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Cablegate: Goss Renegotiates Ddr Agreement

VZCZCXRO0286
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1716/01 3311259
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261259Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2412
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001716

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG
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: GOSS RENEGOTIATES DDR AGREEMENT

1. (SBU) Summary: In a letter to the UN dated November 16, GOSS Vice
President Riek Machar withdrew GOSS agreement to a Demobilization,
Disarmament and Reintegration program it had previously signed with
the UN last June in Geneva. Southern Sudan DDR Commission
Chairperson William Deng Deng, in a conversation with ConGen Juba on
November 24, blamed himself for the problem, saying that he had not
properly coordinated information sharing within the GOSS, resulting
in confusion over what the document committed them to do.
Disagreements over how the donor funded Reintegration Trust Fund in
the agreement is to be "co-managed" by the UN and GOSS subsequently
stirred anger and suspicion within the GOSS over the role of the
GOSS as a true partner in the process. End Summary.

2. (SBU) In a letter to the UN dated November 16 GOSS Vice President
Riek Machar withdrew GOSS agreement to a DDR paper signed by the
GOSS Minister of Regional Cooperation with the UN last June in
Geneva. The letter laid out concerns about how UNDP and the GOSS
are to "co-manage" a reintegration trust fund to be established by
the donor community to fund the program. According to a UN source,
Machar insisted that clarifications needed to be made by UNDP to
ensure that the GOSS is treated as an equal partner in the decision
making process concerning the use of the money, and not as a
"dependent client subservient to the dictates of a paternal UN
organization."

3. (SBU) Sources within the UN admitted to ConGen Juba on November
24 that the problem is partly, in fact, of UNDP's making. First,
there are no UNDP representatives in Juba; the program is
administered by UNDP from Khartoum. This Northern optic
automatically raises suspicions on the part of the South, which were
greatly magnified when it was discovered that the agreement
presented to the GOSS in Geneva was missing language concerning the
co-management (UNDP-GOSS) of the Reintegration Trust Fund that had
been agreed to. While it is said the omission was accidental, the
GOSS was pressured in Geneva to sign the document anyway, which it
reluctantly did with assurances that the error would be rectified. .
The missing language was subsequently reinstated, but the damage
to GOSS confidence in UNDP's intentions had already been done.

4. (SBU) The misunderstanding resulted in senior GOSS leaders
subsequently taking a much closer look at the agreement following
the signing. With their reservations aggravated by past perceived
slights by UNDP and the suspicion that the dropping of the missing
text had been intentional, GOSS doubts culminated in the Machar
letter placing the agreement on hold while the GOSS seeks
reassurances on exactly how the Reintegration Trust Fund is to be
"co-managed". The GOSS is also asking for clarification on its
role as an equal partner in the program. The GOSS complained that
the UNDP is using too much of the Trust Fund to build up its own
capacity instead of using the money to build up GOSS capacity.

5. (SBU) UN sources told ConGen Juba on November 24 that they were
hopeful that the situation could be remedied to everyone's
satisfaction and the program put back on track. They promised to
get back to ConGen Juba with additional updates as new meetings are
held to address GOSS concerns.

6. (SBU) Comment: Once again the GOSS has demonstrated that its lack
of experience as a national entity and its thin managerial capacity
at the top lead it to make mistakes. First, there was the admitted
lack of coordination of information sharing within the GOSS by the
SSDDRC Chairman, followed by a GOSS minister once again allowing
himself to be pushed to sign an agreement that did not meet his
expectations (reminiscent of how the GOSS got into trouble with the
census agreement.) This was followed by a senior leadership
decision to renege on the signing pending demands for further
assurances and clarifications; in short, a renegotiation of the
agreement. This is not how a mature government operates, but it is
the reality of the circumstances of the Government of Southern
Sudan. Those who deal with it must be prepared to have the patience
to seek comprehensive buy-in and help the GOSS do its homework.
So far the DDR program snafu has mostly been an internal matter that
has not raised much attention. One hopes it can be fixed before
any real damage is done to donor willingness to fund the
Reintegration package in the agreement, and before relations between
the GOSS and UNDP are further strained. Given its financial straits
and the lack of real economic alternatives in the South, the GOSS
needs to cultivate rather than alienate these international
partners.

7. (SBU) Comment Continued: UNMIS DDR Chief Adrian Verheul told
polchief on November 23 that he was confident the concerns of the
GOSS could be addressed, and appeared eager to work with UNDP and
the GOSS to resolve the problem. As the first phase of the DDR
program is in the interests of the GOSS (assisting war-wounded and

KHARTOUM 00001716 002 OF 002


demobilizing those veterans who are past retirement,) we anticipate
that the GOSS will eventually allow the program to go forward.
However there is little appetite in the North or the South to cut
deeper into the SAF and SPLA and demobilize the 160,000 troops
(80,000 on each side) that are called for in the CPA.

FERNANDEZ

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