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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07NDJAMENA712 2007-09-07 15:32:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

CHAD:EU TEAM ASKS HARD QUESTIONS ABOUT PROPOSED

Tags:   CD PGOV PHUM PREF PREL 
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VZCZCXRO1296
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0712/01 2501532
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071532Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5695
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000712 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CD PGOV PHUM PREF PREL
SUBJECT: CHAD:EU TEAM ASKS HARD QUESTIONS ABOUT PROPOSED
FORCE IN EAST



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: After the week-long visit of a European
Commission Technical Assessment Team, many questions were
still unanswered as to how a possible multidimensional UN/EU
force would go about protecting refugees, IDPs and
humanitarian workers in eastern Chad given the complex
political and security dynamic in the region. UN and NGO
representatives reiterated the support of the humanitarian
community for the proposed force, but stressed that it must
remain strictly neutral and mindful of the distinction
between military and humanitarian mandates. One Chadian
rebel group has denounced the proposed force and there is
concern that humanitarian actors - who are now not targets -
might become so. Team Leader General A.D. Leakey agreed that
neutrality in the face of a complex internal conflict was
vital for the credibility of the international force but
stressed that a robust mandate to back up its credibility was
also required. End Summary.



2. (SBU) General A.D. Leakey led a European Commission
fact-finding team for a week-long visit to Chad to gain a
better understanding of how a possible multidimensional force
could perform the triple task of protecting refugees and
Internally Displace Persons (IDPs), protecting humanitarian
workers and operations, and securing the environment
sufficiently for IDPs to feel safe to return home. In an
August 26 meeting with NGOs, UN agencies and diplomatic
representatives and in subsequent briefings attended by
PolOff and DATT, General Leakey explained that the purpose of
his visit was to listen and ask questions. Throughout his
presentation he emphasized that the multidimensional force
was still only a "possibility." (Comment: This caution
reflects EU concern that no commitment be made before the
passage of a UN Security Council Resolution which would lay
out an exit strategy for the EU force. End Comment).



3. (U) UNDP representative Kingsley Amaning led off with a
somber picture of conditions in eastern Chad, stating that
the greatest concern of humanitarian workers was the
insecurity which prevented them from carrying out their work.
The situation in the east was volatile and dangerous, and
competition over increasingly scarce land resources provided
the fuel for continued inter-communal tensions. The
Government of Chad was unable to assure security. He
welcomed the Secretary-General,s concept for creating a safe
humanitarian operational space in eastern Chad, but noted
that the force was far too long in coming given that the
alarm had been sounded months ago.



4. (U) Amaning cautioned that the force presence should not
lead to any "aggravation of the political climate." He noted
that, up to now, no armed rebel group had threatened
humanitarian workers; the biggest danger for the latter was
being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Humanitarians
must not become targets as a result of perceived political
affiliation. (Comment: One Chadian rebel group has publicly
denounced the proposed force as an effort by the
international community to prop up President Deby's regime.
End comment.) He also stressed that a clear distinction must
be maintained between the functions and roles of humanitarian
and military personnel in order not to compromise the
perception of neutrality and impartiality of the humanitarian
actors.



5. (SBU) General Leakey responded that the force would have
to be potent and credible. A robust mandate was necessary -
the force would not be "humiliated" or "pushed into a
corner." While certain no-go areas were being discussed
(such as a 10 kilometer ring around the refugee camps and by
the border), the force would still need to enjoy the right of
hot pursuit. He acknowledged the need not to mix
hmanitarian and military functions, but also arguedtha the
force was there to win hearts and minds nd to be seen as
doing good. They would seek suh opportunities - such as
allowing the local poplation access to military hospitas -
as appropriate.



6. (SBU) General Leakey asked interlocutors to help him
understand who the force was protecting "and against whom"
and how this could be done without treading on local
authorities. Other than showing a credible military presence
(deterrence), what did the humanitarian community want from
such a force in the event of inter-ethnic fighting or rebel
attacks? He added that if the force's presence failed as a
deterrent, the force would be obliged to "do something."



7. (SBU) ECHO representative Frederic Bonamy pointed out that
creating zones of security would have the perverse effect of
amplifying insecurity. For instance, if the areas around the
IDP and refugee camps were protected, the force would not be

NDJAMENA 00000712 002 OF 002


able to provide the credible presence elsewhere that would
persuade the IDPs that it was safe to return home. In other
words, the force needed to go "where people were leaving"
rather than "where they have gone to." He underscored the
difficulty of knowing how to respond appropriately to
security incidents. Often the instigators wore a Chadian
uniform, or were local authorities appropriating vehicles or
turning a blind eye to harassment and theft. He stressed
that clear rules of engagement were needed. ICRC
representative Tomas Merkelbach asked how a force should
respond to a situation such as the simmering conflict between
Zaghawa and Tama in the Guereda area. Responding to a
question from General Leakey as to whether the multinational
force should be operating in conjunction with the Chadian
army, participants commented variously that the ANT was
"discredited" and "part of the problem."



8. (SBU) Concerning the zone of operation, General Leakey
informed the group that the preliminary thinking was that the
force would operate in the south only. Having the EU force
in the north ran the risk of "exacerbating the situation" and
interposing a force between disputing parties. Furthermore,
Chadian authorities had imposed the pre-condition that the
international force would not operate on the border and the
northern camps were virtually straddling the border. And
finally, he noted that they did not want to interfere in the
internal affairs of Chad, and that the government was more
present in the north than in the south. However, UN
gendarmes and the newly-trained Chadian gendarmes would
operate in the north in towns and near camps.



9. (SBU) In closing, Leakey stressed that the operation was
not a "transitional administration" and did not replace the
functions of the Chadian state. The force was there to
assist with the humanitarian situation - it was not a
long-term solution to the political and security problems in
Chad. Clearly gendarmes would not be able to solve all of
the law and order problems that arose. However, the presence
of the multinational force plus the gendarmes would hopefully
provide some stability.



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


Operational details


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





10. (SBU) Queried on timing, Leakey said that &if8 the EU
accepts the recommendations of the technical team and &if8
we can &force generate,8 then it is very likely that the
first elements would arrive in October and be complete by
year's end. The military component of the operation would be
in country in advance of the UN-trained Chadian gendarmes.
According to the UN team member, the first tranche of Chadian
gendarmes would be trained and deployed with their UN
counterparts with a &force generation goal8 of 200 per
month for a total of 850 gendarmes by early 2008. UN police
would be responsible for recruitment, training and mentoring
of the selected gendarmes known as Police Chadian pour la
Protection Humanitaire (PTPH), but the PTPH would fall under
national authority. The PTPH would also be ethnically
diverse. The Chadian gendarme force would be deployed around
the refugee camps, IDP concentrations and civilian
populations. When asked to better explain the relationship
between the police component and the EU force, Leakey
responded that a precondition for the deployment of the
police was having an EU force already present.



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


Comment


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





11. (SBU) In late 2006 N'Djamena anticipated the difficulties
that any international force would have in negotiating the
complicated political security climate in eastern Chad. Our
recommendation then: "protect the good guys" still stands.
However, with the growth of the IDP population, and the
addition of a mandate to provide a security umbrella beyond
the refugee camps and the humanitarian operations, the
complexity of this operation becomes even greater and the
General's question as to who he would need to protect -- and
from what -- is not easy to answer. In addition, the focus on
patrolling southeastern Chad raises concerns that reduced
attention to the northeast could erode confidence in the
peacekeeping force's neutrality as well as create a security
vacuum in that region.
TAMLYN