wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
08USUNNEWYORK794 2008-09-03 21:32:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
Cable title:  


pdf how-to read a cable

1. (U) This is an action request, see paragraph 14.

2. (C) SUMMARY: Recent meetings of the &Friends of UNAMID8
(FoU), co-chaired by the United States and Canada have
focused on: 1) following up on UN Under Secretary General
(U/SYG) Susanna Malcorra's July 2 list of requests,
especially for air lift support to alleviate the backlog of
equipment moving into Darfur; 2) coordinating political
messages, including for high level officials during the UN
General Assembly; and 3) formulating new solutions to address
the problems the Friends have encountered in trying to speed
UNAMID's deployment. END SUMMARY

3. (C) In a series of meetings with the FoU led by co-chairs
Canada and the U.S., some countries expressed an interest in
responding to Under Secretary General (U/SYG) Susana
Malcorra's list of requests (reftel), in particular her
solicitation of airlift for Troop Contributing Countries, and
most shared the co-chairs' frustrations regarding the
bureaucratic hurdles to deployment.

4. (C) Australian advisors Justine Saunders, Andrew Rose, and
Rob Manton assured the Friends co-chairs that their
government - the Prime Minister, in particular - is actively
looking for ways to be more involved, including in airlift
support. Their questions concerning the Malcorra list - about
long-term planning and the expenditure of the assessed budget
-- echoed those previously expressed in meetings by the U.S.,
U.K. and Canada. The Australians suggested that an additional
U.S. contribution might spur their capital to contribute.

5. (C) Germany has attempted to provide airlift and personnel
to UNAMID, and expressed frustration with hurdles presented
by the Government of Sudan and the Secretariat. Colonel Ralph
Scholz explained that the UN "has a clear understanding of
the problems but not the solutions, that its bureaucracy
kills them and responds to the FoU with inflexibility that is
staggering", and that UNAMID suffers from "lack of
expertise". Germany offered 50 military advisors to UNAMID,
and the UN accepted only 10. These officers, along with field
experts and engineers, are now facing problems with visas
that have obstructed their deployment. In the last six
months, only one has been deployed.

6. (C) Italy has also offered an airlift option. The UN had
initially refused Italy's airlift earlier this year, but
revisited it months later, leaving the Italians to question
the change of heart and comment, "the UN is not working at
its best in this situation." General Giuliano Ferrari added
that UNAMID is "the worst deployment plan in military
history". Nonetheless, Italian advisors emphasized "we are a
Friend of UNAMID, so we try to help".

7. (C) Denmark has also been frustrated by the UN's refusal
of their offer last year for a Hercules/C-130 and other
logistical elements. However, Danish advisor Rene Dinesen
reaffirmed that the Danish mission is looking to reenergize
his capital. Of their offer last year, he said, "these
proposals were met with confusion, and then we never heard
anything." After the co-chairs discussed issues with TCC
movements into Darfur, Dinesen said he would request that
Copenhagen consider an airlift contribution to help with the
backlog with 80 Armed Personnel Carriers (APCs) in Nigeria,
currently planned to be moved by sea.

8. (C) Norway is looking for opportunities to contribute, but
Oslo has limitations, due to government restrictions on
foreign expenditures; however, police training and container
handling are very possible. Norwegian advisor Oynvind Dammen
said that persuading their Special Representative for Sudan
to support a contribution might leverage the government to
contribute. In addition, Bartjan Wegter, the Dutch advisor,
said that he would go back to his capital for any support in

9. (C) Captain Patrick Martin of the French mission, was
initially not enthusiastic about the possibility of providing

airlift. However, after the co-chairs highlighted the need
for 32 APCs to be transported from Senegal, Martin said Paris
would explore this possibility further. Martin also said that
a few months ago, a European contracting company proposed
creating a supply line from Libya to Darfur to UN. Martin
said the initial recce was already complete. France promised
to look further into the feasibility of the Libyan route.

10. (C) Sweden's feedback on Malcorra's requests has been
vague. Staffan Olesen, Sweden's military advisor will send a
formal request to Stockholm for specific guidance.

11. (C) In a meeting with Hiroshi Kitagawa of Japan, we
received tepid response to consideration of financial support
for UNAMID, partly because of national limitations on their
ability to provide support to Troop Contributing Countries
(TCCs). Kitagawa also did not warm to the idea of increased
political engagement. After we raised the role that Japan
could play, especially in light of their large contribution
to the peacekeeping budget, Kitagawa questioned why the UN
was "slow to use the assessed funds" but still maintained
that actors like China have more influence to speed UNAMID's

12. (C) The United Kingdom military advisor had an even more
pessimistic perspective. Lt. Colonel Nicholas Slinger
expressed frustration with the Secretariat and the
bureaucratic impasse they have experienced. He informed us
that there was no fresh money from the U.K. on the table, but
suggested the Friends focus on supporting TCC's directly and
avoid UN channels to get things accomplished.

13. (C) The African Union has also shown a serious interest
in helping. The new Commissioner for Peace and Security,
Ramtane Lamamra is in weekly contact with U/SYG Malcorra, and
the AU mission will urge him to take up the issue of visas
with the Government of Sudan, which has been a problem many
countries are encountering.

14. (C) ACTION: USUN suggests the Department consider
conducting demarches in capitals of the Friends of UNAMID as
quickly as possible to encourage those countries to provide
the support requested by U/SYG Malcorra, especially to those
who already seem inclined to help: Australia, Germany, Italy,
Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and France.