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Cablegate: Views On the Darfur Peace Agreement From The

VZCZCXRO1548
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1796/01 2071119
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261119Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3897
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001796

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: VIEWS ON THE DARFUR PEACE AGREEMENT FROM THE
GROUND: MUKJAR AND GARSILA, WEST DARFUR

KHARTOUM 00001796 001.2 OF 003


-------
Summary
-------

1. From July 8 to 13, a USAID/Office of Transition
Initiatives (OTI) Field Advisor and a USAID Program
Assistant traveled to Mukjar and Garsila towns in West
Darfur to speak to displaced communities about the
Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and the Darfur-Darfur
Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC). A subsequent cable
will address quick-impact programming possibilities in
these areas.

2. Fur internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Mukjar
and Garsila area are still very negative toward the DPA.
Their primary grievances are that uniformed Arab
militias have not been disarmed, the compensation is not
enough for the Fur who lost more in the conflict than
the Zaghawa, and Abdel Wahid al Nur did not sign the
document. Fur IDPs claim that the distribution of the
DPA is a waste of time, and they will not read it until
Al Nur signs it.

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3. There are concrete actions that can be done
immediately to support the DPA in this area. The
African Union (AU) needs to improve public relations
with IDPs and inhabitants in the Mukjar/Garsila area.
Also, the U.N. can use its reputation as being an
unbiased actor to facilitate discussions and workshops
with the AU. End summary.

--------------------------------
Situation in Mukjar and Garsila
--------------------------------

4. Both Mukjar and Garsila are primarily Fur. Mukjar
town is the government seat of Mukjar locality, which is
home to 16,000 to 18,000 people, according to
international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Prior to the conflict, the population of Mukjar was
between 4,000 and 8,000 people. The Mukjar area was the
scene of some of the most brutal fighting Q in August
2003, the villages around Mukjar were burned, residents
fled into Mukjar (and a minority to Nyala and Khartoum),
and mass executions reportedly took place. The majority
of the current population are those who fled the burning
of villages in the rural countryside.

5. Garsila town is home to approximately 40,000 IDPs in
three different camps along the villagesQ outskirts.
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) estimated that prior to the conflict there were
6,000 households of primarily African tribes, with some
Arab households. Most IDPs in Garsila came from a
cluster of approximately 30 villages near Garsila that
were completed destroyed and are now visibly occupied by
nomad civilians and Arab militia.

-------------------------
View from Women and Youth
-------------------------

6. During this trip, the USAID team discussed the
humanitarian situation and early recovery needs. In
Mukjar, six Fur women leaders referred to as Qsheikas
described how the lack of security and food influenced
their views of the DPA. They angrily stated that the
U.N. Food Program (WFP) reduced their rations in April.
(Note: WFP rations were reduced to half due to pipeline
problems, but full rations will resume soon. End note.)
They also stated that Arab militias had not been
disarmed, and they are unable to farm due to the
occupation of lands by nomads. They QlostQ on the
compensation issue in the agreement, and that they do
not trust Minni Minawi to give them even the limited
provisions that are in the DPA. For these reasons they
were against the DPA. The women repeated, QWe need food
or a force, not the DPA.

7. Also in Mukjar, after the signing of the DPA, the
IDP residents, particularly young men made a written

KHARTOUM 00001796 002.2 OF 003


record of their grievances. This was formally presented
to the AU in Mukjar on May 26, and shared with the USAID
team. The main points were the following: 1)
protection of IDPs by U.N. forces; 2) disarmament of the
uniformed Arab militia; 3) immediate delivery of war
criminals to the International Criminal Court; 4)
individual compensation to IDPs and refugees; 5)
rebuilding destroyed villages; and 6) separation of
humanitarian issues from political demands. In Garsila,
the USAID team also met with a school master who
explained that immediately after the DPA was signed, he
observed that many of his students and other youth in
the IDP camps left to join the SLA/Abdel Wahid (AW) to
demonstrate their rejection of the agreement.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Views on DPA and DDDC from SheiksQ and Local Elites
--------------------------------------------- ------

8. The USAID team met with four of the five most senior
sheiks from the displaced community residing in Mukjar.
They were against the DPA because they lost everything,
compensation is not enough, and Abdel Wahid al Nur did
not sign the agreement. The sheiks did not want copies
of the DPA for themselves and claimed they would not
read the DPA until Abdel Wahid signs it. Additionally,
they were distrustful of the Sudanese government.
According to the sheikhs, the area is Qfull of arms,
and they doubted the Sudanese governmentQs ability to
change the situation. As they explained, Qthe
government hasnQt finished the war and they are
supporting the Chadian opposition right in Mukjar. Thus
they cannot be serious about disarming anyone.
According to the group, several weeks earlier Arab
militia had come into Mukjar to meet with the Sudanese
government. The Sudanese government issued them new
uniforms and openly stated that the Arab militia were to
prepare themselves for U.N. troops.

