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Cablegate: Undss August 3 Security Update for North Darfur; More

VZCZCXRO2208
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1864 2190652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070652Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4025
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001864

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO SOCI AU UN US SU

SUBJECT: UNDSS AUGUST 3 SECURITY UPDATE FOR NORTH DARFUR; MORE
SLM/A FRACTURING

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: UNDSS continues to describe the security
situation in North Darfur as unstable and volatile. Shifting
positions and allegiances among the rebel movements are clouding the
political and security picture on the ground, increasing the threat
level for NGOs. END SUMMARY.

------------------------------------
UNDSS List of Recent Security Events
------------------------------------

2. (SBU) In its August 3 security meeting, UNDSS outlined several
recent security incidents, including:

-- July 27: An alleged "poisoning" incident of water in the Garsila
IDP camp;

-- July 28: An OXFAM driver was killed in Hilelat after being
caught up in fighting there (see septel);

-- July 31: A Development Alternatives International (a USAID
implementing partner) vehicle was carjacked in Abu Shouk IDP camp.
The driver was forced at gunpoint to drive the vehicle away from the
camp; the perpetrators, suspected by UNDSS to be NRF, deposited the
DAI employees outside of Abu Shouk and took off with the vehicle;
and

-- July 31: UNDSS confirmed that Sudanese Armed Forces Antonov
bombers dropped an unspecified amount of ordnance on the village of
Bobai; there were no human casualties, though six animals were
killed. Unexploded ordnance remains in the vicinity of the
village.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
UNDSS Warns of SAF Build-up, Potential for More Clashes
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. (SBU) UNDSS also advised that NGOs should refrain from operating
in the Kulkul-Mellit-El Fasher triangle due to the build-up of GNU
forces in the area and the potential for continued clashes in the
area around Kulkul. UN security further observed that possible
clashes between GNU troops and rebel factions near Muzbat and
Birmaza dictated that these areas also be labeled as "no go" for
NGOs. Action Contre La Faim (ACF) offered that security around
Shangil Tobaya has declined to the point that NGOs can only function
there during daylight hours; UNDSS is monitoring the situation.

--------------------------------------------- --
SLM Shafi Breakaway Group Undecided on DPA, NRF
--------------------------------------------- --

4. (SBU) UNDSS also provided brief comments on the recent fracture
within SLA-Abdel Wahid. He confirmed the creation of a new faction,
led by Ahmed Abdel Shafi, but noted that four of Abdel Wahid's
staunchest field commanders have not broken away with the new group.
On the margins, UNDSS stated that the new faction led by Shafi is
due to meet in Asmara today to determine its stance vis-a-vis the
DPA and National Redemption Front (NRF). Based on his conversation
with Shafi, UNDSS opined that the rebel leader "is leaning toward
support for the DPA." He expects that once a decision is taken,
Shafi will return to Darfur, most likely within the next three to
five days. ARC officer also briefly discussed potential GNU courses
of action around Kulkul. UNDSS agreed that, given the build-up of
GNU forces in the area and heightened aerial (Antonov and helicopter
gunship) reconnaissance, renewed fighting in the next few days is
probable.

------
Comment
-------

5. (SBU) The implications of the new split within the SLA are still
being sorted out. The military balance of power - whether Abdel
Wahid's group or the new faction is stronger - is also unclear.
News of the recent SLA fracture is still fresh and popular support
for one group or the other remains undefined. A number of Fur
leaders with whom ARC officer met indicated that they did not have a
particularly strong inclination toward supporting Shafi, though they
also noted that some Fur feel frustrated that Abdel Wahid has "sold
them out" by focusing on his own quest for power rather than the
plight of his tribe. END COMMENT.

HUME

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