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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09NDJAMENA267 2009-06-30 14:13:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

MINURCAT CAN HELP REDUCE CHAD-SUDAN TENSIONS, SRSG

Tags:   PREL PGOV PREF MOPS PHUM SU LY QA CT CD 
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1. (SBU) During the June 29 meeting with Special Envoy for
Sudan Scott Gration, MINURCAT SRSG Victor Angelo made the
following key points:

-- MINURCAT (and likely UNAMID) could assist Dakar Contact
group border monitoring mission, with amended mandates(s) and
several hundred more troops, especially now that Qatar had
agreed to fund the mission ($25 million);

-- The USG could usefully approach Libya to assure Qadafi
that we want to work with him on the border monitoring
mission, partly because the Libyans were currently pretty
down on Deby, after Chad's public ire at Libya's perceived
inadequate response to the May 7 rebel attacks on Chad;

-- The USG could also usefully push the Contact Group, and
especially Sudan and Libya, to hold the long-delayed next
Contact group Meeting in Khartoum in late September;

-- Increased criminality and banditry in "pockets of
insecurity" in the East, and delayed troop deployments, were
MINURCAT's biggest challenges;

-- The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) did not appear to
have any camps in Chad or much overt support from the GOC,
but GOC tolerated visits to camps and RandR by JEM in Chad;

-- Chadian rebels groups were politically and militarily
weak, with an uncertain future, after their decisive defeat
by Chad military May 7, but they were continuing to cause
security problems, even as some of the factions were actively
negotiating with the GOC;

-- The situation in northeastern CAR near town of Birao was
worsening toward critical, with CAR government presence
disappeared and all humanitarian operations suspended.

END SUMMARY.



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


EFFORTS TO REDUCE CHAD-SUDAN TENSIONS


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





2. (SBU) Speaking with SRSG Victor Angelo June 29, Special
Envoy Gration said his goal was to reduce tensions between
Chad and Sudan through visible security and
confidence-building measures such as border monitoring. The
SRSG replied that he would only need a simple addition to his
mandate to enable MINURCAT, once fully deployed, to
participate in border monitoring. The SRSG sketched out a
scenario where the Dakar Contact Group -- comprised of Libya,
Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Eritrea, Senegal, Qatar, OIC, Chad,
and Sudan -- would provide ten officials to each of ten
border monitoring posts, with MINURCAT, on the Chad side, and
UNAMID, on the Sudan side, providing protection. He added
that MINURCAT had a well-developed understanding of cross
border activities, enabling it to strategically position the
ten border posts. The SRSG anticipated that the Dakar
Contact group would try to meet in late-September in Khartoum
to approve this arrangement, with Qatar likely providing the
USD 25 million in financing. In response to the SE's offer
of assistance, the SRSG felt that the U.S. should communicate
clearly its willingness to work together with the Libyans.
Angelo stated that the GOL would be instrumental in
implementating any border monitoring mechanism. Likewise,
both Libya and Sudan would need a helpful USG push of
encouragement to realize the late-September Contact group
meeting in Khartoum.



3. (SBU) The SE said that he was aiming for peace in Darfur
by the end of the year and would work on the political track,
while the military track would likely follow the timeline
that the SRSG had laid out. Gration stated that the
opportunity for progress on Darfur would be lost next year as

NDJAMENA 00000267 002 OF 003


the country then focused on the 2010 election and 2011
referendum on the South. He said he welcomed any ideas the
SRSG could offer on additional confidence-building measures
and ways to build trust between Chadian President Deby and
Sudanese President Bashir. The SE underscored that the U.S.
was not operating alone, but tying its efforts closely to the
UN and the P-5. Gration said that he had a "new
relationship" with the Chinese and was working with the
Russians also.



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


MINURCAT CHALLENGES IN CHAD


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





4. (SBU) SRSG Victor Angelo defined MINURCAT's two biggest
challenges as security, in three distinct pockets in the
East, and slow troop deployment. On the security front,
incidents of insecurity and banditry are increasing in the
areas of Farchana, Goz Beida, and Iriba.



