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Cablegate: Southern Sudan Asks for Help in Preparing for Elections

VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #1262/01 3120705
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADXOD478D4 MSI9392 611)
O 080705Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4704
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001262

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CAPTION)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS SU
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN SUDAN ASKS FOR HELP IN PREPARING FOR ELECTIONS
SECURITY

1. (SBU) Summary: Voter registration began in Southern Sudan on
November 1 amid logistical and political hurdles. (Septel will
report on registration progress.) This cable discusses the
Government of South Sudan's (GoSS) urgent plea for help in preparing
security for the elections following an October 23 incident when a
convoy carrying voter registration materials was mistakenly fired
upon, killing one civilian and injuring two JIU members. The GoSS
has submitted an "electoral security assistance" proposal totaling
8.4 million USD. Donors, including the USG, will need to make quick
decisions concerning funding for this proposal and other possible
elections security related measures to forestall violence and help
ensure a conducive environment for elections in April 2010. End
Summary.


-----------------------------------
Security Incident and GOSS Response
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) On October 23 a UN convoy carrying elections registration
materials was involved in a serious security incident. UN Deputy
Resident Coordinator Lise Grande told poloff that the GOSS police
escorting the convoy arrived on duty drunk and late. Once the
convoy reached a routine checkpoint on the Juba-Terreka road, the
police refused to stop and reportedly opened fire. It is unclear
whether the JIU returned fire, but the incident resulted in the
death of one civilian woman and injuries to two JIU soldiers.

3. (SBU) The following day, GoSS Minister of Internal Affairs Gier
Chuang Along convoked the UN for an emergency elections security
meeting. Grande explained that in previous meetings, Gier had been
aware of election security concerns, but did not become seized of
the issue until this incident. The Minister relayed that in
response to the incident he had appointed a Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA) Brigadier General (BG) to oversee the
deployment of elections materials throughout Southern Sudan and
would deploy ten colonels under the BG to liaise with the UN and the
State High Committees (SHCs) responsible for overseeing elections
preparations. Gier asked for UN assistance and funding for an
elections security package that the GoSS had presented to the UN
during the summer of 2009.

4. (SBU) The focus of the package is on support for the Southern
Sudan Police Service (SSPS). The Elections Security Package,
developed by the UN and SSPS, aims at providing the SSPS with
additional training, equipment, communications, mobility, temporary
police posts and infrastructure support. The total amount is 8.4
million USD, of which 500,000 USD is already being funded through
current UN police (UNPOL) training.

----------------------------------
Donors Convene To Consider Request
----------------------------------

5. (SBU) On October 30, the U.S. Consulate General Juba and UN
co-hosted a meeting to discuss how the international community might
support the Minister's request and what other measures might be
required to forestall violence and ensure a conducive environment
for elections. While the US, UK and UN all have ongoing programs
aimed at enhancing the capacity of the SSPS, all agreed that these
efforts would not be sufficient to enable the SSPS to provide
effective security for the April 2010 elections. Similarly, donors
concurred that while the proposal presented by the Minister was "a
bargain" at USD 8.4 million, these additional measures alone would
not be sufficient. The current baseline of SSPS professionalism and
efficacy was simply too low for the SSPS to be able to ensure a
secure electoral environment in only six months.

6. (SBU) Donors concluded that they must provide support to the SSPS
in order to help it build capacity for the elections and referendum
security. Ensuring public order is a police function which the SSPS
must be able to assume at some point. However, in the near term,
there was agreement among donors that the police could not be the
sole focus of electoral security assistance. By necessity, the
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) would need to be involved in
elections security, and hence trained to play a constructive role.


7. (SBU) The GoSS concurs with this hybrid approach and in multiple
forums Gier has voiced his intent to involve both the SPLA and SSPS
in elections security. However, it is unclear whether the Minister
has fully developed this idea, and the GoSS has not yet presented
donors with an overall GOSS security strategy. Notional donor ideas
have centered on providing joint/joint training for the SPLA and
SSPS; creating three rapid response units (based in Juba, Wau and
Malakal) capable of reacting to incidences of violence; organizing a
senior level conference on elections security involving governors

and other political actors; and establishing a GOSS operations
center for the elections.

----------------------------------------
Next Steps on Funding Elections Security
----------------------------------------

8. (SBU) At the October 30 meeting, donors agreed to a number of
next steps to ensure assistance for elections security begin
immediately. The UN agreed to review the elections security package
presented by Gier and include information on procurement mechanisms,
and prioritization of geographical "hot spots," most likely to
experience violence as well as "hot times" in the period leading up
to elections, like the campaign period, for example. The US agreed
to review the package and identify areas we could consider
supporting, in coordination with the peace and security team of the
United States Special Envoy to Sudan. The US and UN further
committed to jointly meet with Gier to provide feedback on the
proposal; elicit a key point of contact for this process; secure his
commitment to appoint his best police to work on the initiative; and
discuss ideas on how the SPLA should be integrated into the process.


9. (SBU) Comment: We remain concerned with GOSS capacity to provide
adequate security during the 2010 elections and 2011 referendum, and
will work with the Minister to develop an overall elections security
strategy detailing how the SSPS and SPLA will engage and coordinate
security during these two events. The international community will
need to ensure that proper safeguards are put into place to ensure
that "elections security" does not translate into "voter
intimidation." Timely USG support and assistance is imperative, as
well as close coordination with the UN and UK. Some of the line
items in the proposed GoSS package require close scrutiny, including
the provision of two vehicles in the capital of each state and
formation of rapid deployment units that do not have the equipment
to deploy at all. Other items, such as radios for increased
communication with outlying areas, make better sense. End Comment.

WHITEHEAD

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