Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More



Cablegate: Chad Dimensions of Unsc 1706

DE RUEHNJ #1272/01 2991540
P 261540Z OCT 06




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary. There is an acute need for an
international presence on the Chadian side of the
border, according to United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) N'Djamena. UNHCR reports a
fledgling collaboration with the UN Department of
Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in implementing
operative paragraph 9(d) of Security Council resolution
1706 (2006), calling for the establishment of an UN
"multidimensional presence" in refugee and internally
displaced persons (IDP) camps of eastern Chad and, if
necessary, in northern Central African Republic (CAR).
According to UNHCR, DPKO will seek Council endorsement
during October 27 consultations for an assessment team
to be dispatched to eastern Chad, envisioned for the
end of October but likely to be delayed, given the
recent political unrest in Chad. Meanwhile, public
opinion among Sudanese refugees, AMIS and local Chadian
officials favor UN Darfur deployment as the only way to
stem the misery that the crisis there perpetuates in

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.

OP9 (d) of UNSCR 1706
2. (SBU) UNHCR N'Djamena Senior External Relations
Officer told Poloff October 25 that UNHCR and DPKO had
begun a partnership earlier this month to address
implementation of operative paragraph 9(d) of UNSCR
1706 (2006), which envisioned the eventual dispatching
of a "multidimensional presence" charged with
monitoring the security situation around the refugee
and IDP camps in eastern Chad and possibly CAR. The
UNHCR representative argued such a presence was needed
to protect refugees, IDPs, local populations and the
humanitarian community from spillover effects of the
Darfur crisis, since the Government of Chad (GOC) was
patently unable to provide this level of protection.
She dismissed arguments that such a presence would
enable President Deby to focus on combating the Chadian
rebellion rather than securing the Darfur-affected
populations. She also objected to claims that a UN
focus on the Chadian consequences of the Darfur crisis
would draw international attention and energy away from
the root of the problem on the other side of the border
and provide a "back-door" for UN troops to Darfur. The
Darfur trend of Arab against black African persecution
was playing out now in Chad, the UNHCR rep insisted,
and it had to be addressed while there was still
political room to do so.

3. (U) Two weeks earlier, on October 14, UNHCR Abeche
Field Office convened a partners meeting to discuss the
impending arrival (then envisioned for late October but
now expected for late November) of a DPKO assessment
team to conduct logistical analyses for the eventual
deployment of UN forces to eastern Chad. UNHCR Chad
Representative Serge Male alluded to an October 6
letter [NOTE: No text of such a letter was made
available. END NOTE] from the GOC to the UNSC
requesting an "initiative" for securing eastern Chad,
specifying that any measure taken be civilian only
(although, he corrected, this could include Chadian
gendarmes, who already guard the refugee camps in
limited numbers).

4. (SBU) Partners' greatest concern at that meeting
related to the authority for any envisioned UN force
and how such a presence would fit into existing
security mechanisms at the camps. UNHCR was emphatic
that any force be completely equipped logistically when
it arrives, something that another UNHCR representative
privately feared would serve only to make the UN forces
a target of the vandalism now suffered by the NGO
community. UNHCR and its partners were also deeply
concerned that the UN presence would not address
immediate protection concerns of the next six to eight
months. UNHCR Protection Officer advised against UN
forces conducting gendarme police work in the camps,
recommending instead that two or three police teams
oversee the training and supervision of gendarmes while
maintaining their own chain of command.

Refugee Leaders Express Broad Support for UN Presence
--------------------------------------------- -------

5. (U) Refugees in the camps along Chad's eastern
border widely favor a UN presence, although most
specify that it should be on the Darfur side of the
border. The chief sultan at an October 4 meeting in
Kounoungo refugee camp was explicit in proclaiming that
there would never be peace in Darfur until UN troops

NDJAMENA 00001272 002 OF 003

arrived. Sheikhs in the Oure Cassoni refugee camp,
however, were not optimistic that Sudanese President al-
Bashir would change his mind about consenting to a UN
deployment in Darfur and asserted that force was the
only way to provoke an affirmative response from him.
Refugee leaders in Iridimi refugee camp noted that camp
inhabitants were increasingly unsettled by frequent
violations by the Government of National Unity (GNU) of
the Tripoli Accords, which Iridimi residents
emphatically supported.

