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Cablegate: Gen Agwai Updates On Unamid

VZCZCXRO5359
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1935 3401433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061433Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9469
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001935

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: GEN AGWAI UPDATES ON UNAMID

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In a December 5 meeting with PolOff and FieldOff,
AMIS Force Commander GEN Agwai described himself as the target of
Government of Sudan (GoS) displeasure for his current stance on the
Ceasefire Commission and articulated his plans to seek a sit-down
with the GoS in the near future to agree on a more systematic way
forward. He was not optimistic about UNAMID deployment, stressing
the need for the arrival of the ten battalions and for their proper
equipping, particularly in terms of helicopter assets. GEN Agwai,
while still not perhaps as forthright as necessary on the CFC issue,
is making strides in attempting to redirect the CFC issue away from
its focus on money and more toward a focus on implementation. END
SUMMARY.

AGWAI FALLING OUT OF GOS FAVOR
------------------------------
2. (SBU) In a December 5 meeting with PolOff and FieldOff, African
Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) Force Commander Martin Luther
Agwai reported that he was not currently in the GoS' good graces on
account of his efforts regarding the CFC (or, as the GoS allegedly
accused, on account of his trying to annul the CFC). Agwai pointed
out that the CFC had been effectively dormant since July, addressing
only administrative issues when it actually did convene and
diverting its focus from the actual issue of ceasefire to that of
money. "It is clear beyond any reasonable doubt," Agwai declared,
"that both chambers of the Commission just want to make money."

3. (SBU) When Agwai had raised these issues with the GoS in Khartoum
(from which he had just returned earlier in the day), he had tried
to explain that requesting UNAMID to provide guidelines on Darfur
Peace Agreement (DPA) implementation did not equate to annulling the
DPA. He corrected his earlier DPA interpretation and said that the
CFC should in fact have two members per delegation: one at
headquarter level and one at sector level. Agwai was firm that he
would resist cohabitation with the GoS in AMIS camps and that it had
been the GoS' own machinations which had prevented the CFC from
properly functioning in the first place, citing as an example its
obstruction of AMIS investigations into the Haskanita incident.

4. (SBU) GEN Agwai resolved to collaborate with Joint Special
Representative Adada (currently in El Fasher) to schedule a meeting
during the week of December 10 with the CFC representatives to try
to bridge these differences. He also acknowledged the importance of
presenting any changes in the structure of the CFC "politely" and in
writing to the DPA signatories. The meeting would be an opportunity
for a full discussion of the issues to clear the air and for Agwai
to reiterate that UNAMID would not provide assistance to any of the
CFC observers.

NOTHING TO SHOW BY JANUARY 1
----------------------------
5. (SBU) GEN Agwai was not optimistic when it came to UNAMID
deployment, calling into question the security of the forces and the
estimated time of arrival, which he did not foresee in earnest
before December 2008. He noted that current troop rotations were
AMIS only and that only two of ten identified UNAMID battalions were
outfitted with accommodations and other logistical support upon
Darfur arrival. Agwai stated that UNAMID could be credible only
when coming from a position of strength, but at the moment, he said,
"we are at our weakest," due in large part to the timing of troop
rotations.

6. (SBU) In the immediate term, GEN Agwai recommended getting all
ten UNAMID battalions on the ground as quickly as possible and on
providing them better equipment than that of AMIS forces,
particularly in terms of helicopter assets. He said another six
battalions outfitted with APCs would allow the peacekeeping force to
take the necessary initiative and to dominate areas of control, but
without this show of force, he predicted that "there will be nothing
to show by January 1."

7. (SBU) COMMENT. As exemplified by his revised decision to allow a
CFC observer at both the headquarters and sector level (as
stipulated in the DPA), Agwai often does not consider the full
implications of some of his proposals to restructure the CFC before
announcing them. However, his recognition that approaching the CFC
observers - particularly the signatory representatives - in a
diplomatic manner is commendable, and is a tactic that we will
continue to encourage. END COMMENT.

8. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

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