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Cablegate: Lra Update and Unmis Directed by Dpko to Rescue Lra

VZCZCXRO6912
OO RUEHGI RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #0076/01 0131405
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 131402Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0017
INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 0001
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA 0004

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000076

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PGOV PHUM PREL MOPS SU
SUBJECT: LRA UPDATE AND UNMIS DIRECTED BY DPKO TO RESCUE LRA
ABDUCTEES IN SOUTHERN SUDAN

REF: 09 KHARTOUM 1405

1. (SBU) Summary: On January 5, SPLA Director for Military
Intelligence Major General John Lat Zakeria briefed us on the
movements and whereabouts of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in
Sudan. He explained that while there had been a presence of LRA in
Southern Sudan, the majority of LRA were now in Southern Darfur and
the Central African Republic (CAR). Also on January 5, UN Deputy
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande told us that
UNMIS had been requested by DPKO in New York to look into the
presence of 450-600 LRA abductees in Southern Sudan. If present in
Sudan, UNMIS was requested to rescue and transport the abductees
back to their countries of origin. The request was made to the UN
in New York by the Fellowship of Christian Councils & Churches in
the Great Lakes & Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) along with Dr.
Nyekorach-Matsang, LRA/M Peace Representative and Anton Baare,
Nordic Consulting Group (NCG) Denmark. UNMIS Deputy Security
Advisor Lee Peterson visited Western Bahr el-Ghazal to verify
reports of the LRA presence. End Summary.

-------------------------------

LRA Presence in Southern Darfur

-------------------------------

2. (SBU) On January 5, SPLA Director for Military Intelligence
General John Lat Zakeria briefed us on current LRA movements and
locations. He explained that the SPLA had killed three LRA
fighters west of Bor Medina in Western Bahr el-Ghazal early in
January, but that the majority of LRA had moved north into southern
Darfur. In particular, he alleged that the LRA had established a
large camp of 350-400 fighters and "family" members or abductees
south-west of Kafia Kingi and another 70-100 LRA fighters were in
Am Dafok. Zakeria also told us that the SPLA believed the
janjaweed have a training camp in Am Dafok under the guidance of
notorious janjaweed leader Ali Kosheif (Note: Ali Kosheif was
indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2007 on charges of
committing war crimes in Darfur and currently remains at large in
West Darfur). Zakaria alleges the 70-100 LRA are possibly training
with 200 janjaweed in Am Dafok.

-----------------------------------

UN Directed to Rescue LRA Abductees

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3. (SBU) Also on January 5, UN Deputy Resident and Humanitarian
Coordinator Lise Grande told us that UNMIS had been tasked by UN
Headquarters to verify the presence and release of 450-600 Lords
Resistance Army (LRA) abductees, ex-combatants and family members
in Western Bahr el-Ghazal and Northern Bahr el-Ghazal states. In
December, the Fellowship of Christian Councils & Churches in the
Great Lakes & Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) sent letters to the UN
Mission in the Congo (MONUC) as well as UN Department of
Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York requesting that the UN
assist in the humanitarian release of LRA abductees in Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Southern Sudan. Additionally, Dr.
Nyekorach-Matsang, LRA/M Peace Representative and Anton Baare,
Nordic Consulting Group (NCG) Denmark also met with LRA
representatives and the UN to raise their concerns and need for
UNMIS involvement in their release.

4. (SBU) Grande explained that the group along with Baare and
Matsang had been lobbying for UN assistance with the LRA since
September 2009. The group recently approached UN DPKO leadership
in NY stating that the LRA abductees were mostly in Raja and Aweil
counties. Grande explained to us that the UN had no information

KHARTOUM 00000076 002 OF 002


about an LRA presence in Southern Sudan, but due to the pressure of
Baare and Matsang they were forced to investigate.

5. (SBU) We explained to Grande and later to UN Deputy Security
Advisor Lee Peterson that while the LRA was believed to have been
present in Western Bahr el-Ghazal in late November and December,
the numbers had always been small. As previously reported (see
reftel), the LRA had been present in areas along the border of
Western Bahr el-Ghazal and the Central African Republic, but only
to pillage nearby villages for supplies and resources and stage a
few circumstances abductions. At no time was there reliable
information that the LRA had a presence in Aweil, Northern Bahr
el-Ghazal.

----------------------

UN Investigates Claims

----------------------

6. (SBU) On January 7-8, Peterson traveled to Raja and Bor Medina
in Western Bahr el-Ghazal to meet with SPLA present in the region.
The last reported attack or presence of LRA in the area was
December 17 outside of Bor Medina, they claimed. Along the border,
the SPLA had also found a number of abandoned LRA camps. They
believe the camps held 60-70 fighters and approximately 300
abductees, however they have since been abandoned. Peterson spoke
to UN colleagues and SPLA present in Aweil, who reported that there
were no LRA present in the area. Peterson responded to UN DPKO in
New York stating that the LRA and abductees were no longer present
in Southern Sudan; however, it was believed they are currently
present in Southern Darfur and CAR.

7. (SBU) Comment. We are not convinced that the LRA is yet present
in any significant number in Darfur, and we do not judge that their
presence nearby has tipped the military balance in the Darfur area.
WHITEHEAD

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