Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Darfur: August 10 Au Ditf Briefing Highlights

VZCZCXRO6193
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2312/01 2331327
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211327Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2165
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ADDIS ABABA 002312

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG AND AF/RSA
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO SU AU
SUBJECT: DARFUR: AUGUST 10 AU DITF BRIEFING HIGHLIGHTS
GOS ATTACKS AND UNCERTAINTY ABOUT AMIS FUTURE

REF: ADDIS ABABA 2130

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: At an August 10 briefing AU
officials reported that the situation in Darfur was
"relatively calm" despite serious incidents in northern
Darfur (Sector 6), including several alleged attacks by
GOS aircraft on an IDP camp and a village, and a
suspension of AMIS activities near Kutum due to
unspecified joint military operations between the GOS
and SLM/A Minni Minawi's forces. AU officials, who
underscore the need for sustained political engagement
with non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement
(DPA), report that the GOS is deliberately conducting
military attacks against non-signatories. With regard
to other post-DPA activities, the AU continues to await
for Sudan to submit a revised plan to disarm the
Janjaweed; and, Japan has pledged USD 8.6 million for
the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation. In the
absence of any new PSC decision on the mandate of AMIS,
AU military planners say the mission is now logistics-
driven and warn that some troop contributing countries
may consider withdrawaling. NATO will begin airlifting
rotating troops on September 1, and is proceeding with
planning as if no changes to AMIS will occur until
later. The deployment of partner experts to AMIS
Forward Joint Mission Headquarters has proceeded,
despite delays since June in the AU's appointment of a
Joint Chief of Staff to oversee them. (Note: No DITF
briefing was held August 17, but partners and AU
officials met that day with troop contributing
countries who all agreed that September rotations
should go forward as planned. End Note.) END SUMMARY.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

2. (U) Poloffs attended an August 10 briefing by the
African Union Commission's Darfur Integrated Task Force
(AU DITF) to the AU Partners Liaison Group (chaired by
the EC, and comprised of Canada, the US, UK, UN, and
NATO).

----------------------------------
SECURITY: CALM EXCEPT NORTH DARFUR
----------------------------------

3. (SBU) DITF Military Component chief Colonel Mayell
Mbaye reported that while rapes, harassment, and
hijacking of civilian vehicles continued, the general
security situation was "relatively calm," except for
significant incidents in Sector 6 (northern Darfur):
-- August 1: GOS forces reportedly used helicopters to
attack an IDP camp, which, if true, would be a
violation of the May 5 Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA),
Mbaye said.
-- August 5: At the request of GOS and SLA Minni
forces, AMIS sector headquarters had agreed to restrict
AMIS operations in the Kutum area, due to an ongoing
joint GOS-SLA Minni operation. Mbaye reported that the
GOS had deployed two battalions of reinforcements to
protect Minni forces from anticipated attacks by Wahid.
-- August 7: SLA Wahid forces armed with artillery and
anti-aircraft weapons mounted on LandCruisers, along
with National Redemption Front (NRF) fighters, attacked
SLA Minni forces at Saiyah; in response, GOS aircraft
had bombarded the village, Mbaye said. Neither side
was giving AMIS information on what had occurred.
-- MILOB sites throughout Sector 6 were now on high
alert, Mbaye said, in response to a gathering of SLA
Wahid fighters who were suspected of seeking to attack
them.

4. (SBU) Pressed for additional details, Mbaye said,
"the situation does not allow AMIS to go to the sites."
Canadian and EU poloffs noted that these constituted
serious incidents and a deterioration of the security
situation. Mbaye replied that Sector 6 was only one of
eight in AMIS's area of operations (AOR); the remainder
of the AOR remained "relatively calm," he said.

--------------------------------
CONCERN ABOUT GOS-MINNI JOINT OP
--------------------------------

5. (SBU) Referring to the reported joint GOS-SLA Minni

ADDIS ABAB 00002312 002 OF 004


operation in Kutum, UK poloff questioned whether GOS
and SLA Minni forces had in fact informed AMIS that DPA
violations would occur, and whether AMIS had decided to
overlook them. DITF POLAD Dr. Solomon Gomes responded
that according to an August 8 AMIS situation report,
Minni forces had attacked a village and were awaiting
reinforcements from Nyala; the GOS then bombed the
village, he said.

6. (SBU) Gomes recalled that at the August 3 DPA Joint
Commission meeting in Addis Ababa, GOS rep General
Adabi had underscored the necessity of punishing non-
signatories to the DPA. The GOS was "deliberately
trying to sabotage this process" by attacking non-
signatories, Gomes added.

