Search

 

Cablegate: Chad: Minurcat and Perm-5 Ambassadors Share

VZCZCXRO1117
OO RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0520/01 3101133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061133Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7414
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 NDJAMENA 000520

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE ALSO FOR S/USSES
DECDEF FOR DASD HUDDLESTON
NSC FOR GAVIN
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - BAIN AND KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF PHUM CASC UNSC ASEC SU CD
SUBJECT: CHAD: MINURCAT AND PERM-5 AMBASSADORS SHARE
GROWING CONCERNS ABOUT RISING INSECURITY IN EASTERN CHAD

REF: A. N'DJAMENA 511
B. N'DJAMENA 444

1. (U) THIS IS AN ACTION MESSAGE: See Para 16.

-------
SUMMARY
-------

2. (SBU) MINURCAT SRSG Victor Angelo told Perm-5
Ambassadors accredited to Chad on November 4 that he was
deeply concerned about rising criminality in Eastern Chad,
which was beyond the current ability of international or
Chadian security forces to control adequately, and that
humanitarian aid workers would be at greater risk during the
upcoming dry season. All Perm-5 Ambassadors made clear that
they intended to reconsider standing security advice for
their nationals operating in the region, with a view to
helping MINURCAT and civilian humanitarian organizations to
make appropriate operational decisions. (Similar concerns
were raised in meeting of the Interagency Standing Committee
(IASC) and in the SRSG's meeting with the wider diplomatic
community that same day.) The Perm-5 also discussed African
and Afro-Arab initiatives to resolve Darfur and Chad-Sudan
tensions, and agreed that Sudan showed no sign of taking the
"next step" it had committed to in the series of bilateral
confidence-building measures agreed between had FORMIN Faki
and Sudan envoy Ghazi in N'Djamena October 10. The Perm-5
reviewed the AU Peace and Security Council Summit in Abuja as
well as the developing situation in CAR. The
newly-accredited UK Ambassador to Chad (resident in Yaounde)
indicated that his own ability to obtain meetings with
Chadian officials seemed to be affected negatively by what
the Chadians perceived as the UK's history-based "tilt"
toward Sudan.

3. (SBU) The SRSG recognizes and the partners all agree on
the nature of the threat to civilians, especially
humanitarian workers, in eastern Chad, and the likelihood
that it could limit materially the ability of the
humanitarians to provide services to refugees and displaced
persons in some areas. We applaud his realism in admitting
the inadequacy of MINURCAT forces currently deployed to some
sectors to ensure security there. Angelo's Head of Security
was more pointed in his assessment of MINURCAT, DIS and GOC
capability to ensure civilian security in eastern Chad, and
he gave cogent examples. Although there is disagreement
regarding the willingness of some NGOs to accept MINURCAT
security services at current capability, it appears that at
current strength and capability, the combined available
security forces of the GoC, DIS, and MINURCAT, despite their
best efforts, cannot ensure the security of civilians,
especially refugees and IDPs and humanitarian workers, in
eastern Chad. This could have a negative impact on the
ability of humanitarian organizations, including USG partners
and individual American citizens, to maintain operations
because of the increased risk to themselves in coming months.

4. (SBU) The Embassy will continue to monitor closely the
security situation in eastern Chad, and review regularly the
security parameters for USG operations, USG-funded
operations, and AMCITS presence there. We believe the
Department should undertake immediately to discuss with the
PERM-5 and with UN/DPKO in NY how best to ensure the full
mandated deployment and adequate resourcing of MINURCAT to
ensure that humanitarian assistance operations in eastern
Chad are not threatened by growing risk to civilians,
especially refugees, IDPs and humanitarian workers there.
END SUMMARY.

--------------------------
INSECURITY IN EASTERN CHAD
--------------------------

5. (SBU) Victor Angelo reported that the border area, and
the area around the towns of Guereda and Farchana were too
unsafe for an international presence for the moment, although

NDJAMENA 00000520 002 OF 004


other border areas around Goz Beida and Iriba were relatively
safe. All Ambassadors expressed grave concern about evidence
of rampant banditry. A "security vacuum" seemed to be taking
hold in Eastern Chad, said Ambassador Foucher. "People will
be killed in the dry season." Angelo attributed the
deteriorating situation in part to demobilization of soldiers
on both sides of the border, and also to a noteworthy
increase in banditry particularly from the Sudan side, where
opportunities for gaining one's livelihood other than through
criminality were very limited. A recovered UN vehicle had
contained a list of numerous Sudanese buyers of cannibalized
car parts to whom the parts had evidently been destined.
Angelo advised that he had been in Abeche the previous day to
reach out to the humanitarian community and try to ensure
that the best possible coordination would occur among
humanitarians and MINURCAT. Ambassador Foucher offered that
the DIS seemed to have made a number of brave attempts to
intervene, but that neither the DIS nor MINURCAT were likely
to be effective against janjaweed, which had been sighted
recently in Eastern Chad. At this point, "quite
understandable panic holds sway among humanitarians," said
Angelo. All Ambassadors noted that they would attempt to
reach out to their citizens with new security advisories in
the coming weeks.

