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Cablegate: President Bashir On Hybrid Force, Chapter Seven Un Command

VZCZCXRO0403
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1040 1821347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011347Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7764
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001040

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: PRESIDENT BASHIR ON HYBRID FORCE, CHAPTER SEVEN UN COMMAND
AND CONTROL

REFTEL: KHARTOUM 00956

1. (SBU) Summary: On June 30 at a press forum conducted by the
official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), President Al-Bashir was reported
to have "renewed Sudan's rejection to international forces in
Darfur," while at the same time stating that Sudan had accepted the
hybrid force. Al-Bashir remained vague about what he defined as UN
command and control of the hybrid force, preferring to limit his
characterization of the UN role as technical and administrative.
While he emphasized Sudan's acceptance of the hybrid, he sharply
rejected the idea of Chapter 7 authorization for a force and
criticized U.S. sanctions as "repeating in Darfur the mistakes of
Iraq and Afghanistan." End summary.

2. (SBU) In his wide-ranging speech at the SUNA-sponsored press
forum, Al-Bashir discussed the recent tripartite agreement in Addis
on the hybrid force. He said that agreement stipulated that troops
on the ground would be African, and that the UN would extend
logistical, technical, financial and administrative support. While
not explicitly detailing the Sudanese government's position on UN
command and control, Al-Bashir took care to point out that the AU/UN
Joint Representative (Adada) was from the Congo, and the new AMIS
force commander (Agwei) was a Nigerian.

3. (SBU) Al-Bashir further stated: "Regarding the forces on the
ground, we have stated that is should be completely African. They
have asked if Africa is not able to provide the necessary forces,
should the UN bring forces from other nations with the consent of
the Sudanese government? We have contacted all African nations who
have affirmed to us that they are ready to provide troops if the UN
provides the funding." Al-Bashir also called on the UN to submit a
new resolution requesting funding for the hybrid force; if there was
no funding, he continued, "they should not deploy any forces."
A-Bashir added: "Concerning talk about converting the mission of the
hybrid force so that it falls under UNSC supervision under Chapter 7
of the UN Charter, as UNSCR 1706, this will not happen. I swear on
this once, twice and a hundred times."

4. (SBU) Comment: Over the past several months, Al-Bashir has
conveyed a consistent public message that all hybrid troops should
be from African nations, and has also consistently avoided any
public acknowledgement of UN command and control. His remarks at
this press forum, sponsored by the official Sudanese news agency,
followed this pattern. While not rejecting UN command and control of
the hybrid, the president made clear his point that the
decision-making echelons of the hybrid force should be comprised of
Africans. When one looks closely at the rhetoric, one can see that
nothing has changed as far Sudan's June 12 acceptance of the hybrid
force, acceptance which was confirmed to the UNSC during their June
17 visit to the Sudan. The intemperate language on Chapter 7 is a
very clear statement of the GoS's public stance on this issue. It
seems Al-Bashir is finessing the command and control issue, but not
Chapter 7. End comment.

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