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Cablegate: Unamid Planners Recommend Delaying Deployment

DE RUEHKH #1804/01 3231254
P 191254Z NOV 07






E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In separate conversations with FieldOff on
November 15 and November 18 in El Fasher, two UN senior military
transition planners shared the joint recommendation they had made to
UNAMID Force Commander GEN Agwai that deployment of UNAMID police
elements be put on hold until the infrastructure necessary to
sustain them could be put in place. This recommendation will
specifically impact the Bangladeshi formed police unit (FPU), which
is scheduled to arrive in Nyala on November 20. The planners blamed
the UN's Department of Mission Support, specifically
Assistant-Secretary-General (A/SYG) Jane Holl Lute, for UNAMID's
current logistical standstill. They reported that visiting
Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) A/SYG Mulet had
confirmed neither the Norwegian nor Swedish engineering units would
deploy following President Bashir's recent remarks to the press.
The only engineering unit currently slated to arrive is from China,
and the main body of this company is inexplicably delayed until
mid-December, consequently delaying deployment of major UNAMID
elements until January 2008 at the earliest. The planners requested
U.S. assistance in forcing some answers from the Department of
Mission Support; now might be the time to ratchet up the pressure on
China as well. END SUMMARY.

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2. (SBU) In separate conversations with FieldOff on November 15 and
November 18 in El Fasher, two UN senior military transition planners
shared the joint recommendation they had made to UNAMID Force
Commander GEN Agwai that deployment of UNAMID police elements be put
on hold until the infrastructure necessary to sustain them could be
put in place. The two planners - one the Chief of the Transition
Planning Unit, the other the Acting Chief of Integrated Support
Services - admitted that this recommendation, formally transmitted
to Agwai in New York on November 17, would not win them any allies
in the UN's Department of Mission Support, which the Acting CISS
head blamed for UNAMID's current logistical standstill.

3. (SBU) The recommendation stipulates that the Force Commander and
Police Commissioner warn UN Headquarters that deployment of UNAMID
units must be paused until two main criteria are satisfied: first,
that mission support contracts (specifically aviation, operating and
maintenance [O&M], catering and ground fuel) are signed; and second,
that contractors will have resources, equipment and trained staff in
place on time. The recommendation further stipulates that staff
commence contingency planning to withdraw the force into staging
areas to ensure adequate support in the event that the criteria
outlined above are not satisfied. The planners recommended a
November 30 deadline for the UN to decide on the critical aviation
contract, since the Canadian Government will give the AMIS aviation
support contractor (Skylink PA&E Aviation Inc.) one month's notice
to close down its Darfur operations.

--------------------------------------------- ----
4. (SBU) The Acting Head of CISS was emphatic that the contrary
posturing exhibited by the Department of Mission Support,
specifically A/SYG Jane Holl Lute, was causing UNAMID deployment to
falter. He highlighted Holl Lute's refusal to seek a Letter of
Assist (LOA) with the Government of Canada to extend Skylink's
contract for the sake of UNAMID, effectively ruling out the
possibility of the UN's putting in place an aviation capability by
Transfer of Authority (TOA) at the end of the year. The Canadian
Government has reportedly agreed to extend and fund Skylink's
contract until March 31 with an option to extend to June 30, but,
according to the CISS rep, this arrangement must be formalized as
quickly as possible to give UNAMID the initial capability to sustain
current forces on the ground. (Note: Our UN contacts in El Fasher
reported rumors that Skylink is on a UN blacklist for involvement
with the Fujimori regime in Peru, though this is not confirmed.)

5. (SBU) Similarly, the CISS rep reported that Holl Lute had refused
to seek an LOA with the USG to extend the O&M and catering and
ground fuel contracts currently in place to service AMIS troops.
Lack of clarity on the O&M contract is particularly deleterious, as
this contract provides support for the incoming police and military
Heavy Support Package (HSP) units which are now deploying to transit
staging areas in Nyala, Zam Zam and El Geneina, and its effects can
be seen in the predicament of the initial cadre of unsupported
Chinese engineers currently in Nyala. Given these engineers'
reliance on makeshift arrangements with PA&E to sustain them,
arrival of the Chinese engineers company's main body has been
delayed until mid-December.

6. (SBU) Since these engineers are to prepare the ground for the
Bangladeshi FPU (set to deploy November 20) to prepare its own camp,
the planners note that the FPU deployment may now have to be delayed
until the Chinese arrive and complete their construction. The CISS
rep warned that if the FPU deploys on time, it will occupy the

KHARTOUM 00001804 002 OF 002

transit accommodation set aside for the Chinese main body, thus
creating another dilemma once that company ultimately gets on the
ground. "The whole sequence of deployment has been interrupted by
the Chinese delay," he lamented. The UNAMID Planning Chief added
that Egyptian and Ethiopian battalions are pushing to deploy but
would likely suffer the same fate as the Bangladeshi FPU, since the
camps into which they are supposed to move are as of yet

7. (SBU) The planners add that the UN also has no contracts in place
to provide catering and ground fuel services for incoming HSP units
prior to and after TOA. The planners accordingly recommend an LOA
to the USG extending current arrangements under PA&E and it
sub-contractor for catering, AMZAR, until at least June 30, with an
option to extend by two three-month blocks.

8. (SBU) Both planners report that in their meetings with visiting
DPKO A/SYG Mulet, Mulet had a good grasp of both big and small
picture issues associated with the HSP and Early Effects deployment,
but that he was in listening, rather than acting, mode only, as this
was his first visit to Sudan. The UNAMID Planning Chief noted that
Mulet seemed "squeezed" by pressure from troop-contributing
countries (TCCs) on one side to get their assets on the ground and
by El Fasher UN personnel on the other, who were advocating a more
go-slow approach, given the logistical constraints of honoring the
TCCs' wishes. Mulet had highlighted the difficulties encountered in
dealing with the Government of Sudan in the wake of President
Bashir's November 17 press remarks in which he accused the UN of
trying to infiltrate UNAMID's ranks with CIA and Mossad officers in
the guise of Norwegian and Swedish engineers. Mulet told both
planners that the Nordic units would not/not deploy. The Planning
Chief considered this loss a blow to the mission, as he saw the
Nordic company as stronger than the others earmarked for the same

9. (SBU) COMMENT: UNAMID planners verged on cynical as they
discussed the circumstances surrounding UNAMID's deployment
standstill, speculating on every possible cause, from A/SYG Holl
Lute's hidden political agenda behind refusing outside assistance on
UN contracting (one planner sniffed that it would be the
Secretary-General who would "take the embarrassment" on this), to

China's collusion with the GoS that led to its sudden inexplicable
postponement of engineer deployment. Whatever the reason, the fact
remains that UNAMID deployment is being put on hold, and more
egregiously, by the very organization mandated to effect it. It
would seem a good time, less than six weeks away from TOA, to clear
up any misunderstandings with the Department of Mission Support on
the LOA issue, as well as to ratchet up the pressure on China,
which, given its public attempts to do the right thing on Darfur,
would not want to be seen as the reason things are now falling

10. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.


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