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Cablegate: Demarcation of Abyei Boundary Remains Frozen

VZCZCXRO2452
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1263/01 3120833
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080833Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4706
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001263

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 PREL PBTS KDEM MOPS SU
SUBJECT: DEMARCATION OF ABYEI BOUNDARY REMAINS FROZEN

REF: A) KHARTOUM 862 B) KHARTOUM 1135 C) KHARTOUM 1174 D) KHARTOUM
2034

1. (SBU) Summary. On November 5, Poloff spoke with Kwol Biong
(SPLM), Deputy Chair of the Abyei Border Demarcation Committee, who
said that no physical demarcation of the Abyei border has occurred.
Biong said that security issues are the committee's primary concern,
but also complained of insufficient equipment and the lack of an
oversight committee. In an October 29 meeting with CDA Whitehead,
Al Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed (NCP), Abyei point-person for the
Government of Sudan (GoS), admitted that neither the National
Congress Party (NCP) nor the Sudan People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM) have formed a joint task force to disseminate the PCA
decision as agreed in the trilateral talks. On November 5, Abyei
Chief Administrator Arop Mayak Monytoc (SPLM) told CDA Whitehead
that he has not received the budget promised by Khartoum. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) The six member Abyei Border Demarcation Committee was
formed by Presidential decree on August 27, in furtherance of the
points of agreement signed by the SPLM and the NCP on August 14th.
The Committee was given thirty days to demarcate the boundary of
Abyei as described by the July 22 ruling of the Permanent Court of
Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague (Ref A). To date, however, Biong
said the demarcation team has not physically demarcated any of the
Abyei boundary, though it has done some reconnaissance of the
proposed boundary via helicopter.

3. (SBU) Biong said that demarcation team has been unable to work
because of security issues. Large numbers of Misseriya, an Arab
tribe in Southern Kordofan who migrate through Abyei with their
cattle during the dry season, see Abyei's demarcation as a threat to
their livelihoods. Elements of the Misseriya have rejected the PCA
decision and threatened violence against demarcation efforts (Ref
B). Biong said that the team has already been subject to threats
and intimidation by local Misseriya while in the field. Biong said
that this situation is made intolerable because half of Abyei's
Joint Integrated Unit (JIU), tasked with providing security to the
demarcation team, is Misseriya. In the event of a security
incident, Biong states that it is unclear whether the Misseriya JIU
members will protect the demarcation team. In addition, Biong says
that the protection team is currently limited to 100 members, but
that a larger force is called for given the large number of
Misseriya currently migrating into Abyei.

4. (SBU) Biong stated in the coming days the team would attempt to
construct the two pillars demarcating the southern corners of the
Abyei boundary. He said, however, that until the team is provided
with soldiers from outside the local community to provide security,
the team will not attempt to work on the northern portion of the
Abyei border, as this area is already occupied by Misseriya.

5. (SBU) Biong noted that other issues, described in an October 9
letter to Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Vice President Riek
Machar, written by the SPLM members of the committee, continue to be
a hinderance (Ref C). Biong stated that the team has not been
provided with equipment sufficient for the task, including any kind
of digging machinery to install the pillars and posts that will
demarcate the boundary. (Note: The Government of Sudan (GoS) has
provided at least one helicopter to the committee which the
committee planned to use on November 5, both because of security
issues and given that the terrain is still too wet for normal
vehicles. End Note.) Biong also noted that his technical committee
still lacks an oversight committee as called for by the Points of
Agreement. (Note: The GoS maintains that an oversight committee is
unnecessary, as the demarcation of the Abyei boundary is strictly a
technical task. End Note.) Instead, without the consent of the
SPLM, responsibility for coordinating administrative and security
issues rests with Sami Bushara (NCP), as administrative secretary of
the committee. Biong stated that Bushara is carrying out his duties
in a manner calculated to frustrate the team.

6. (SBU) In an October 29 meeting with CDA Whitehead, GoS Abyei
point-person Al Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed (Ref. D) admitted that neither
the NCP nor the SPLM have formed a joint task force to disseminate
the PCA decision as agreed in the trilateral talks. (Comment.
Ironically, the only official on either side to tackle the issue is
South Kordofan Governor Ahmed Mohamed Haroun, an ICC-indictee for
his involvement in the Darfur conflict. He continues active
outreach to the Misseriya in an attempt to keep temperatures down.
End Comment.)

7. (SBU) On November 5, Abyei Chief Administrator Arop Mayak
Monytoc told CDA Whitehead that he has not received the budget
promised by Khartoum. Since last January the Abyei Administration
has received only six million Sudanese pounds (appx. USD 2,400,000),

KHARTOUM 00001263 002 OF 002


including an early November tranche of one million Sudanese pounds,
barely enough to cover salaries and basic operating expenses.

8. (SBU) Comment. The demarcation team's problems are a sign and
product of the greater political issues facing both Abyei and
greater Sudan. With the Misseriya having begun their annual
migration south into Abyei, boundary demarcation there is unlikely
to move ahead in the near future and could be a catalyst to broader
conflict. End Comment.

WHITEHEAD

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