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Cablegate: Eac -- Embassy N'djamena -- Eastern Chad Travel

VZCZCXRO7202
PP RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0533 3171215
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131215Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7435
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000533

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE ALSO FOR AF/EX
STATE ALSO FOR DS/IP/AF
STATE ALSO FOR DS/TIA/ITA
STATE ALSO FOR S/USSES
STATE ALSO FOR PRM/AFR
USAID FOR OFDA
NSC FOR GAVIN
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - BAIN AND KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF ASEC PREL PHUM SU CD
SUBJECT: EAC -- EMBASSY N'DJAMENA -- EASTERN CHAD TRAVEL

REF: (A) N'DJAMENA 521; (B) N'DJAMENA 520; (C) N'DJAMENA 511; (D)
N'DJAMENA 166; (E) N'DJAMENA 40

1. (SBU) Ambassador convened Embassy N'Djamena's Emergency Action
Committee on Thursday, 12 November, in order to discuss the evolving
security situation in eastern Chad. EAC meeting was attended by
ADCM, RSO, PRM, Pol/Econ, Pol/Mil, DATT, PAO, D/D, and CON.

2. (SBU) The area referred to as eastern Chad, comprised of the
region from Abeche, the regional capital, to the Sudan border at
Adre, as far north as Bahai, and as far south as Haraze, has seen a
significant evolution in threats to Chadian and humanitarian
organization staff. The most dangerous area at present and for the
last several weeks since the end of Chad's rainy season has been the
Abeche-Adre axis through Farchana, north to Guereda, south to Hadjer
Hadid. The following incident list from the last ten days -- not
exhaustive -- gives an indication of the situation:

-- Kidnapping of an ICRC French international south of Adre;
-- Spraying with AK-47 fire by men in uniform of a van belonging to
the NGO Solidarite and the killing of their national driver;
-- Armed attack by horse-mounted assailants against a DIS post to
steal weapons;
-- Five organizations suspending operations (Premieres Urgences,
Mine Tech, MSF, Solidarit, ICRC);
-- Attempted forced entry into the UNICEF compound in the deep
field; and
-- At least 6 carjackings.

3. (SBU) Most events have happened after dark, and involved vehicle
road movements without escort, or residential compounds far from
population concentrations. International staffs of humanitarian
organizations are clearly the intended targets, although Chadian
nationals are also victimized, especially those associated with
humanitarian operations.

4. (SBU) In light of this evolving situation, the EAC recommended
to the Chief of Mission, and he has approved, updating Post's Travel
Warning for Chad, and the following revised Post policy for travel
to eastern Chad, including Abeche town. The main elements of the
travel policy build from Refs D and E:

(A) Official travel of USG personnel subject to Chief of Mission
(COM) authority to eastern Chad is prohibited without express COM
authorization on advice of the EAC.

(B) Authorized official travel of USG personnel subject to COM
authority to eastern Chad shall be coordinated with US Embassy RSO,
UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) and UN partner agency
security officers in Abeche and N'Djamena (MINURCAT, UNHCR, WFP,
etc.)

(C) Housing arrangements for authorized overnights in Abeche and
"deep field" locations for USG personnel subject to COM authority
shall be established at approved secure compounds on a case-by-case
basis, with the object of reducing to the absolute minimum vehicle
road movements.

(D) Travel in the region by road is prohibited for USG personnel
subject to COM authority wherever air service from approved UN or
NGO aviation assets is available.

(E) Where such air service in unavailable, travel in the region by
road for USG personnel subject to COM authority shall be under the
security constraints of the UNDSS, including required security
escorts.

5. (SBU) EAC will reconvene as events require.

NIGRO

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