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Cablegate: Chad Humanitarian Update, 09 - 15 Nov 2009

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PP RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0539/01 3211306
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171306Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7440
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0955
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 NDJAMENA 000539

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE ALSO FOR S/USSES
STATE ALSO FOR PRM/AFR
NSC FOR GAVIN
GENEVA FOR RMA
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: CHAD HUMANITARIAN UPDATE, 09 - 15 NOV 2009

1. (U) The following is an update of N'Djamena RefCoord's activities
for the period of 09 - 15 NOV 2009.

2. (U) In this edition:

-- CONTINUED FOCUS ON EASTERN CHAD SECURITY (PARA 3)
-- UN ACTION LOOKING FOR SIGNS OF UNSCR 1888 IMPLEMENTATION (PARA
5)
-- CONAFIT URGES NGO COOPERATION ON SECURITY; ICRC REPORTS ON
KIDNAPPING (PARA 6)
-- UNHCR-CHAD'S UNCOORDINATED PLANNING FOR 2010 PROGRAMS (PARA 8)
-- NGO NEWS (PARA 10)
-- CALENDAR


---------------------------
CONTINUED FOCUS ON EASTERN
CHAD SECURITY
---------------------------

3. (SBU) Violent criminality continued to focus attention at the
10 November bi-weekly security exchange meeting, chaired by the SRSG
and attended by all UN and non-governmental humanitarian
organizations represented in N'Djamena. SRSG Victor Angelo urged
representatives from UN Security Council Permanent Representatives
to advocate at the UN for rapid deployment of fresh troop rotations,
and delayed departure for those in the field. He reported that he
had received the commitment of the Governor of Ouaddai Province (the
area of greatest current insecurity) to conduct security sweeps in
refugee camps and areas of the city of Abeche where armed criminals
were known to seek shelter, as well as to increase gendarme and
police patrols in towns near refugee and IDP population
concentrations in supplement to the Detachement Integre de Securite
-- "DIS". The UNPOL Police Commissioner reported that the DIS units
were very lightly armed, and that UNPOL had made representations to
CONAFIT, the interlocutor between the GoC and MINURCAT, for heavier
weaponry to be issued. He said another 90 vehicles -- open-bed
pick-up trucks that Chadians prefer to use in rough terrain -- were
to be arriving end-December to improve DIS mobility. The MINURCAT
Force representative reported that Croatian and Austrian troops and
equipment had departed by the end of October, while the Polish
contingent had been pressed to extend their stay to end-December.
Deployment of Mongolian troops is still awaited; dates for equipment
arrival are uncertain.

4. (SBU) Some NGO reps deplored the fact that, although they have
always conducted operations via convoys escorted by armed DIS agents
or MINURCAT troops, there has not been sufficient troops to meet the
need for vehicle movements. IRC, a PRM partner NGO and a major
provider of basic and emergency health services, reported being
forced to run vehicles without security into camps on life-saving
missions, and asked for the establishment of static posts along
heavily used routes between camps and offices and residential
compounds as a stop-gap measure. Solidarite, who works in the far
border regions without escort, since neither MINURCAT nor the DIS go
so close to Sudan, and whose driver was killed in a spray of
automatic weapons fire on their van in the Sudan border region, the
work of men wearing ANT uniforms, asked that the International
Community join in lobbying the GoC for reinforced police presence in
the border areas where IDP populations receive services from NGOs.
Replying to the OCHA Deputy Representative's comment that the GoC
must take seriously its responsibility for the security of the
country, the SRSG characterized the authorities as "operationally
incapable", and urged all to be as realistic as possible in their
expectations of the available security forces in the region. ECHO,
a major donor, urged all humanitarian organizations to conduct a new
cost-benefit analysis to weigh the urgency and benefits of each
activity against the risks run in implementations.

