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Cablegate: Splm Ministerial Suspension of Participation Escalates With

VZCZCXRO7562
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1652 2970416
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240416Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8918
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001652

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

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

SUBJECT: SPLM MINISTERIAL SUSPENSION OF PARTICIPATION ESCALATES WITH
WAR OF WORDS


REF: (A) KHARTOUM 1612
(B) KHARTOUM 1620
(C) KHARTOUM 1628


1. (SBU) Summary: The October 11 Sudan People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM) Ministerial level suspension of participation in the
Government of National Unity (GoNU) continues, with each side
resorting to a war of words, through press statements and in public
fora. The SPLM remained firm in their resolve to maintain the
walkout, while the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) continued to
publicly urge the SPLM to end their action. Most recently,
President Omar Al-Bashir, in his address to the National Assembly on
October 23, said that participation is the best way to implement the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). End summary.

2. (SBU) After the SPLM announced the Ministerial-level suspension
from the GoNU on October 11 (ref B), the NCP addressed the SPLM
accusations to the diplomatic community (ref A). On October 16,
President Bashir's reshuffled the cabinet meeting one of the SPLM
demands (ref C). On October 18, First Vice President Kiir and
President Bashir met, but without result, with the two parties only
stating that they would meet again on October 24.

3. (SBU) On October 23, the pro-SPLM "Khartoum Monitor" headline
proclaimed that Kiir affirmed that the "SPLM continues boycott."
This followed statements reported by the Monitor on October 22,
quoting National Deputy Speaker Atem Garang saying that SPLM will
not recognize any laws approved by a cabinet without the
participation of the SPLM.

4. (SBU) The pro-government "Sudan Vision" on October 23 headlined
Minister of Justice Mohamed Ali Mardi saying that the SPLM
ministerial suspension of participation was a violation of the CPA.
However, he added that the NCP "does not want to escalate the
crisis." However, Mardi singled out SPLM hardliner Pagan Amum for
his lack of moderation and criticized him, Yassir Arman and Deng
Alor for "provocation statements." The government-controlled press
agency SUNA and government-leaning paper "Al-Ayaam," reported Second
Vice President Ali Osman Taha saying that the NCP will not be
pressured by political threats and pointed to Sudan People's
Liberation Army movements along the north/south border as a
violation of the CPA.

5. (SBU) On October 23, during the inaugural session of the National
Assembly, President Bashir called on the SPLM to rejoin the
government, pointing out that participation in the government is the
best way to implement the peace agreement. Bashir said that the
decision to suspend participation has, "... brought dispute and
conflict [between the Parties] where there was consultation and
cooperation." He said that peace is a mutual responsibility and not
a "selective responsibility" that allows one party [read: the SPLM]
to accuse the other of misfeasance. He called peace "a continuous
process," adding that implementation of the CPA has mechanisms in
the event of dispute.

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