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Cablegate: Darfur: Un/Au, Splm Initiatives Lack Specifics

VZCZCXRO2843
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0793/01 1421327
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221327Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7280
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0160

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KHARTOUM 000793

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: UN/AU, SPLM Initiatives Lack Specifics


KHARTOUM 00000793 001.2 OF 004


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

1. (SBU) The United Nations and African Union released their joint
roadmap on the Darfur political process to Western donors in
Khartoum, who expressed concern over the framework's lack of
specificity. Though cleared by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and
AU Chairman Alpha Omer Konare, the document offered few details on
how to channel the variety of international initiatives, including a
proposal from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to hold
a meeting of Darfur rebel factions, into a coordinated and
constructive effort. UN and AU staff plan to conduct additional
consultations in Darfur, surrounding countries, and Europe over the
next week and pledged to "flesh out a strategy document" on the
political process. The UN and AU asked the donors to endorse the
SPLM's efforts to encourage cohesion among the Darfur rebels and to
press the SPLM to "limit its scope" based on a realistic assessment
of their capacity. See para. 11 for the text of the "Joint AU-UN
Road-map for Darfur Political Process." End summary.

-------------------------------------
Donors: UN-AU Roadmap Needs Specifics
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) At a May 20 meeting with Western donors, the UN and AU
released a draft copy of their roadmap for the Darfur political
process. The roadmap outlined three phases: 1) Convergence of
Initiatives/Consultation Phase (May-June 2007), 2) Pre-Negotiation
Phase (June-July 2007), and 3) Negotiation Phase (July-August 2007).
The roadmap provides few details on the UN/AU strategy for
channeling the plethora of international initiatives into a
constructive process or laying the foundation for negotiations. The
"Negotiation Phase" is not described.

3. (SBU) UK representatives questioned the "shift in
characterization" of a roadmap from a specific plan to a "framework"
and underscored that the proposed timelines were unrealistic without
preparatory work. The Dutch ambassador urged the UN-AU team,
represented by Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) head Sam Ibok and UN
Deputy Director of Political Affairs Fabienne Hara, to provide
clarity on how the variety of international initiatives "fit
together."

4. (SBU) Ibok said that UN Envoy Jan Eliasson and AU Envoy Salim
Ahmed Salim had decided that it was premature to describe specific
actions in the roadmap without additional consultation with
"international stakeholders." He said that UN and AU staff would
visit Darfur, Chad, and France within the next week to present the
roadmap. They would also distribute it through contacts in Tripoli,
Cairo, and Asmara. Ibok said that rebel factions would need to
agree to a set of principles, such as adherence to a cease-fire,
before participating in the political process and that the UN and AU
would include these conditions in a more detailed strategy document
after their consultations. He provided no specific timing for the
release of this document.

5. (SBU) Taking note of the emergence of three non-governmental
initiatives to work with the non-signatories--the Centre for
Humanitarian Dialogue, the Community of Sant Egidio, and Concordis
International--Ibok asked the donors for assistance in bringing
these efforts under the UN/AU umbrella. UK DCM Hugh Evans explained
that the NGOs were stepping into a "vacuum" in the absence of a
specific UN/AU strategy, comments echoed by the EU representative.
CDA Powers questioned whether these three groups could be utilized
to support an SPLM initiative. Poloff noted that the Centre for
Humanitarian Dialogue had long-standing relationships with a broad
group of rebel factions and had proposed a realistic strategy to
bring together the disparate elements of the Sudan Liberation Army
(SLA). He recommended that the UN/AU view the NGOs' initiatives as
a "surge capacity" until an adequately-staffed UN/AU mediation team
deployed.

---------------------------------------
Donors: SPLM Initiative Needs Specifics
---------------------------------------

6. (SBU) After two meetings with the SPLM Task Force on Darfur, led
by Rev. Clement Janda, the UN and AU reported that they were "not
fully successful in getting agreement on a manageable initiative."
According to Ibok and Hara, the SPLM reduced its 1.8 million dollar
budget by 300,000 dollars, but it remained beyond the SPLM's
capacity. "The SPLM is not in a position on its own to bring
together all the stakeholders (in Darfur)," said Ibok. He noted
that the SPLM had asked the UN and AU for the contact information of
key rebel leaders before members of the Task Force had traveled to

KHARTOUM 00000793 002.2 OF 004


Darfur on May 18. He asked the donors for assistance in narrowing
the scope of the SPLM's proposal and in pressing its leadership to
have realistic expectations.

7. (SBU) Hara explained that the Task Force had proposed a meeting
of 120 representatives of the Darfur rebel movements, civil society,
and the SPLM in Southern Sudan on June 11. She said that the SPLM
did not know which factions to invite, which factions might attend,
and how to structure the meeting. The SPLM had scheduled a
pre-meeting on June 4 with the UN and AU to address some of these
questions.

8. (SBU) The donors underscored the difficulty of evaluating the
SPLM proposal in the absence of an overall UN/AU strategy. UK and
Norwegian representatives said it would be difficult to analyze and
pledge against the proposed budget without a clear objective for the
SPLM initiative. The French Ambassador questioned whether the June
11 date was realistic given the UN, AU, and SPLM's need for further
consultations and a decision on a venue and a method to address the
logistical constraints in Southern Sudan. The EU representative
urged the UN and AU to develop a "memorandum of understanding" with
the SPLM to clarify each party's role. (Note: EU Special Envoy for
Sudan Torben Brylle had also proposed this to Eliasson and Salim
during their visit to Khartoum the week of May 7. End note.)

