Cablegate: Cfc Week of March 12 - Sla/Minawi Takes Responsibility For

DE RUEHKH #0445/01 0810534
P 220534Z MAR 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

SUBJECT: CFC Week of March 12 - SLA/Minawi Takes Responsibility for
Killing and Seeks Help


(B) KHARTOUM 00409

1. (SBU) Summary: The Force Commander announced that the next Joint
Commission would not be held in El Fasher because of insecurity but
did not suggest a date or an alternate venue. He discussed the new
arrangements in the Ceasefire Commission (CFC) with a drop in MSA
payments and a reduction in numbers to streamline the organization
and make way for the deployment of the Second Chamber, which he
continues to hope the Sudanese government will approve. Aprezi will
give the factions two weeks to verify their sectors and hopes to
present a comprehensive sector verification map at the next Joint
Commission. Aprezi said that the Government has offered to take
back responsibility for Graida from the SLA/Minawi. The report on
the March 5 killing of the two AMIS soldiers clearly pins
responsibility for the deaths on SLA/Minawi, which Aprezi said is
corroborated by one of the wounded soldiers and was conceded by
Minawi himself. In a sidebar meeting with international observers,
Aprezi discussed a private meeting he and AMIS leadership had with
Minawi, who he said is desperately seeking help to hold his faction
together. Aprezi in turn asked for the international community to
take a stronger interest, as "without Minni, there is no DPA." End


2. (SBU) Aprezi had just returned from three days in Khartoum where
he said he held meetings with Minni Minawi, the GOS Senior Military
Command, the international community, and AMIS leadership. He
announced up front that the next Joint Commission meeting would not
be held in El Fasher due to insecurity. Until the Sudanese
government can provide a safe and secure environment here, he said,
we will not risk bringing in VIPs to attend. He then intimated that
there were some AMIS politics involved in this decision but did not

3. (SBU) Aprezi said that there was a high-level Sudanese government
delegation in El Fasher looking at how to improve security and
better coordinate among the various players here. He mentioned
problems in the coordination with the Western Command that the
delegation from Khartoum would help with.


4. (SBU) Aprezi briefed the group on changes that had been agreed to
by the international donors and the faction leadership in Khartoum
on the functioning of the CFC (Ref A). He said the mission support
allowance would be cut to $1,000 per month at headquarters and $500
at the group sites. The international donors agreed to fund this
amount and to pay the arrears through February, with the new amount
staring on March 1.

5. (SBU) The number of representatives at the group sites would be
reduced, but there were still two options for how to do so, pending
approval from the Government for the deployment of the Second
Chamber. Both options would have two persons per faction in the CFC
headquarters but differ on representation at the group sites: 1) Two
representatives from each faction at the eight sector headquarters
or 2) Representatives only in Nyala, El Fasher, and Geneina in
anticipation of the change to three sectors. In either case,
factions would only have representatives in the sub-sectors in areas
where they have verified control or where their faction has
constituents. Aprezi hopes that both options will include
deployment of the non-signatories for the Second Chamber, which is
still pending Government approval.

6. (SBU) Aprezi said that he prefers the three sector option, which
would have the CFC organized in parallel to changes that will be
made to the AMIS layout when the two new battalions arrive, which he
anticipates in the coming months. He also said he will lay down new
rules for the faction representatives. First, there will be
mandatory rotation, with no rep exceeding one year in a sector.
Second, the factions will recommend people for the CFC, but once
their names are forwarded, their status and responsibilities will be
clearly spelled out in a contract with the Chairman. He said this
should stop the proliferation of breakaway factions that put forward
new representatives and will keep standards high. Third, the
standard operating procedures will be enforced, and there will be no
pay for reps who are not actively pursuing their function.

7. (SBU) The SLA/Minawi rep asked if there was still any room for

KHARTOUM 00000445 002 OF 003

discussion and the FC answered that since the proposal had already
been briefed to the faction leaders, no. The GOS rep questioned
whether the new proposal was in keeping with the letter of the DPA
and urged that it be reviewed a last time with that in mind.


8. (SBU) With regards to the sector verification exercise that was
started recently, Aprezi said he will not discuss it further but
plans to clearly spell out how it will be conducted. He will
formally write to the factions and give them two weeks to complete
their plotting for verification. AMIS will roll it all together in
time for the next Joint Commission.


