Viewing cable 06KHARTOUM1149
Title: Sudan - Operational Constraints Related to

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06KHARTOUM11492006-05-15 13:54:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Khartoum
VZCZCXRO4810
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1149/01 1351354
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151354Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2813
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001149 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AIDAC 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W 
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AF/SP, DCHA 
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS 
USMISSION UN ROME 
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH 
NAIROBI FOR SFO 
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR SHORTLEY 
USUN FOR TMALY 
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: EAID ASEC PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI KAWC SU
SUBJECT:  Sudan - Operational Constraints Related to 
Darfur Presence 
 
Ref: A) Khartoum 949, B) Khartoum 852 
 
¶1.  (SBU) Summary:  Any U.S. government (USG) initiatives 
linked to the support of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) 
must take into account the operational realities of the 
region.  The experience of USAID's humanitarian operation 
provides insight into the challenges that will face any 
new USG operations in Darfur.  USAID's Disaster 
Assistance Response Team (DART) for Darfur was set up in 
April 2004 and has had continual presence in the region 
over the past two years. (Note:  The USAID DART was 
transformed into the Darfur Field Office.  End Note.) 
Any plans to augment USG presence in Darfur must consider 
the requirements for security and facilities and the 
regulatory impediments from the Government of National 
Unity (GNU).  End summary. 
 
¶2.  (SBU) Security:  The lack of security throughout 
Darfur remains a major obstacle for humanitarian and 
other operations.  Over the past several months, United 
Nations (U.N.) agencies and non-governmental 
organizations (NGOs) have found themselves unable to 
access many parts of Darfur due to generalized violence 
linked to ongoing conflict as well as attacks targeting 
aid agencies and their staff.  Insecurity has reached a 
point in West Darfur where aid agencies are seriously 
considering the suspension of humanitarian activities in 
order to safeguard their staff and property.  Unchecked 
violence hampers mobility throughout Darfur.  A 
government-imposed curfew in all of Darfur's major cities 
- El Fasher, El Geneina, and Nyala - indicates the level 
of tension related to growing lawlessness.  Increased USG 
presence in Darfur's major cities and towns would require 
that significant security measures be put in place. 
 
¶3.  (SBU) Facilities:  The only USG facilities currently 
in Darfur are linked to USAID's Darfur Field Office 
(DFO).  The DFO operates compounds in El Fasher and Nyala 
that have office space and living quarters for six 
individuals.  The USAID humanitarian presence in Darfur 
utilizes the entire capacity of these limited facilities. 
There is no room for expansion in Nyala and few options 
at the El Fasher facility.  The DFO currently has three 
vehicles in El Fasher and two vehicles in Nyala.  (Note: 
There is one light armored vehicle at each location.  End 
note.)  All vehicles must be parked inside the compounds 
and there is currently no space for additional vehicles 
within the current arrangement.  It is expected that 
capacity of DFO facilities will be stretched even further 
by the deployment of additional USAID/DCHA personnel who 
would be needed to assist in obligating funds allocated 
for Darfur programs in the supplemental funding bill. 
The bill recently cleared the Senate and is expected to 
be approved by Congress in the coming months.  The DFO 
offices in Darfur currently have modest communication 
facilities designed to support a maximum of six USAID 
staff. A V-sat will soon be operational in El Fasher; 
however, the office in Nyala operates using B-GAN 
technology. 
 
¶4.  (SBU) GNU Obstructionism:  Sudan's Government of 
National Unity (GNU), like its predecessor, the 
Government of Sudan (GoS), has perfected the art of 
obstructionism in relation to humanitarian operations in 
Darfur.  The general lack of government cooperation 
significantly retards operations and cripples the 
efficiency of the humanitarian response.  The laundry 
list of government tricks includes:  delaying or refusing 
the issuance of visas, delaying or refusing travel 
permits, interference in the staffing of agencies through 
imposition of a labyrinth of hiring practices, arduous 
registration requirements, and extreme holdups in 
clearing the import of vehicles, communications gear, and 
other vital equipment through customs through Port Sudan 
(Ref A).  Furthermore, the GNU recently signed into law 
the Organization of Humanitarian and Voluntary Work Act 
(Ref B) which essentially forbids NGOs and civil society 
groups from engaging in overtly political acts under the 
threat of being closed down or expelled from the country. 
This new law provides the government with greater legal 
 
KHARTOUM 00001149  002 OF 002 
 
 
authority to restrain groups that involve themselves in 
matters that the GNU might find political in nature, 
including support for DPA acceptance and implementation. 
 
¶5.  (SBU) Setting Up Shop:  Any new office or 
organization (international or national) introduced to 
facilitate DPA implementation or political party 
development in Darfur will be required to register with 
the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) at the national 
level, as well as local authorities at each operational 
location in Darfur.  Staff must be hired according to 
strict guidelines laid down by the HAC requiring 
organizations to vet all positions and candidates through 
the HAC and Ministry of Labor before any hiring can 
occur.  This is a time consuming process that often lasts 
months.  All program proposals must also be shared with 
governmental authorities and must receive approval before 
any activities can begin.  Once international staff are 
in country, they must reapply for work permits every 
three months, leaving agencies little certainty that they 
will be able to retain staff necessary to carry out 
programs over extended periods of time.  U.N. 
humanitarian agencies are generally not required to abide 
by the registration, program, and hiring regulations 
imposed by the government.  However, the current 
disagreement between the GNU and the U.N. over the 
extension of the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Status of 
Forces Agreement (SoFA) to other U.N. agencies greatly 
restricts the movement of U.N. humanitarian staff. 
 
HUME