Search

 

Cablegate: Courtesy Call On Cirino Hiteng

VZCZCXRO8541
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0092 0230517
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230517Z JAN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9760
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000092

SIPDIS

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO UNSC SU
SUBJECT: COURTESY CALL ON CIRINO HITENG

1. (SBU) CG Datta paid a courtesy call January 22 on Cirino Hiteng,
a prominent player in the SPLM and Undersecretary in the Ministry of
Regional Cooperation. Topics covered ranged from Eritrean-Ethiopian
border tensions to the CPA.

2. (SBU) Dr. Cirino led off by commenting that a senior delegation
of Eritreans, identified as Yemane, Abdulla, and General Tekle, had
just met with President Kiir. Cirino said that Kiir was doing what
he could to assume a prominent role in negotiating a resolution to
the Eritrean-Ethiopian border dispute. He said that Kiir, in his
talks with both sides, had convinced them to accept the UN brokered
border demarcation. The CG, having spent three years in Eritrea,
was surprised at this, and expressed his doubts that Meles would be
able to accept the loss of Badme to the Eritreans, the original
source of the conflict. Cirino laughed and commented that he had
been to Badme and that it was nothing worth fighting over. The CG
commented that he, too, had been to Badme, and while he agreed it
was nothing worth fighting over, the symbolic political value of it
for both sides had sparked the conflict, which had so far cost an
estimated 100,000 lives.

3. (SBU) Cirino said that the Eritreans were deeply unhappy that the
border demarcation was costing them in excess of 200 square miles of
territory they also thought belonged to them, but that Kiir had
convinced them to reluctantly accept it. He said that Kiir had also
convinced the Ethiopians that, while they have lost Badme,
conversely they had gained significant territory from Eritrea in the
bargain, and that Meles could use that to save political face at
home. The CG expressed his continuing doubts, given how long this
dispute has dragged on, but Cirino insisted that Kiir has told them
to "come to Juba to make peace," and he thought they would.

4. (SBU) Cirino further mentioned that Kiir had urged the Eritreans
make their peace with the Americans. The Eritreans, he said,
complained to Kiir bitterly about the US and its role in the region.
Kiir, Cirino said, simply raised his arms and said, "We're all
friends here."

5. (SBU) The conversation inevitably next went to a discussion of
the CPA. Cirino accused the SAF of moving two new divisions into a
part of the Bahr El Ghazal region, clearly in the south, that is
believed to hold large copper, aluminum, and possibly uranium
deposits. It was nothing, Cirino asserted, but a land grab that the
SPLM would never accept. President Kiir has offered to let the Kiir
River (located in Abyei, known as the Bahr al-Arab in the North)
serve as a temporary boundary while the true border is decided (both
in Abyei and between the North and South), but the NCP, he thought,
will continue to push for more territory wherever it feels it can.


6. (SBU) With regard to the recent fighting in Abyei, Cirino
asserted that the SAF that was arming the Misseriya (a claim we hear
from everyone in Juba). The CG asked if the conflict with the
Misseriya had calmed at all, and Cirino said that it had. Missirya
loyalties are divided already between the north and the south, and
those elements who had been fighting have come now to understand how
they are being used by the north to their own disadvantage.

7. (SBU) Cirino concluded by observing that, in his opinion, the NCP
will never hold elections in 2009 unless it knows it can either win
them outright or can cheat to win them, and that they would seek to
cancel the 2011 referendum. As both outcomes are heavily in doubt
following the success of the SPLM boycott, Cirino believed the NCP
would prefer to call them off.

8. (SBU) Lastly, Cirino claimed that Kiir was told by Bashir when he
was last in Khartoum that certain Arab states are pressuring him to
end the CPA, which they said he should never have signed in the
first place. It was a violation of Muslim pride. When Kiir asked
which Arab states, Bashir reportedly refused to answer. Cirino
speculated that it might be Libya or even Egypt, but that time would
tell.

9. (SBU) Comment: It seems highly unlikely to us that Kiir could
have finally convinced the Eritreans and Ethiopians to accept the
UN-brokered border demarcation, but maybe the charms of "coming to
Juba to make peace" will prevail. Kiir has increasingly attempted
to play the role of peacemaker in a number of regional conflicts,
including in Darfur, with the LRA and in eastern Sudan. As to Arab
pressure on Bashir to abrogate the CPA, this is the first we have
heard of it. It seems just as likely to us that, if Bashir said it,
it was meant to create the impression with Kiir that he is standing
strong against those who want him to end the peace process, a rather
common NCP ploy.

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:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC