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Cablegate: Darfur - High-Level Committee Meeting On The

VZCZCXRO7492
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1390/01 2471319
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041319Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8399
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001390

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 PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PBROWN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR - HIGH-LEVEL COMMITTEE MEETING ON THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JOINT COMMUNIQUE


KHARTOUM 00001390 001.2 OF 002


1. Summary: On September 1, the high-level committee that oversees
the implementation of the Joint Communique on the facilitation of
humanitarian activities in Darfur met in Khartoum. In the capacity
of donor observer, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez,
accompanied by a USAID representative, attended the meeting.

2. Participants acknowledged the positive and constructive
cooperation between the Sudanese government and international
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in advancing the agenda of the
Joint Communique, including the completion of the Directory of
Procedures for NGOs. However, members of the committee also
expressed concern surrounding the August 25 expulsion of the CARE
International country director from Sudan, and welcomed the Minister
of Humanitarian Affairs' announcement that further discussions with
senior CARE leadership and government officials are ongoing in an
effort to resolve the issue. End summary.

----------
BACKGROUND
----------

3. On September 1, the high-level committee that oversees the
implementation of the Joint Communique on the facilitation of
humanitarian activities in Darfur met for the sixth time since the
signing of the agreement in March. The meeting was co-chaired by
the Government of National Unity (GNU) Minister of Humanitarian
Affairs and the Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
Attendants included representatives from the GNU Humanitarian
Affairs Commission (HAC) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United
States, the United Arab Emirates, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
international and national NGOs, and the UN. U.S. Charge d'Affaires
Alberto M. Fernandez and USAID staff attended the meeting in the
role of the donor observer. On August 1, the United States replaced
the European Union in the rotating three-month donor position on the
committee.

-----------------------
CARE DIRECTOR EXPULSION
-----------------------

4. At the opening of the meeting, members of the committee expressed
concern over the August 25 expulsion of the CARE country director
from Sudan. Committee members noted that the manner of the
departure undermined recent progress and the spirit of the Joint
Communique. Participants welcomed the Minister of Humanitarian
Affairs announcement that efforts to resolve the issue were ongoing
and that further discussions with the senior management of CARE were
planned for the coming days. (Note: Following the conclusion of the
high-level committee meeting, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs
reported that the government had agreed to permit the CARE Country
Director Paul Barker to temporarily return to Sudan in order to
facilitate program handover to his successor. However, Barker
reportedly rejected the Sudanese government's offer of returning
unless the persona non grata status (PNG) is revoked entirely. End
note.)


---------------
PROGRESS REPORT
---------------

5. The Tripartite Joint Technical Committee (TJTC) presented a
progress report to the committee highlighting the completion of the
Directory of Procedures for NGOs and continuing efforts to refine
the fast-track database. The Directory of Procedures for NGOs in
Sudan represents a culmination of extensive collaboration and
dialogue between the Sudanese government and international NGOs.
The directory provides clear guidance on required documentation, and
operating procedures for NGOs in Sudan, including an annex for
Darfur-specific fast-track procedures. Intended to ensure
transparency and facilitate the timely navigation of bureaucratic
procedures by NGOs operating in Darfur and throughout Sudan, the
directory will be published and widely circulated to NGOs and
Sudanese embassies in Khartoum and worldwide.
Annexes pertaining to fees and timeframes are scheduled to be
complete by September 15, at which time, pending resolution of media
guidance language, publication will go forward. As soon as
possible, a decision regarding media guidance will be transmitted by
the committee co-chairs to the TJTC to ensure the swift publication
of the procedures.

KHARTOUM 00001390 002.2 OF 002

6. To support the dissemination and implementation of the Directory
of Procedures, trainings for NGOs and Joint Procedures Center (JPC)
staff are planned for September. In addition, the TJTC is preparing
a second directory for government officials outlining guidance on
how to implement revised procedures. The government directory will
serve as a resource for officials, particularly at the state and
local level, to facilitate consistent implementation.

7. The TJTC reported that efforts to refine the fast-track database
continue. Technical difficulties and incomplete reporting from NGOs
have undermined the efficacy of the database, to date. The TJTC
hopes to utilize upcoming trainings on the Directory of Procedures
to educate and encourage NGOs to provide more consistent and timely
updates. Regular reporting will facilitate the usefulness of the
data-base as a tool for monitoring outstanding issues and GNU
adherence to the communique.

----------
CONCLUSION
----------

8. Committee members acknowledged the positive developments
generated from continued efforts of the TJTC and the high-level
committee in advancing the agenda of the Joint Communique and
encouraged ongoing dialogue and communication. Prior to the next
meeting of the high-level committee scheduled for September 22, the
TJTC will prepare a summary report on the achievements, challenges,
and constraints of the Joint Communique to date. The report will
fulfill reporting requirements outlined in UN Security Council
Resolution 1769 establishing the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID). The high-level committee also agreed to invite UNAMID as
an observer to the next meeting.


FERNANDEZ

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