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Cablegate: Darfur - Moving Forward From Tripoli

VZCZCXRO1121
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0676/01 1201253
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301253Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORTY 7037
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0158

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000676

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF S/E NATSIOS AND AF/SPG
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND SHORTLEY

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU UN SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR - MOVING FORWARD FROM TRIPOLI

Ref: KHARTOUM 0644

KHARTOUM 00000676 001.2 OF 002


-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) Following the conclusion of the April 28-29 Tripoli talks
on Darfur, Poloff met with Khartoum-based representatives of the UN,
AU, EU, Norway, and the Netherlands, as well as the Arab League
Secretary General's point person on Africa, to discuss ways to

SIPDIS
sustain momentum on the Darfur political process. The
representatives viewed the endorsement of the UN/AU lead on the
process and regional governments', including Libya, Eritrea and
Chad, acknowledgement of this lead as an important step. However,
the representatives agreed that concrete actions must be taken in
the near future to demonstrate progress in bringing Darfur rebel
factions to negotiations with the Sudanese Government.

2. (SBU) Three tracks emerged from the discussions: 1) The need to
ensure that leaders at the capital level, as well as the UN
leadership in New York and the AU leadership in Addis Ababa, share a
common understanding of the next steps for moving forward from the
Tripoli meeting; 2) The necessity of establishing a mechanism, such
as a Contact Group, to review progress on the political process,
ensure accountability for the UN/AU, monitor coordination of the
UN/AU initiative with the efforts of regional governments and the
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM); and 3) The importance of
the UN and AU developing a roadmap, as stipulated in the Tripoli
Consensus, in the near future, which would form the basis of
discussions between member states and the UN/AU on the type of
capacity-building support the bodies would need to advance their
strategy and on the division of labor among members states (and the
SPLM) in bringing the Sudanese Government and the Darfur rebel
factions to negotiations. End summary.

---------------------
Understanding Tripoli
---------------------

3. (SBU) The Khartoum-based representatives emphasized the
importance of key governments, such as the USG, drawing on the
momentum from the Tripoli talks to confirm a common understanding of
the outcome of the meeting with capitals, the UN in New York, and
the AU in Addis Ababa. Points would include the UN/AU lead on the
political process; the urgency with which the UN and AU need to
present a comprehensive strategy and a realistic timeline to lay the
groundwork for peace negotiations; a mechanism to monitor
international efforts on the political process; and, in the case of
the SPLM, a request for definition from its leadership on the role
it seeks to play in the UN/AU-led process.

-------------------
Follow-up Mechanism
-------------------

4. (SBU) A mechanism to review the progress on the political
process, promote transparency, and ensure coordination among
international actors is essential, according to the Khartoum-based
representatives. A Contact Group could exist at the
Khartoum-level--with weekly meetings--and be mirrored at a
higher-level, perhaps monthly. The Contact Group would provide a
forum for the UN/AU to describe its actions vis-`-vis the
non-signatories and the Sudanese Government; to review the
coordination of international initiatives, including that of the
SPLM; and to request support from the international community for
the UN/AU-led effort. This mechanism would encourage accountability
among all the actors, including the development of realistic goals
and timelines for the UN/AU and SPLM initiatives.

-------------
UN/AU Roadmap
-------------

5. (SBU) The final statement of the Tripoli meeting stipulates that
the UN and AU will develop a roadmap and strategy for laying a
foundation for negotiations between the non-signatories and the
Sudanese Government. UN Envoy Jan Eliasson and AU Envoy Salim Ahmed
Salim asked their staff in Khartoum to prepare a draft of this
roadmap by May 4, according to the UN Director of Political Affairs
in Khartoum. The Khartoum-based Darfur watchers said that the
international community should urge Eliasson and Salim to finalize
their strategy by May 15.

6. (SBU) This strategy will form the basis of subsequent discussions
with the UN/AU on concrete methods for the international community
to provide support for the UN/AU and SPLM initiatives, through the

KHARTOUM 00000676 002.2 OF 002


existing Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST) comprised of UN/AU
staff in Sudan. Working-level UN and AU representatives emphasized
that it would be premature to provide any assistance prior to the
presentation of the roadmap because the UN and AU would have neither
the capacity to absorb nor a strategy to utilize such support.
(Note: USG support would likely include the provision of experts on
power-sharing, wealth-sharing, rebel factions, and the legal aspects
of the Darfur Peace Agreement. The UN and AU have underscored that
such experts would need to be full-time and willing to commit to
working in Sudan for a minimum of six months in order to be
effective. End note.)

7. (SBU) The UN and AU will have to develop the roadmap in
consultation with regional actors, including the SPLM. Support from
the international community would also need to involve facilitation
of an SPLM role, after the SPLM leadership has clarified its view on
next steps. An AU representative reported to the group that the
SPLM timeline for the peace process was significantly longer than
that envisioned by the UN and AU and expressed his doubts about the
SPLM's real commitment to its ambitious plan--which includes a
request for 1.6 million dollars--to work with the non-signatories.


8. (SBU) If the UN/AU present a the roadmap on May 15, the
international community could study the strategy, identify methods
of support, and endorse the plan at a Contact Group meeting at the
end of May.

-------
Comment
-------

9. (SBU) Numerous Darfur watchers question the commitment of
Eliasson and Salim to lead the effort to bring rebel movements into
negotiations with the Sudanese Government.
Eliasson and Salim can, however, move quickly to design a structure
and framework for the UN/AU initiative that their successor can
carry forward and key governments can monitor and support. End
comment.

10. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

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