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Cablegate: Unamid Closer to Full Deployment, but Still Facing

VZCZCXRO6893
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1102/01 2720931
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290931Z SEP 09 ZDK CTG NUMEROUS REQUESTS
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4482
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001102

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LELLIS
DEPT PASS TO USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PHUM PREF KPKO AU SU
SUBJECT: UNAMID CLOSER TO FULL DEPLOYMENT, BUT STILL FACING
OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES

REF A) KHARTOUM 1035
B) N'DJAMENA 381

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In a September 13 visit to the El Fasher
headquarters of the United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID), UNAMID leadership told Special Envoy (SE) Gration that
they are working vigorously to shift the mission's focus from
deployment to employment. The force is now 75 percent deployed and
conducting up to 100 patrols per day, but peacekeepers are still
struggling with rules of engagement and anti-ambush procedures, they
said. UNAMID is also hindered by an unpredictable security situation
and restrictions on access imposed by the Government of Sudan's
(GOS) security apparatus. The porous nature of the Chad-Sudan border
remains a significant security challenge. UNAMID officials also
confirmed the recent movement of Chadian armed opposition elements
away from border areas into North Darfur. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On September 13, SE Gration visited UNAMID headquarters in
El Fasher for meetings with UNAMID leadership, including
newly-appointed Force Commander (FC) Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba;
Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management
Mohamed Yonis; Acting Mission Chief of Staff Kemal Saoki; and Chief,
J5 Plans Col. Noddy Stafford.

------------------------------------
UNAMID DEPLOYMENT REACHES 75 PERCENT
------------------------------------

3. (SBU). UNAMID deployment has reached 75 percent, with an actual
force strength of 14,657, according to Stafford. The latest enabling
unit to deploy was the 35 person Bangladeshi MoveCon Platoon in May.
Deployments of a Multi-Role Logistics Unit (El Fasher) and Level II
Hospital (Sector North) are being negotiated with Ethiopia and
Mongolia, respectively. Arrival of Ethiopian tactical helicopters in
Nyala is expected within two to three months. Enabling units not yet
pledged include a Transport Company (El Fasher), Fixed Wing
Surveillance Unit, Utility Helicopters (18), and Light Utility
Reconnaissance Helicopters.

4. (SBU) Thirteen infantry battalions are currently deployed, and
full advance parties have been deployed for the Ethiopian, Tanzanian
and Burkina Faso Battalions. Those Battalions are expected to
complete deployment in October and will increase overall deployment
by 7-8 percent, according to Stafford. The Thai and Senegalese
battalions are expected to deploy in early 2010, he added. The
Sierra Leone Reconnaissance Company, Nepalese Sector Reserve, and
Nepalese Force Reserve are scheduled to deploy between October and
November 2009, while the Nigerian Reconnaissance Company and
Nigerian Sector Reserve are expected to deploy in December 2009.

5. (SBU) Deployment continues to face a series of familiar
challenges, according to Stafford. Difficult terrain and mobility,
long supply routes, and an unpredictable security situation have all
slowed progress, he said. Furthermore, some Troop Contributing
Countries (TCCs) are still struggling to meet UN standards of
self-sufficiency. Units must be able to deploy to a field site and
establish a new camp, as well as provide their own accommodations,
water purification and ablution. (NOTE: The UN only provides a
leveled site, concertina wire for perimeter fencing, and pit
latrines. END NOTE.)

------------------------------------
POLICE DEPLOYMENT REACHES 65 PERCENT
------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Deployment of UNAMID individual police officers has reached
65 percent, with 2,467 police deployed as of September 10. Formed
Police Unit (FPU) strength is at 58 percent, with 1,540 persons
deployed. There are now up to 120 police patrols per day, including
90 inside IDP camps, said Stafford. Nine Community Policing Centers
(CPCs)have been constructed in various internally displaced persons
(IDP) camps, though UNAMID is facing obstruction by the National
Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Sector West. NISS has
halted construction of two CPCs in Geneina and one in Zalingei, he
said.

---------------------------------------
UNAMID CONDUCTS UP TO 100 DAILY PATROLS
---------------------------------------

7. (SBU) UNAMID is now conducting up to 100 military patrols per
day, including confidence-building patrols, IDP camp patrols,
firewood patrols, investigative patrols, and long range patrols,
according to Stafford. But the force is still facing difficulties
shifting its focus from deployment to employment. "We're making a

KHARTOUM 00001102 002 OF 003


conscious effort to extend UNAMID's sphere of influence," he said,
noting that UNAMID leadership was also making a push to strengthen
the implementation of rules of engagement and anti-ambush
procedures. "There have been too many instances in which we've been
ambushed and not fired a shot," said Stafford. He said that during
the previous week an entire UNAMID convoy was stopped and held-up by
just three individuals.