6. (SBU) Ambassador Foucher noted that the international
community also needed to pressure the Chadian government to
do what it could to increase security in the region. He
asked Angelo whether MINURCAT troops were able to patrol in
dangerous locations. Angelo made clear that some troops --
the Togolese and Mongolians -- were excellent, and adequately
equipped for such a task. But the Ghanaians, who were based
in the most dangerous site, were not up to full strength and
always seemed to have an excuse as to why they could not do
their jobs. With MINURCAT at only 52 per cent troop
strength, problems were inevitable, said Angelo.

------------
OURE CASSONI
------------

7. (SBU) Angelo told the group that UNHCR had determined
that the alternate site for the Oure Cassoni refugee camp, at
Bir Douan, had proven unviable because of its lack of water.
Other sites were now being looked at; the GoC was insisting
that the chosen site be in Ennedi Province, President Deby's
home.

---
CAR
---

8. (SBU) Angelo reported on his trip the previous week to
CAR, where he said the prevailing concern had to do with the
presence of both LRA fighters and approximately 800 Ugandan
soldiers in the south. The Ugandans were located "not
coincidentally in the vicinity of a diamond mine abandoned by
a South African concern." "No one knows how many LRA are in
the region," said Angelo, but their very existence could
easily serve as a pretext for all manner of bad behavior on
the part of others, even if they did not cause trouble
themselves.

9. (SBU) Meanwhile, said Angelo, the Chadians had rounded
up and cantoned in Southwestern Chad several hundred Chadian
rebels originating in Eastern Chad and their CAR mercenary
backers -- the group that had spent time at Kaga Bandoro,
CAR, separate from the groups supported by the Sudanese. In
Salamat Province in Southeastern Chad, an initiative was
under way to increase ANT troop strength considerably in case
Chadian rebels once again tried to enter Chad from "the
out-of-control triangle of CAR near the Darfur border." An
ANT military platform was being built up in Am Timan in case
operations needed to be carried out near Tissi, one of Chad's
most dangerous localities, and one where the recent
population census could not be carried out for security
regions.

NDJAMENA 00000520 003 OF 004

---------------------------
INTRA-AFRICAN AND AFRO-ARAB
INITIATIVES
---------------------------

10. (SBU) Participants discussed recent international
efforts to resolve the Darfur and Chad-Sudan conflicts,
including the November 3 visit to Chad of the Qatari Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister. According to Ambassador
Foucher, President Deby had agreed to a Qatari proposal that
he try to "deliver" the JEM's Khalil Ibrahim to Doha for
upcoming talks. Consequently, the Chadians were now
pressuring France to deliver the SLA's Abdul Wahid, whom they
asserted that France "controlled." The Qatari visit had also
yielded a number of promises of bilateral assistance for
Chad, said Foucher. Angelo advised that he had been in touch
with UN/AU negotiator Bassole, and that Bassole was planning
trips to London and Paris before the Darfur civil society
conference in Doha later this month.

11. (SBU) The group also discussed the AU Peace and
Security Council meeting in Abuja October 29, which
considered recommendations of the Mbeki panel. Angelo said
that the UN found Mbeki's recommendations about the
composition of the proposed hybrid criminal court interesting
and potentially useful. One of the benefits of the session,
according to Angelo, was that it had facilitated ad hoc
discussions among African leaders about how they might
encourage positive Chad-Sudan dynamics to continue. Burkina
Faso wanted to be helpful, said Angelo, in part because UN/AU
negotiator Djibril Bassole was from that nation. But
Ouagadougou was perceived by the Deby regime as being
pro-Sudan and supportive of certain Chadian opposition
figures. Cote d'Ivoire also appeared to want to lend a hand,
and might be easier for the Chadians to work with.
Congo/Brazzaville sought to become more involved, said
Angelo, describing his recent visit there; President
Sassou-Nguessi was coordinating with the Libyans on some
possible ways to resurrect the Dakar Group. According to
Angelo, the Chadians were supportive of this and hopeful that
Congo/Brazzaville and Libya could encourage the Sudanese to
take the step of cantoning the Chadian rebels, promised
during Sudanese Presidential Envoy Ghazi's visit to Chad in
October. For the moment, the Sudanese "did not seem to be
doing anything," the group agreed. Recent press reports from
Khartoum suggesting that a visit by Chadian FM Faki to
Khartoum was in the offing most likely amounted to Sudanese
"disinformation." Victor Angelo indicated that he had
himself hoped to visit Khartoum in the coming week, but the
Sudanese had issued a blanket denial of flight clearances for
him.

