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Cablegate: Chad: Fissures in Opposition Ranks

VZCZCXRO7689
RR RUEHC
DE RUEHNJ #0544/01 1801030
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291030Z JUN 07 ZDK ZUI SVC RUEHZC #1057
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5460
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1419
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0952
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 1400
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0379
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0472
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1714
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0726
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 2978
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2206
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 1577

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000544

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV CD LY SU
SUBJECT: CHAD: FISSURES IN OPPOSITION RANKS

REF: A. NDJAMENA 499

B. NDJAMENA 516

NDJAMENA 00000544 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Two tracks of government-opposition talks
have been under way for the past week, one with the Chadian
rebels in Tripoli, the other a continuation of the internal
dialogue in Ndjamena. Preliminary indications suggest that
serious fissures are developing within the formerly cohesive
internal opposition coalition -- possibly bad news for the
democratic leap forward that many hope for. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Negotiations opened a week ago in Tripoli between
Chadian rebels and the Chadian government. We know from
press reports that rebel leaders Mahamat Nouri, Timane
Erdimi, and Hassan Saleh al-Djenedi arrived some days before
the official Chadian delegation led by Minister of State
Adoum Younousmi. Younousmi only stayed for two days before
returning to Ndjamena and then going to Khartoum to prepare
the way for Deby's trip to Khartoum, which was canceled at
the last moment due to the death of senior Sudanese official
Majzub al-Khalifa. It first appeared that the talks in
Tripoli with the rebels had broken off, due to rebel demands
for Deby's resignation and for including the internal
opposition in the talks. But now we know that the talks have
continued, with the government delegation led by Minister of
Interior Ahmat Mahamat Bachir. (Key Deby security advisor
Abderaman Moussa, who has led past discussions with rebels in
Tripoli, is part of the delegation.)

3. (SBU) Three of our sources in the moderate opposition
coalition CPDC (Coordination of the Political Parties of the
Democratic Opposition) give us somewhat conflicting reports,
but the bottom line is that events in Tripoli have put huge
pressure on the internal dialogue, with a resultant split
among the principal leaders in the CPDC.

4. (SBU) Former President Lol Mahamat Choua, perhaps the
most substantial figure in the opposition, tells us that the
six most substantial figures in the CPDC have split down the
middle: Lol, along with Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh and Salibu
Garba, on one side, and Jean Bawoyeu Alingue, Wadal
Abdelkader Kamougue, and Saleh Kebzabo on the other. Lol's
"faction" is holding tight to the position that it will not
sign an agreement with the ruling party (the dialogue thus
far has officially taken place only among parties) unless
Deby concedes on several fundamental issues, among them:
naming of a true government of consensus with an independent
prime minister, inclusion of the rebels in the dialogue,
establishment of an international watchdog committee, and
signing of the document only by the principal parties (not
the raft of minor parties created by or allied to the
government).

5. (SBU) Salibu Garba has given us a similar account, adding
that internal CPDC discussions have broken down amid
recriminations (accusations that the Alingue "faction" has
been "bought off" by Deby). On the issue of including rebels
in the dialogue, Garba says that, while it is essential to
include the rebels, Tripoli was not the correct venue and it
would be better to conclude the present CPDC-ruling party
dialogue before roping in the rebels. In a conversation with
the Ambassador June 27, civil-society leader Delphine
Kemneloum also strongly underlined the view that, given
Qadhafi's long history of meddling in Chad, Libya was an
unacceptable venue and Qadhafi an unacceptable mediator.

6. (SBU) Ahmat Mahamat Hassan, a legal advisor to Alingue,
told us June 29 that Alingue was in close contact with
Mahamat Nouri in Tripoli. Ahmat said that the rebels had
dropped their show-stopping preconditions and that
discussions were on-going in Tripoli. Alingue would have
been willing to go to Tripoli, but Deby refused the idea.
Alingue had discussed by telephone with Nouri the idea of
accepting a "gouvernement d'ouverture" rather than a
government of consensus or national unity, the former
implying that Deby would retain greater authority than the
latter. Alingue tapped Ahmat to draft a decree stiplulating
the powers of a prime minister, heretofore only vaguely set
forth in the constitution -- the idea being that the new
prime minister and his cabinet would be more independent than
the present. Ahmat said that Alingue's focus was on having a
competent, professional, technocratic government of experts

NDJAMENA 00000544 002 OF 002


that will clean up the massive corruption and inefficiency,
make effective use of the oil money, and clean up and
professionalize the army. Ahmat implied that Alingue would
prefer not to have a true government of national unity, as it
would, by definition, by a politically-oriented cabinet
balancing political parties rather than focusing on expertise
needed to clean up the administration. (In a conversation
with the Ambassador June 19, Alingue focused on two issues:
the calamitous maladministration of the country and the
difficulty of making progress in an environment of rebellion
and insecurity.)

7. (SBU) Ahmat said that it appeared that both the CPDC and
the rebels would break up. Among the rebels, Djennedi would
"surely" sign and Nouri probably would, but Deby was not
likely to be reconciled to the Erdimis. Among the CPDC, Lol
was holding back, insisting on a government of consensus and
not trusting anything else. Ahmat believed that the other
CPDC leaders would follow Alingue, to include Ibni Oumar as
well as Kamougue and Kebzabo. He believed that Lol might
give in at the end. He said that none of them now trusted
Salibu Garba, as they believed he had sent messages directly
to Deby on the positions of the CPDC leaders. He said that
Deby wanted Alingue to be the new prime minister, but Alingue
"wanted to be a candidate" (i.e., to run for president in
2011), which, it was generally thought, would disqualify him
as prime minister. Lol, Kamougue, and Kebzabu all also
"wanted to be a candidate." Salibu wanted to be prime
minister but was deemed unacceptable by the others in the
CPDC. A possible compromise candidate for prime minister
would be Yusuf Saleh Abbas, who serves as a diplomatic
advisor to Deby at present and is respected by all sides.
Ahmat anticipated that there would be a resolution of the two
tracks, internal and at Tripoli, in relatively short order --
"maybe a week."

8. (SBU) Comment: It is too early to tell how crippling
this fissure in the opposition ranks is, or how much Deby has
"won" and the cause of a democratic opening has lost, but any
fissure in the CPDC is troubling news.
WALL

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