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Cablegate: Se Williamson Meeting with David Gressly, Unmis Regional

VZCZCXRO7645
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1209/01 2240914
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110914Z AUG 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1563
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001209

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, A/S FRAZER, 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: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SE WILLIAMSON MEETING WITH DAVID GRESSLY, UNMIS REGIONAL
COORDINATOR, SOUTHERN SUDAN

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) On August 9, Special Envoy Williamson met with David
Gressly, UNMIS Regional Coordinator for Southern Sudan, to discuss
the situation in Abyei and the ICC indictment. During the meeting
in Khartoum, Gressly cited recent successes in the political
situation throughout Sudan. However, he expressed concern about
continuing border tensions and the possible impact of an ICC arrest
warrant against President Bashir.

----------------------
SOME PROGRESS IN ABYEI
----------------------

2. (SBU) Gressly noted there had been modest progress in Abyei,
including the redeployment of troops on both sides. To date, a small
SAF force remains in Difra, he said, and a residual SPLA military
police force lingers in Agok. Joint integrated units (JIUs) are in
place in Abyei town. They plan to deploy north to Difra and south
to Agok following the complete withdrawal of SAF and SPLA forces.
The GOS mobilized joint integrated police units (JIPUs);
nevertheless, Gressly reported that the JIPUs continue to suffer
from "logistical constraints", including lack of food. The
government has appointed an interim administration for Abyei. The
SPLM Administrator (Arop Mayak Toj) is the current
Disarmament-Demobilization-Reintegration (DDR) Commissioner for the
South, while his deputy is Rahama Al-Nur of the NCP. According to
Gressly, unfortunately Arop is not known for being a strong
administrator.

3. (SBU) Regarding returnees, Gressly predicted that current rainy
season and its flooding could push people back into Abyei town
because the town sits on a plateau. Gressly stated that people will
return despite the lack of services (schools, health clinics, etc.)
currently available in Abyei. He added that security concerns for
relief agencies working in the area may be "overplayed," and that
donors need to encourage implementing partners to return to Abyei.
According to Gressly's assessment, effective deployment of JIPUs
will be key to avoiding future conflict and UNMIS should provide
protection to facilitate voluntary returns (more than the JIUs).

4. (SBU) Gressly informed the SE that the UNMIS "post Abyei flare
up" investigation was beginning. He said UNMIS needed to have a
better understanding of its mandate to protect civilians, and to
determine if organizational capacity will allow UNMIS to meet this
mandate. The SE noted that the current UNMIS deployments have
insufficient forces positioned in the most potentially explosive
areas. Gressly confirmed that UNMIS has adjusted to the needs with
a force increase of 200. He also stated that there needs to be a
recognition of events leading to the recent conflict so that earlier
intervention is possible in the future.

5. (SBU) Gressly expressed concern that there are still several
crisis points where conflict would erupt along the North/South
border in Southern Kordofan and even Darfur. Forces along the
border in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile State need to be reduced
to peace-time levels in accordance with the CPA. Although the SPLA
will never fully withdraw as long as SAF forces are in the area,
there needs to be some push on DDR efforts to bring the SPLA into
compliance. Since many of the SPLA troops on the border are from
that area, the best solution is not to move them away from the
border, but to demobilize them - however the SPLA resists this.
They need reintegration assistance in developing livelihood skills
or returning to farming.

------------------------------------
ICC INDICTMENT- "GOOD BEHAVIOR TIME"
------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Addressing the July 14 decision by the ICC to pursue an
indictment against President Bashir, Gressly postulated that the ICC
indictment has actually created a window of opportunity between ICC
Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo's announcement of his request for an
arrest warrant against President Bashir and either the issuance of
the warrant or passage of an Article 16 resolution by the Security
Council. He referred to this period as "good behavior time."
According to Gressly, UNMIS operations have eased since the arrest
warrant request. He highlighted movement on the Abyei roadmap,
including the withdrawal of the 31st division and agreement on the
interim administration, as evidence that the GOS is attempting to
demonstrate more cooperation. Gressly opined that the international
community should look for ways to extend that window of opportunity

KHARTOUM 00001209 002 OF 002


to extract further steps by the NCP towards solving Sudan's
problems. Additionally, he warned that if it becomes clear that
there will be no Article 16 resolution to postpone the ICC's case,
the situation in Darfur may become very difficult, and the GOS may
mobilize the local Darfuri population that supports Bashir. The
reaction would likely be less severe in the South where supply lines
from East Africa still exist, and the lines could extend all the way
into Darfur.

7. (U) SE Williamson cleared this cable prior to transmission.

FERNANDEZ

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