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Cablegate: Ddr Progresses: Chanting Hakama Women Urge Their Men To

VZCZCXRO8074
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1296 2381517
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251517Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1721
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001296

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON
NSC FOR BPITTMAN AND CHUDSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU SU
SUBJECT: DDR PROGRESSES: CHANTING HAKAMA WOMEN URGE THEIR MEN TO
WAGE PEACE, NOT WAR

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1071
B) KHARTOUM 987
C) KHARTOUM 927
D) KHARTOUM 517

1. (U) On August 20, Emboffs traveled to the South Kordofan village
of Lagawa, to attend a ceremony sponsored by the UN Demobilization,
Disarmament and Re-integration (DDR) Unit, celebrating the final
performance of the Lagawa "Hakamat" and the distribution of goats to
its members.

2. (U) The Hakamat are traditional women singers of the Arab tribes
of Darfur and Kordofan. In peacetime, the Hakamat sing the praises
of local leaders and notables, in return for a gratuity. (If a
reward is not forthcoming, they instead deride their subjects in
scathing terms.) In wartime, Hakamat publicly chant demands that
village men go into battle, demeaning the manhood of any who show
reluctance. Tribal leaders told poloff that no man could ignore the
Hakama call to battle as "their manhood and marriage prospects were
at stake." Hakama women have performed this role both in Sudan's
civil war and in Darfur.

3. (U) Following the signing of the CPA, UN DDR started a program
seeking to change the Hakama cultural practice of inciting war. "It
had to be subtle but persuasive," said UN DDR Program Manager Basil
Massey. Taking advantage of the fact that in the years after the
civil war, the surrounding areas remained dangerous for anyone to
travel far from their home village, UN DDR arranged for UN
peacekeepers to convoy 30 women to a workshop explaining the CPA.
"The workshop on the CPA was far less important than the joyous
reunion of the women that ensued", said Massey.

4. (U) Yet despite an initial positive response to the workshop,
village leaders, local government officials, and other Hakama women
remained reluctant to further endorse UNDP's DDR programs.
Undaunted, the UN continued to offer economic-support programs to
villagers, while Kadugli-based UN peacekeepers patrolled
aggressively. Now, all villagers in the Lagawa area are able to
travel freely, even at night, said Egyptian UN
peacekeeping-battalion commander Colonel Sayed Abd el-Hady. Yet
without a political commitment at the national level, local support
remained tenuous, said Massey.

5. (U) That commitment came, according to Massey, with the arrival
of Ameera Haq as Deputy UNSRSG. He said that Haq made it a point to
listen to (while not necessarily agreeing with) Bashir-government
officials. For example, Massey said that when GOS officials
objected to UN Human Rights reports and references to GOS military
intelligence practices, Haq defended the reporting saying that
"human rights reporting is what the UN does, and we are going to
continue to do it," but added that she would refer to military
intelligence activities as coming from "government security forces."
Massey claimed that for the first time the GOS officials began to
feel they were being listened to and not ignored. With support at
national level, any local hesitancy to support UNDP's DDR programs
"vanished," claimed Massey.

6. (U) On August 20, UNDP ceremonially presented a herd of goats to
each Zaghawa Hakama woman for publicly renouncing their traditional
chanting for war, while publicly announcing their commitment to
peace. Amidst the Hakama women chanting "Yes to peace, no to war,"
while stomping the ground and shouting, Massey highlighted that
while the distribution of the goats served to increase the Hakamat
financial stake in overall peace, the public ceremony also
underscored their public commitment and reputation in support of
peace and not war.

7. (SBU) Comment: While UNDP's Hakama women's program is small and
affects only the villages in the immediate area, it represents a
successful use of economic, military and diplomatic efforts to
change attitudes away from war towards peace. Massey said that he
employed this integrative model successfully in Afghanistan, where
he enticed different warring tribes to meet and socialize over
several days, promoted mutual economic interaction and shared
economic stakes, coordinated with the military to provide security,
and sought higher level political commitment. For DDR in Sudan to
be successful, UN DDR will have to duplicate this model on a larger
scale and in very remote locations. While UN DDR has made it past
some initial hurdles of acceptance by the regime and local
communities, it now must move forward with its DDR plan, assuming
that donors are able to fund the required USD 385 million, and that
significant numbers of armed elements remain willing to disarm.

ASQUINO

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