9. (SBU) We then discussed the security situation in Graida in the
wake of the killing of the two AMIS soldiers on March 5. The FC
said that he has received a letter from the Sudanese government
stating that if SLA/Minawi does not secure Graida, the Government
will take it by force. He said that SLA/Minawi has stated at
different times that it would be willing to give Graida up, and
pointed out that with the two additional battalions Graida will be a
battalion headquarters so AMIS would also have the option of
securing the town. SLA/Minawi rep asked how the GOS can threaten to
"take Graida," and asked if this would be a violation of the DPA.
He said he would raise it with his leadership. The Government
representative said that Sudanese forces had pulled out of Graida
when asked to do so by SLA/Minawi, but acted on the assumption that
SLA/Minawi could secure the town. Since they have failed to do so,
it is time to revisit the arrangement.

10. (SBU) The Force Commander then accused SLA/Minawi of being the
only faction that is not taking responsibility for its areas.
SLA/Minawi representative cited a recent threat against the deputy
head of the party, but Aprezi cut him off by stating that he knows
this was actually "Minni on Minni" violence. He urged SLA/Minawi to
be honest about its lack of control in an area like this and to
allow the Sudanese government or AMIS to take over.


11. (SBU) The only violation we considered was the killing of two
AMIS soldiers in Graida on 5 March 2007. The report is titled
"Investigation Report on the Attack on AMIS personnel and Snatching
of Vehicle Reg AMIS 242 in Graida by SLA(MM) soldiers on 5 March
2007." SLA/Minawi is listed as the "who" in the introduction, and
under "why" it states "the SLA(MM) soldiers act was intentional to
kill AMIS personnel and snatch the vehicle." The opinion section
states "the attack of SLA(MM) soldiers against AMIS personnel and
property in Graida was done intentionally. This deliberate attack
carried out by a group of SLA(MM) soldiers against AMIS constitutes
a major violation of the DPA." It recommends the sanctioning of the
faction, bringing the perpetrators to justice through national or
international criminal courts, and condemning the act in the media.
There is a statement by the SLA/Minawi sector representative that
suggests some other group carried out the act to sully the
reputation of SLA(MM) but oddly he also signed the report which
names his faction as the guilty party.

12. (SBU) The Force Commander explained that days after the incident
SLA/Minawi said they had located the vehicle and asked AMIS to come
pick it up. The Force Commander declined to do so, saying he wants
the perpetrators not the vehicle. He said he brought the wounded
soldier back with him when he returned from Khartoum, and the
soldier knows the SLA/Minawi soldiers who carried out the attack by
sight. When the SLA/Minawi representative challenged the Force
Commander on the issue of blame, the Force Commander dismissed his
challenge by stating that he had already discussed it with Minni
Minawi himself, who conceded that his faction was responsible. The
Force Commander then asked to meet separately with the UN, EU, and
U.S. observers. (Note: Per Ref B, Minawi denies that he conceded
SLM responsibility. He claims that his offers to conduct a joint
AU/SLM investigation to identify and detain the attackers were
rebuffed by the AU, including Aprezi. End note.)


KHARTOUM 00000445 003 OF 003

13. (SBU) The Force Commander briefed S/CRS Poloffs privately about
the discussion he, DPA Implementation Chief Sam Ibok, and Acting
Head of Mission Mukaruliza had had with Minawi. Minawi conceded to
him that his organization is in trouble. When they were fighting,
Minawi said, they had other ways of supplying themselves, which is
how they were able to sustain 45,000 men in the field. Now they are
down to a handful. Minawi reportedly told the Force Commander that
he has trouble maintaining control over his areas. He said that the
day after he had met with his commanders on a recent trip to Darfur,
they stole two vehicles.

14. (SBU) Aprezi said there is widespread concern in AMIS
headquarters over the state of the Minawi faction. Aprezi told us
that the sentiment among AMIS leadership is "if there is no Minawi,
there is no DPA." When confronted with the evidence on the March 5
attack on AMIS, Minawi reportedly came clean and admitted it was his
people who carried out the attack, but said he simply does not have
the material resources to keep his men on his side. The Force
Commander said Minawi cited a figure of 25 vehicles configured for
heavy weapons that have gone over to the National Redemption Front
(NRF) with defectors over the past several months. Aprezi said he
wanted to do a side bar meeting with the international community to
stress that Minawi needs help, and if we do not help him, "the DPA
will be dead."

15. (SBU) We then discussed the various initiatives for humanitarian
assistance to the faction, the first tranche of which went out
earlier in the week. Aprezi mentioned that LTG Ismet, the "land
forces commander for Darfur" was in El Fasher to help improve
security here and General Al-Dabi may be coming out as well to work
these issues. He thought they might be helpful interlocutors in
making these same points, since the Government is responsible for
carrying out the program of non-military aid to the factions.


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