7. (SBU) In contrast, Gomes said, in a report to AU
Peace and Security Commissioner Ambassador Said
Djinnit, AMIS Darfur mediator Ambassador Sam Ibok had
noted the urgent need to make contact with non-
signatories. Ibok argued for sustained engagement with
non-signatories to encourage support for the DPA, Gomes
added, and had recently met with six factions,
including G-19 and the newly established "G-14" faction
led by Abdulrahim Mousa. Factions were now becoming
their own armed groups, Gomes said. Commenting on
Abulwahid's recent ejection from the SLA, announced by
25 SLA leaders, Gomes noted that Abulwahid still had
support in IDP camps.

8. (SBU) Gomes said that while Minni Minawi had been
appointed special assistant to the GNU president, Amb.
Ibok had underscored that AMIS had provided
transportation for Minni to attend a meeting only on an
exceptional basis, as the UN had not been available.
Gomes observed that continued GOS use of white
helicopters created confusion, as GOS military
helicopters were mistaken for AMIS aircraft. AU DITF
Administration Control and Management Center Chief
Commodore Binega Mesfin noted that the DPA called for
AMIS to provide non-military logistical support to DPA
signatories. Canadian embassy special advisor
objected, noting that such parties were not in
compliance with the DPA.

-----------------------------
DPA IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES
-----------------------------

9. (U) Individuals named to bolster the DPA
Implementation Team (DPAIT) had been identified, but
their appointment was awaiting approval by Commissioner
Djinnit, Gomes said. He added that the USG had helped
provide two offices for the DPAIT, anticipating the
need to provide office space for rebel movements.

10. (SBU) As for the GOS plan to disarm the janjaweed,
Col. Mbaye said the AU was still waiting for the GOS to
submit its revised plan. Responding to the observation
that the GOS had established a commission for
disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) in
June, Mbaye explained that the DPA's call for a
specific GOS plan to disarm the janjaweed was separate
from a global plan for disarmament that was to include
JEM and other parties. UN representative Major General
Henry Anyidoho noted that the disarmament of the
janjaweed was supposed to precede the assembly of
movements in specific areas.

11. (U) Commodore Mesfin announced that Japan had
pledged USD 8.6 million to support the Darfur-Darfur
Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC), whose budget totaled
USD 60.5 million. The Japanese pledge would be used
for the DDDC secretariat, he said. EC representative
observed that the EU may be able to provide additional
funds; UK poloff underscored the need for a single AU
point of contact for funding issues, as Khartoum and
Addis Ababa did not always coordinate fully. Mesfin
said a summary of pledges made at the July 18 AMIS
pledging conference would be distributed shortly
(forwarded to AF/SPG).


ADDIS ABAB 00002312 003 OF 004


----------------------------------
AU AND TCCS UNCLEAR ON AMIS FUTURE
----------------------------------

12. (SBU) Partners recommended resuming meetings of the
Technical Committee chaired by Commodore Mesfin and
tasked with implementing joint assessment
recommendations to improve AMIS; partners noted the
committee had not met since April. In response, Mesfin
recommended merging the committee's work with
implementation of recommendations made by the more
recent June 2006 joint UN-AU technical assessment
mission. Dr. Gomes noted that the implementation
roadmap, listing concrete steps to strengthen AMIS, was
awaiting overdue input from AMIS officials in Khartoum.

13. (SBU) "This mission now is logistics-driven,"
Mesfin said, but it was "unclear what direction we are
taking." It was uncertain whether AMIS would continue
or withdraw after its current mandate ended September
30, he said; the current focus was now on
implementation of the DPA. AU DITF was preparing an
"exit strategy" on logistics which he expected to be
available by the end of the following week, he said.
Mesfin questioned the viability, for example, of
constructing new police stations were AMIS to
terminate, as AMIS was not now fulfilling police
functions under its current concept of operations
(CONOPS). Partner representatives noted that Norway
would coordinate donors interesting in funding police
stations.

14. (SBU) Dr. Gomes said he had hoped the AU Peace and
Security Council (PSC) would meet to discuss the CONOPS
for strengthening AMIS by two battalions, but none had
been scheduled. "For me, it's business as usual" until
the PSC decided otherwise, he said. Gomes observed
that GNU Vice President Salva Kiir accepted transition
to a UN operation, while President Bashir had not.

