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Cablegate: Chad: Minurcat Making Big Push On Security in East

VZCZCXRO0392
OO RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0588/01 3421159
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081159Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7496
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 000588

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE FOR S/USSES
OSD 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: PGOV PHUM PREL EAID PREF EU FR UNSC CA CD
SUBJECT: CHAD: MINURCAT MAKING BIG PUSH ON SECURITY IN EAST

REF: A. NDJAMENA 520
B. N'DJAMENA 511
C. N'DJAMENA 521

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

1. (SBU) MINURCAT SRSG Victor Angelo met December 7 with
representatives of UN member states resident in N'Djamena to
describe the PKO's "big push" over the past month to enhance
security in Eastern Chad, in the wake of recent kidnappings
and a general increase in criminal activity directed against
the international community (described in Refs A and B, as
well as below). Initiatives undertaken since Angelo's last
periodic meeting include additional MINURCAT air and ground
patrols, additional DIS patrols and escorts, provision of
supplemental international assets to the DIS, and
inauguration of new coordination meetings among MINURCAT, the
DIS, and local Chadian government authorities, police,
gendarmes, nomad patrols, the Chadian military, and
traditional/tribal leaders, all of whom have a stake in
regaining control of security and reducing criminality in the
vicinity of the Chad-Sudan border. Although criminality in
the East has forced reductions in some NGO operations, and
although there are clear limits to what MINURCAT can do to
manage the problem -- particularly given slow international
deployments (Ref C) -- we remain impressed with Angelo's
honesty, proactiveness, creativity, and commitment, as well
as his success at coordinating with the range of Chadian
players. At the end of his meeting, Angelo briefly sketched
out a list of issues on which future international reflection
will be needed, including MINURCAT's mandate renewal process,
to begin among the UNSC membership in February 2010. END
SUMMARY.

--------------
CRIMINAL THREAT
---------------

2. (SB) Angelo reported that two kidnappings of
humantarian aid workers, five car-jackings, three instances
ofbreaking and entry, two direct attacks on he DIS, and
three problems with unexploded ordnace had occurred in
Eastern Chad/Northeastern CAR(with one B&E case in
N'Djamena) since November 4. The kidnappings and attacks
were having a "negatively transformative effect" on
humanitarian operations, he stressed. There was no clear
evidence that the individual incidents were linked, but some
appeared to be copy-cat initiatives inspired by earlier
activities. That all the kidnapping victims were apparently
now being held across the border in Sudan led to suspicion
that the kidnappers knew one another. All of the criminal
acts seemed to be motivated almost exclusively by a desire
for financial gain, although some of the kidnappers had
expressed vague Islamist aspirations and anti-colonial
sentiments. The personnel of one nation in particular
(France) seemed to have been targeted, although all
internationals and Chadians working for the international
community were vulnerable, Angelo pointed out.

3. (SBU) Asked whether the kidnappers might have ties to
radical Muslim groups in the Sahel, Angelo repeated that the
copy-cat phenomenon seemed to be a more salient explanation,
adding that no organizational links to groups such as AQIM
had been uncovered thus far. He advised that the UN strongly
opposed payment of ransom, and offered that ransom payments
believed to have been made earlier in the year in the cases
of other kidnapping victims might have planted ideas in the
minds of the current kidnappers. Angelo described efforts to
explain to the kidnappers the humanitarian motivations of the
organization for which their victims worked, which the
kidnappers had lauded -- making clear that they hoped the
organizations would resume the important work suspended as a
result of rampant criminality -- before reiterating demands
for ransom. Angelo noted that Chadian government
representatives and local sultans and tribal leaders had been
uniform in condemning the rise in criminality near the Sudan

NDJAMENA 00000588 002 OF 003


border and uniform in expressing frustration at their
powerlessness to bring the situation under control.

