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Cablegate: Un Secretariat On Darfur: Very Bad, Getting Worse

VZCZCXRO9065
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHGI RUEHIK
RUEHJO RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPOD RUEHRN
RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0634/01 1990044
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170044Z JUL 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4622
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000634

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPKO UNSC SU
SUBJECT: UN SECRETARIAT ON DARFUR: VERY BAD, GETTING WORSE

REF: USUN 617

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. U/SYG Guehenno told the Security Council
on July 16 that the security situation in Darfur is dire.
He described widespread and generalized violence, disregard
of the Darfur Peace Agreement, 200,000 additional civilians
displaced this year, fragmentation and proliferation of rebel
groups, and a non-existent peace process. He said UNAMID
deployment stood at 40 percent of authorized strength, but
insisted the UN goal of 80 percent deployment in calendar
year 2008 might still be achieved if troop contributions and
logistics fell quickly into place. He said the International
Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor's request for an arrest
warrant against Sudanese President Bashir could provoke
reactions on the ground and could change drastically the UN's
modus vivendi with the Government of Sudan. Member states
generally echoed Guehenno's pessimism. Several mentioned the
ICC proceedings against Bashir with South Africa, Russia,
China, and Libya highly critical of their timing and Belgium,
Costa Rica, Croatia and Italy praising the court. The
Council approved a UK-drafted PRST condemning the 8 July
attack against UNAMID peacekeepers. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) United Nations Under Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Jean-Marie briefed the
Security Council in closed consultations on July 16 on
developments in Darfur since April. Guehenno reported
widespread baseline violence punctuated by dramatic spikes in
violence including a late April/early May bombing campaign by
Sudanese armed forces, a May 10-11 Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) assault on GOS forces, a July 13 cross-border
JEM assault, inter-tribal fighting that has displaced 800
families near Nyala. He said 205,000 civilians had been
displaced since January 1, nine humanitarian workers have
been killed, and 170 international vehicles have been
hijacked. He said the Darfur Peace Agreement is being
routinely ignored by signatories and actively undermined by
non-signatory groups. He said rebel groups continue to
fragment with the URF rebel group most recently splintered
into three factions, adding further to the general security
chaos. He was equally downbeat about the political process
but noted that Burkina Faso Foreign Minister and new UN/AU
joint Djibil Bassole takes up his difficult assignment on
July 18.

3. (SBU) Guehenno reported that the main body of 170 Chinese
engineers will soon deploy along with an advance party of
Egyptian engineers and an advance party of Ethiopian
infantry. He put the total UNAMID deployment at 11,584
personnel, 40 percent of its authorized strength. He
insisted that the Secretary-General's goal of 80 percent
deployment in calendar year 2008 remains achievable but
allowed that reaching that goal would require arriving troops
to attain an improved level of self-sufficiency, improvements
in the road between Port Sudan and Darfur, and improved
contractor performance. (NOTE. DPKO staff later more
expressly fingered the American company PA&E as seriously
underperforming. END NOTE.)

4. (SBU) Guehenno matter-of-factly noted two Darfur
developments postdating the SYG's July 7 report -- the July 8
attack on a UNAMID military and police convoy (reftel) and
the July 14 request by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
prosecutor for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President
Bashir. He thought the ICC proceedings could produce
reactions on the ground and could even force a new UN modus
vivendi with the Government of Sudan that could ultimately
compel the Security Council "to make tough decisions."

5. (SBU) Member states were subdued and brief in reaction to
Guehenno's briefing with most echoing his pessimism. Several
commented on the ICC proceedings. South Africa cited the
African Union's statement of July 11 that "the search for
justice should be pursued in a way that does not impede or
jeopardize efforts aimed at promoting lasting peace." Libya
also noted the AU statement and expressly called on the
Council to "halt this (ICC) initiative before it undermines
the peace effort." China said that rebels, rather than the
Government of Sudan, were the chief threat to UNAMID's
successful deployment, and emphasized the threat that the ICC
action could damage UN-GOS cooperation while emboldening
rebels. Russia did not directly mention the AU statement
but emphasized that the indictments posed a risk to stability
in the region and urged the Council to think of ways it could
send a stabilizing message. In contrast, Belgium, Costa
Rica, Croatia and Italy specifically praised the ICC for its
work and called on the Council to respect the independence of
the ICC and the application filed by the office of the
prosecutor.


USUN NEW Y 00000634 002 OF 002


6. (SBU) Council members approved a UK-drafted Presidential
Statement condemning the July 8 attack on UNAMID peacekeepers
in the strongest possible terms and calling on the Government
of Sudan to do its utmost to ensure that the attack's
perpetrators were brought to justice.
Khalilzad

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