9. When asked if they heard of any plans for the DDDC,
the sheiks stated that it was Qbig joke.Q The
government in Mukjar recently requested that the sheiks
travel to El Geneina for the first meeting of the DDDC;
however, they refused to go because the Sudanese
government offered them money and told them what to say
at the meeting. In Garsila, the team met with local
educated elites who were frustrated with the general
security situation and did not have high hopes for the
DDDC, saying that it will probably be manipulated by the
Sudanese government. (Note: The USAID team attempted to
meet with the sheik leadership of the three Garsila
camps, but the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) stated
that they must facilitate such a meeting, so the USAID
team refused. End note.)

-----------------
The AU in Mukjar
-----------------

10. The IDP community views the AU as being co-opted by
and under the direction of the Sudanese government, and
the AU does little to dissuade this perception. When
the AU first arrived in Mukjar in June 2005, the
community presented a list of persons reportedly
executed and buried in a mass grave near to the location
where the AU was building its base. The community
claimed that the AU did nothing, even at a minimum to
secure the location or even investigate the existence of
the graves. During this visit, the AU told the USAID
team that they were aware of the mass graves and that
the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) had conducted
an internal investigation.

11. The Acting AU Commander in Charge stated that AU
staff do not hold meetings with the IDPs. The AU
confirmed that they did not proceed with the firewood
patrols that were requested by the IDPs and UNHCR,
because the Commissioner for Mukjar locality, Hashim
Abbas Ziad, refused to allow them to occur.
Regarding DPA actions and planning for the DDDC, the AU
Commander in Charge stated that the AU has not conducted

KHARTOUM 00001796 003.2 OF 003


any DPA related activities because they have not been
trained on the document and do not feel prepared to
speak on its contents. Instead of independently asking
civil society members to participate, the AU asked the
local government to identify DDDC participants. The IDP
leaders are well aware that this is how the AU is
proceeding on the DPA and it exacerbates their negatives
views of both the AU and the DPA.

------------------------------------
The Perspective of Local Governments
------------------------------------

12. The USAID team made a courtesy call to Abdul Nasir,
the Deputy Commissioner of Mukjar locality. He thanked
the U.S. for all its assistance to the people of Darfur.
Nasir stated that he needs assistance in discussing and
explaining the DPA because it is a complex and lengthy
legal document, and he has no financial resources to
implement it. Regarding the DDDC, Nasir stated that he
is waiting for more information from the Qpeace
committeesQ that are established in the various states
to deal with the DDDC. When the team visited the HAC in
Garsila, they complained that they were not informed of
USAIDQs programs and needed to arrange USAIDQs visit
with IDPs. The HAC in Garsila were supportive of DPA
activities but recognized that the NGOs cannot work on
these issues due to a conflict of mandate.

-----------------------
The Compensation Issue
-----------------------

13. Members of Darfur civil society, heads of local
NGOs, lawyers, and U.N. officials explain that the Fur
are the majority of the displaced population. The Fur
constitute the highest number of people who lost land,
homes, fruit trees, livestock, relatives, livelihoods,
and personal possessions. UNHCR-Intersos findings
confirm that in Wadi Saleh/Mukjar area, the majority of
villages destroyed were 80 to 100 percent Fur. Most
Zaghawa have remained on their desert land, which is
unlike the fertile, greener lands of Jebel Marra and
Wadi Saleh. The Fur, rightly or wrongly, see that the
Qleader of the ZaghawaQ did not fight for the needed
compensation because the Zaghawa did not lose as much as
the Fur did. The perception of such an imbalance
between losses suffered may explain why the compensation
issue is so important to the Fur.

-----------------------------------
Actions Needed to Implement the DPA
-----------------------------------

14. Merely distributing the DPA and hoping the IDPs
will read it, be convinced by it, and change the minds
of their leaders is not enough. The IDPs do not feel
involved or connected to the DPA and its origins. What
little steps the Sudanese government has taken on the
DDDC have spoiled the DPAQs credibility within the
Mukjar community already. Quick action by the U.N. and
AU must be taken in the areas where Fur are the
majority. Those opposing the DPA see the AU as Qunder
the thumbQ of the Sudanese government. The AU must
improve its public relations strategy with IDPs in order
to proceed on DPA implementation. For the most part,
IDPs in Mukjar and Garsila still see the U.N. as an
unbiased international organization. The U.N., in
coordination with the AU, should facilitate discussions
and workshops for those who want to learn more about the
DPA and DDDC.

STEINFELD

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