--------------------------------------------- --
SECURITY SITUATION REMAINS DIFFICULT TO MONITOR
--------------------------------------------- --

8. (SBU) UNAMID is also struggling with an unpredictable security
situation. Recent GOS military activity observed includes the
reinforcement of Kutum by GOS troops in approximately 20 vehicles
from El Fasher on September 2, and the GOS attack on SLA/Abdul Wahid
(SLA/AW) positions in Korma on September 6 (Ref A). It was reported
that five SLA/AW fighter were killed, seven injured and three
captured by the GOS. GOS casualties were not confirmed. Stafford
noted that UNAMID is often hampered in its ability to investigate
reports of fighting by the GOS, which prohibits on security grounds
UNAMID's access to areas of fighting. "Once the fighting has ended
and we are allowed in, everyone has departed, and it's very
difficult to ascertain what happened," he said.

-------------------------------------------
CHADIAN ARMED OPPOSITION GROUPS ON THE MOVE
-------------------------------------------

9. (SBU) Following their defeat in Eastern Chad in May by the
Chadian National Army (ANT), Chadian armed opposition groups
remained quiet within West Darfur until recent movements were
observed into North Darfur, according to Stafford. On September 2, a
UNAMID peacekeeping force observed over 200 troops in approximately
56 vehicles, some mounted with heavy machine guns, moving through
Saraf Umra to El Sireaf in North Darfur. On September 8, another
group of approximately 200 Chadian rebel troops was seen moving from
El Geneina to El Sireaf. Meanwhile, UANMID troops on patrol
discovered over 400 Chadian rebel fighters with over 100 vehicles at
Umm Shaddig, approximately 30 kilometers northwest of the village of
Ain Siro. (NOTE: On a September 13 visit to Ain Siro, local
commanders complained to SE Gration about the presence of Chadian
rebels in their area of control to be reported septel. END NOTE.)
The Chadians at Umm Shaddig told UNAMID they were conducting a
training exercise in the area.

--------------------------------
CHAD-SUDAN BORDER REMAINS POROUS
--------------------------------

10. (SBU) The Chad-Sudan border is vast and difficult to monitor,
according to Stafford. "It's just too porous when we're not fully
deployed," he said. UNAMID should have a presence in Habila
(approximately 80 kilometers south of Geneina) as well as Um Dukhum,
a significant border crossing point near the intersection of Sudan,
Chad and the Central African Republic, said Stafford, "but NISS
(National Intelligence and Security Service) has a real resistance
to our presence there." FC Nyamvumba noted that despite liaison
officers from the United Nations Mission in the Central African
Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) embedded in UNAMID and vice versa,
Minurcat does not have a mandate to monitor the border area. "This
is something that needs to be fixed," he said. Asked whether they
have received any reports of Chadian fighters returning en masse to
Chad, UNAMID officials responded that they have not. (Ref B).

--------------------------------------------- ----
UNAMID Civil Affairs Reaches Out to Civil Society
--------------------------------------------- ----

11. (SBU) UNAMID's Chief of Civil Affairs, Ms. Wararia Mbugua,
explained that UNAMID has been working with civil society for the
past two years but noted that in recent workshops, this segment of
the population has changed from "complainers" to those who want to
be engaged. She expressed the need to set up a process to bring
civil society together. She explained that, in her assessment,
civil society is increasingly drawing support away from the armed
movements and that UNAMID would like to find a way to mobilize this
group with US support. When SE Gration pressed DJSR Yonis on
whether or not UNAMID could provide transportation for civil society
leaders in order to do a centralized meeting somewhere in Darfur,
Yonis responded in the affirmative. "We have done so before. We
are willing and able."

12. (SBU) COMMENT: UNAMID officials were remarkably candid with the
SE about the challenges facing the mission. Their acknowledgement

KHARTOUM 00001102 003 OF 003


of the operational difficulties facing them and their generally
well-informed remarks were encouraging. If the new leadership is
successful in transforming the mindset of the peacekeepers and
enacting rules of engagement, UNAMID may yet become an effective
peacekeeping force. However, it still has a long way to go towards
establishing a sphere of influence and winning over the hearts and
minds of Darfuri civilians.

13. (U) This cable was cleared by the Office of the Special Envoy.

WHITEHEAD

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