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Cablegate: Dddc Consultations Ongoing, but Uncoordinated

VZCZCXRO0902
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0107 0250845
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250845Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9780
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000107

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF S/E WILLAMSON, AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: DDDC CONSULTATIONS ONGOING, BUT UNCOORDINATED

1. (SBU) Meeting with poloffs on January 23, Darfur-Darfur Dialogue
and Consultation (DDDC) chair Abdul Mohamed painted a somber picture
of the clumsy integration of UNAMID, the DDDC and the Joint
Mediation Support Team (JMST). According to Mohamed, no
communications or administrative structure have been set up to
coordinate the activities of the three bodies. (Note: This
observation is in line with what post has heard from AU sources. End
note.)

-------------------------------
TIJANI SECT ENTERING THE SCENE?
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) Mohamed said that DDDC consultations in the field were
ongoing, concentrating on selecting representatives for a civil
society advisory board which would be present at future talks.
Mohamed also said that the spiritual leader of the Tijani Sufi sect
(of which most Muslims in Sudan are members) would be coming to
Darfur next week to engage with civil society leaders and IDPs.
Khartoum-based Tijaniya representatives had also engaged the
government on the issue of compensation, he said; discussions
centered on traditional forms of compensation including monetary
payments, land returns and restitution (efforts by various religious
leaders and Sufi orders to stop the violence in Darfur have been
ongoing for years and all have failed).

3. (SBU) Consultations with Arab groups were ongoing, he said, and
the DDDC was considering holding separate, low-key workshops to
focus on the particular concerns of Arab tribes in Darfur. Poloffs
noted the importance of joint consultations, as well, and that
consultations targeted solely at an Arab constituency would no doubt
be resisted by a suspicious central government. Mohamed suggested
that many among the Arab tribes viewed the government's acceptance
of UNAMID as a capitulation, and the government was in turn
obstructing UNAMID deployment in order to regain ground. The
appointment of Musa Hilal to a presidential advisory position was
also intended to solidify Arab support for the government, he said,
in addition to acting as a counter-measure against recent reported
alliances between some Arab tribes and insurgent groups. Hilal is
opposed even by parts of his own Mahamid tribe. (Note: According to
separate sources, the DDDC's engagement with Arab tribes has been
limited, superficial and inconsistent. End note.)

----------------------
DIASPORA CONSULTATIONS
----------------------

4. (SBU) Mohamed also previewed the DDDC's upcoming consultations
with the Darfuri diaspora in Europe and the United States, arranged
by Concordis and the United
States Institute of Peace. The 'Elders' group would be co-sponsoring
the U.S. consultations, he said, as part of their engagement efforts
in Darfur. The DDDC itself was expanding its relationships with
other international organizations, including seconding consultants
from UNIFEM, UNICEF and local NGOs, as well as bringing in
DFID-funded experts. In terms of the public research project
undertaken by the Annenberg Foundation during the late summer and
now dormant, Mohamed said he was working with the Sudanese
government for permission to resume work.

5. (SBU) Characterizing the Sudanese government as expert in
"managing crisis" rather than welcoming stability, Mohamed thought
that the government had been somewhat prepared to negotiate a
settlement in Darfur several months ago, but is now less inclined.
He cautioned that negotiations should take place as soon as possible
after consultations with the movements conclude, or else realities
on the ground would shift yet again and render those consultations
obsolete.

6. (SBU) Comment: The DDDC is still encumbered - though less so - by
its affiliation with the DPA, and as such tends to subcontract work
to organizations such as Concordis and USIP. It is very troubling
that JMST, UNAMID and DDDC activities remain largely uncoordinated,
though not surprising given the personalities involved and the
frequent turnover of staff in Sudan. While Mohamed was reluctant to
advocate setting firm deadlines for consultations and ensuing
negotiations, his advice on their rapid sequencing is valid. Post
will explore the feasibility of funding a civil society advisor to
the DDDC and will consult further.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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