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Cablegate: Jem Repositions Its Forces, but Is Ready for Peace

VZCZCXRO2549
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1057 1841524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031524Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7798
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001057

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND SHORTLEY

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO AU CD SU

SUBJECT: JEM REPOSITIONS ITS FORCES, BUT IS READY FOR PEACE

Reftel: Khartoum 01053

1. (SBU) According to African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and
Sudanese Government sources, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
forces are moving southward from Um Kedada to reclaim land held by
the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)/Minawi. Cease-fire Commission
JEM representative General Mohamed Bashir confirmed the movement of
his forces on July 6, stressing to S/CRS Poloff that the land was
not the SLM's. He said that JEM would not provoke a fight with the
SLM or the Government but "expects anything."

2. (SBU) Bashir did not specify the size of his forces but did note
that Government troops had been sent toward JEM territory from
al-Tuweisha (reftel) and El Fasher. He said JEM knew of thirty-four
heavily-armed vehicles that had headed south from El Fasher in the
last two days. (Note: Government forces from El Fasher may have
also been sent to deal with former National Redemption Front (NRF)
forces led by Ali Karbino, which according to AMIS reporting has
wrested control of Dar el-Salaam from SLA-Minawi. End note.)

3. (SBU) Bashir said that while JEM coordinated its movements with
other non-signatories--he considered them "all SLA"--only JEM had a
unified negotiating agenda. He expressed hope that the
non-signatories would rally under SLM/Abdulwahid, but stressed that
he meant the group rather than Abdulwahid al-Nur himself. He said
that Abdulwahid had changed after Abuja and no longer represented
the people.

4. (U) JEM was aware of the UN/AU roadmap, according to Bashir, but
stressed that there was still "nothing on the ground" to show for
it. He said that the lack of a peace dividend had caused many
rebels to defect from their movements. Bashir said that he had
heard there would be a UN-sponsored meeting in August but said that
the rainy season would make it difficult for some to attend it. He
wondered whether the international community intended to delay the
peace process.

5. (SBU) Bashir attested that the Sudanese Government was acting in
bad faith with regard to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and would
likely do so in future peace negotiations. It was clear to him that
the Government had done little under the DPA rubric to provide
incentives for peace. However, in anticipation of a peace
conference, he stressed the importance of the international
community demonstrating that there is "hope on the horizon." "It is
very difficult for our fighters to stay somewhere between peace and
war," said Bashir.

FERNANDEZ

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