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Cablegate: Darfur: Splm Outlines Conference Structure

VZCZCXRO2906
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0929/01 1631456
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121456Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7584
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000929

SIPDIS

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL AU UN SU US

SUBJECT: DARFUR: SPLM OUTLINES CONFERENCE STRUCTURE


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Summary
-------

1. (SBU) In a meeting with donor governments, regional
representatives, and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
Taskforce on Darfur, Secretary General Pagan Amum emphasized that
the SPLM would play a facilitation not a mediation role in the
Darfur political process and outlined three-phases to the proposed
conference in Southern Sudan. Amum made a strong appeal to the
international community to provide financial support for the SPLM
conference. He endorsed the efforts of the Center of Humanitarian
Dialogue to organize the remnants of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)
and called on the UN and AU and the leaders of the "regional
initiative"--Chad, Libya, and Eritrea--to harmonize their efforts.
End summary.

-------------------------------
SPLM to Facilitate, Not Mediate
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) Chairing a preparatory meeting for the SPLM's conference on
the Darfur political process, SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum
emphasized that his party intended to prepare the Darfur Peace
Agreement (DPA) non-signatories for negotiations with the National
Congress Party (NCP) but would not serve in a mediation role. In
attendance were members of the SPLM Taskforce on Darfur (TFD);
Minister for Regional Cooperation in the Government of Southern
Sudan Benjamin Maril Barnabas; representatives of the U.S., the
Netherlands, France, Norway, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Egypt;
and two members of the UN/AU Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST).
Amum explained that the SPLM had long advocated for the marginalized
people of Sudan, including those of Darfur, and was "not neutral."
As a member of the Government of National Unity (GNU), however, the
SPLM was in a unique position to facilitate the peace process.
According to Amum, the SPLM recognized that the Darfur conflict was
destabilizing Sudan and jeopardizing the implementation of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). He noted that pressure was
mounting on the National Congress Party (NCP) as a result of the
Darfur crisis and the NCP was reacting poorly. He cited the recent
imposition of U.S. sanctions. "They are complicating the situation
in our country," said Amum, adding that U.S. sanctions affect "the
whole country."

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A Conference in Three Phases
----------------------------

3. (SBU) Describing the SPLM's facilitation role in the Darfur peace
process, Amum outlined a three-phase approach for the conference in
Southern Sudan. The first phase will target representatives of both
the DPA signatory and non-signatory movements, civil society
activists, "native administration representatives," and the Arab
tribes, including, in the words of one TFD member, the "Janjaweed."
Amum stated that the objective will be to create "a popular trend in
support of a comprehensive resolution of the conflict" and to
"affirm negotiations as the best way forward."

4. (SBU) The second phase will focus on the Darfur rebel movements,
including both the DPA signatories and non-signatories. The SPLM
will ascertain the reasons some factions refused to sign the
agreement and identify which portions of the DPA that the
signatories were willing to adjust. Amum underscored that the SPLM
will use the second phase to: 1) Emphasize that the rebel movements
should not "reinvent the wheel" and begin negotiations from the
beginning, and 2) Final status negotiations should be efficient and
focused. "The parties should not be allowed to open a Pandora's
box," said Amum.

5. (SBU) In the third phase, the SPLM will work with the
non-signatories to develop common negotiating positions. The SPLM
will assist the non-signatories in determining the "minimum
positions" necessary to opt for the political process instead of
war. While acknowledging that the non-signatories will find some
positions difficult to concede based on their constituencies, the
SPLM would work to bring the rebel factions "down to earth" and
discuss realistic expectations for the outcome of negotiations.

6. (SBU) Throughout the three-phased conference in Southern Sudan,
SPLM leaders will utilize their experience in negotiation developed
during the North/South war and in the talks that culminated in the
CPA. Parallel to the conference, the SPLM will also press the NCP
leadership to make a serious commitment to resolve the Darfur
crisis. Amum hoped that these discussions would convince the NCP to
be "prepared and positioned to be reasonable" or risk "bringing down
their own country."


KHARTOUM 00000929 002 OF 002


7. (SBU) Amum echoed TFD members requests for international funding
for the Southern Sudan meeting, explaining that the SPLM had funded
the Taskforce's activities to date. Though the conference is
scheduled to begin on June 18, organizational and financial
difficulties may lead to a delay. (Note: Mission officials met with
the JMST and donor representatives on June 11 and 12. Norway has
pledged approximately 150,000 dollars for the SPLM conference, and
Post has submitted to Washington a proposed budget for initial U.S.
support of approximately the same amount. The TFD estimates the
total cost of the conference to be 1.3 million dollars. In a
meeting on June 12 with the TFD, donors reiterated their support for
the SPLM initiative but requested more specific information from the
Taskforce on specific budget lines. The SPLM will circulate a more
detailed budget on June 13. End note.)

-----------------
SPLM Supports CHD
-----------------

9. (SBU) Amum endorsed the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue's
proposal to facilitate greater cohesion within the SLA. Stating
that CHD's plans "definitely complement" the SPLM's work and that
the SPLM "supports" CHD's efforts, Amum said that the SPLM will
encourage the factions of the SLA to attend CHD's proposed meeting
in Nairobi. He said the TFD would coordinate with CHD and would
send its own representatives to the Nairobi meeting. Amum did,
however, warn against a proliferation of non-governmental
initiatives, saying they could become a "circus". (Note: A CHD
representative arrived in Juba on June 11, attended the preparatory
meeting, and will meet with the SPLM on June 12. End note.)

-------------------------
UN/AU, Regional Mediation
-------------------------

8. (SBU) Amum described his view of two competing mediation
initiatives that would follow the SPLM conference: the UN/AU and the
"regional initiative" comprised of Chad, Libya, and Eritrea. He
said that the regional actors have important leverage that the UN/AU
and the international community should recognize. He called on the
parties to resolve the potential tension between the two
initiatives, coordinate their efforts, and focus on the goal of
bringing peace to Darfur.

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