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Cablegate: Minawi to S/E Williamson: Weak and Isolated, Slm Still

VZCZCXRO9681
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0290/01 0590607
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280607Z FEB 08 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0057
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000290

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, AF S/E WILLIAMSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR, AND ALSO PASS USAID

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y GARBLED TEXT, MISSING PARA 3

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM MARR MCAP MOPS SU
SUBJECT: Minawi to S/E Williamson: Weak and Isolated, SLM Still
Striving to Transform Itself


KHARTOUM 00000290 001.2 OF 002

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: While the lack of DPA implementation has left the
SLM weak and isolated, it continues to strive toward transforming
the movement from a fighting force to a political party, Senior
Assistant to the President and SLM leader Minni Minawi told S/E
Williamson in Khartoum. He suggested that DPA implementation focus
on increasing security for civilians and enhancing the ability of
the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) to deliver
services to the population. UNAMID and the UN/AU mediation have
neglected the SLM and, rather than utilizing its understanding of
the local political dynamics in Darfur, have pursued a strategy that
has further splintered the rebel groups, according to Minawi. END
SUMMARY.

----------------------------
All Alone with Nothing To Do
----------------------------

2. (SBU) The lack of implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement
(DPA) has left the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) isolated in
Khartoum "with nothing to do," Senior Assistant to the President and
SLM Chairman Minni Minawi told S/E Williamson on February 26.
Despite their weakened position, Minawi said the SLM leadership is
trying to "civilize the fighters" and transform the movement from a
"military mentality" to a political body, and he requested broader
support from the international community for this effort.
Increasing security for civilians and enhancing the ability of the
Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) to deliver services
remain the movement's top priorities, according to Minawi. He
contended that much of the current violence in Darfur stems from
inter-ethnic conflict and greed rather than Government versus rebel
confrontations and that there is no political will to address this
instability because Khartoum prefers to exclude Darfur from the 2009
elections.

----------------
DPA: "Expensive"
----------------

3. (SBU) One of Minawi's senior aids, Mohammed El Tijani, asserted
that while 45 percent of the DPA is implemented, the core issues
remain unresolved: peace and security, education, power-sharing, and
wealth-sharing. While expressing gratitude for the USG-funded
political party training program through the International
Republican Institute (IRI), El Tijani urged the U.S. to play a
larger role in DPA implementation to help the SLM "shift from war to
building peace." The leader of the SLM caucus in the National
Assembly, Ali Traio, said that implementation of the DPA would
restore credibility to the now-marginalized SLM. "The DPA has been
expensive," he said, "and has cost us our fighters and our popular
support."

------------------------
UNAMID, JMST Neglect SLM
------------------------

4. (SBU) Responding to a question from S/E Williamson, Minawi said
that the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) had failed to engage and
consult with the SLM, despite the fact that the DPA forms the basis
of UNAMID's mandate. He said that the SLM has initiated all
previous meetings with Joint Special Representative Rudolphe Adada
and Force Commander Martin Luther Agwai and that he has not spoken
to either of them in over one month. "We know Adada, but we don't
even know who the key figures are in UNAMID," lamented Minawi,
explaining that there is no working-level coordination between
UNAMID and the SLM. El Tijani said that Adada "is not even aware of
c6Q establish
an "implementation team" within UNAMID.

5. (SBU) Minawi also characterized the UN/AU Joint Mediation Support
Team (JMST) as aloof and said that it has not utilized the SLM's
understanding of the dynamics in Darfur to advance the political
track. El Tijani reported that the JMST never responded to a letter
from the SLM stating its position on the peace talks held in Libya
in November 2007. Minawi argued that limited implementation of the
DPA and the JMST's approach has encouraged rather than mitigated
fragmentation of the rebel movements and predicted that the UN/AU
will confront myriad challenges in producing a peace agreement among
the 27 rebel factions now active in Darfur.

6. (SBU) "All they've done is hold meetings without substance,"
added El Tijani. Traio said that the UN/AU has put the SLM in the
position of being an obstacle to peace even though it continues to
strive for an end to the conflict. The UN/AU should promote the DPA
as the underlying solution to the conflict and adjust the agreement
to accommodate the concerns of the non-signatories, concluded
Minawi.


KHARTOUM 00000290 002.2 OF 002


7. (SBU) S/E Williamson asked if the SLM had official representation
in New York to facilitate consultation with the UN. El Tijani
responded that the SLM requested some level of diplomatic
representation at selected Sudanese missions but never received a
response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Presidency.
"If we were a full member of the Government, it would happen," he
said.

8. (U) S/E Williamson did not have an opportunity to clear this
message.

FERNANDEZ

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