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Cablegate: U/S Siddiq: Tripoli Is the Last Chance

VZCZCXRO2009
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1497/01 2670832
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240832Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8613
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001497

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG, AF A/S FRAZER, S/E NATSIOS
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KREL AU UN SU
SUBJECT: U/S SIDDIQ: TRIPOLI IS THE LAST CHANCE


KHARTOUM 00001497 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: In a September 23 meeting with CDA
Fernandez, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and the
Sudanese government's UNSCR 1769 implementation coordinator
Dr. Mutrif Siddiq called Sudanese support for the resolution
"unanimous." Any delays or question regarding UNAMID
deployment were technical, not political, he said. CDA
commended the Sudanese on their efforts so far to facilitate
the lengthy, complicated process of bringing 26,000 troops
through Khartoum and to Darfur. On the Tripoli talks, Siddiq
said that they presented the "last chance" at peace
negotiations. A PAE representative also sat in on the
meeting. End summary.

--------------------------------
POSITIVE PREPARATIONS FOR UNAMID
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) During the meeting, CDA welcomed the progress that
had been made so far in implementing UNSCR 1769: "We're
seeing some actions as well as words," he noted. CDA cited
positive movement on issues such as flight clearances and
visas for AMIS contractor Pacific Architects and Engineer's
(PAE) camp expansion efforts, and also cautioned that it
would be an important, yet difficult, task to keep track of
all the details assoicated with UNAMID's deployment. On the
issue of Antonov 124s landing in Darfur, Siddiq said that the
problems were technical as the only airport capable of
sustaining the plane's weight was Khartoum International.
"But we've urged the Heavy Support Package engineers to
expand the El Fasher airport," he said.

3. (SBU) The camp expansions were a "rehearsal" for UNAMID,
CDA said, and the international community wanted and needed
Sudan's support. "We want to recommend to Washington that
Sudan is backing its words with deeds, and is making a
qualitative difference." CDA added that this could be a
success story for the Sudanese, and could provide an example
of the Sudanese government taking a positive role in Darfur.

4. (SBU) The Sudanese overwhelemingly welcomed the hybrid
force, Siddiq said. Echoing the sentiments of IDPs in Darfur,
he said, "We want the security and development that comes
with it." The Sudanese goverment was sometimes perplexed,
however, by those who said African troops weren't capable of
the task. The Europeans could provide experts and financial
assistance, but should not "compete" with African countries
in providing infantry troops.

----------------------------
TRIPOLI IS THE "LAST CHANCE"
----------------------------

5. (SBU) Perhaps a bigger, more complicated issue than UNSCR
1769 implementation was the upcoming Tripoli meeting, CDA
said. It was critical to administer the negotiations well,
and to manage expectations; if talks failed, who would be
blamed? Siddiq said that if rebel groups sensed that the
international community was at all skeptical about the talks,
they would not succeed. Many groups in Darfur were making
money out of the chaos in the area, he claimed, and the
Sudanese government was losing both politically and
financially. While the GoS was being drained of resources by
Darfur, rebel movements had every incentive to keep the pot
boiling by their intransigence. Mutriff underscored the
message he wanted to convey to rebel groups: if they didn't
join the political process, then they would be considered as
opposed to peace. Tripoli was the "last chance" at
negotiations before Sudanese elections in 2009. CDA noted
that the US also wanted to send the message that Darfur was
for all Darfuris (and not only for Fur IDPs).

---------------------
CPA MISUNDERSTANDINGS
---------------------

6. (SBU) On the CPA, Siddiq complained that few people knew
the "spirit and the letter" of the agreement. The loss of
SPLM leader John Garang had been a major blow, and the fact
that some major SPLM negotiators like Abdulaziz Helou and
Nhial Deng had left the country had weakened the SPLM's
understanding of the accord. SAF redeployment from Abyei was
one example where the international community was following
only one side of the story, he said. The Sudanese goverment
was publicly condemned for not redeploying its 3,600
remaining troops by the July 9 deadline, yet there were still
JIUs in areas that should have been free of all armed forces.
The SPLA had removed its troops from eastern Sudan six months

KHARTOUM 00001497 002.2 OF 002


late, with reportedly 3,000 "escaped," yet the NCP had not
made "a fuss" about it. The international community should
treat Abyei the same way, he suggested. The SPLA had also
wildly inflated the numbers of troops it still had in the
Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile areas, and there could be a
potentially tricky situation when they finally completed
their withdrawal and the numbers didn't match (since the SPLA
is being funded for these inflated numbers). With SAF
withdrawal at almost 90 percent, he noted, surely that is an
accomplishment.

7. (SBU) While agreeing that the SAF was closer to completing
troop redeployment than the SPLA, CDA stressed that what was
important now for Sudan was whether the international
community could say that the country was truly a different
place than it had been in 2003-2004. "Then we could look
forward to expanding our partnership," he said. CDA added
that while there was CPA progress, the political mood was
"poisonous" and confidence between the two sides needs to be
rebuilt.

8. (SBU) Comment: Undersecretary Siddiq's claim that the
Sudanese government has no political objections to UNAMID
deployment is likely exaggerated, but the government --
operating in a more than typically inefficient bureaucracy --
does seem to be taking constructive steps toward facilitating
the complicated procedures involved in the force's arrival.
These efforts will become necessarily more complex and
intricate as preparations for UNAMID step up in the coming
weeks and months, and Sudan's compliance with UNSCR 1769
needs to be carefully monitored. At the moment, however, the
government seems at least to be matching some words to deeds.
Key NCP insider Siddiq's "can do" attitude is a plus, though.
End comment.
FERNANDEZ

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