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Cablegate: Slm Unity Meeting Yields Still Another Faction

VZCZCXRO4221
RR RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0434 1431442
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231442Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5309
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0405

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000434

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF PREL UNSC CD SU
SUBJECT: SLM UNITY MEETING YIELDS STILL ANOTHER FACTION


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The attempt to reunify the Sudan
Liberation Movement (SLM) at Ameri in Darfur last month
appears instead to have succeeded in giving birth to yet
another splinter group. According to its spokesman, speaking
with us on May 22, the newly christened Revolutionary
Military Council embraces over half of SLM's membership,
though includes few of the SLM's political representatives
based in or often seen passing through Chad. The new group,
we were told, seeks a political settlement, but does not
accept the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) as the basis for
talks. END SUMMARY

2, (U) At the request of Dr. Sharif Harir, an SLM political
leader now visiting Asmara, Musa Tageldin, representative for
the SLM's new Revolutionary Military Council, briefed the
Ambassador and Poloff May 22 on the results of the meeting in
April of SLM representatives in Ameri. Musa also responded
to the Ambassador's points urging Darfur political talks on
the basis of the DPA under the leadership of the United
Nations and the African Union (AU). Musa was accompanied by
his colleagues Abdul Jabar Beshir and Ahmad Mohammed Geri.

3, (SBU) Musa said the gathering in Ameri established a
Transitional Revolutionary Council under the presidency of
Abdullah Yaya. It also set up a new military organization
under Abakar Kado and adopted decisions committing the group
to respect for human rights. According to Musa, Sharif Harir
had been offered the position of president, but agreed
instead to assume responsibility for international affairs.
SLM commander Ahmed Abdulshafi had been fully involved in the
meetings, but backed out when his bid to be named president
failed. He is now seeking to organize his own faction.
Other SLM leaders or field commanders, including Khamis
Abdullah, Adam Bakheit, Adam Shogar, and Abdelwahid Muhamed
El Nur, stayed away entirely.

4. (SBU) Despite the failure to bring the SLM's disparate
factions together in Ameri, Musa said, unification of the SLM
remains the group's objective. He claimed that the meeting
had obtained as much as 65 percent of that objective. Talks
on bringing other prominent SLM representatives into the new
group continue. Once that is accomplished, the intention is
to come together under a "big umbrella" with the Justice and
Equality Movement (JEM), Ahmed Diraige''s Federal Democratic
Alliance, various Arab groups, and others.

5. (SBU) Musa said the goal is negotiation of a
comprehensive peace agreement. The group seeks a political
solution to the conflict in Darfur, but also knows it must be
strong on the ground. It supports political talks and the
lead role of the United Nations. It sees the AU as a fact of
life that must be dealt with, though it cannot be trusted.
Musa argued that the DPA is unacceptable as the basis for new
talks, since it had been rejected by Darfur's people and has
never been implemented. Reminded by the Ambassador of the
consequences those seen as obstacles to the peace process
would face, Musa backed off, indicating that Sharif Harir,
the group's lead negotiator, would have to address that
issue. Musa also reported he felt no pressure from the
Chadian government to leave Chad, notwithstanding commitments
in the agreements in Tripoli and Riyadh about withdrawing
support for rebel movements.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: The goal of SLM unity remains as remote
as ever. Reaching a consensus among the various groups on a
common negotiating position will not be easy to achieve
either, but has a better chance of succeeding than efforts
aimed at unification. END COMMENT
WALL

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