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Cablegate: Chadian Rebels: Unconfirmed Allegations of Looting and Rape

VZCZCXRO4474
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #0055 0110717
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110717Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5005
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000055

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR PREL SU CH
SUBJECT: CHADIAN REBELS: UNCONFIRMED ALLEGATIONS OF LOOTING AND RAPE
IN NORTH DARFUR

REF A) KHARTOUM 1273
B) KHARTOUM 1271
C) KHARTOUM 1209


1. (SBU) Summary: Chadian rebel troops have allegedly looted markets
in nearly a dozen villages near the area of Al Saiyah in North
Darfur, according to local media and Sudanese rebel sources.
However, no independent verification is available. A United
Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) patrol team sent on
January 4 to investigate allegations of rape and looting in the
village of Kulukulo was stopped by Chadian rebels on the outskirts
of the village and forced to return back to its base. It is unclear
at this time when another patrol will be attempted. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Chadian rebels near Al Saiyah have been wreaking havoc on
the area, according to local media and Sudanese rebel sources. On
January 6, Ray-Al-Shaab newspaper reported that Chadian rebels had
looted the market in Al Saiyah, and continued on to raid the
neighboring villages of Goz Leben, Um Haglig, Tacoz and Um Leona.
They reportedly then headed East and raided the villages of Koskare,
Gos Dogu ad Zurug, where they are said to have clashed with local
camel herders. Suleiman Marajan, an SLA/AW-affiliated rebel
commander who controls territory nearby, told emboff the Chadian
rebels had also attacked villages north of Al Saiyah, including
Daragna, Kedrin and Allagartha (phonetic).

3. (SBU) Marajan said that the Al Saiyah area has very limited
resources, which do not even satisfy the needs of the local
population, prompting the Chadian rebels to travel to surrounding
villages. Rapes of local women by Chadian rebels are also becoming
common, he said. (Note: a UNAMID Human Rights officer told poloff
that nine women had been raped by Chadian rebels in the village of
Kulukulo on December 27. End Note.) Local media reported that the
leader of the Berti tribe indigenous to the area appealed to the
Wali (Governor) of North Darfur--himself a member of the Berti
tribe--to deal with these criminal acts. The Wali allegedly told him
that he could do nothing as the decision to relocate the Chadians to
the area had originated with the Government of Sudan (GOS) in
Khartoum.

4. (SBU) On January 4, a UNAMID team on patrol to Kulukulo village
was stopped about one kilometer from the village by Chadian rebel
troops. The Chadian rebel commander informed UNAMID that the patrol
would have to be accompanied by GOS soldiers before rebels would
allow it to proceed to the village. However, GOS military in the
locality had earlier indicated to UNAMID they were unwilling to
assist the patrol, according to UN sources. The patrol team
therefore aborted the mission. It is unclear whether another patrol
will be attempted.

5. (SBU) Comment: While the cantonment of Chadian rebels in North
Darfur is an important confidence-building measure in the
normalization of Chad-Sudan relations, their alleged criminal
behavior threatens to further destabilize an already unpredictable
security situation. With the EU-led discussions with Chadian rebel
alliance Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) seemingly at a standstill,
only the GOS appears to be in a position to stop Chadian rebels from
looting and raping in North Darfur, if these allegations, in fact,
turn out to be true.

WHITEHEAD

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