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Cablegate: Sudan Contact Group Agrees to Focus On Security

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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHDU RUEHFL
RUEHGI RUEHIK RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHPOD RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0122/01 0421513
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111513Z FEB 08 ZDK
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3685
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 USUN NEW YORK 000122

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

IO AND AF FOR FRONT OFFICE; PLEASE PASS TO SE WILLIAMSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL SU MOPS
SUBJECT: SUDAN CONTACT GROUP AGREES TO FOCUS ON SECURITY


1.(SBU) Summary. The Sudan Contact Group (SCG) during a
February 7 meeting discussed the Assessment and Evaluation
Commission's (AEC) staffing needs and agreed to push for
confirmation of new AEC Chair Derek Plumbly. The group also
agreed to lobby for a session on the Darfur political track
during or adjoining the upcoming Sudan Consortium conference.
The group decided to document specific Sudanese actions
impeding UNAMID deployment to prepare for possible UNSC
sanctions. The group concurred that members should push
China to pressure Khartoum to cooperate with UNAMID. Group
members also agreed to continue to address UNAMID's
transport, logistics, and helicopter needs.

2. (SBU) Continue Summary. UN Special Envoy for Darfur Jan
Eliasson said that security in Sudan needed to improve before
serious political talks could begin. He also called for
regional engagement and said that an international observers
meeting would be held in March. The SCG told Eliasson it
supported AU/UN leadership of the Darfur political process
and accepted that formal talks would not be imminent. The
group encouraged engagement on multiple tracks, including
continuing to work with the rebel factions, building security
from the ground up, and focusing on civil society. End
Summary.


FOCUS ON ENABLING THE AEC
-------------------------

3. (SBU) The Sudan Contact Group (SCG) met on February 7 at
USUN for six hours. In attendance were delegations from the
US, UK, EU, France, Canada, Norway, and the Netherlands, as
well as UN Special Envoy for Darfur Jan Eliasson. The SCG
agreed to place a high priority on enabling the Assessment
and Evaluation Commission (AEC) to fulfill its mission of
monitoring the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA) and conducting a mid-term evaluation of unity
arrangements established under the CPA. Members agreed to
lobby for Sir Derek Plumbly to be accepted as AEC chair by
the end of February. The UK, US, and Norwegian delegations
agreed to draft 4-5 key objectives for the AEC and to
circulate the draft to the group for review. UK Special
Representative for Sudan Michael O'Neill highlighted the
AEC's staffing shortages, specifically in economic positions,
and asked members for personnel contributions.

4. (SBU) SCG members agreed that Sudan's elections were not
likely to take place in July 2009 as scheduled in the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Although members agreed
to lobby for timely elections, several members cautioned that
Sudanese parties perceived the elections as driven by the
international community's interests and therefore were not
committed to the timeline. Members also were concerned about
pushing for on-time elections because of the post-election
violence in Kenya, as well as the belief that the National
Congress Party (NCP) would not allow elections unless it was
assured of winning.

5. (SBU) Members agreed to press GOS for progress on the
technical aspects of election preparation including
implementing the census (and educating citizens about it),
passing the electoral law, and establishing a national
electoral commission. Members also highlighted the need to
address public perceptions if the election is delayed.
AF/SPG D/Dir Jason Small called for $6M to be released from
the EU/Danish AID for census development issues.

6. (SBU) Members agreed to use the upcoming Sudan Consortium
meeting to highlight Darfur political issues and planned to
hold a preparatory meeting in 4-5 weeks with the UN and the
World Bank. (NOTE: The Sudan Consortium consists of
officials from Sudan, UN, World Bank, IMF, international
donors, and civil society who meet to examine the progress of
the CPA and the challenges facing implementation. END NOTE.)
Members agreed to lobby to include discussions of Darfur at
the Consortium or at a meeting prior to or following the
Consortium.

7. (SBU) Members discussed proposing an expansion of the
UNMIS mandate to cover the Kordofan regions during
discussions of the mandate's renewal in March, but did not
reach final agreement.

REMOVING OBSTACLES TO UNAMID DEPLOYMENT
---------------------------------------

8. (SBU) Members noted that many small issues were delaying

USUN NEW Y 00000122 002 OF 003


UNAMID deployment, making it difficult to pressure Khartoum
into compliance. Members agreed to document specifics of
Sudanese actions impeding UNAMID deployment to give the UNSC
a stronger basis for action should it decide to pursue
sanctions. Members agreed that successful UNSC action would
require pressuring China to use its leverage with Khartoum to
secure rapid deployment.

9. (SBU) UK and US Milads highlighted UNAMID's need for
helicopters, heavy transport, and logistics support, but
noted that the volatile security situation discouraged
nations from making pledges to UNAMID. The US stressed the
importance of transport and multi-role logistics units, which
should not be overshadowed by the need for helicopters.
Members also noted that soon-to-be-deployed African troops
need training and equipment assistance in preparing for the
mission.

BRIEFING FROM JAN ELIASSON
--------------------------

10. (SBU) UN Special Envoy for Darfur Jan Eliasson argued
that security needs to be improved before political progress
would be possible. He highlighted the negative impact on
Sudan of regional crises in Kenya and Chad and said that
there will be no peace in Sudan without regional cooperation.
He plans to schedule an international observers meeting in
March. Eliasson recommended securing a cessation of
hostilities agreement and using workshops as a springboard to
launch formal talks. He said rebels would have to form a
representative group of critical mass before moving forward
with formal meetings.

11. (SBU) Eliasson said that he and AU envoy Salim Ahmed
Salim had agreed on a list of candidates to be the UN/AU
joint mediator and are working to have their top candidate
accepted by the UN Secretary General and AU President.

12. (SBU) Eliasson called for the international community to
begin planning for early recovery so that development
activities could start immediately after normalization.

DARFUR POLITICAL PROCESS
------------------------

13. (SBU) Members informed Eliasson of their support for
UN/AU leadership of the Darfur political process, and
suggested the process move on three tracks: 1) continuing
engagement with rebel factions and the Government of Sudan,
including holding issue-focused workshops to avoid
disagreements on leadership issues and leaving the door open
for Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) unification efforts; 2)
building security from the ground up, including implementing
confidence-building steps and involving rebel leaders with
UNAMID; and 3) engaging with civil society, linked with the
UN's communication strategies. The UK Special Representative
called for involving Arabs in the process and embedding the
Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST) into UNAMID. Members
agreed with Eliasson that there was no possibility for
political negotiations until security improves.

14. (U) AF/SPG cleared this message.

MEETING PARTICIPANTS
--------------------

EU: Torben Brylle (EU Special Representative for Sudan),
Steen Hansen

Canada: Suehila Elkateb (Special Envoy for Sudan), Mark
Richardson (Political Officer)

France: Helen Le Gal (Assistant Director at Africa desk)

Netherlands: Ed Craanen (FM Special Representative for
Africa, Bartjan Wegter (Africa Expert)

Norway: Kjell Hodnebo (Special Representative for Sudan),
Berit Enge (Political Affairs Minister Counsellor), Bengt
Holmen (Military Adviser), Elin Eikeland (Assistant Counselor)

UK: Michael O'Neill (Special Representative for Sudan)

UN: Jan Eliasson (UN Special Envoy for Darfur)

SPG: Jason Small, Kemi Yai, Marti Flacks


USUN NEW Y 00000122 003 OF 003


USUN: USUN Political Counselor, political officers, and MSC.
KHALILZAD

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