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Cablegate: Codel Jackson-Lee's Meeting with Sudanese Foreign

VZCZCXRO4664
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1372/01 2421552
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301552Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8364
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001372

SIPDIS

CODEL
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SE NATSIOS AND AF/SPG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL AU UN SU
SUBJECT: CODEL JACKSON-LEE'S MEETING WITH SUDANESE FOREIGN
MINISTER LAM AKOL


1. (SBU) Summary: During an August 28 courtesy call, Codel
Jackson-Lee briefed Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol on
their visit to Darfur. The delegation also urged the
expeditious implementation of UNSCR 1769, full implementation
of the CPA, unfettered access for humanitarian NGOs,
expedited clearance of materials needed for the construction
of the New Embassy Compound, and asked Lam Akol to intervene
in the recent expulsion of CARE Director Paul Barker. Lam
Akol stated that the GNU is committed to implementing 1769,
charged that USG actions contribute to NEC delays, and was
not encouraging on the Barker expulsion. He also suggested
that claims that 7,000 abductees from the North-South civil
war remain unaccounted for are exaggerated. End summary.

2. (U) At the conclusion of their two-day visit to Sudan on
August 28, Codel Jackson-Lee paid a courtesy call on Foreign
Minister Lam Akol. The Codel was led by Congresswoman Sheila
Jackson-Lee (D-TX), and included Congressmen Steve Chabot
(R-OH) and Adrian Smith (R-NE), along with Staffer Genel
Brown and military escort Major Gerald Thomas. They were
accompanied by Charge Powers and Embassy notetaker.

------
Darfur
------

3. (SBU) Congresswoman Jackson-Lee reported to Foreign
Minister Lam Akol that the Delegation had just completed a
very worthwhile visit to El Fashir, where they had met with
orh Darfur Wali Osman Mohammed Yousif Kibir, UN officials,
newly arrived AMIS Field Commander Martin Luther Agwei, and
visited the El Shouk IDP camp. She attested that the camp
residents have organized themselves and know what they want.
The Codel appreciated the meeting with the Wali, with whom
they agreed with some issues and agreed to disagree on others.

4. (SBU) Lam Akol briefly reviewed the history and the
issues involved in resolving the Darfur conflict, starting
with the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement, and said that
the challenge now is building on UNSCR 1769. He asserted
that the critical problem is lack of unity among the Darfur
rebels. Abdul Wahid is the missing component of the peace
process. Lam Akol warned that the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA) between the National Congress Party (NCP) and
Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) is in danger of
becoming a victim of Darfur. With its attention focused on
Darfur, the international community incorrectly takes
North-South peace for granted.

-----------------------
Implementing UNSCR 1769
-----------------------

5. (SBU) Ms. Jackson-Lee expressed the hope that UNSCR 1769
implementation would advance quickly and that Sudan will take
the initiative to expedite it. She noted that in the
Codel,s meeting earlier that day with AMIS Force Commander
Agwei, he had strongly endorsed rapid implementation of 1769
and the deployment of additional peacekeepers under UN
command that goes with it. Jackson-Lee noted especially the
need to promptly transfer to the new UN-AU peacekeeping force
the land required to support its infrastructure. She hoped
that the GNU would help speed such transfers.

6. (SBU) Lam Akol stated that the GoS has taken steps to
establish a flexible planning process for the necessary land
transfer to the peacekeeping force, forming both political
and technical committees. Now that the mechanism is in
place, Sudan is waiting for specific applications for land
transfers on which to act.

-----------------------------
Comprehensive Peace Agreement
-----------------------------

7. (SBU) Jackson-Lee emphasized the importance of the full
implementation of the CPA, noting that it can provide a
framework for ending the conflict in Darfur, as well as
North-South peace. She suggested that an international
conference might assist in moving the CPA forward. She also
urged the GNU to show flexibility in resolving the dispute
over the Abyei region,s border.

8. (SBU) Lam Akol explained the current obstacle in
implementing the CPA is the redeployment of SAF and SPLA
forces to their respective sides of line 1156, due to
conflicting interpretations of boundary demarcation. The
slow disbursement of international assistance via the

KHARTOUM 00001372 002 OF 002


Multi-Donor Trust Fund also has deprived the South of a
tangible peace dividend expected from the CPA. He noted that
the Abyei border dispute is not one on which the GNU could
take a position, but rather a disagreement between the NCP
and SPLM within the GNU, that must be resolved by the two
parties.

-------------------
Humanitarian Access
-------------------

9. (SBU) The Congresswoman noted the great work being done in
Sudan by international humanitarian NGOs. She hoped that the
GoS will work with the High-Level Committee formed to promote
humanitarian access to ease the NGOs ability to operate
unhindered.

--------------------
New Embassy Compound
--------------------

10. (SBU) Jackson-Lee raised the difficulties being
experienced in clearing through the Port of Sudan the
materials needed for the construction of the New Embassy
Compound (NEC) in Khartoum. She noted that completion of the
NEC is in the interest of both countries and would be a step
toward normalizing bilateral relations. She urged Lam Akol
to try to assist in speeding the processing of the needed
containers into Sudan.

11. (SBU) Lam-Akol countered that the responsibility for the
delays lies largely with the USG, which he asserted has taken
&retrogressive8 actions that are hindering improved
relations between the two countries, and to which the delays
in approving NEC shipments are a response.

---------------------------------
Expulsion of CARE Director Barker
---------------------------------

12. (SBU) Jackson-Lee raised the August 25 order expelling
from Sudan Amcit CARE Director Paul Barker. She cautioned
that Barker,s expulsion sends the wrong message to the world
community. Given that the deadline for Barker,s departure
was that very night, she understood the impossibility of
reversing the decision in time to allow him to stay.
However, she urged the Foreign Minister to intervene with the
relevant GNU agencies to allow him to return as quickly as
possible.

13. (SBU) Lam-Akol denied that Barker had been &expelled8
from Sudan, arguing that, rather, Barker,s residence permit
had expired and had simply not been renewed. He noted that
this is not an MFA area of responsibility and he could not
promise that it would be satisfactorily resolved.
Congressman Chabot emphasized that Barker,s forced absence
from Sudan would be viewed very negatively in the United
States and elsewhere. The longer Barker was unable to
return, the longer the issue would fester. Chabot urged that
Sudan resolve the problem promptly.

----------------------------------------
Charges of Forced Abduction Exaggerated?
----------------------------------------

14. (SBU) Congressman Chabot queried the veracity of
allegations that 7,000 Southerners abducted during the civil
war remain unaccounted for and may still be being held
against their will. He asked what could be done to identify
and repatriate them. Lam-Akol downplayed the extent of any
such problems, saying that such allegations are frequently
made in wartime and often are exaggerated. He also asserted
that it is a traditional practice to adopt such abductees
into the society of their captors, suggesting that any
unrepatriated abductees likely are remaining of their own
free will.

15. (U) Codel Jackson-Lee did not have an opportunity to
review this message before transmission.
FERNANDEZ

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