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Cablegate: Unamid Deployment Update

VZCZCXRO3300
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1577/01 2981134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241134Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2164
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001577

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG, AF/E
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
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: UNAMID DEPLOYMENT UPDATE

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1507

1. (SBU) Summary: Despite minor setbacks, UNAMID deployment appears
to be on track; end of year deployment goals should be met. As of
October 22, UNAMID had received more than 50 percent of expected
Darfur staffing with a combined total of 13,700 UNAMID military,
police and civilian staff. Deployment of the Egyptian and Ethiopian
Battalions has been slow and at times contentious, but should be
completed soon. UNAMID welcomes U.S. airlift support, but has
concerns about overburdening local airports. End summary.

2. (SBU) Poloffs spoke with Wolfgang Weiszegger, Deputy Director of
Mission Support, and LTC Rick Thompson, UNAMID Logistics Officer on
October 22 to review the latest developments in UNAMID deployment.

Deployment Goals
-----------------
3. (SBU) Both contacts agree that sixty percent deployment by the
end of 2008 is achievable, although Thompson feels the El Geneina
deployment timeline may have to be pushed back one or two weeks due
to the effects of bad weather on road conditions and airlift
capacity. In anticipation of better weather, UNAMID has just
released task orders for commercial contractor "Agility" to
transport contingent-owned equipment (COE) from El Obeid to El
Geneina. Weisgegger stated that, as of October 22, UNAMID had
received more than 50 per cent of expected Darfur staffing with a
combined total of 13,700 UNAMID military, police and civilian staff.


Equipment Movement and GoS Cooperation
--------------------------------------
4. (SBU) Weiszegger noted recent progress in resolving outstanding
backlogged container transportation issues. UNAMID has also
resolved the contracting mechanism problem for transportation
companies for West Darfur, and contractors will begin shipments on
November 1. Weiszegger recently signed a contract for two IL-76s to
make 200 sorties "which will really help complement our land
deliveries to the west." Thompson confirmed that equipment is
moving, but said it was contingent on GoS cooperation, which
"depends on the area, the subject and the day." Customs clearances
have been steady, but lack of communication between national and
local authorities have led to delays in container movements.
Recently, the Wali of West Darfur wanted to open all UNAMID
containers before allowing them to transit the state. However,
UNAMID requested national government intervention, and the
containers were moved after a day or two without the disruption.

5. (SBU) Weisgegger said communication within the GoS needs to be
improved. He appreciated the presence of a GoS Major General and
two Colonels in Nyala and Geneina who are focusing just on
coordination with UNAMID. Thompson said GoS collaboration is best
where UNAMID provides funding and materials such as the El Geniena
Airport rehabilitation project. However, the promised 24/7
operation (not for flights, but for preparations) at the airfield is
still lip-service as airport officials claim to lack funding for
staff. Airport management has reportedly asked repeatedly for
additional funds.

6. (SBU) Obtaining visas in a timely fashion continues to be an
nagging impediment to deployment, though there have been some
improvements. Weiszegger noted the GoS granted and renewed over
three hundred visas from Oct 12-16; however there is noticeable
discrimination against many Western countries. A Swedish contingent
has been waiting for visas since April 30, and a German contingent
has been waiting since July. French and American staff officer
visas are also pending. Weiszegger lamented, "After we meet to
discuss visa issues, they approve one or two, but they have never
issued all the visas we requested". Weiszegger also noted that it
would be better for UNAMID if visas were rejected rather than held
up, "as we could submit new applications for other individuals, but
they will never tell us 'no' outright as this would be a SOFA
violation."

U.S.-Provided Airlift Support
------------------------------
7. (SBU) Potential U.S. air support is greatly appreciated by UNAMID
HQ. However, there are concerns that the airports may be unable to
handle additional aircraft - especially overnight - as they are
already close to capacity. The logistics of the airlift will have to
be coordinated carefully given the constraints on the ground.

FPUs
-----
8. (SBU) Over the last week, UNAMID received long-awaited Indonesian
and Nepalese Formed Police Units (FPUs) which should improve

KHARTOUM 00001577 002 OF 002


security at more IDP camps. The Nepalese are in temporary
accommodations until they move to their assigned position in the
Nyala super camp. The 140-strong Indonesian FPU arrived Oct 9
before their British sub-contractors built their camp. Their
equipment, with the exception of APCs, is in place. The British
contractors did not submit visa applications until last week so they
still lack visas. The contractors estimate they will require
approximately 30 days from arrival to build the camp using
prefabricated buildings. Meanwhile, the Indonesians have been
working with UNAMID to make use of PAE engineers to accomplish
preliminary engineering to flatten a hill to accommodate their
equipment. Upcoming deployments of Bangladeshi and Egyptian units
are still on track.

Egyptian and Ethiopian Battalion Deployment
-------------------------------------------
9. (SBU) Weiszegger noted that deployment of the Ethiopian battalion
is slow-going. Load lists of equipment for the second Ethiopian
battalion and a Senegalese battalion are due this week. If this
information is not received this week, it could jeopardize the
arrival of 350 Ethiopians troops in February, and 450 more in March.


10. (SBU) Lt. Col. Thompson characterized the Egyptians as "prima
donnas." The Egyptians agreed to the "Brown Field" concept under
which they would build their own camp, but are now insisting moving
into a completed camp in Um Kadada (east of El Fasher) where a
Rwandan battalion is currently housed, instead of showing a
willingness to build their own camp. However, Thompson concedes
that UNAMID contributed to the problem by not delivering all of the
Egyptians' equipment as promised (and much that was delivered was
damaged). The displaced Rwandans were moved to the El Fasher super
camp. They are occupying a 500-space area in the transit camp that
has been rushed into service until UNAMID can complete permanent
facilities in the super camp in December.

Comment
--------
11. (SBU) Although UNAMID appears to be on track with current
deployment timelines, meeting these goals is heavily dependent on
cooperation with the GOS - thus continued pressure and engagement
with the regime will be essential. Nonetheless, UNAMID continues to
make significant progress in terms of logistics and administration.
UNAMID must begin to more fully address its strategy for fulfilling
its humanitarian mandate, however. DATT and polchief will travel to
El Fasher next week to discuss core mission elements such as
protection and verification/monitoring with senior UNAMID officers.

FERNANDEZ

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