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Cablegate: Southern Sudanese Concerned About Chinese Business

VZCZCXRO1503
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0048 0141524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141524Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9696
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000048

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE WILLIAMSON, ECA
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN SUDANESE CONCERNED ABOUT CHINESE BUSINESS
INTERESTS

1. (SBU) Summary: On Friday, January 11, CG Datta paid a courtesy
call on George Justin Achor, Undersecretary in the Ministry of
Presidential Affairs. Their one-hour discussion covered a wide
range of topics, including the upcoming CPA celebrations in Wau, the
LRA, the state of the CPA, the need for American business to come to
Juba, and the threat that Chinese business interests present to
Africa. End summary.

2. (SBU) Achor is a busy man these days, having been tasked by the
GoSS with the organization of the CPA celebrations the GoSS is
holding in Wau starting on January 13 and running for four days.
Festivities include, among other things, sporting events, theater
presentations, dancers and a host of speeches to include a major
address by Vice President Kiir and nearly everyone else of
importance in the GoSS. Although CPA celebrations were held in
Khartoum on the ninth, the GoSS obviously intends for this to be
their major event to recognize the anniversary of the signing. Most
officials in Juba will empty out on the 14th to be in Wau for Kiir's
speech, including most of the diplomatic community, which is being
flown to Wau by the GoSS for the occasion.

3. (SBU) Achor went on to describe his recent work on the LRA peace
talks, which he described as "going well." When the CG asked Achor
if he thought Kone had killed his deputy Vincent Otti, he answered
in the affirmative. The reason, he believed, was that Otti wanted
peace at any price, and was even willing to stand trial later if
that is what it took to make peace. Kone would have none of it,
Achor thought, and was paranoid enough about Otti's intentions to
murder him. Asked if he though Kone was insane, Achor allowed that
on the occasions when he has met him, sometimes he's logical, and
sometimes he is just "different." Asked if Kone could be trusted to
keep the peace if one is made, Achor said only if the LRA forces are
integrated into the Ugandan army. That would take his men away from
his control, and Kone would then have no choice in the matter.
Asked about holding Kone accountable for his crimes, Achor responded
that this issue is best left to determine at a later time.
Discussions on this issue now would only serve to harden Kone
against peace and prolong the suffering of the people in the
region.

4. (SBU) Asked about the status of the CPA, Achor responded that it
is in a fragile state, especially with the fighting around the Kiir
river. He speculated, however, that Bashir might not be behind the
trouble. In his view, Bashir is not in total control of his
intelligence service. There are, he thought, Islamic hardliners in
that organization who are running rogue operations without
authorization, and that includes supplying arms to border groups to
stir up trouble. However, he was not particularly worried by the
violence because he believed the SPLA was more than a match for the
attacking forces.

5. (SBU) Achor then went on to make an appeal for American business
investment in the south. He said he had been to Germany and India
to warm receptions, and that in return both German and Indian
businessmen had come to Juba. He would, he said, like to send a
delegation of GoSS leaders to the US on a trip to explore developing
new business contacts and relationships.

6. (SBU) At this point Achor became very serious, and said to the CG
that he wanted American businessmen in Juba because he was very
worried about the Chinese. "They come to Africa and they take but
they don't give anything back. I don't trust them, and I don't want
them here. What they want is to turn Africa into a new Chinese
colony." Bring in American businessmen, he said, so we have an
alternative. He was especially emphatic that he wanted American
business interests to develop any new oil fields in the south of
Sudan, not Chinese.

7. (SBU) Comment: As we find with nearly all our southern Sudanese
contacts, Americans are viewed with great hope and anticipation in
the South. We will pursue an International Visitor Leadership
Program (IVLP) for GoSS and local business interests to tour the
United States for two to three weeks to open the door to new
business linkages and to begin a dialogue. The south is crying out
for a partnership with American businessmen, and this is a win/win
opportunity we should not miss.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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