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Cablegate: Unsc/Darfur: Members Disappointed with Bashir

VZCZCXRO6900
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0227/01 0800032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210032Z MAR 07 ZDK
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1562
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 0387
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 1210
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA PRIORITY 0996
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0801
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0627
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA PRIORITY 0247
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 USUN NEW YORK 000227

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL SU UNSC KPKO
SUBJECT: UNSC/DARFUR: MEMBERS DISAPPOINTED WITH BASHIR
RESPONSE BUT LITTLE APPETITE FOR SANCTIONS

REF: SECSTATE 34477

USUN NEW Y 00000227 001.6 OF 003


1. (SBU) SUMMARY. At March 19 United Nations Security Council
(UNSC) consultations, Under-Secretary-General (U/SYG) for
Peacekeeping Operations Guehenno stressed that the
three-phase package of Darfur peacekeeping operations was
"indivisible," with its proposals "interlinked and
interdependent." The March 6 rejection by Sudanese President
Bashir of the second phase of the plan, the Heavy Support
Package (HSP) of assistance to the African Union Mission in
the Sudan (AMIS), threatened to prevent the UN from assuming
any operational role in Darfur. Only USUN and the UK Mission
(UKUN) raised the possibility of sanctions in response to
stalling on the package; other Members - most notably Chinese
Permanent Representative (PR) Wang, South African PR Kumalo
and the Qatari and Indonesian delegates - opposed the
imposition of any measures that could be applied at the
expense of the ongoing political process spearheaded by UN
Special Envoy Eliasson and AU Special Envoy Salim. As to
next steps, Guehenno reported that while the UN and AU were
drafting a response to Bashir's letter on the HSP,
preparations for the third phase of the plan, the hybrid
force, were nevertheless continuing, with a UN team currently
on the ground in Addis Ababa to finalize arrangements. END
SUMMARY.

GUEHENNO: UN AND GNU HAVE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES IN DARFUR
PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS

2. (SBU) Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) U/SYG
Guehenno reported to the UNSC at March 19 consultations on UN
views of the March 6 letter from Sudanese President Bashir
that rejected major elements of the second phase of the plan
for Darfur peacekeeping operations. Calling Bashir's
agreement on the importance of re-energizing the political
process "common ground" between the GNU and the UN/AU,
Guehenno was hard pressed to find any other areas of
agreement. He highlighted major problem areas in Bashir's
response, namely the inclusion of air assets, Level II and
III hospitals, re-structuring from eight to three sectors
(which he said had been an AU initiative) and a re-focus of
the role of the Tripartite Mechanism from facilitating HSP
implementation to defining the HSP's contents.

3. (SBU) Guehenno expressed mild exasperation at Bashir's
response, given the fact that the UN's and AU's plans for
support to AMIS, restoration of stability and protection of
civilians in Darfur "had not come out of the blue," but were
rather rooted in the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and
represented months of intensive UN/AU collaboration, of which
the GNU had been apprised at every step of the way and which
had culminated in the November 16 Addis Ababa Agreement.
Guehenno emphasized that the UN and the AU had worked closely
to find credible approaches to sticking points like command
and control of the hybrid force so that the package presented
would be sufficiently credible to attract troop-contributing
countries (TCCs). The Addis Ababa package, Guehenno
emphasized, was "indivisible," with its proposals
"interlinked and interdependent." Bashir's letter, he
argued, threatened to prevent the UN from assuming any
operational role in Darfur and implied a re-opening of
negotiations on the whole package, which in turn would mean
protracted negotiations with uncertain conclusions. Guehenno
welcomed the opportunity to clarify with the GNU certain
elements of the HSP but strongly recommended against
re-negotiating the whole plan.

4. (SBU) Guehenno responded to accusations from the South
African PR and current UNSC President Kumalo that the UN had
not treated the GNU as a viable partner in the Darfur
peacekeeping planning process by citing at least nine visits
by high-ranking UN officials to Khartoum in the past 16
months as evidence of the UN commitment to transparency.
Guehenno said the difficulty lay in coming to agreement with
Khartoum in assessing the Darfur situation and what needed to
be done in response. He said the GNU was in need of a
"strategic shift" in its thinking vis-a-vis protection of
civilians, which would require Khartoum's abandoning its

USUN NEW Y 00000227 002.6 OF 003


proposition that Sudanese police could handle the task
exclusively in favor of its accepting the international
community's help in this regard. Absent this type of
political shift, Guehenno warned that the UN would never have
an operational role in Darfur and humanitarian operations
there would collapse.

ALL HOPE NOT LOST: ELIASSON MISSION, HYBRID PLANNING

5. (SBU) Guehenno was hopeful about the political mission of
UN Special Envoy Eliasson, who will be in Khartoum the week
of March 26. In response to questions from Ambassador
Sanders as to the focus of Eliasson's mission, Guehenno
responded that Eliasson would stress with Bashir that he
should exploit the "unique window of opportunity" now facing
him on Darfur and that he should show a willingness to
address concretely rebel grievances; with the rebels that
they should show good faith in negotiations with the GNU and
that "forum shopping" was not a constructive means of
negotiation; and with all parties that the political process
should be consolidated but not mistaken for an alternative to
peacekeeping.

