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Cablegate: Unamid Not Permitted Access to Conduct Assessment of Korma,

VZCZCXRO2589
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1077 2661518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231518Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4453
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001077

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: UNAMID NOT PERMITTED ACCESS TO CONDUCT ASSESSMENT OF KORMA,
NORTH DARFUR, FOLLOWING SAF-REBEL CLASHES

REF: KHARTOUM 1035

1. (SBU) UNAMID sources reported on September 23 that the UN has not
yet conducted a security assessment of Korma, North Darfur,
following unconfirmed reports of clashes between the Sudanese Armed
Forces (SAF) and Darfuri rebels aligned with Sudanese Liberation
Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW). According to an official in the UN
Department of Safety and Security, UNAMID has attempted to reach the
area since the clashes last week. However, Government of Sudan
(GOS) officials in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher continue to
prevent any UN travel to the area on the grounds that the SAF is
conducting an ongoing military operation there (Note: The GOS
customarily prohibits UNAMID and international NGO travel to areas
of conflict well after the conflict has ceased. End note.)

2. (SBU) On September 23, a UNAMID spokesperson was unable to
confirm numbers quoted by leaders of internally displaced persons
that 75 villages were looted and over 20 civilians were killed in
SAF attacks on rebel-held territory in North Darfur. Additionally,
SLA/AW rebel leaders in the area were not available by satellite
phone when Poloff attempted to confirm or refute the claims made in
the press by the Paris-based leadership of SLA/AW.

3. (SBU) Comment: The GOS regularly denies UNAMID access to conduct
on-the-ground security assessments following any fighting among the
various armed parties in Darfur. As seen in Jebel Marra frequently
over the last two years, and in Wadaa, North Darfur, last February,
the UN has limited visibility throughout Darfur due to the inability
of senior UNAMID leadership has failed to obtain access to
rebel-held areas. In contrast, thanks to the regular flow of
information that emerged from Um Barro, North Darfur, in May, and
Muhajeriya, South Darfur, in January, UN senior leadership succeeded
in making timely policy decisions that restricted the scale and
scope of SAF retaliation. It can be argued that this, in turn,
limited the number of civilian casualties. End Comment.

4. (U) Post will provide updates via septels as information becomes
available on this most recent round of fighting in North Darfur.

WHITEHEAD

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