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Cablegate: Jsr Calls Msa "Biggest Threat to Unamid"

VZCZCXRO0942
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1814/01 3241046
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201046Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9238
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001814

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: JSR CALLS MSA "BIGGEST THREAT TO UNAMID"

REF: KHARTOUM 1639

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On his first official day in the new El Fasher
Headquarters, Joint Special Representative (JSR) for the United
Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Rodolphe Adada told
Charge Fernandez in a November 14 meeting that the single biggest
threat to UNAMID's success was the unresolved Mission Subsistence
Allowance (MSA) issue. UNAMID Acting Force Commander MAJ GEN
Karenzi predicted that if the rebels do not get their MSA, "they
will cause trouble," which would serve only to "haunt" UNAMID from
the outset. Adada described difficult negotiations with the
Government of Sudan on concluding UNAMID's Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA), but he stopped short of castigating the GoS for
any bona fide UNAMID obstruction. Nevertheless, UNAMID staff report
that key communications equipment remains held in El Fasher Airport,
and the SOFA has yet to be concluded. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) The Charge, accompanied by POL/ECON Counselor and FieldOff,
met on November 14 at UNAMID El Fasher Headquarters with JSR Adada,
Adada's Advisor Abdurahman Ahmed, Director of Administration Mohamed
Yonis, Adada's Special Assistant Rana Taha and Acting FC Karenzi
Karake Emmanuel.

"MSA WILL HAUNT UNAMID"
-----------------------
3. (SBU) On his first official day in the new UNAMID El Fasher
Headquarters, Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada told the
Charge in a November 14 meeting that the main threat to UNAMID's
success and the biggest problem plaguing North Darfur was the
unresolved Mission Subsistence Allowance (MSA) issue. (Note: Rebels
who participate in the Ceasefire Commission receive a generous cash
subsidy from AMIS, which will not continue under UNAMID. End note.)
Adada described rebel frustration at being paid less than Milobs, a
frustration that he said threatened to turn violent amid rumors of
troop build-ups near Umm Barru in northwest Darfur. UNAMID Acting
Force Commander MAJ GEN Karenzi added that the rebels had approached
him aggressively on the issue, demanding an end to diplomatic
niceties and insisting on talking to Adada. Karenzi warned that if
the rebels do not get their MSA, then "they will cause trouble."

4. (SBU) The Charge acknowledged the persistence of the MSA problem
and asked Adada if the UN had considered, in its discussions with
the rebels of a way to resolve the problem, making it clear to the
rebels that the UN would try to help AMIS raise the money from
donors, but that MSA payments were not part of the UNAMID mandate
and would end in December. The Charge cited a suggestion in the
works from Sweden to provide "in-kind" assistance (e.g., medical) to
rebel signatories in lieu of payments. Adada expected that
political talks in Sirte would lead to a new Ceasefire Commission
mechanism that would deal with the MSA issue, but in the meantime
made an appeal for donor assistance to resolve the issue. Charge
suggested that AMIS troops be well prepared for trouble once the
subsidy is definitively ended.

5. (SBU) Privately, the Special Assistant to Deputy JSR Henry
Anyidoho reiterated to FieldOff on November 19 that the MSA dilemma
would "haunt" UNAMID if left unaddressed. She expressed regret that
the issue had become so all-encompassing and credible a threat to
mission success that Force Commander GEN Agwai could focus on little
else. The Special Assistant noted that the U.S. had not made
contributions to the MSA pot and warned that the Sudanese rebels
involved would not easily let go of what they considered their right
to compensation, but what seems to be an undisguised bribe.

SAME OLD GoS TRICKS ON UNAMID IMPLEMENTATION
--------------------------------------------
6. (SBU) JSR Adada relayed preliminary discussions begun on November
13 with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the issue of releasing
telecommunications equipment seized by the National Intelligence and
Security Service at El Fasher Airport. Adada noted that he had
presented to the MFA "evidence" of this seizure, and the GoS had
countered by proposing use of "software" to exchange information to
prevent such situations in the future. The Deputy JSR's staffer
told FieldOff on November 19 that the VSATs were still held at the
airport, which was compounding UNAMID's already significant
infrastructure problems.

7. (SBU) Adada went on to describe discussions with the GoS
Committee for UNAMID implementation on the new SOFA for UNAMID.
Adada said the GoS had submitted its own version of the document,
which UN lawyers were currently examining, although with the
impression that most, if not all, of the GoS proposals would be
"unacceptable." Getting the SOFA right was critical to the mission,
Adada acknowledged, and DOA Yonis added there would be another
meeting with the GoS on November 14 to reconcile differences in
interpretations. Charge reminded that creating legal mazes was one
of the GoS' strengths in stalling for time, not unlike the stall

KHARTOUM 00001814 002 OF 002


tactics it had been employing over the past year on UNAMID's troop
composition. As of November 19, there is still no clarity on the
status of the SOFA, which Adada is now handling personally.

8. (SBU) Adada did not have all negative words for the GoS on UNAMID
implementation, however. He called the GoS' allowing of additional
Nigerian and Rwandan battalions and their APCs a "big success," and
the Charge agreed that to reap the best results in cooperation with
the GoS, pressure must be carefully and strategically applied, and
each snag addressed in specific detail.

9. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

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