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Cablegate: Goc Official Says Be Patient On Godbold Case

VZCZCXRO9260
RR RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0832 2981359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251359Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5821
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1747
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 3008
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2268
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0106
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0441

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000832

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

RABAT FOR LEGATT, PARIS AND LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS, FOR
CA/OCS AND AF/C

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER CASC CD LY
SUBJECT: GOC OFFICIAL SAYS BE PATIENT ON GODBOLD CASE

REF: NDJAMENA 825

1. (SBU) CDA met with the Secretary of State for the
Interior Djasnabaille on October 25 to discuss the situation
of seized Amcit Cash Steve Godbold. Djasnabaille said that
the Government of Chad (GOC) strongly condemned the act. He
said that they were in touch with Tubu "notables" from Bardai
who were discussing the situation with the MDJT group holding
Godbold. He felt that these discussions would eventually
find a solution and that some patience was necessary. He
agreed that military action was not appropriate.

2. (SBU) Djasnabaille said that his understanding of the
situation (based on a conversation with the Governor of the
Bourkou-Enedi-Tibesti region) was that the MDJT faction in
Zoumri had seized Godbold in order to effect a "hostage
exchange" with their leader, Choa Dazi, who is in Libya.
Dazi, according to Djasnabaille, is under close surveillance;
the Libyans are not holding him prisoner, but they do not
want him to return to the Tibesti region. The MDJT in Zoumri
may have hoped that they could exchange Dazi for Godbold.

3. (SBU) Djasnabaille explained that Dazi, seeing the GOC
brokering peace with other rebel movements, wanted himself to
come back on favorable terms. Djasnabaille said that once
Godbold was released, the Government of Chad intended to turn
its attention to Dazi's situation and deal with that.

4. (SBU) Djasnabaille said that the Libyan government has
been informed by the GOC of the situation, but that was the
extent of the contact; no assistance had been requested. CDA
asked if the GOC had been in direct contact with Dazi.
Djasnabaille affirmed that contact had only been second-hand.


5. (U) In another development Reuters quoted Choa Dazi as
saying that "our group took him to find out why he had
come..in two or three days we will conclude and then we'll
see what preparations we can make to free him."

COMMENT:

6. (SBU) The Government of Chad is in the process of signing
peace agreements with a number of rebel/exile factions,
therefore it is not unlikely that they would be able to turn
the same means of persuasion to Dazi if he is interested and
they are so inclined. For the time being, Post believes that
the best course of action is to monitor the progress of
discussions between the Tubu community and the MDJT to see if
they will indeed bear fruit. CDA shared Djasnabaille's
recommendation with Godbold's TEAM leader (Carl Hodges) and
he was in agreement that letting the discussions continue was
the best course of action. Godbold's N'djamena associates are
in fact feeling hopeful that Dazi's comments to Reuters
portend Godbold's imminent release.

7. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.
TAMLYN

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