9. (SBU) In response to Poloff's questions, the UN-AU team said they
had no specifics on the SPLM's discussions with the National
Congress Party (NCP) on the proposed meetings. However, there are
indications that the NCP is split on the issue, with Presidential
Advisor Maghzoub al Khalifa calling it a Government of National
Unity (GNU) initiative while Presidential Advisor Nafie Ali Nafie
deemed it an SPLM initiative. (Note: In a previous conversation, an
EU official told Poloff that Al Khalifa had voiced support for the
SPLM initiative in a meeting with Brylle but had added that it had
no chance of success. End note.) The UN/AU also said that the
Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Senior Assistant to the
President Minni Minawi would have a role in the SPLM meeting. In a
later meeting with Poloff on May 21, Minawi said the SPLM had not
yet contacted him about their initiative but that he would raise the
issue with First Vice President Salva Kiir.

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

10. (SBU) The current state of the UN/AU strategy and the SPLM
initiative leaves many questions unanswered. The UN and AU support
a strong SPLM role in the political process, but the lack of detail
in the roadmap's description of such a role does not match this
support. The USG should press the UN and AU to develop a more
specific political process strategy in the near future. After six
months of Eliasson and Salim's work, focusing on additional
consultations with stakeholders will undermine the momentum
resulting from the April 29 Tripoli conference. In endorsing the
SPLM's role and examining ways to support it, the USG should work to
narrow the focus of the initiative to account for the SPLM's
strengths but avoid a proposal that is unrealistic. We must also
examine how NGOs, such as the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, can
utilize their pre-existing relationships in Darfur to advance the
political process in the near term to set the stage for more
concrete UN/AU and SPLM efforts. End comment.

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

11. (SBU) The following is the UN/AU roadmap presented to donors in
Khartoum on May 20:

(Begin Text)

Joint AU-UN Framework for a Road-map for the Darfur Political
Process

DRAFT 10 May 2007

Work in Progress

On the basis of the Addis Ababa conclusions of 16 November 2007, UN
and AU Special Envoys, Jan Eliasson and Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, have
been working closely together and consulted with the parties and a
wide range of stakeholders on how to end the Darfur conflict.

There is consensus that priority must be given to an inclusive
political process. Progress on the political track must be
accompanied by an end to widespread violence and insecurity, a

KHARTOUM 00000793 003.2 OF 004


strengthened ceasefire supported by an effective peacekeeping force,
as well as an improvement in the humanitarian situation and serious
prospects for socio-economic recovery in Darfur.

The Tripoli Consensus adopted on 29 April 2007 on the political
process for Darfur underlined the urgency of finding a comprehensive
and sustainable solution to the crisis. Recognizing the value of
regional and other initiatives, the meeting agreed on the need for
coordination and convergence of all initiatives under the AU-UN
lead.

The roadmap for the political process will consist of three phases:
1/ Convergence of Initiatives and Consultations; 2/
Pre-Negotiations; 3/ Negotiations.

1. Convergence of Initiatives/Consultation Phase (May-June 2007)

The AU-UN leadership will provide for the convergence of initiatives
that aim to underpin the political process. Simultaneously AU-UN
will continue consultations with all stakeholders inside and outside
Sudan.

Planned Actions:

A priority focus of this phase will be to encourage cohesion and
consolidated positions among the parties, including the
non-signatories, in order to prepare for negotiations. Initiatives
towards this end by the SPLM and the regional actors: Chad, Egypt,
Eritrea and Libya are expected to be finalized and integrated within
the broader AU-UN framework by the end of June.

The AU-UN will assist in facilitating the SPLM initiative to bring
together non-signatory movements in order to bring about cohesion
and develop a common platform for negotiations. The international
community's support to this initiative will be coordinated through
the AU-UN.

Consultations will continue with civil society, tribal leaders and
representatives of IDPs, refugees and women's groups inter alia
through the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation preparatory
framework.

Building on bilateral agreements, the Special Envoys will continue
to encourage efforts by the international community to improve
Chad-Sudan relations.

To broaden information-sharing on the political process, the AU-UN
will implement its communication strategy utilizing local and
regional media and stakeholders.

The AU-UN will strengthen the Joint Mediation Support Team in order
to provide leadership for and effective implementation of this
roadmap. Experts on key issues and on logistics will be engaged to
support the ongoing efforts.

The Special Envoys will utilize the format of the Tripoli meeting to
engage and solicit support from the international community.

2. Pre-Negotiation Phase (June - July 2007)

All parties are expected to demonstrate a serious commitment to the
political process through upholding the ceasefire and accelerating
preparations for negotiations in good faith.

Planned Actions:

AU-UN Special Envoys will continue and finalize consultations with
all stakeholders to seek an understanding of parties' positions on
key issues, including power-sharing, wealth-sharing and security
arrangements.

Establish a Recovery and Reconstruction Group to revisit assessments
and plans and prepare options for including a development
perspective into renewed negotiations. This process will serve to
prepare for the post-negotiations International Donors Conference.

Based on consultations, AU-UN will develop a mediation strategy also
incorporating the lessons learnt from Abuja talks.

Consultations and work will be undertaken on format, criteria for
participation and venue for the negotiations.

Invitations for negotiations will be issued.

3. Negotiation Phase (July - August 2007)


KHARTOUM 00000793 004.2 OF 004


(End text)

12. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

POWERS

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