Cablegate: Instructions- Talking Points for U/Syg Holmes
DE RUEHC #3972 3400012
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 052354Z DEC 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000
UNCLAS STATE 163972
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM XA XW SU
SUBJECT: INSTRUCTIONS- TALKING POINTS FOR U/SYG HOLMES
BRIEFING ON DECEMBER 6
1. This is an action cable. See paragraph 2.
2. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points for the December 6 briefing by U/SYG for Humanitarian
Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Sir John Holmes.
-- We would like to thank Under-Secretary Holmes for his
briefing to the Council on his latest trip to Africa.
-- The United States remains deeply committed to ending
violence in Darfur through a political settlement, providing
critical humanitarian aid to vulnerable populations, and
supporting the rapid deployment of the UN/AU Hybrid
Peacekeeping Operation (UNAMID), as authorized in UNSCR 1769.
We further support a peaceful, unified, and democratic Sudan
within the framework of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA) and call for full implementation of all aspects of the
CPA. Secretary Rice traveled to Addis Ababa this week to
lead a Sudan Ministerial meeting with representatives from
Sudan, neighboring African countries, and the African Union
and United Nations Special Representatives on Sudan.
-- A viable political process and deployment of a robust
UN/AU hybrid peacekeeping force are critical to improving the
humanitarian situation in Darfur. We urge all groups to
support and work towards an accelerated UN/AU-led political
process and a lasting ceasefire on the ground. We encourage
all the rebel movements to set aside their differences and
join together in order to better represent the people of
Darfur, and we strongly encourage all invited individuals and
movements to attend the next round of negotiations. We
strongly urge the inclusion of traditional leaders from
Darfur, women's groups, local NGOs, and leaders from
internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the peace talks.
The participation of local civil society is absolutely vital
to the success of peace talks.
-- We also call on the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the
United Nations to rapidly advance UNAMID deployment. In this
context, we urge the GoS to approve without delay the full
list of troop-contributing countries chosen by the United
Nations and African Union and to meet its commitment to
accept peacekeepers into Darfur and provide them with the
necessary visas, flight clearances, and access to land and
water to successfully carry out their mission.
-- The United States is extremely disappointed by the
Sudanese government's expulsion from Darfur of the head of
OCHA Nyala office, Mr. Ibrahim.
-- We welcome recent discussions between the Government of
Sudan and U/SYG Holmes on the extension of the moratorium on
humanitarian restrictions. We believe the moratorium is
critical to reducing obstacles faced by international NGOs
operating in Darfur.
-- We commend efforts by the UN in preparing for the likely
possibility of additional food shortages in Sudan this year,
due to poor food harvests. These proactive measures will
undoubtedly save lives should food harvest forecasts prove
-- Darfur is the home to the biggest humanitarian operation
in the world, in which the United States has played an
important role. Since 2005 the United States has provided
over $4 billion in humanitarian, peacekeeping, and
development assistance to the people of Sudan and Eastern
Chad. The United States is also the largest food donor to
Darfur, providing 40,000 metric tons of food aid monthly.
Further, the United States has constructed and maintains 34
Darfur base camps for the more than 7000 AU peacekeepers
currently serving in Darfur.
-- The United States is following the situation in Chad very
closely. Currently there are 230,000 refugees from Darfur in
Eastern Chad along with 180,000 IDPs in Chad. Renewed
conflict in the area could severely exacerbate the situation.
We support the immediate deployment of MINURCAT and
encourage all troop/police contributing countries to deploy
as soon as possible.
SOMALIA AND THE OGADEN
-- The United States is also deeply concerned about the
deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia. The
increase in violence in the capital has resulted in thousands
of additional IDPs, including an estimated 230,000 IDPs
located along a 15-kilometer stretch of road between
Mogadishu and the town of Afgooye alone.
-- We take note that U/SYG Holmes met with newly appointed
Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein and welcome the Prime
Ministers commitment to make a humanitarian response high on
-- We applaud the UN and NGO efforts to operate in very
dangerous circumstances in Somalia. We continue to be
concerned that their efforts remain hampered by insecurity,
roadblocks, and inter-clan conflict. We reiterate our call
on all parties to facilitate access for the delivery of
life-saving humanitarian aid to those in need.
-- Ultimately, the return of lasting peace and stability in
Somalia, including an end to the long-standing humanitarian
emergency, can only be achieved through a comprehensive
political solution based on the Transitional Federal Charter.
The United States continues to support the deployment of the
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to achieve this
objective. We also reiterate the need for robust contingency
planning by DPKO to prepare for the possible transition to a
UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
-- On the Ogaden, the United States urges the Ethiopian
government to open commercial trade routes to the Somali
Region to prevent a humanitarian crisis from deepening.