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Cablegate: Bashir Denies Sudan Is Delaying Unamid Deployment; Blames

VZCZCXRO4703
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1842 3291501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251501Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9289
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001842

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE NATSIOS
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: BASHIR DENIES SUDAN IS DELAYING UNAMID DEPLOYMENT; BLAMES
UN

1. (SBU) Summary: President Bashir denied that Sudan was delaying
UNAMID troop deployment and blamed any delays on the UN. He stated
that Nordic troops are not acceptable and questioned the necessity
of deploying Thai and Nepalese troops. End summary.

2. (SBU) According to local media reports, in press statements
November 23 following the NCP's annual congress President Bashir
denied accusations that he was delaying the deployment of the United
Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeeping
force. Arabic language newspapers quoted Bashir accusing
"Washington and London of delaying the hybrid operations." Bashir
continued, "The ones who are hindering the process are those who are
trying to impose their agenda on us. If there is any delay in the
issue, it is from the United Nations and those who are standing
behind the UN."

3. (SBU) Bashir defended his actions saying the Government of Sudan
(GOS) approved the deployment of battalions from Pakistan, China,
and Egypt "but after the expiration of the deadline for troop
offers, the UN sought to bring troops from Thailand, Sweden and
Norway." He said he could not agree to this, pointing out that the
original agreement with the AU and UN was for a force made up of
African troops, backed up with logistical and technical units from
the UN.

4. (SBU) The "Swedish and Norwegian troops are not acceptable. We
shall not accept them," said Bashir according to media sources.
Speaking about a proposed Thai battalion, Bashir said," Even if
there is a shortage of troops from the African continent, we are not
going to accept these people, because we were not consulted about
it."

5. (SBU) Comment: It is unlikely that President Bashir will ever
accept the Norwegian/Swedish company given his own consistent and
very public messages that they are not acceptable. He and others in
the NCP have posed legalistic obstacles to the deployment of the
Nepalese and Thai troops, though previously MFA Under-Secretary
Mutriff Siddiq and NISS Director Saleh Ghosh have said privately
that the GOS was not totally opposed to these troops, but that "they
could come later" after the bulk of African troops have arrived. As
we have pointed out previously and repeatedly, the GOS will use and
manipulate any ambiguity and fissure in the UNSC resolution to
hollow out the force while trumpeting loudly its adherence to UNSCR
1769. None of these troops are in and of themselves a major
component of the force, but the endless Sudanese bickering on issues
large and small, while doing just enough to plausibly deny outright
obstruction, could in the end produce a hollowed out, shadow force
incapable of fulfilling its mandate. End comment.

FERNANDEZ

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