Cablegate: New Attacks in Jonglei State Pose Destabilizing Threat To

DE RUEHKH #1076/01 2661454
O 231454Z SEP 09



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: New Attacks in Jonglei State Pose Destabilizing Threat to
Peace in Southern Sudan

1. (U) Summary: Attacks by Luo Nuer on a Dinka village in Duk Padiet
county in Jonglei on September 20 have raised new concerns over the
destabilizing effects of militia activity in Jonglei state and
overall security in southern Sudan. While local authorities
attempted to negotiate an agreement with the armed Lou Nuer youth up
until the evening of September 19, their efforts failed. The
attacks resulted in the deaths of approximately 72 civilians and
security forces, and many more injured as of September 22. The UN,
along with GOSS representatives, undertook an assessment in Jonglei
on September 21 to address immediate security and humanitarian
issues. The UN has agreed to airlift SPLA troops into the region to
ensure security. End Summary.

New Attack in Jonglei Leaves 72 Dead

2. (SBU) During the September 22 UN Security Management Team (SMT)
meeting, the UN confirmed that 72 people were killed in a September
20 attack by Lou Nuer on Dinka Hol tribe in Duk Padiet, Jonglei
State, but that numbers may increase in coming days. The UN, along
with Minister of Interior Gier Chuang Aluong and Jonglei Governor
General Koul Manyang Juuk, made an assessment of Duk Padiet village
on September 21. The attack took place after the deputy governor's
attempt to stop the attack through talks with the leader of the
armed Lou Nuer youth--a former member of an Other Armed Group (OAG)
and disaffected ex-SPLA--broke down on the evening of September 19.
The deputy governor had been in talks with the youth since September
14, and had informed the UN that an agreement was close to
conclusion, hence the failure of the UN to intervene, reported David
Gressly, UN Regional Coordinator.

Attack on Duk Padiet

3. (SBU) Initial reports claim that anywhere from 1,000 to 4,700
Lou Nuer armed youth attacked Duk Padiet at 11:30am on September 20
and seized the village for just over an hour and a half. The youth
came from three Jonglei counties: Akobo West, Nyirol and Uror.
Initial reports claim that the armed youth were dressed in military
uniforms armed with G-3 rifles and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs);
however, Gressly could not confirm this information. Speculation
on the cause of the attack continues, as it was the second of its
kind by Lou-Nuer on a Dinka Hol tribe, and there were no cattle in
the area.

4. (SBU) Just before reaching Duk Padiet, the armed Lou Nuer youth
split into three groups, one attacking the administrative
headquarters straight on, the other two groups flanking the area.
The joint UN/GOSS assessment confirmed that the attack appears to
have directly targeted the GOSS organized security forces-including
SPLA, police and prison security-- which is very different from
pervious inter-ethnic attacks. The attackers were repelled after
they ran out of ammunition and the SPLA, police and armed civilians
counterattacked and drove the Lou Nuer out of the area.

Humanitarian Repercussions

5. (U) During the attack, thousands of people fled, 260 tukuls were
burned down and the World Food Program (WFP) warehouse was
ransacked, but very little stolen. The assessment team reports that
most women and children had already fled south-west before the
attack, although their present location cannot be confirmed. As of
September 22, Duk Padiet is currently at UN Security Level 4 for
another 48 hours when it will be reviewed again and possibly lowered
to Level 3.

UN/GOSS Response

6. (U) In response to the attacks, the SPLA is sending
reinforcements to the area. The assessment team reports that the
SPLA is in control of the county, and that the attackers have
retreated, but it is unclear whether they are regrouping and
planning a new attack. UNMIS is using helicopters to evacuate the
wounded out of the area to Juba for medical assistance. UNMIS is
also airlifting SPLA troops into Duk Padiet to reinforce the
government's presence.

Jonglei Stabilization Plan and Peace Process

7. (SBU) The UN and local government authorities continue to work
towards stabilizing the situation among fighting tribes in the
Jonglei area. The Jonglei Governor's office plans to hold an
inter-tribal reconciliation conference in early October with Dinka,
Murle and Lou Nuer groups. Similarly, UNDP and UNMIS Civil Affairs
continue to facilitate peace conferences for fighting tribes in
Jonglei. Lastly, UNDP and Jonglei state held a workshop with UN

KHARTOUM 00001076 002 OF 002

agencies, GOSS representatives and USAID on the Sudan Recovery Fund
Phase 3 plan in Bor, Jonglei on Septembeb 12-13. The meetings
focused on setting priorities for use of $15-17 million of donor
funds to promote peace and stability programs in the area.
Participants concluded that roads and radio projects are the top
two priorities.

8. (SBU) Comment: The recent attacks in Duk Padiet are of concern
due to the changing nature of the attacks. The latter have shifted
from traditional cattle raiding to more targeted attacks on GOSS
security forces, with the apparent aim of provoking further
violence. Moreover, Jonglei peace initiatives are useless without
follow-up on agreements reached between groups, sustained UN
presence to protect civilians and a clear chain of command within
the GOSS on responsibility for civilian welfare and protection.
Lastly, the SPLA's reliance on UN logistical support to undertake
internal security raises concerns about the GOSS' security
ccapacity. It may also potentially impact perceptions of UN
neutrality. End comment.

© Scoop Media

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