12. (SBU) UK Ambassador Joshi, also accredited to Cameroon,
described what he believed had been accomplished during the
visit last week of President Deby to Yaounde. According to
Joshi, the two sides had discussed border security and
improved coordination between police and customs units on
either side of the border, as insecurity in that region was
of growing concern to both nations. Foucher said that he had
the impression Chad was trying to improve border control
everywhere. A new initiative involved Chad, Nigeria and
Niger (why Cameroon was absent was not clear) in a joint
effort to increase security around Lake Chad, so as to stop
criminal activity there. Approximately 1000 law enforcement
personnel from the three nations were now deployed. The
Perm-5 group agreed that President Deby had a chance to prove
his worth as a regional leader during his tenure as President
of CEEAC -- he is currently in Libreville on CEEAC business
-- but what he would do with that position remained to be
seen.

-----------------------------
UN SECURITY OFFICER COMMENTS
ON FORCE CAPABILITIES
-----------------------------


NDJAMENA 00000520 004.2 OF 004


13. (SBU) Similar concerns about security in the east were
raised in meeting of the Interagency Standing Committee
(IASC) and in the SRSG's meeting with the wider diplomatic
community that same day (November 4). Angelo's Head of
Security, UN DSS Chief Bertrand Bourgain, provided a briefing
to the IASC of his assessment of MINURCAT, DIS and GOC's
ability to ensure civilian security in eastern Chad. He gave
the example of the major international NGO "Premiere
Urgence," having been the target of an armed residential
compound invasion attempt, as well as a nearly-successful
kidnapping the week of October 19, determining that security
assets in the Farchana region were inadequate to provide area
security for their operations, which require them to be able
to react to emergency calls with no advance notice.
"Premiere Urgence" subscribes to the internationally accepted
humanitarian principle that armed escorts for humanitarian
operations must be used only as a last resort for critical
life-saving activities. Faced with the inability to operate
in the area, "Premiere Urgence" chose to shut down operations
in the region, and requested MINURCAT escort for the movement
of its personnel, vehicles, and assets to Abeche, which
MINURCAT undertook to provide November 5.

--------
COMMENT
--------

14. (SBU) The SRSG recognizes and the partners all agree on
the nature of the threat to civilians, especially
humanitarian workers, in eastern Chad, and the likelihood
that it could limit materially the ability of the
humanitarians to provide services to refugees and displaced
persons in some areas. We applaud his realism in admitting
the inadequacy of MINURCAT forces currently deployed to some
sectors to ensure security there. The UN DSS Chief was even
more pointed in his assessment that MINURCAT and DIS forces
currently are insufficient in number and insufficiently
resourced in materiel and transport to provide either enough
escorts for all who may need them, or to secure routes and
regions through an area security presence.

15. (SBU) Although there is disagreement regarding the
willingness of some NGOs to accept MINURCAT security services
at current capability, it appears that at current strength
and capability, the combined available security forces of the
GoC, DIS, and MINURCAT, despite their best efforts, cannot
ensure the security of civilians, especially refugees and
IDPS and humanitarian workers, in eastern Chad. Humanitarian
organizations, including USG partners and individual American
citizens, may justifiably determine, as did Premiere Urgence,
the need to reduce or suspend operations because of the
increased risk to themselves in coming weeks and months. END
COMMENT.

--------------
ACTION REQUEST
--------------

16. (SBU) Action Request: That the Department undertake
immediately to discuss with the PERM-5 and with UN/DPKO in NY
how best to ensure the full mandated deployment and adequate
resourcing of MINURCAT to ensure that humanitarian assistance
operations in eastern Chad are not threatened by growing risk
to civilians, especially refugees, IDPs and humanitarian
workers there.
NIGRO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>