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Cablegate: Splm Appeals for Funds, Outlines Efforts for Darfur

VZCZCXRO9961
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0904/01 1591422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081422Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7524
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0177

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000904

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF/SE NATSIOS, AF/SPG, NSC FOR PITTMAN AND
SHORTLEY

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU UN SU ER CD
SUBJECT: SPLM Appeals for Funds, Outlines Efforts for Darfur
Conference

Ref: Khartoum 900

KHARTOUM 00000904 001.2 OF 002


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

1. (SBU) Summary: The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
initiative to organize a conference of various Darfur factions faces
significant logistical and financial obstacles but is moving
forward. In several meetings in Juba, members of the SPLM's Task
Force on Darfur (TFD) provided a detailed overview of their efforts
to date, and appealed to donors to respond urgently to SPLM appeals
for financial and "in kind" assistance. End Summary.

----------------
Financial Crisis
----------------

2. (SBU) Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) Minister of
Presidential Affairs Dr. Luka Biong, along with members of the TFD,
met with Acting CG Juba at his office June 7. Embassy Khartoum
Poloff also attended. TFD chair Clement Janda said the task force
had reached a critical point in the effort to mobilize resources.
The TFD's difficulties come against the backdrop of a broader GOSS
financial crisis. At the meeting, mission officers reviewed
potential USG assistance, including the provision of prefab office
space, internet connectivity and a small amount of office equipment.
Mission officers also described, without making any promises,
potential USG assistance with food, lodging and airplane tickets.
Washington was considering the approval of USD 30,000 in emergency
assistance for airline travel within the region. TFD Secretary Deng
Akol promised to provide a list of delegates requiring air
transportation to ConGen Juba on June 8.

3. (SBU) UNMIS has provided good support for TFD movements within
Sudan, Janda reported. The Norwegians signed a contract to provide
USD 150,000 to the TFD for both the preparatory meeting and the
conference. Otherwise, the TFD has received no tangible support
despite long dialogues with various donors. Biong added that UN
Envoy Jan Eliasson had promised GOSS President Salva Kiir that the
UN would provide support, but that other than UNMIS transportation
assistance, no help has been forthcoming. Janda acknowledged that
the budgets his task force has prepared are not perfect. He
stressed that this is an "emergency" initiative, and said the TFD
welcomes "in-kind" assistance channeled directly from donor to
vendor. He urged donors to fund what they deem sensible and
necessary, but to do so quickly.

------------------------------------------
Moving Forward with Preparatory Conference
------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Biong directed the TFD to issue invitations to the
preparatory committee meeting scheduled to begin on Monday, June 11.
The purpose of the meeting is to make specific plans for the
conference and coordinate donor assistance, TFD members reiterated.
TFD members said they expected representatives from the UN, US, EU
and the Juba-based, multilateral Joint Donor Team (JDT). They were
not certain whether representatives of the Moi Institute, including
retired general Lazarus Sumbeiywo, would attend. Sumbeiywo was
chief mediator in the talks that led to the signing of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and has been proposed as a
mediator or facilitator in the SPLM conference. TFD reps said the
also hoped to bring Eritrean official Yemane Gharaeb to the
conference. A representative of the Center for Humanitarian
Dialogue (CHD) is expected to arrive in Juba on June 11, and will
likely attend.

5. (SBU) TFD members stressed that they need funds soon for
accommodating and feeding up to 20 participants in the preparatory
conference. More critical, however, is securing funds for the
conference, targeted to begin June 18 in Rumbek--a venue that the
TFD says still should not be publicly disclosed. TFD reps promised
to provide quotations for accommodation for participants in the
preparatory conference. Noting the TFD's lack of internet access,
Acting CG offered to assist in obtaining quotations for
accommodating 150-200 people in Rumbek.

