INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Minister Kosti: Humanitarian Access Improving

Published: Mon 17 Sep 2007 01:47 PM
VZCZCXRO9358
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1462 2601347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171347Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8548
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001462
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR AF/SPG
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM US SU
SUBJECT: MINISTER KOSTI: HUMANITARIAN ACCESS IMPROVING
1. SUMMARY: (SBU) In a September 15 courtesy call with CDA
Fernandez, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Kosti Manibe reported
that humanitarian access inside Sudan was improving, and that no
travel permits for NGO workers were required outside of Darfur. The
case of the CARE country director was still being reviewed, he said.
CDA urged Kosti in his role as an SPLM minister to protect the CPA,
which was still vulnerable to outside attacks like those printed in
the sensationalist newspaper Al-Intibaha. End summary.
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CARE CASE UNDER REVIEW
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2. (SBU) On expelled CARE country director Paul Barker, Kosti said
that the ministry was conducting internal consultations and would be
communicating with the regional director of CARE shortly. CDA
welcomed this, noting that it would serve the government well to be
as transparent as possible. Without dialogue and clear explanations,
the international community was prone to think the worst of the
Sudanese government in such matters. "International NGOs can be
partners with the government," CDA pointed out, since they were able
to judge and report on progress on the ground.
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NO PERMITS REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE DARFUR
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3. (SBU) Despite administrative hitches, Kosti said that he thought
the humanitarian access situation in Sudan was improving. He cited
substantial progress in areas outside of Darfur, claiming some
reduction in the restriction of movement for humanitarian workers.
Kosti also said that Darfur was the only region requiring a special
travel permit; INGOs were authorized to freely travel throughout all
other parts of the country. That national security officers had
recently been demanding to see permits for travel to Juba was a
mistake, he said; not even NISS Director General Salah Ghosh knew
what was going on. When CDA asked whether this was also true for
diplomats, Kosti hesitated. "Sometimes it's a security matter," he
said.
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PROGRESS IN SOME AREAS, BUT CPA STILL VULNERABLE
--------------------------------------------- ---
4. (SBU) CDA called the resolution of the travel permit issue a
positive step, as was the recent transfer of Suleiman Jamous to a
medical facility in Chad. While there was also forward movement on
implementing UNSCR 1769, much more progress needed to made on CPA
issues like Abyei SAF redeployment and border delineation; these
needed to be negotiated to the satisfaction of both the NCP and the
SPLM.
5. (SBU) The atmosphere surrounding the CPA was poisoned, CDA said,
and alleged NCP tools like daily newspaper Al-Intibaha only added
fuel to the fire. Kosti said that the SPLM had recently been
discussing that particular paper, and planned to raise their
concerns with the NCP. (Note: Last fall the SPLM sued the newspaper
for promoting religious and racial hatred. End note.) The
newspaper's management acted outside "all bounds of responsibility,"
he said. Kosti also mentioned that a new press law would soon be
introduced, and hoped that the press council would be able to set
reasonable limits on incitement in reporting. "We want freedom with
responsibility," he said. CDA agreed and hope that "whoever is
really behind such a publication" would realize that such poison is
dangerous for Sudan's future and stability.
FERNANDEZ
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