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Cablegate: Census On Track but Sanctions Could Cause Problems

VZCZCXRO3561
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1877 2200730
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080730Z AUG 06 ZEL ZEL ZEL
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4050
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001877

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR D AND AF/SPG
PLEASE PASS TO USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AF/EA
NSC FOR JMELINE, TSHORTLEY
TREASURY FOR OFAC

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARA ONE ONLY)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PREF SU
SUBJECT: CENSUS ON TRACK BUT SANCTIONS COULD CAUSE PROBLEMS

REF: 06 KHARTOUM 00304

1. Summary: The technical preparations for a national census
are moving forward on schedule. The Director of the UNFPA
office reports that UN agencies have raised the idea of a
delay of one year to allow more southerners to return home
(we argued against such a delay). The assistance
provided by the U.S. Census Bureau receives
praise from both northerners and southerners. Sanctions
could potentially cause problems with completion of census
and Embassy recommends that the Department act to assure that
a waiver of sanctions be arranged for equipment and software
needed for the census and for the subsequent preparations for
elections. Action requested in para 6. End summary.

2. On July 26 and 27, Pol/Econ officer and FSN met with
Prof. Awad Hag Ali Ahmed, Head of the Central Bureau of
Statistics, and with Omer Ertur, Representative of the UNFPA
country office to discuss progress on the census. The census
is required under the CPA and is a necessary precursor to
elections. UNFPA is the coordinator for the census, working
with the Central Bureau of Statistics in the north and with
the Bureau of the Census in the south. Current plan is for
the census to be conducted from November 15-30, 2007 and
basic results from the short form to be available about six
weeks later.

Preparations on Track, but Idea of Delay being Raised
--------------------------------------------- --------

3. Both Awad and Ertur confirmed that preparations for the
census are proceeding apace. Staff is being trained in all
areas of the country, equipment is being set up, vehicles are
being delivered (50 cars were delivered last week to the
south), and publicity campaigns organized. Both had praise
for the work the U.S. Census Bureau has been doing.
Cooperation between the Khartoum government and the
Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) has been surprisingly
positive; probably the best example of cooperation in any CPA
mandated activity. Both men agree that it will be
technically possible to conduct the census in November 2007.
However, Ertur stated that there has been some discussion
among UN agencies of a delay of one year, from November 2007
until November 2008 in order to allow more southerners to
return home to be counted in the south.

4. According to Ertur, the expectation of the GOSS is that
the population of the south should be 6 to 8 million. He
estimates that there are currently only about 5 million.
Ertur expects that authorities in both the north and the
south will attempt to boost the population totals for their
respective areas. He speculated that the GOSS will find it
advantageous to delay the census to allow resettlement to
progress. Ertur asked what the U.S. reaction to a one-year
delay would be. Poloff replied that is important to maintain
the original schedule as set out in the CPA. (Comment: Poloff
followed up with an email to reiterate this point.)

Sanctions, Census and Elections
-------------------------------

5. Both Awad and Ertur mentioned the possible impact of U.S.
sanctions on the census. Software for the GIS database and
mapping system is of U.S. origin and covered under sanctions.
Ertur said the plan is for UNFPA to administer the software.
However, he believes that at the conclusion of the census,
UNFPA would presumably have to withdraw the database,
complicating preparations for elections. It would be
desirable for the GNU to acquire the database so that it
could be used for election purposes.

6. Action request. Embassy recommends that, in order to avoid
potential problems with sanction issues for the census and
elections, Washington agencies establish a specific exemption
of sanctions. We understand that the executive order 13067,
establishing sanctions, is renewed annually in November. The
renewal may be an opportunity to insert a specific paragraph
allowing equipment and software for use in the census and
elections. Language similar to that contained in 31 CFR
chapter V part 528.523, which exempts food and medicine may
be useful as a model.
HUME

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