------------------------------
TCCS CONSIDERING THEIR FURTURE
------------------------------

15. (SBU) Gomes expressed concern that several troop
contributing countries (TCCs) were considering
withdrawal rather than rotation; he criticized a push
to get TCCs to accept that the UN would be present but
that AU would be out. He expected the AU would
organize a meeting with both TCCs and partners prior to
the next PSC meeting. Mesfin said AU DITF had been
instructed to prepare operational and logistical
contingency plans, in order to brief TCCs and partners,
prior to submission to the PSC. Mesfin acknowledged
that the United States sought to terminate AMIS in
October, whereas the UN insisted on transition in
January.

16. (SBU) AMIS needed to continue with its plan to
rotate current troops in October, Col. Mbaye said, as a
June 28 UN report underscored that transition would not
occur until January. Even if transition were to occur
in October, he said, rotation should proceed, as some
troops had been deployed to Darfur for as long as seven
months. DITF Chief of Staff Major General Henry
Anyidoho noted that the failure to rotate troops who
had served for "unduly long" periods had hurt ECOMOG's
efficiency. Anyidoho said that the UN did have a
CONOPS for its mission, as a result of the joint
technical assessment mission conducted in June; the
only issue remaining was to obtain Sudan's consent, he
said. He observed, however, that the GOS was now
blocking equipment meant for the already established UN
Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) addressing the North-South
conflict, fearing that it would be used by the UN in
Darfur; even the entry of AMIS communications equipment
continued to be blocked by the GOS telecommunications
agency, he said.

17. (SBU) NATO Senior Military Liaison Officer
discussed the proposed rotation schedule for AMIS
forces, noting that the first movement was due to occur

ADDIS ABAB 00002312 004 OF 004


September 1. As the first rotations were to be
conducted via commercial charter (vs. milair),
rescheduling them would be expensive, he said. As the
first six movements were all to be conducted by NATO,
it would seek the AU's approval for them within the
next few day, he said. Col. Mbaye noted that a Joint
Forward Movement Cell would be established within the
following week.

18. (SBU) Note: On August 17 partners and AU officials
(Peace and Security Director Mugumya, Gomez, and Force
Commander Ikhere) met with TCC representatives who
agreed to move forward with scheduled retotations. End
Note.

-----------------------------
UPDATE ON COMMAND AND CONTROL
-----------------------------

19. (SBU) Col. Mbaye reported that the appointment of
one of two Zambian candidates to serve as Joint Chief
of Staff for AMIS Forward Joint Mission Headquarters
(FJMHQ), originally proposed in June, still awaited
Commissioner Djinnit's approval. Partners expressed
their shared concern at the delay, especially as six
partner experts from the USG, EU, and UN, requested by
the AU to serve as advisors to the FJMHQ, had all been
deployed. Mbaye said the AU Commission had sent a June
27 memo to the AMIS Force Commander reminding him of
the decision to establish a FJMHQ under the AMIS Deputy
Head of Mission; Gomes announced that another reminder
would be sent to the Force Commander.

----------------------
PAE CONTRACTUAL ISSUES
----------------------

20. (SBU) Poloff raised USG concern about several
issues relating to contractor PAE; in response, Mesfin
and Gomes stated:
-- an Antonov aircraft leased by a PAE subcontractor
had not been grounded arbitrarily by an AMIS sergeant;
rather, Sudanese civil aviation authorities had
grounded the aircraft for safety reasons, as the PAE
subcontractor was substituting car batteries for
aircraft batteries. PAE had since replaced the
aircraft, Mesfin said, and an investigation of the
incident was underway.
-- AU DITF had finally responded with a counterproposal
to PAE's June proposal that the catering subcontractor
Amzar be paid a higher rate to compensate for the US
dollar's depreciation against the Sudanese dinar;
Mesfin said the counterproposal would not raise the
budget for AMIS.
-- of USD 8 million owed by the AU to PAE for invoices
through April, AU DITF did not accept USD 3.9 million
in equipment costs, and requested that PAE provide
itemized unit costs for the amount.

21. (SBU) COMMENT: Both African Union and EU Military
Representative officials have previously discussed a de
facto military alliance between Government of Sudan
forces and those of SLM/A Minni Minawi; the AU's August
10 acknowledgement that AMIS suspended activities near
Kutum due to a joint request by GOS/SLM Minni forces
was viewed by some concern by allied partners, notably
the UK and Canada. Reports of continued aerial
bombings should also generate concern as violations of
the DPA, but in the absence of a functioning Joint
Commission, there is no mechanism to hold parties
accountable. END COMMENT.


WILGUS

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.