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Cablegate: Remainder of Chinese Engineering Contingent Arrives In

VZCZCXRO0611
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1085 2000846
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180846Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1376
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001085

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF/SPG, S/CRS, SE WILLIAMSON, NSC FOR
BPITTMAN AND CHUDSON
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: REMAINDER OF CHINESE ENGINEERING CONTINGENT ARRIVES IN
DARFUR

REF: (A) KHARTOUM 992
(B) KHARTOUM 986
(C) KHARTOUM 965
(D) BEIJING 2529
(E) 07 KHARTOUM 1735

1. (SBU) Summary: Completing a slow process which began in
mid-November 2007, the remainder of the 315-troop Chinese
engineering unit arrived as anticipated on July 17 for their
deployment in Nyala. The Chinese Embassy reported that UNAMID
continues to experience logistical problems in delivering materials
for construction of the Chinese contingent accommodations. End
summary.

2. (SBU) According to UNAMID contacts, UN-AU JSR Rudolphe Adada and
UNAMID Force Commander Martin Luther Agwai flew to Nyala on July 17
to greet 175 Chinese engineers, whose arrival brings the total
Chinese contingent to their full 315-troop strength. Chinese
Defense Attache Dong Jian Dong told poloff on July 8 about his
continued frustrations in preparing for the arrival of the Chinese
troops. For example, he said that UNMIS in Khartoum no longer
coordinates air clearances for UNAMID flights, nor provides lodging
assistance for those in transit to Darfur. (Note: He seemed
dissatisfied with the UNAMID logistical office in Khartoum, but our
observation has been that the mere presence of the office has
improved traditionally bad coordination somewhat. End note.)

3. (SBU) Asked if the Nyala super-camp facilities would be ready for
the 175 additional Chinese troops, Dong said that some of the
materials for their accommodations have not yet arrived in Nyala.
He said it took four months to move 140 containers from Khartoum to
El-Obeid, and now they await transportation to Nyala. He said that
UNAMID is considering moving the 140 containers by air but UNAMID
does not have planes with sufficient lift capacity for 100 of the
140 containers, some of which can weigh as much as 22 tons. He said
that some of the containers will have to be re-packed but this would
be time-consuming and might damage the materials.

4. (SBU) Dong said that overland transport from El-Obeid to Nyala is
a preferred option were it not for the Darfur-border choke point
where convoys wait, sometimes for many weeks, until military/police
escorts are arranged. UN Joint Logistics Operations Center (JLOC)
Chief David Pittfield said that there is no single solution to the
problem of transporting cargo to Nyala. He said that a number of
issues ranging from insufficient trucking capacity resulting from
the rampant hijacking of truck to overly bureaucratic customs
regulations which prevents the smooth flow of materiel to Darfur.

5. (SBU) Dong claimed the Government of China approved the temporary
redeployment of 95 UNMIS Chinese engineers based in Wau (in South
Sudan) to Nyala for one month, but that UMMIS was reluctant to
redeploy these troops. He also said UNAMID had not been able to
arrange transportation to move the engineers and their equipment
from their base in Wau to Nyala.

7. (SBU) Comment: The arrival of the Chinese engineers in spite of
UNAMID's security concerns is a positive sign that Adada and Agwai
plan to push for continued deployment (or perhaps that it was too
late to delay their arrival plans). Huge logistical challenges
continue to plague UNAMID, as many of the containers required for
camp construction still have not arrived. UNAMID should coordinate
more closely with WFP, which, despite the considerable obstacles,
has been able to maintain a flow of containers into Darfur. The two
organizations have met and conferred, but UNAMID does not have
anywhere near the logistical savvy of WFP.

FERNANDEZ

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