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Cablegate: Sudan Rebels in Chad Report Jem Split

VZCZCXRO5447
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0784/01 2830852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100852Z OCT 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5771
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000784

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG AND AF S/E NATSIOS
PARIS AND LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF CD SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN REBELS IN CHAD REPORT JEM SPLIT


1. (SBU) Summary: JEM representatives informed Emboffs that a
split has taken place within the movement, pitting Chairman
Khalil Ibrahim on one side against his former Vice-Chair
Bahar and field Commander Banda on the other. JEM "Chief
Negotiator" Ahmed Tugod Lissan accused JEM/Bahar of
perpetrating the massacre of AMIS forces in Haskanita in
complicity with the GOS and Mini Minawi. End Summary.

BANDA/BAHAR FACTION SPLITS OFF

2 (SBU) In a meeting with the Charge and PolOff on October 4,
JEM representative in N'Djamena Tajaddin Niam said that a
serious of actions by JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim had resulted
in the creation of a new JEM wing. According to Niam,
Ibrahim had sacked JEM leaders and commanders who did not
agree with him. He had tried to extend the Darfur conflict
into Kordofan. By calling for a separate Darfur region
(September 18 BBC interview), he refused to abide by the
principles of the JEM manifesto. His actions showed that he
was not serious about the Tripoli talks but intended rather
to doom the talks before they started. This had produced a
split between JEM units loyal to Khalil Ibrahim and units
loyal to former Vice-Chair Bahar Idriss Abugarda (among which
Niam counted himself).

3. (U) Tajaddin stated that JEM was ready to issue a
communiqu to international actors formally announcing the
split and naminQhe new JEM "collective leadership." (Note:
Post received a note on October 5 documenting the grievances
against Khalil Ibrahim and announcing that the JEM would be
under the leadership of Bahar Idriss Abugarda with a 15
person committee. General Abdalla Banda Abaker will lead as
commander in chief of JEM forces. End Note.) Tajaddin said
Bahar Idriss Abugarda supported the talks in Tripoli and
planned to attend as the leader of the JEM. He said that
there is a role for Khalil Ibrahim in the JEM organization
provided that "he express a willingness to compromise";
Tajaddin added that he would not be surprised if the Tripoli
talks failed if Khalil decided to attend as leader of the JEM.

4. (SBU) Tajaddin also expressed concern over the "capture"
of three JEM commanders by Khalil, including the intelligence
chief of the JEM, in Darfur. (Note: The three commanders are
Mohammed Saleh Mongo, Abdel-Aziz Suliman Ori and Omer Bakeit
Abaker. End Note) Tajaddin stated that they are working with
the international community, including ICRC and UN offices,
to have them returned.

KHALIL LOYALIST ACCUSES JEM SPLINTER OF SELLING OUT TO SUDAN

5. (SBU) JEM Chief negotiator Ahmed Tugod Lissan met with
Charge on October 8 to present his version of the JEM split.
He claimed that Bahar -- former Vice-President in charge of
the Darfur region -- had been in the field too long. There
had been complaints from other commanders who asked for the
dismissal of Bahar and Field Commander Banda. A committee
had been formed to examine the charges, which included
misallocation of finance and unexplained losses of vehicles
and weapons. The investigation concluded that Banda and
Bahar had made serious mistakes. The entire JEM Executive
Body (save Tajadine Niam) agreed that Banda should be sacked.
Bahar - who had been with Lissan in Tripoli and Arusha --
subsequently informed the movement that he was cutting all
ties with Khalil Ibrahim. It became apparent that Bahar had
been recruiting in the field with a view to forming a new JEM
wing. Accordingly Bahar was also sacked.

6. (SBU) Lissan claimed that Bahar and SLA/Unity were
responsible for the attack on Haskanita. (CDA asked if Bahar
had photographic evidence. Lissan said that he did not, but
that he had informants.) Lissan stated that Bahar was
desperate for recognition, and the attack was intended to let
the international community and the mediation team know that
he had the numbers on the ground and needed to be included in
the peace talks. (In fact, according to Lissan, Bahar has
only five cars.) Lissan added that the subsequent razing of
the town was carried out by Sudanese armed forces.

7. (SBU) Queried as to Bahar's motivation for carrying out
the attack, Lissan claimed Bahar had essentially sold out to
the Sudanese. He had promised them that he would sign the
DPA, unseat Khalil and take his vehicles. He had linked up
with Mini Minawi for support. Mini had provided transport at
the Chad border for a meeting with the GOS Intelligence Chief
Saleh Gosh, the Minister of Defense Abdel Rahim Mohammed and
Darfur Negotiator Nafi Ali Nafi.

8. (SBU) Lissan characterizedQad's current relationship
with the JEM as "very good." He said that President Deby had

NDJAMENA 00000784 002 OF 002


met with JEM a few weeks ago, and had specifically cautioned
Bahar against any split, saying that he would not support any
effort to undermine the peace process.

9. (SBU) Lissan reiterated that the path to peace lay with
working with the core Abuja negotiators. He was concerned
that Special Envoy Natsios wanted to see all of the movements
in Tripoli. To invite all of them (some thirty by his
calculation) would doom the talks. Factions that had been
fighting in the field would refuse to sit down with groups
that had no credibility. The core group of Abd al-Wahid, JEM
(Khalil), SLA Abd al-Shafi, Khamis Abdulla and SLA/Unity were
the key players. Lissan said he had also warned the Libyans
that the negotiation would be a failure if the key groups did
not have a chance to sit down and come up with one vision and
one negotiating team.
TAMLYN

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