6. (SBU) Also in response to Ambassador Sanders' query,
Guehenno reported that despite the "stalemate," DPKO
continued to engage potential TCCs for the Darfur operation
and planned to convene a TCC meeting in early April.
Guehenno reported that while the UN and AU were drafting a
"respectful but clear" response to Bashir's HSP letter,
preparations for the hybrid force continued, with a UN team
currently on the ground in Addis Ababa to finalize
arrangements. Still, given the current delay in planning,
Guehenno said that no significant UN deployment in Darfur
could realistically be expected until 2008.

LITTLE SUPPORT FOR PROSPECT OF UNSC SANCTIONS

7. (SBU) Only UKUN PR Jones Parry and Ambassador Sanders
raised the possibility of sanctions in response to Sudanese
stalling on implementation of the three-phase package for
Darfur, and there was no traction among other Members. Jones
Parry argued that coercion was a necessary part of the
overall package in order to maintain momentum on the
three-phase plan, specifically the naming of individuals
identified by the Panel of Experts, a broadening of the arms
embargo and the monitoring of air space over Darfur.
Ambassador Sanders recommended the Council consider
additional and expanded sanctions and announced the USG's
readiness to take unilateral measures. French PR de La
Sabliere declared the time was not right for sanctions,
putting his faith instead in the efforts of SYG Ban at the
Arab League Summit in Riyadh beginning March 28 and in
Eliasson's mission. Congolese PR Ikouebe echoed de La
Sabliere's comments and announced that South African
President Mbeki and Nigerian President Obasanjo would shortly
travel to Khartoum to negotiate with Bashir.

8. (SBU) Chinese Political Coordinator Li told PolMinsCouns
at a P5 Coordinators lunch before consultations that we
should not bother to table a sanctions resolution, as Beijing
had already decided it "could not be allowed to pass."
Chinese PR Wang told the UNSC that Sudan's fundamental
disagreement with the approach of UNSCR 1706 had to be taken
into account in implementing the three-phase plan. Wang
agreed that the HSP should not be re-opened for negotiation,
but advised that DPKO and the UNSC honor the Sudanese demand
for further clarification and explanation to secure GNU
cooperation. Wang cited the "bedrock principle" that any
peacekeeping operation needed the consent of the receiving
country and explicitly rejected sanctions as a threat to the
political process and further dialogue with Khartoum.
(COMMENT: While the Chinese have likely not decided in
advance on a veto of any sanctions measure, it is a prospect
that has to be taken seriously, as is opposition from some of
the elected members (Qatar, South Africa and Indonesia).
Wang seemed less protective of Khartoum than he had been in
earlier comments, at times clearly indicating his
disagreement with what Bashir had said. END COMMENT.)

USUN NEW Y 00000227 003.6 OF 003

9. (SBU) The Qatari representative advised the international
community to act "constructively" on Darfur and not to impose
any measure that could jeopardize the political process. He
announced Doha's plans to host a meeting between President
Bashir and Eritrean President Isaias, and he hailed the
Libyan and Eritrean mediation efforts on Darfur. The
Indonesian PR suggested that the UNSC try to bridge the
divide with Bashir over their respective understandings of
the Darfur crisis by responding to Bashir's March 6 letter,
not by imposing sanctions that would be counterproductive and
would even further alienate the UN from the GNU. South
African PR and current SC President Kumalo was dismissive of
the potential efficacy of sanctions, quipping, "As if
sanctions are going to save even one life in Darfur."

10. (SBU) Russia has been uncharacteristically quiet in
recent days on the sanctions issue; formerly PermRep Churkin
was one of the most outspoken critics of the prospect. Now
the delegation seems resigned to sit back and watch others
carry on the debate: the Russian Political Coordinator kept
quiet during a March 19 P5 Coordinators lunch on the subject,
and a Russian Political Officer told Poloff after
consultations that with the Council so deadlocked on the
issue, "What is there to say?"

11. (SBU) One new note among DPKO and some Members (including
the UK, Ghana, China and Qatar) was a broader recognition
that the Sudanese rebels were causing more problems in Darfur
than was the GNU and a hope that the groups would unite as
soon as possible to begin negotiations with the GNU. A
representative of the Sudanese Mission informed Poloff after
the meeting that Justice and Equality Movement leader Khalil
Ibrahim was not cooperating at a rebel conference in Asmara
and had walked out of a March 19 negotiating session. The
Sudanese rep said Khartoum was nevertheless "optimistic" that
the negotiations would continue and promised to update
accordingly. He said President Isais' mediation was
progressing.
WOLFF

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