5. (SBU) Elaborating on troop deployment problems, the SRSG
lamented that troops were arriving without necessary
equipment. "They need to be self-sufficient for six months,
with vehicles, munitions, tents, everything." Only 200 out
of 300 Ghanaians had arrived, with the balance due by the end
of July. The Nepalese contingent of 150 would not be at full
strength until the end of October. The Malawians had been
motivated to deploy, but had received news from the IMF that
their budget would not support necessary equipment
procurement, so they would not be coming at all. The SRSG
said he was exploring replacement options from other
countries. Despite these difficulties, the SRSG stressed
that many contingents were doing relatively well, with
African troops especially well-received by the Chadians.



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


JEM "VISITS" AND R&R IN CHAD


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





6. (SBU) In answer to questions from SE Gration on the
nature of JEM's presence in Chad, the SRSG noted that JEM
fighters cross into Chad regularly to visit relatives. They
often arrived fully equipped and in columns with vehicles.
They generally stay for short periods. Angelo made clear
that the UN had no evidence of any JEM training camps in
Chad. Angelo offered that the GOC "turned a blind eye" to
JEM's presence vice actively supporting the force. The SRSG
indicated that over the past three to four months, the GOC
and JEM had seen advantages in maintaining mutual distance
from each other. "As the GOC feels stronger, vis a vis
defeating Chadian rebels, it has less need for JEM support,"
he noted. The SRSG could not speak accurately to JEM
presence and activity much north of Bahai town and wondered
also what was happening in Pres Deby's "home town" of Am
Djerass.



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


WEAKENED CHADIAN REBELS


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





7. (SBU) The SRSG said that the decisive defeat of Chad
rebels by GOC military May 7 might well have been their "Swan
Song," having revealed their political as well as military
weakness and vulnerability. The rebel groups were splitting
into smaller factions; they needed "child-soldiers" to fill
out their ranks (the GOC had captured 130 of them, some as
youing as nine years old); and they were vulnerable to GOC
air power, the SRSG said. Nonetheless, Angelo indicated that
individual rebels and small groups of rebel fighters were
continuing to cause problems along the border in Eastern
Chad, including engaging in banditry and selling arms to
civilians, both of which increased instability. SE Gration
stated that he was putting pressure on the GOS to retract
support from the Chadian rebels, and that he believed
Khartoum would do so. The SE noted that he viewed
cross-border movements by either JEM or Chadian rebels as
"invasions" of sovereign territory.



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


DETERIORATING SITUATION IN NE CAR

NDJAMENA 00000267 003 OF 003




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





8. (SBU) The SRSG detailed growing problems in the vicinity
of Birao in northeastern CAR, stating that one of the biggest
concerns in the wake of the June 6 and June 21 rebel attacks
was complete loss of state authority in the area. According
to the SRSG, the governor and prefect, among others, had
abandoned the area, save for one local MP. The SRSG said he
felt that violence in Birao was a clash between two
communities. FACA soldiers, who were caught in the middle of
these clashes and left without pay or support, had aligned
with one rebel group out of fear. The result, according to
the SRSG, was that the soldiers stayed in their barracks
while the rebel group patrolled the town, hich was mainly
deserted with up to 60 percent o houses having been torched.
The SRSG said he ws seeing a proliferation of rebels
groups, by ethicity, with one group even linked with
Darfuri-bsed militia. Although Angelo defined the conflict
as "local," he recognized that the groups wer well armed.
Thus the potential for the violence to spread both across the
border and into the CAR's diamond-mining area south of Vakaga
was very much present.



9. (SBU) The SRSG said that MINURCAT forces -- fully
deployed but insufficient for the size of the area -- were
patrolling the town. All humanitarian operations had been
suspended, leaving 40,000 people without any assistance.
Angelo underscored his concern for food supplies in the area,
estimated at only 258 tons, in response to which the SE
offered to raise the issue during June 30 meetings with WFP
officials in Rome.



10. (SBU) Angelo said that he would be in New York for the
MINURCAT mandate renewal at the end of July. We advised him
to spend a day in Washington as well, consulting with
leadership in the AF and IO bureaus.



11. (U) Minimize considered.
NIGRO