6. (U) The President of the Bredjing Camp Refugee
Committee warned Poloff on October 12 that even with
the presence of UN troops to disarm rebels, peace would
elude Darfur until all groups in Sudan were represented
in the GNU. He said that AMIS, even if expanded in
number, lacked the resources and experience to handle
Darfur's long-term problems. The Refugee Committee
President noted that the janjaweed were better armed
now than in the past year on account of GNU
reinforcements. He regarded the GNU's disregard for
the provisions of the Tripoli Accords as that
agreement's undoing, despite GOC efforts to expel
Sudanese rebels from its territory.

7. (U) The leader of the Djabal camp Refugee Committee
expressed similar disillusionment with the prospects
for success of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), which
he contended only about ten percent of the camp's
inhabitants supported. Refugees turned instead to the
Sudan Liberation Army for "protection" and were only
too willing to join rebel ranks against the GNU to
fight for Darfur independence, which he saw as the only
solution to the ongoing crisis in western Sudan. He
assured Poloff that refugees needed only to be given
arms, that they were ready and willing to "fight
alongside the UN" against the GNU in Darfur.

Local Chadian Authorities Blame the Sudanese
--------------------------------------------- --

8. (U) Local Chadian authorities have harsh words for
the Sudanese, whom they blame entirely for the
instability in the refugee camps. In an October 5
meeting, the Bahai Prefet accused Khartoum of launching
a plan to destabilize the "black" countries across sub-
Saharan Africa, beginning with eastern Chad before
spreading to the Central African Republic and Cameroon.
The Prefet added that Sudan's recent offensives in
Darfur violated the provisions of good neighborliness
of the Tripoli Accords. Iriba's Sous-Prefet did not
mince words in declaring that Sudanese authorities were
behind all acts of vandalism, theft and destabilization
in eastern Chad. Gendarmes at Iridimi refugee camp
claimed that all hijacked humanitarian vehicles (almost
50 to date) were headed for Sudan (despite an
explanation from UNHCR that as of June, most were going
to Libya, and an explanation from ICRC that many stolen
vehicles were held by the Chadian military in Tine).

9. (U) The Prefet of Adre attributed all instability
existing on Chadian soil to the actions of Sudan,
adding that incursions by the janjaweed were constant
and that Chadian stability would ultimately come only
as a result of Darfur stability. He dismissed the DPA
as ineffective, despite the GOC's mediating role in the
peace process. He argued for a U.S. presence in Darfur
in order to stem janjaweed activity and impose some
semblance of order.

AMIS views
10. (U) A Senegalese military observer (MO) with the
ten-person AMIS office in Abeche identified the
permeability of the Chad-Sudan border as the most
pressing issue in eastern Chad, especially now that the
rainy season had ended and the wadis along the border
were low. The MO confirmed GOC assertions that it
lacked the capacity to control border incursions due to
the presence of Chadian rebels with whom it was
fighting. He alluded to the Libyan suggestion under
the Tripoli Accords that the border be closed
completely to prevent incursions by rebels from both
sides using the other's territory to stabilize their
respective governments, such as the crossing of
approximately 1,500 Chadian rebels north of Guereda
since the beginning of October. He was anxious for the
UN, with a robust Chapter VII mandate, to take over for
AMIS, despite what he called "Chinese interference" in
implementing UNSCR 1706.

NDJAMENA 00001272 003 OF 003

11. (SBU) While there is no contesting that almost
250,000 refugees constitutes a major humanitarian
crisis in eastern Chad, it is important to bear in mind
that the cause of this crisis was not Chad-made. As
such, the need to get UN troops into Darfur should not
be eclipsed by a potential shift in DPKO focus to
eastern Chad or northern CAR, where the ruling
authorities might be more amenable to an international
presence. Similarly, although public opinion among
refugees here opposes the DPA and even the presence of
AMIS, the hard fact remains that both entities are the
only foundations on which the eventual UN Darfur force
will be built. Wall

© 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.