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Cablegate: Inauspicious Resumption of Amis Ceasefire Commission

VZCZCXRO2933
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1289/01 2291013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171013Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8227
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001289

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

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

SUBJECT: INAUSPICIOUS RESUMPTION OF AMIS CEASEFIRE COMMISSION
ACTIVITIES

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) After a nearly three week hiatus of Ceasefire Commission
(CFC) meetings, proceedings in the First Chamber were dominated by
continued SLA-Minawi protests regarding cuts in Monthly Subsistence
Allowance (MSA). The rebel reps walked out of the CFC before its
conclusion. There was no discussion of substantive ceasefire
violations or CFC security-related tasks, such as janjaweed
disarmament oversight. The Deputy Force Commander (DFC) provided
CFC participants a back brief of his meeting earlier in the week
with Minni Minawi. AMIS cancelled the second set of CFC meetings on
account of a VIP visit; non-signatory reps did not show up for CFC
Second Chamber meetings.

-------------------
MINAWI STRIKE ENDS?
-------------------

2. (SBU) Despite Minni Minawi's pledge that his representatives
would participate in AMIS CFC and patrolling activities, his two El
Fasher CFC reps immediately disrupted First Chamber discussions by
launching into a tirade about the disparity between AMIS military
observers (Milobs) and signatory representatives. The core of their
disgruntlement remains the reduction in their MSA. Having said
their piece, the SLA-Minawi reps walked out of the meeting before
its conclusion.

3. (SBU) Before the rebel reps departed, however, the UN CFC
representative clarified that as of January 1, the UN will not pay
MSA. S/CRS Field Officers reiterated that point privately with
SLA-Minawi reps in subsequent meetings.

4. (SBU) Nearly a week following Minawi's statement that his forces
would resume their duties, AMIS Operations noted that only a few
rebel representatives had returned to their posts in sectors; AMIS
also indicated it expected joint patrols to begin again next week.
(Note: In a separate meeting with S/CRS Field Officers, SLA-Minawi
CFC representative Adam Ali War presented an official letter
declaring that all faction reps would return to their "duty
stations" and that the issue of MSA would be raised only at
"appropriate levels." End Note.)

----------------------------------------
MINAWI SEEKS TO MEND RELATIONS WITH AMIS
----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) AMIS Deputy Force Commander Rurangwa, who chaired the
meeting in Force Commander Agwai's absence, backbriefed CFC
participants on his August 8 meeting with Minni Minawi (AMIS minutes
sent by email to Post). The DFC highlighted four main points.
First, Minawi's agreement that MSA is a political issue and should
no longer be discussed at the CFC. Second, Minawi offered to give
feedback to the DFC on whether and when his reps would collect their
MSA for March and April (the first two months at the new, reduced
rate). Third, Minawi assured AMIS that his faction posed no threat
to AMIS, contrary to statements made by some of his commanders in
early August. Fourth, Minawi informed AMIS that he instructed his
commander in Labado to return AMIS' 13 vehicles confiscated on 30
May, though no specifics of how or when were mentioned. (Note: In
August 16 discussions with the SLA-Minawi CFC rep, he speculated to
S/CRS Field Officers that the field commander ultimately responsible
for turning over the Labado vehicles, Jumah Hagar, would be unlikely
to do so given that his forces have been fighting Arab militia units
and needed the additional trucks. End Note.)

-------
COMMENT
-------

6. (SBU) Despite numerous armed clashes over the past month
throughout Darfur, no specific cases were addressed. Additionally,
no Declaration of Commitment (JEM-PW or SLA-Free Will) factions
participated, further underlining the recent difficulties of the
CFC. S/CRS Field Officers will encourage the new Force Commander,
upon his return to El Fasher, to strengthen the mechanism and
enhance its credibility.

7. (SBU) The issue of MSA will continue to be a thorn in the side of
AMIS, negatively impacting both ceasefire investigations and
patrolling activities. Several SLA-Minawi reps have conveyed to
S/CRS Field Officers that they do not believe AMIS when it says that
MSA reductions were mandated by donors (and the AU has never
provided written records to that effect, despite numerous requests
from both signatories and international observers).


KHARTOUM 00001289 002 OF 002

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