-----------------------------
UN ACTION LOOKING FOR SIGNS
OF UNSCR 1888 IMPLEMENTATION
-----------------------------

5. (SBU) RefCoord met 10 November with representatives of the UN
Action group, described in their handout uniting "the work of 12 UN
entities with the goal of ending sexual violence during and in the

NDJAMENA 00000539 002 OF 004


wake of conflict" The UN Action team of Kate Burns, Senior Policy
Officer at OCHA, and Gillians Holmes, Coordinator of UN Action, were
accompanied by UNFPA Gender Advisor Fabiola Wizeye Ngeruka, as well
as Ute Kollies, Office Head for UN OCHA. They questioned RefCoord
to determine what, if any, instructions for significant new or
changed activities had been received in order to ensure the prompt
implementation of UNSCR 1888 of 30 September 2009. They were
particularly interested in efforts to strengthen national protection
mechanisms, especially processes for judicial redress. RefCoord
noted that he had been tasked with exploring the division of labor
currently in effect on questions of gender based violence among UN
partners in Chad; the UNFPA Gender Advisor stressed that her
organization was trying to do the same, to the extent of drawing up
an organizational chart to make sense of all the actors in the
field. RefCoord explored the issue of activities focused on
judicial structures, and suggested that the UN Action team spend
time in Abeche -- their next stop -- discussing the cooperative
activities of UNDP and MINURCAT's Rule of Law team.

---------------------------
CONAFIT URGES NGO
COOPERATION ON SECURITY;
ICRC REPORTS ON KIDNAPPING
---------------------------
6. (SBU) General Oki Mahamat Yaya Dagache, the Sepcial
Representative of the President in charge of the National
Coordinator for Support to the International Force in Eastern Chad
(Coordination Nationale d'Appui a la Force International a l'Est du
Tchad -- "CONAFIT"), convoked on 12 November all non-governmental
and UN humanitarian organizations and major donors represented in
N'Djamena, to discuss the current security situation. Gen Dagache
read from a prepared statement, then had the statement handed out as
a circular, with the request that all comments on its content be
submitted in writing. Gen. Dagache in his prepared statement
reminded the recipients that the security situation in eastern Chad
is sufficiently "fluctuating" to require humanitarian organizations
to take "preventative measures" in order to protect their personnel.
He oddly characterized some organizations' behavior as
"liberticide" (a term coined around the time of the French
revolution, defined as causing the destruction of liberty), and
requested all organizations to "coordinate movements with the
CONAFIT regional representative and the DIS. He stated that
non-respect for this request increased the danger to the lives of
staff in the field, and that all incidents that occur were black
marks on Chad's image. He finished his statement by saying noting
that the GoC has primary responsibility for security on Chadian
territory, and stated that organizations not conforming to this
request would see their activities called into question ("remises en
cause").
7. (SBU) Despite the request that all comments be submitted in
writing, the Country Director for the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) intervened to stress that, indeed, security in Chad
is the responsibility of the authorities. She recalled to all that
ICRC's world-wide practice is to work in all countries where they
have permission without armed escorts, putting the onus squarely on
the authorities to provide for the security of the Geneva-based
international organization for the protection of conflict victims
and individuals deprived of their freedom. She emphasized the
non-presence of MINURCAT and the DIS in the areas along the border
where ICRC is active, in full consultation and coordination with
CONAFIT, as well as the regional political and military authorities.
She recalled her frequent requests for national police and gendarme
forces to be deployed to these areas. She then reported that ICRC
had been able to contact the perpetrators of the 09-10 November
staff member kidnapping in the border area, in close coordination
with the GoC. She stated her confidence that the victim was in good
health, and characterized him as a hostage for ransom. She reminded
the gathering that ICRC never pays ransoms, and has in the past had
a very good record of obtaining the release of their personnel
unharmed in similar circumstances. Gen. Degache ended the session
by saying that Chadian forces would do whatever they could to obtain
the release of the ICRC staffer, if he were being held in Chad, but
then opined that the problems that had been occurring in the east,
including the most recent kidnapping, were all connected to Sudanese
elements operating in the area.
---------------------------
UNHCR-CHAD'S UNCOORDINATED