----------------------
RESPONSE FROM MINURCAT
----------------------

4. (SBU) Deputy Force Commander Ahern reported on efforts
to deploy incoming MINURCAT military assets, including units
from Mongolia in the northern sector, Ghana in the dangerous
central region (encompassing Farchana and Guereda), Namibia
in the south, and Nepali reserve units to Abeche, along with
troops from Bolivia, Bangladesh, Paraguay and Pakistan to the
airport in Abeche. Ahern detailed increases in air and
ground patrols, with helicopter overflights numbering 74 in
November (vice 49 in October), MINURCAT escorts numbering 78
and MINURCAT patrols numbering 151 since November 4. DIS
patrols in November amounted to 1283, as opposed to 943 in
September and 851 in October. DIS escorts in November were
544 in number, vice 270 in September and 212 in October.

5. (SBU) General Chaumont of UNPOL, who has been the
primary champion and training officer for the DIS, indicated
that UNPOL had provided an additional 90 vehicles to the
Chadian force in November, as well as beefing up security at
DIS headquarters and providing additional armaments and
equipment to the DIS. Libya had offered to provide the DIS
with medevac guarantees and assistance with medical care,
considering that a number of DIS officers had been injured in
the course of their duties but lacked obvious sources of
treatment. The DIS remained very fragile, but it was clearly
on the right path, Chaumont concluded.

-------------------------------------------
ENHANCED COORDINATION WITH CHADIAN ENTITIES
-------------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Angelo reported on a series of new coordination
meetings among MINURCAT, the DIS, and local Chadian officials
representing governors, mayors, the police, gendarmes, nomad
patrol units, the Chadian military, sultans and tribal
leaders. Coordination meetings were taking place at least
bi-monthly in Abeche, Farchana, Iriba and Goz Beida, said
Angelo, and had achieved goals such as establishment of
mutually-receiveable radio communications and agreement to
conduct mixed patrols. MINURCAT was using the meetings to
discuss human rights issues with local relevance as well as
security matters. The Chadian representatives had uniformly
expressed dismay at their inability to exert control over
banditry, as well as strong desire to work with the
international community to get the situation under control.

7. (SBU) Angelo described MINURCAT's coordination with
CONAFIT, the Chadian governmental structure designed to
interact with international peacekeepers, as a work in
progress, in part because CONAFIT was itself a relatively new
and rather unusual entity. He stressed that after the last
two dangerous months, all Chadian and international actors,
including humanitarian workers themselves, seemed to have
developed a better appreciation that they had personal
responsibilities to carry out if the security situation were
to become more manageable. Angelo noted that MINURCAT's
dialogue with humanitarian workers continued and would
intensify if that seemed useful.

-------------
DOWN THE ROAD
-------------

8. (SBU) Looking ahead, Angelo advised that the UNSC would
begin considering possible mandate revision or renewal for
MINURCAT in February 2010. Recalling that the current
mandate had provisions for a one-year renewal, Angelo made
clear that he did not expect major debate, although the terms
of MINURCAT's involvement in the CAR arguably needed to be
either expanded, to give it more authority, or reduced, so
that expectations would not continue to exceed capabilities.
He also offered that coordination among MINURCAT, UNAMID,

NDJAMENA 00000588 003 OF 003


BONUCA and other regional UN peacekeeping and related efforts
should increase, in light of the interrelationships among the
problems that the separate operations were designed to
address. Angelo pointed out that Chadian FM Faki was quite
positive about the prospect of MINURCAT's staying in Chad for
another year, but added that MINURCAT sought concurrence and
support of government officials at all levels in both Chad
and CAR. Angelo ended by making a plug for international
contributions to the UN Trust Fund, pointing out that the
DIS, the prime beneficiary of the fund, was "an infant force,
in need of lots of support at this stage in its life."

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

9. (SBU) Continued near-anarchy in certain locations along
the Chad-Sudan border is forcing reductions in some
humanitarian operations and crippling morale among
international NGO reps. Victor Angelo is under no illusions
regarding MINURCAT's ability to bring about a turn-around,
although his honesty, proactiveness, creativity, and
commitment, as well as success at coordinating with the range
of Chadian players, are impressive and helpful. The
inability of some contributing nations to deploy
adequately-equipped and trained troops so that rotations can
occur on schedule (see Ref C) is undercutting MINURCAT's
effectiveness; septel requests demarches to Accra and
Kathmandu in the aim of accelerating arrival of deployments
from these contributors.

10. (U) Minimize considered.
NIGRO

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