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Cablegate: South Kordofan's Icc-Indicted Governor Pursues Development

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OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1137/01 2811520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081520Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4539
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001137

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF KDEM ECON EPET SU
SUBJECT: SOUTH KORDOFAN'S ICC-INDICTED GOVERNOR PURSUES DEVELOPMENT
OBJECTIVES

REF: KHARTOUM 944

1. (SBU) Summary. On September 27 and 28, South Kordofan's
ICC-indicted Governor, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun (NCP) and his SPLM
deputy Abdel Aziz Al Helou, hosted a meeting in Kadugli for donors
and UN partners. Subjects discussed included recent progress in
South Kordofan, his government's near-term peace and development
objectives, and how attendees can contribute toward these achieving
these objective. Whatever the motive behind Haroun's proactive
leadership and development initiatives, his connections to Khartoum
and ability to rally donor support should bring some peace dividends
to South Kordofan prior to April, 2010 elections. End Summary

------------------------------------------
Verbal and Financial Support From Khartoum
------------------------------------------

2. (U) Discussing recent progress, Haroun stated that his government
had the support of the Government of National Unity (GNU) He added
that the latter had emphasized that South Kordofan's government
should not be constrained by conflicts occurring between GNU
partners the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM). He noted his government had received
SDG 150 million from the federal government, which had been
allocated for infrastructure projects, particularly roads. Haroun
stated that work on a cumulative total of 970 kilometers of roads is
underway.

------------------------------------------
Salary Shortfalls and Government Expansion
------------------------------------------

3. (U) Haroun told the group that the federal government is
providing SDG 7.5 million for state salaries, but that there is
still a deficit of SDG 4.5 million. He said that this salary
deficit was being funded by using the state's oil revenues. (Note:
Pursuant to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, at least two percent
of oil revenue is allocated to the state or region in which such oil
is produced. End Note.) Haroun noted that this situation is not
ideal, as South Kordofan's citizens were not seeing the hoped-for
benefits from oil production. However, Haroun said, the state was
working on reforming the civil service to reduce its size without
compromising its ability to provide needed services. Haroun said
that he hoped to end the use of oil resources for salaries by the
end of the year.

4. (U) Haroun discussed the creation of four state capitals, namely
Kadugli, Al Fula, Kauda and Abu Jubeiha, and the increase of
localities from nine to nineteen, which he said would increase
security and the effectiveness of services by putting the government
closer to the people. Haroun explained that this expansion will not
necessarily compromise his government's efforts to reduce the
state's budget deficit, as the integration of civil servants from
the NCP and SPLM will provide all the staff needed in the new
localities. The only increase in staff will be the number of
locality Commissioners. He noted, however, that his government had
cut the salaries of all Ministers and Commissioners by half, which
will assist in meeting the salary needs of the additional
Commissioners.

----------------------------------------
Expanded Access for UN and NGOs Promised
----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Repeating their message from the donor meeting with Haroun
on August 8 (ref), international donors emphasized that improved
access to and within South Kordofan is crucial for donors to provide
effective assistance. Haroun initially deflected these concerns,
stating that government and security officials become suspicious of
international organizations' agendas when the presence of such
organizations does not result in sufficient, visible development.
However, Haroun did recommit to providing all required access to
ensure effective donor aid. He also announced approval for a UN
office in Muglad, noting that this new office will face significant
challenges due to the high expectations of the community in and
around Muglad. (Note: Access to Muglad has been particularly
restricted. Muglad is in the heartland of the Misseryia, an Arab
nomadic tribe that acted as Khartoum's most effective proxy in the
North/South war, but whose members reportedly have become restless
and discontented with Khartoum's treatment since the war's end in
2005. End Note.) Donors responded positively to this unexpected
announcement and expressed their thanks.

6. (U) Haroun also announced that his government had established a
"Foreign and National Aid Coordination Committee" that would look

KHARTOUM 00001137 002 OF 002


at ways of increasing the number of donor partners in the state. He
stated that a key challenge for this committee is to increase local
NGO capacity, and suggested that one way of achieving this is for
local NGOs to be partnered in their day-to-day work with
international NGOs and UN agencies.

----------------------------------------
Government/UN/NGOs To Coordinate Efforts
----------------------------------------

7. (U) Meeting attendees agreed on the formation of a ten person
team, consisting of five members from the government of South
Kordofan and five members from the international community, to
coordinate development efforts. Those in attendance also agreed
that given the limited time available, the team should focus on
strengthening existing programs and mechanisms. The team was tasked
with submitting a project proposal within a month, at which time the
governor and deputy governor will be in Khartoum for follow up
meetings.

--------------------------------------------- ---
Peace Dividends Central to Successful Elections
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. (U) Haroun said that the highest priority of the 2010 elections
should be ensuring peace in the future. Post-civil war peace
dividends should provide tangible development, which in turn will
facilitate peaceful and successful elections. Haroun noted that
while the technical issues of running elections were important, they
were currently a lesser government priority.

------------------------------
Returnees's Problems Imaginary
------------------------------

9. (U) Addressing problems encountered by returnees attempting to
access their land and homes, Haroun stated that these were only
"imaginary" or "conceptual" problems. He said that pursuant to
traditional customs and habits in Kordofan, people helped each
other, including with access to land. He added that a committee was
already in place and was looking at the establishment of a land
commission, which would deal with land related problems.

10. (SBU) Comment: Despite the ICC indictment and his fearsome
reputation for brutality during the north-south war, Haroun
continues to impress international actors with his successful
partnership with his SPLM deputy and his pro-active governance of
South Kordofan. Whatever the motive behind his actions, Haroun's
connections to Khartoum and ability to rally donor support should
bring some tangible peace dividends to South Kordofan prior to
elections and popular consultations. End Comment.

ASQUINO

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