NDJAMENA 00000539 003 OF 004


PLANNING FOR 2010 PROGRAMS
---------------------------

8. (SBU) RefCoord met 13 November with the Abeche-based Senior
Program Officer for UNHCR in Chad, to discuss several reports from
PRM Partners of suddenly announced changes to funding and activities
to be implemented as of 01 January 2009. RefCoord reported that
partners had telephoned and emailed during the week of 09 November
to relay that UNHCR had announced an end to UNHCR's funding of the
NGO's activities in one or more camps from the first of the year --
activities the conduct of which PRM has a cooperative agreement with
the same NGO that is in effect to 31 July 2010 (See next item, "NGO
News"). The Program Officer described the UNHCR-Chad planning
process for the next calendar year as having been fraught with delay
and procrastination over the last six months, followed by a crash
effort to catch up that began in November. She said that
programming discussions to move from the Global Needs Assessment to
a prioritized Country Needs Assessment integrated into the "FOCUS"
results-based management software should have been undertaken
through the summer months. Instead, the entire process was put off
to the beginning of November, did not involve NGO partners until a
hastily organized coordination meeting on 09 - 10 November, and
resulted in a "take-it-or-leave-it" dictation to NGOs as to the
activities UNHCR would fund and coordinate.

9. (SBU) The Program Officer told RefCoord that there was some
method to the planning madness, with a strong effort to move
national government structures, especially the National Commission
for the Welcome and Reinsertion of Refugees (Commission Nationale
d'Accueil et de Reinsertion des Refugies -- "CNAR") into a more
active role in refugee camp management. She said UNHCR wanted to
increase refugee populations' overall capacity for greater self
reliance in the coming year, which included favoring national NGOs
to take on significant new activities in the place of international
NGOs. Nonetheless, she reported that the possible impact of these
potentially sweeping decisions on continuing PRM-funded activities
hadn't come up in the UNHCR planning process. She encouraged
RefCoord to request a coordination session with UNHCR senior staff
for a camp-by-camp and partner-by-partner explanation of how UNHCR
saw activities going forward.

---------
NGO NEWS
---------

10. (SBU) RefCoord held individual partner coordination meetings
during the week with country directors or other officials from
Architects d'Urgence (AU), International Medical Corps (IMC), the
Foundation for the Refugee Education Trust (RET), and the Hebrew
Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).

11. (SBU) AU reported on 09 November that their school-building
activities in the Oure Cassoni camp are completely stalled, awaiting
some kind of clarity as to whether or not the camp will be moved 45
kms to the west. RefCoord provided a hard copy of PRM Comptroller's
approval for funding for two staff members to remain in place until
some kind of decision is made as to the camp's fate. RefCoord
encouraged AU to begin building timelines out to the end of the
cooperative agreement period, which would help in determining at
what date it would no longer be possible to begin construction and
meet a significant level of performance indicators for the project.


12. (SBU) IMC's Acting Country Director told RefCoord on 10
November that the NGO's security precautions in Iriba and Guereda
area camps are already at a very high level, but that he would
conduct a re-assessment in the coming days. He noted that the NGO's
staff avail themselves of the MINURCAT and DIS convoy escorts
whenever possible, and reduces non-escorted road movements by
reimbursing patients and their care-givers for car rental and other
transportation costs when patients must be moved in the absence of
an escort -- a very common occurrence. He noted that rented
vehicles are often not targeted by carjacking gangs, and that in
cases with less urgency and shorter distances patients are moved by
donkey cart.

13. (SBU) RET's Country Director updated RefCoord on 12 November

NDJAMENA 00000539 004 OF 004


on progress toward establishing a new secondary school center in
Hadjer Hadid. He said the original idea to purchase a site with two
classroom structures from a local religious community would be put
aside in favor of what would be an essentiall no-fee lease of the
ste for five years. RET would compensate the religous community
by refurbishing the two classroom tructures, to be used for Grade 9
instruction, an building for more classrooms for Grades 10 and 1,
using the construction budget in the cooperatie agreement.

14. (SBU) HIAS visiting Associat Director for International
Operations reported to RefCoord on 15 November the details of
UNHCR's sudden announcement of changes to their funding to the NGO.
She said that the NGO has been instructed to stop all provision of
all psycho-social and community services in Djabal camp and
psycho-social services in Gaga camp. She said HIAS was told UNHCR
would continue funding HIAS community services only in Treguine,
Bredjing, Goz Amer, and Gaga camps. The Associate Director said she
was struck by the "unilateral, almost dictatorial" nature of the
decisions, with no prior consultations or coordination.

---------
CALENDAR
---------

11 -- 18 NOV: RefCoord's Embassy Duty Officer Week

23 -- 30 NOV: (TBC) Proposed M&E travel to Iriba, Farchana

NIGRO

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