------------
SPLM's Focus
------------

6. (SBU) The size of the proposed conference could be a problem for
donors, Poloff advised Biong. Biong replied that although civil
society leaders, women's groups, traditional leaders and others have
been invited, the focus remains on bringing together the political
and military leadership of both signatories and non-signatories of

KHARTOUM 00000904 002.2 OF 002


the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), and the development of a common
negotiating position for the non-signatories with the Government in
Khartoum.

7. (SBU) Janda expressed frustration over demands for a roadmap or
similar document describing where the talks are headed. It is wrong
to set pre-conditions, he asserted, and impossible at this juncture
to "define outcomes." Janda also said he is tired of being asked
where SPLM will "hand the file" once the conference ends. Let the
parties decide, he argued. Biong acknowledged there are concerns
about Eritrea's future role, but said the views of the parties
should be taken into consideration. The SPLM would dispatch a
representative to remain in Asmara until the Darfur groups gathered
there were ready to move to Juba, Janda said.

--------------------
The SPLM's RSVP List
--------------------

8. (SBU) On June 6, TFD member James Kok provided Acting CG with a
detailed overview of TFD efforts to date and summarized the
commitments the SPLM believes it has from various groups to
participate. Although some of this information has been previously
reported, it is worth repeating--and cross-checking.

9. (SBU) In their May 22-24 visit to Ndjamena, Kok said, he and TFD
chair Janda had met with Tajudeen Bashir Nyam, a former SPLA soldier
now with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Tajudeen was
accompanied by "two commanders", Kok said, and agreed to attend the
SPLM conference. The TFD reps also met with Ahmed Abdelshafie and
"three commanders." Abdelshafie promised to attend, Kok claimed,
and subsequently traveled to Kampala to await a summons to Juba.
Also in Ndjamena, the TFD met with Musa Tajudeen of the SLA Unity
Wing. Musa Tajudeen was accompanied by five commanders, Kok said,
and agreed that his group would be represented at the conference.
Subsequent to the meetings in Chad, SLA Unity Wing leader Mohammed
Abdul Yahya traveled to Asmara, where he again met with SPLM reps.


10. (SBU) In Asmara on May 31, Kok said, the TFD met with nine
Darfur groups. Eritrean officials Yemane Gharaeb and Abdel Jabr
facilitated the meeting, but bowed out once it started. The TFD had
initially expected to meet the groups separately, Kok said, but
Yemane advised that the "situation was improving" and recommended
that the TFD engage the groups collectively. Kok claimed that
Yamani also assured the TFD that Eritrea had brought the groups to
Asmara to "work toward the Juba meeting." A total of 27 Darfur
representatives attended the meeting, Kok reported. Only Khamis
Abdullah was missing, in a meeting with "the Norwegians." The SPLM
was nevertheless able to meet with Khamis the following day, and
according to Kok, Khamis and all the other Darfurians in Asmara
agreed to attend the SPLM's conference. Kok cited specifically JEM,
the "National Redemption Front for Development," SLA factions, the
Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance, and a representative of Ahmed
Diraig. The Darfurians nevertheless urged the SPLM to push the date
of the conference back, and on this basis the target date was
shifted from June 11 to June 18.

11. (SBU) Finally, in separate meetings, TFD member Edward Lino
reports that he is "confident" the notorious janjaweed leader Musa
Hilal will accept the invitation to attend the conference. Lino
also claims that the "paramount chief of the (Arab) Rizeigat" tribe
will attend. And with respect to the much-debated issue of whether
Abdul Wahid al-Nur will attend, Lino claimed that he had "talked to
him twice and he's coming."

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

12. (SBU) The SPLM's efforts to put together this conference must
overcome considerable challenges. They will need significant
material and advisory assistance in order to succeed. The
preparatory conference on June 11 and 12 will provide an opportunity
to refine its plans in consultation with the US, UN, CHD and others.
ConGen Juba will also work to organize an informal meeting in Juba
chaired by the UN (and, if they're here, the AU), to coordinate
support for the SPLM. End Comment.

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