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Cablegate: Jem Cfc Rep Warns of Looming Conflicts

VZCZCXRO1690
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1752/01 3121530
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081530Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9120
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001752

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU

SUBJECT: JEM CFC REP WARNS OF LOOMING CONFLICTS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In a sobering November 6 meeting with FieldOff,
the Justice and Equality Movement representative to the Second
Chamber of the Ceasefire Commission (CFC) at AMIS Headquarters
warned that the current widespread deployment of the Sudanese Armed
Forces (SAF) throughout the three Darfur states - in an attempt to
expand areas of control - will only strengthen the resolve of the
rebel movements to present a unified front, not only in Sirte talks
but also on the battlefield against the SAF. According to the JEM
rep, JEM and Sudan Liberation Army-Unity movements are close to
unifying and will likely attend planned December peace negotiations,
but only if a neutral venue, clear end date and absence of
GoS-aligned factions can be assured. The JEM rep blames such
factions for the September attack on AMIS forces at Haskanita and
warned that history would repeat itself if the international
community does not bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.
The rep predicts that the likelihood of estrangement from his IDP
support base will ultimately drive SLA leader Abdelwahid al-Nur to
the December talks. JEM rep reaffirmed JEM's stated intention to
continue attacks against China if it maintains its support to the
GoS. The rep's messages in this meeting illustrate the tense
atmosphere that persists as all parties to the Darfur conflict
jockey for both positions at the negotiating table and areas of
control on the ground. END SUMMARY.

AS SAF DARFUR DEPLOYMENT INTENSIFIES . . .
------------------------------------------
2. (SBU) The JEM CFC representative did not mince words in a
November 6 courtesy call with FieldOff in Bashir's office at AMIS El
Fasher Headquarters when characterizing the current SAF deployment
in the three Darfur states as a "preparation for war." He described
in great detail evidence of this deployment (which the rep claims
JEM has submitted as a complaint to AMIS), seen in movement of heavy
equipment through airports in Darfur state capitals, in the presence
of 70 SAF Land Cruisers in Jedid al-Sail (a village 16-20 km
northeast of El Fasher) and of SAF helicopter gunships in El
Geneina, and in the deployment of SAF members to El Geneina via
Nyala by the trainload. JEM rep asserts that all this activity is a
GoS attempt to expand its areas of control on the ground in the
countdown to final peace negotiations slated for December. He also
claims to have the names of the leaders of the 4000 janjaweed
fighters whom the GoS has recruited in each of the three Darfur
states. Cutting the 90-minute meeting "short" in order to catch a
ride to an undisclosed location in the field, the JEM rep promised
to provide FieldOff with exact locations of significant SAF
deployments upon his return.

. . . SO TOO DOES REBELS' RESOLVE FOR UNITY
-------------------------------------------
3. (SBU) JEM rep contends that the SAF's deployment plans have shown
the rebel movements and factions the futility of reacting
independently to the GoS military threat and have consequently
strengthened their resolve to seek a united front around the
negotiating table and on the battlefield. According to the rep, JEM
and SLA-Unity have signed an agreement in the past days to unite
against the SAF threat. On the political side, JEM and SLA-Unity
are coordinating their leadership and forming joint teams to try to
unify their views ahead of peace talks - not quite true unification
yet, rep says, but very close to it. He assures JEM is ready for
the upcoming talks and will likely attend, but only if a neutral
venue, a clear end date, and an absence of what he considers
GoS-aligned factions (including JEM-Idriss Ibrahim Azrag,
JEM-Collective Leadership Banda Abu Garda and National Movement for
Reconstruction and Development) can be assured.

4. (SBU) JEM rep reports that the other rebel movements are
similarly uniting militarily to attack SAF assembly points.
Politically the five main SLA factions continue their efforts in
Juba to combat what he considers GoS attempts at fragmentation, and
the rep expects those movements will form two groups to present
themselves at December negotiations. JEM rep faults the
international community for giving a forum to the "small and
insignificant" factions that went to Sirte, especially JEM
Collective Leadership - Bahar/Banda, which Bashir says is
responsible for the September attack on the AMIS installation at
Haskanita. The JEM rep serves on the AMIS team investigating this
incident, which he characterizes as an act of banditry by poorly
equipped groups attempting to re-arm and preying on AMIS in an area
outside the peacekeepers' control. He warns that Haskanita history
will repeat itself and that a similar incident will happen again if
the international community and the African Union do not bring to
justice the perpetrators of this attack.

5. (SBU) JEM rep acknowledges the persisting influence of SLA leader
Abdelwahid al-Nur on the IDP Fur populations but recommends that the
December talks go on should al-Nur opt not to go. The rep predicts
that the likelihood of estrangement from his IDP support base should

KHARTOUM 00001752 002 OF 002


other rebel factions conclude an agreement at negotiations while
al-Nur stays away will ultimately compel Abdelwahid to attend.

CHINA STILL NOT EXEMPT FROM BLAME
---------------------------------
6. (SBU) JEM rep reasserted JEM's stated intention, following its
October 23 kidnapping of foreign employees at the Delfra oilfield in
Kordofan, to continue attacks against China if it maintains its
support to the GoS. He contends that China's only contribution to
the Darfur crisis is in weapons - "all arms captured in battle in
Darfur were made in China" - not in humanitarian assistance, and
that China is "continuing to steal our oil," thus justifying JEM's
campaign against Chinese workers in Sudan. The rep said JEM had
advised other oil exporters (namely India) to halt production until
Darfur peace was achieved, but he did not rule out the possibility
of JEM's targeting other nationalities for following China's lead.

COMMENT
-------
7. (SBU) The JEM rep interviewed, bearing the rank of general, is a
prime example of a high-ranking rebel representative who still
maintains field credibility. He appeared in fatigues and headwrap
for the meeting with FieldOff, and discussion was regularly
interrupted by the incessant ringing of his cell phone. The rep cut
the 90-minute meeting "short" to catch a flight to an undisclosed
location, illustrating his intimate knowledge of the situation on
the ground. While his opposition to the GoS colors his discourse,
JEM rep's messages nonetheless illustrate the tense atmosphere that
persists as all parties to the Darfur conflict jockey for both
positions at the negotiating table and areas of control on the
battlefield. END COMMENT.

FERNANDEZ

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