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Cablegate: Media Reaction: United Nations Security Council Resolution

VZCZCXRO7983
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1197 2131242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011242Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8063
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH 0017

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001197

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, SE NATSIOS,

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UN KPAO UN SU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION
1769


1. (U) SUMMARY. Most papers prominently featured news of United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1769, but focused mainly on its
details, and the reaction of the Sudanese Ambassador to the UN who
stated that the resolution has "many positive aspects." On August
1, there were a limited number of other Sudanese reactions to the
resolution. The Sudanese Ambassador's reactions contrasts with a
limited sampling of dissenting views, including one editorial with
the headline, "Diplomatic victory for U.S. on Darfur force
resolution." This evening's nightly news and tomorrow's print media
will present a more complete picture of the Sudanese reaction to the
event. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On July 31, almost all Sudanese papers published news about
the resolution. However, there were few reactions from government
ministers and editorial columnists. Most newspapers included the
comments of Sudan's ambassador to the UN, Abdelmahmoud Abdelhalim,
who described the resolution as having "many positive aspects." He
also added that the Sudanese government is going to study the
resolution.

3. (U) The extremist, pro-government Al-Intibaha Daily, which
advocates northern secession from the South, appeared more critical
of their Chinese ally than the resolution itself. The front page
article entitled, "China Supports the Hybrid Under Chapter Seven,"
stated that it was very "unexpected that China would consent to the
deployment of the Hybrid in Darfur under Chapter seven." The
article hinted that the Sudanese government was disappointed with
the Chinese role in the Security Council. Al-Intibaha and several
other newspapers also carried articles which stated that the U.S.
Congress is considering putting further sanctions on Sudan.

4. (U) Also on August 1, the moderate pro-government Arabic daily
Sudanese newspaper "Al-Sahafa" reported that some Sudanese officials
expect that the hybrid forces may be put into a direct confrontation
with Sudan. According to one article, Ambassador Serag El-Din
Hamid, the Director of the Peace Department at the Sudanese Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, gave a gloomy interpretation of the resolution,
stating that UNAMID is authorized to disrupt the implementation of
the Darfur Peace Agreement. He added that this disruption will then
open the door to accusations against the Government of Sudan.

5. (U) The State-controlled Sudanese Television's 22:00 broadcast
on July 31 forecast Sudan's official reaction to UN resolution 1769
hours before the actual vote. It featured a live interview with the
Sudanese Ambassador to the UN, Abdelmahmoud Abdelhalim, saying that
the resolution was better than previous drafts and that it respects
Sudanese national sovereignty. This was followed by an interview in
the studio with political science professor Safwat Fanous who said
that the resolution was balanced and that this was due to Sudan's
friends on the Security Council, specifically mentioning China,
Qatar and Indonesia. He added that he did not expect US pressure on
Sudan, in the form of sanctions, to lessen since American pressure
"had more to do with America's problems in Iraq and Palestine."

6. (U) An editorial in the English daily Sudan Tribune entitled
"Diplomatic victory for U.S. on Darfur force resolution" by Wasil
Ali stated that the U.S. was hoping for three things with the
resolution: a single command and control structure provided by the
UN, a Chapter VII mandate for the troops, and a specific timeline
for deploying the force as expediently as possible. According to
Ali, the final resolution incorporating these three elements signals
that the U.S. won this diplomatic battle. Ali added that Sudan
remained adamant till the very last moment, but when their "Chinese
ally had a change of heart over the weekend" they had to change
their strategy. Ali states that the Chinese change may have been
motivated by "the threat made last Friday by Steven Spielberg of
quitting his role as artistic director of the Beijing Olympics."

7. (U) Following this Chinese "change of heart," Ali says that
Sudan's ambassador to the UN, Abdalhaleem Abdalmahmood, began to
tone down his criticism of the resolution. He also wrote,
"Following the adoption of the resolution, Abdalmahmood uneasily
welcomed it saying that 'it contained many positive elements' which
is a clear indication that Khartoum did not get all it wanted.
Moreover he said that Sudan's government agencies would review the
resolution." Ali also wrote that "late last night Abdalmahmood made
statements to the Al-Jazeera Arabic television in which he blasted
the US and accused it of having a 'hidden agenda that goes beyond
Darfur' because it threatened Khartoum with sanctions in the event
of non-compliance with the resolution." (Note: The embassy has not
been able to confirm that this was said on Al-Jazeera. End Note.)

8. (U) Another media reaction cable will be forthcoming in septel
tomorrow.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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