Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09KHARTOUM553
2009-04-23 06:03:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

SENATOR KERRY VISIT TO DARFUR, APRIL 17, 2009

Tags:  ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU 
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VZCZCXRO6785
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #0553/01 1130603
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230603Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3607
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000553 

DEPT FOR SE GRATION, S/USSES, AF A A/S CARTER, AF/C
NSC FOR MGAVIN AND CHUDSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SENATOR KERRY VISIT TO DARFUR, APRIL 17, 2009

REF: A) KHARTOUM 548
B) KHARTOUM 539
C) KHARTOUM 538
D) KHARTOUM 537

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000553

DEPT FOR SE GRATION, S/USSES, AF A A/S CARTER, AF/C
NSC FOR MGAVIN AND CHUDSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SENATOR KERRY VISIT TO DARFUR, APRIL 17, 2009

REF: A) KHARTOUM 548
B) KHARTOUM 539
C) KHARTOUM 538
D) KHARTOUM 537


1. (SBU) Summary: On April 17, Senator John F. Kerry and delegation
traveled to El Fasher, Darfur for several hours amid much fanfare
from local officials. Following an overly ceremonious greeting with
dancers representing many of Darfur's tribes, North Darfur's Wali
(Governor) Osman Kibir played down humanitarian concerns in Darfur
and urged a greater role for the USG in solving the Darfur crisis.
At Al Salam IDP camp, camp sheikhs voiced their frustrations at the
lack of services following the expulsion of 13 INGOs, and urged the
USG to take action to replace them. At UNAMID Headquarters, UNAMID
officials told Senator Kerry that the situation in Darfur has
evolved into a low intensity conflict characterized by
unpredictability - and said that UNAMID is now actually analyzing
why the conflict has reduced so dramatically. Meanwhile, Assistant
to the President Minni Minnawi remains ambivalent on the prospect of
peace talks in Doha, and asserted that his forces remain ready to
confront JEM should it re-enter Darfur. End summary.


2. (SBU) Arriving at El Fasher Airport the morning of April 17,
Senator Kerry and the delegation were met on the tarmac by a
procession of dozens of local government officials and tribal
leaders. At the office of North Darfur Wali Osman Mohammed Kibir,
Kerry was welcomed by tribal dancers and drummers before being shown
a power-point presentation purporting to bring "enlightenment" on
the situation in Darfur and trumpeting the achievements of the North
Darfur State government on security and livelihood issues. North
Darfur Wali Kibir asserted that the humanitarian situation was being
distorted by the international community (singling out CDA
Fernandez's advocacy on the 42,000 recent IDPs arriving in Zam Zam
IDP camp for special criticism),noting in particular the
now-standard GOS line that new arrivals to Zam Zam were not
displaced persons but rather, voluntary migrants. He further

asserted that there were no gaps in services following the expulsion
of the 13 INGOS. Despite these assertions, Kibir proclaimed that the
state of North Darfur was ready for a new era of cooperation with
the USG, and urged the USG to use its leverage and put renewed
pressure on the rebel movements to come to the negotiating table.


3. (SBU) Following a prolonged departure from the Wali's Office,
Senator Kerry and the delegation proceeded to the nearby Al Salam
IDP camp. At the CHF Community Center, camp sheiks assembled told
the Senator that they had been living in Al Salam for almost five
years since being displaced from areas such as Shangil Tobay and
Tawila due to repeated attacks by Arab militia. Life in the camps
has become worse since the March 4 expulsion of the 13 INGOs, they
said, and urged the Senator to work towards reinstating the expelled
entities or find other Western replacements for them. Senator Kerry
told the sheikhs that the USG has reached a tentative understanding
with the GOS on the resumption of aid activity, but that they
expelled groups would not necessarily return. He promised to take
the camp sheikhs message with him back to Washington.


4. (SBU) Senator Kerry and the delegation proceeded to UNAMID
Headquarters where they were briefed by Acting Joint Special
Representative Hocine Medili, Deputy Force Commander General
Emmanuel Karenzi, and Police Commissioner Michael Fryer. Citing a
significant reduction in clashes among parties to the conflict,
Acting JSR Medili characterized Darfur as a "low intensity
conflict," but noted that the security situation remains
unpredictable, especially because of the buildup of proxy forces
along the Chad-Sudan border. One explanation for the lull may be
that JEM was hurt more badly than believed when it was chased back
to Chad, chiefly by an emboldened Minni Minnawi, in February after
the Muhajeriyya attacks. Medili said he expected UNAMID's force
protection capability to improve with additional deployments before
the end of the year, and noted that plans were ongoing for the
establishment of Mobile Monitoring Teams (MMTs) to monitor an
eventual cessation of hostilities. Chief requirements for MMTs still
to be met are military transport helicopters, communications
equipment, specialist training and orientation, and non-military
logistical support for parties and observers, he said. The
deployment of the very important FPUs (formed police units) was
lagging behind that of the military and civilian components, mainly
because of the slowness of TCCs.


5. (SBU) Following the briefing at UNAMID, Senator Kerry and the
delegation proceeded to the Embassy-run Green House in El Fasher for
a meeting with Assistant to the President Minni Minnawi. Minnawi
expressed frustration with the lack of implementation of the 2006
Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA),but noted that his movement was
committed to peace in a way unlike Khalil Ibrahim's JEM. Nonetheless

KHARTOUM 00000553 002 OF 002


if JEM attacks SLA/Minnawi forces again, "we are ready for them," he
said. Minnawi asserted that his force was strong as ever and that
"new fighters are joining us every day," despite widespread rumors
to the contrary. Senator Kerry thanked Minnawi and emphasized that
as a critical stakeholder in Darfur, the USG is eager for his
continued role in the peace process.


6. (SBU) Comment: UNAMID's contention that Darfur is now a "low
intensity conflict" is an accurate one, as the situation on the
ground is now characterized by sporadic (but often unpredictable and
occasionally spectacular) incidents of violence. As the rainy season
approaches, the prospects for a prolonged dtente appear probable,
if neither JEM nor the Chadian rebels move in the next couple of
months. It is critical that the international community capitalize
on this lull to push forward on peace talks to achieve a possible
cessation of hostilities, which could be accelerated if MMTs are
already in place. Post recommends continued support for MMTs and the
air transport assets they require at UNHQ in New York. End comment.

FERNANDEZ