jan Pronk and will
likely influence the outlook in Khartoum. She made a direct appeal
for the United States and other international actors take a more
"balanced" view on Minawi, emphasizing that without the buy-in from
SLA-Abdel Wahid and the broader Darfurian population, the DPA was
not viable.

STEINFELD

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