Cablegate: Response to Self-Deployment of Egyptian Troops To
PP RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHEG #2133 2741350
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301350Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0584
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0223
RUCNUNP/UN PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1219
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 002133
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA, AF/SPG
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2018
TAGS: PREL KPKO MASS SU EG
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO SELF-DEPLOYMENT OF EGYPTIAN TROOPS TO
REF: STATE 102405
Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs William R. Stewart for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Summary: The UN Office Director at the Egyptian MFA told us on September 29 that Egypt would like to self-deploy its troops to UNAMID, but highlighted that there were problems with UN regulations and UNAMID operations that prevent this. He suggested holding a working-level meeting between UN representatives and those countries that are involved in UNAMID to resolve deployment and logistical problems. End Summary.
2.(SBU) We met with UN Affairs Office Director Yasser el-Naggar on September 29, and told him that the USG understands that Egypt has the ability to self-deploy its troops to Darfur as part of UNAMID and that the U.S. would support Egypt in self-deploying (reftel). We also requested that the Government of Egypt (GOE) ask the UN for authorization and reimbursement for self-deployment.
3.(C) El Naggar told us that Egypt would like to self-deploy its troops to Darfur, but was skeptical that the UN is ready for Egyptian self-deployment. He opined that the UN is overwhelmed by the number of peacekeeping missions, and is not well-equipped in Darfur. El Naggar said that UN troops are ill-prepared to perform their duties, lack infrastructure within the UN military camps, and do not possess the equipment necessary to perform their duties. El Nagger told us that during previous deployments of its troops to Darfur, the UN required the GOE to use specific shipping companies, and due to this, he said that most of the Egyptian equipment including water extraction devices, tractors, and loaders arrived in Darfur "horribly damaged." He stated that UN regulations, such as the shipping regulation, effectively prohibit self-deployment. El Naggar also told us that covering the cost of self-deployment is difficult because the UN reimbursement process is extremely onerous.
4.(C) Despite problems with the UN, el-Naggar said that Egypt remains committed to providing troops to UNAMID. He said that GOE commitment to UNAMID includes support from President Mubarak, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. El Naggar told us that Egypt finished deploying two companies of engineers in August, one of which is working with the Nigerian Force Commander and the other is assigned to the Egyptian battalion. He stated that Egypt's dedication to UNAMID led it to commit to the deployment of a second battalion. However, el-Naggar said that the process of UN approval was slow, stating that the UN still had not finalized the MOU on the deployment of the second Egyptian battalion.
5.(C) El Naggar said that the UN's push to deploy 80 percent of the UNAMID troops by year's end was not possible as it ignored the reality of deployment problems on the ground. He suggested that there needs to be a working-level meeting with representatives from the UN Secretariat, "Friends of UNAMID" such as the U.S., U.K., France etc., and the troop-contributing countries to discuss deployment issues and resolve deployment and logistical problems.
6.(C) Comment: El Naggar is frustrated with the lack of progress on the deployment of Egypt's forces to UNAMID, and he blames the UN for all the delays. However, it is unclear if the GOE has the will to self-deploy its troops, even if all hurdles could be overcome and the UN were to approve the self-deployment, due to a large extent in a lack of trust in the UN PKO system. TUELLER