Search

 

Cablegate: Gos Squeeze On Non-Signatories in Darfur

VZCZCXRO1013
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0110/01 0251000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251000Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9783
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000110

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 CD
SUBJECT: GOS SQUEEZE ON NON-SIGNATORIES IN DARFUR

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Following the December 30 arrest of Justice and
Equality Movement (JEM) representative GEN Mohamed Bashir in El
Fasher, the Government of Sudan (GoS) finally released Bashir but
has ordered all non-signatory representatives to the ceasefire
commission to leave El Fasher. As the last of the non-signatories
prepare to depart El Fasher, there may be an increase in fighting
among rebel groups and government forces (already happening in West
Darfur). This situation will present a formidable challenge to
UNAMID as it tries to keep some semblance of peace between the GoS
and the exiled rebel movements. END SUMMARY.

JEM CFC REPS FORCED BACK TO THE FIELD
-------------------------------------
2. (SBU) After a two-week detention, JEM representative to the
Ceasefire Commission (CFC) was finally released from military
intelligence custody in El Fasher on January 17, along with six
other JEM reps who had been taken along with him from his home on
December 30. Military intelligence also released a recently
detained JEM/Collective Leadership rep and a JEM/Khalil Ibrahim rep
who had been arrested in Kulbus on December 14. The stipulation of
the release, which was brokered by United Nations-African Union
Mission in the Sudan (UNAMID) Joint Special Representative Adada and
UNAMID Force Commander (FC) Agwai, was that all JEM/Khalil Ibrahim
reps were to depart El Fasher for their areas of control within 24
hours.

3. (SBU) JEM reps flew out of El Fasher on January 18 via UNAMID
aircraft to El Geneina, accompanied by UNAMID Chief of Staff (CoS)
to ensure their safe arrival before they were to be lifted to the
field. However, FieldOff received a call from a JEM reps aboard the
plane then on the El Geneina runway; he reported that after
surrounding the aircraft with ten vehicles, the GoS declared it had
arrived unannounced and threatened to board it and arrest its
passengers. The JEM rep was also trying to get in touch with the
UNAMID FC, since the CoS had already left to return to El Fasher.
FieldOff contacted the CoS, who immediately alerted the FC to follow
up with the UNAMID Sector Commander in West Darfur. About 45
minutes later, FieldOff received a call from GEN Bashir, who called
from a car en route to El Geneina military intelligence headquarters
after the GoS had boarded the plane. Bashir reported that the
Sector Commander was with them. At 2100h local time Bashir called
to say that he and the other JEM members had been released to UNAMID
custody and were awaiting a morning flight back to their area, since
it was too late to transport them that night. The reps were flown
via UNAMID helicopter to the Jebel Mun area on January 19.

JEM POSITION HARDENING
----------------------
4. (SBU) GEN Bashir told FieldOff on January 20 that despite the
satisfaction of being back in the field with fellow JEM members, the
absence of a JEM presence in El Fasher would not bode well for the
Darfur peace process or for the success of any peace or ceasefire
agreements. He said the lack of security for non-signatory
movements in El Fasher precluded the possibility of their return and
that it would be incumbent upon the international community to
conduct shuttle diplomacy between the GoS and JEM leadership in the
field to bridge the gap. FieldOff reminded him of JEM leader Khalil
Ibrahim's public promise to consider joining the peace process once
GEN Bashir and other detained JEM members were released, and urged
him to engage constructively with UNAMID in this regard, especially
since UNAMID had a hand in securing his own release from detention.
GEN Bashir agreed to relay the message. FieldOff reiterated this
message on January 22 to another JEM rep, who criticized the GoS for
the expulsion of non-signatory movements from El Fasher. He also
expressed growing disillusionment with UNAMID for failing to engage
with JEM. The JEM rep complained that UNAMID seems to be ignoring
rebel groups - a dangerous move, he said, since these groups can
assure the security of UNAMID in the field.

5. (SBU) Meanwhile, UNAMID reported on January 21 that the security
situation in West Darfur remained unpredictable. The GOS had
reinforced its positions in El Geneina and Kutum, while the JEM
appeared to be positioning itself to keep the GoS out of its West
Darfur strongholds, including El Geneina. UNAMID warned that "all
factions are preparing for war," and that they must be urged to
exercise restraint. GEN Bashir informed FieldOff in the late
afternoon of the same day that the GoS had begun an aerial
bombardment of Jebel Mun but that no casualties resulted. Bashir
proudly reported that in retaliation JEM had shot down a GoS MiG-28
in the mountains near Kabkabiya and had forced another GoS MiG to
make an emergency landing in Nyala. (Note: These claims have not
been confirmed by independent sources though UNAMID is
investigating. End note.) The shooting of the MiG in North Darfur,
he crowed, "is very good for us." GEN Bashir also claimed that the
GOS has sent three convoys to Jebel Mun (where JEM is located) with
armaments to attack JEM forces. FieldOff discussed these reports
with the Deputy FC, who had received similar information but could
not confirm them.

KHARTOUM 00000110 002 OF 002

OTHER NON-SIGNATORIES FORCED TO FOLLOW JEM'S LEAD
--------------------------------------------- ----
6. (SBU) JEM is not the only non-signatory movement to depart El
Fasher in recent days. On January 21 Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)
factions and JEM/Collective Leadership received word through UNAMID
that the GoS had given them 24 hours to leave El Fasher and to
return to their areas of control elsewhere in Darfur. On January
23, a National Intelligence and Security Services representative in
El Fasher confirmed to FieldOff that Military Intelligence submitted
this instruction via UNAMID to pass to the non-signatories, and that
it had been a military decision. One SLA rep told FieldOff that
this expulsion policy would make it difficult for them to return to
the peace process. Even signatory groups fear for their safety in
El Fasher; three SLA/Minni Minawi and SLA/Free Will reps told
FieldOff on January 22 that they feared the GoS would eventually
find an excuse to crack down on their members in the same way.

7. (SBU) COMMENT: Most observers in El Fasher agree that the GoS
expulsion of non-signatory movements does not bode well for the
security situation in Darfur. This may complicate both UNAMID's
role in attempting to mediate between rebel forces and the
government and the efforts of the international community to secure
a minimum ceasefire as a basic confidence-building measure for peace
talks.

8. (SBU) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: