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Cablegate: S/E Williamson's Meeting with Riek Machar

VZCZCXRO2977
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0310/01 0631022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031022Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0088
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000310

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AND AF/SPG
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL UN SU CD
SUBJECT: S/E WILLIAMSON'S MEETING WITH RIEK MACHAR


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) In a meeting with Special Envoy Williamson, Government of
Southern Sudan (GOSS) Vice President Riek Machar briefed the Special
Envoy on GOSS efforts to improve stability and security in the South
in the face of continued tensions along the North/South border and
despite continued threats to the viability of the CPA. The Vice
President called for banking sector assistance and initiatives that
targeted private sector development. He also requested the Special
Envoy to engage the NCP on the current impasse over the national
elections law, Abyei, and greater transparency in the oil sector.
Machar reviewed the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
efforts to consolidate Darfur rebel factions and its contributions
to a successful peace settlement for Western Sudan. End summary.

-------------------------------------
CPA CHALLENGES: CENSUS AND THE BORDER
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Meeting with S/E Williamson on February 28, GOSS Vice
President Riek Machar asserted that despite resolution of some key
issues, threats to the CPA remain and NCP manipulation continues.
Machar alleged that the forms for the national census were printed
without the SPLM's consent (even though the SPLM shares oversight
for the census) and argued that the NCP's rejection of questions on
ethnicity and religion was not in compliance with the Interim
National Constitution and not in accordance with the spirit of the
CPA. "The NCP has a political objective for the exclusion of
questions which are already reflected in the first chapter of the
Interim National Constitution," he stressed. "To the SPLM,
diversity is a strength that we can anchor the unity of the country
on."

3. (SBU) The Vice President emphasized his belief--following the
conclusion of the Ad-Hoc Technical Border Commission's February 26
briefing to the GOSS Council of Ministers--that a buffer zone must
be in place during the demarcation of the 1956 North/South border.
Tensions in the border states remain high, he stressed, stoked by
inconclusive meetings of the Joint Defense Board, incomplete
redeployment of forces from oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile
states, and continued attacks by Misseriya PDF against the Sudan
People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF)
continues to occupy points in four counties in Western Bahr el
Ghazal under the pretense of "protecting civilians from Darfur
guerillas" despite GOSS requests that they leave. Recruitment of
SAF-aligned popular defense forces (PDF) continues, particularly
around Abyei.

------------------------------
GOSS-GENERATED PEACE DIVIDENDS
------------------------------

4. (SBU) The GOSS continues to face high expectations entering its
third year, particularly for service delivery. Machar noted that
the perceived absence of tangible peace dividends stemmed from the
GOSS' initial emphasis on the stabilization of the South:
consolidating the SPLA, establishing Southern Sudan Police Services
posts, and disarming the civilian population. For the 2008 calendar
year, the GOSS' commitment is to provide better services to the
people of the South. Similarly, he emphasized recent requests by
the GOSS to its international partners to refocus their efforts from
humanitarian response to that of development, "to fill the gaps we
are not reaching and attract more attention to the private sector."
Machar also stressed that while sanctions have utility with respect
to Darfur, their existence continues to deter business travelers
from coming to the South. "Development of our private sector is
critical," he said. "Our efforts through the GOSS budget are not
enough," he said.

--------------------------------------------
REQUEST FOR USG ENGAGEMENT: ELECTIONS, OIL, BANKING SECTOR
--------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Machar reviewed the continued impasse over the national
elections law and requested USG engagement to move the issue
forward. The SPLM and NCP disagree over what percentage of
contested seats should be subject to proportional representation and
at which level of constituency such seats should be contested. The
SPLM sets the constituency at the state level, with 25 percent set
aside for women and party lists, and is demanding 50 percent of the
contested seats be competed via proportional representation. The
NCP want a constituency at the national level and only 40 percent of
the available seats open to list competition. Lack of transparency
in the oil sector remains problematic, but the GOSS is equally
concerned by the environmental impact of petroleum development and

KHARTOUM 00000310 002.2 OF 002


the need for local communities to benefit directly from the oil
sector via community development programs and employment
opportunities.

6. (SBU) A chief area of concern for the Vice President remained the
South's limited banking sector. Three banks operated in the
southern Sudan--one of which was an Islamic financial institution
not in compliance with the INC--and none of these banks were yet
established in all of the South's ten states. No system existed for
intra-South financial transfers, and sanctions make wire transfers
into the South difficult if not impossible. Machar would like to see
Western/American banks in South Sudan.

-------------------------
SPLM ENGAGEMENT ON DARFUR
-------------------------

7. (SBU) The Vice President outlined SPLM engagement on the Darfur
issue as one of paramount importance for the conduct of national
elections. Stability in Darfur is essential for elections and
unattainable if the rebels remain divided. Despite NCP unhappiness
over the issue, Machar noted the SPLM has committed itself to
engagement in Darfur along four points: outreach to DPA signatory
and non-signatory groups, outreach to civil society and IDPs,
outreach to the Janjaweed (Darfur's Arab tribes being an essential
part of a solution in the region), and anchoring the SPLM's presence
as a party in the region.

8. (SBU) Machar counseled that approaches to the Janjaweed and DPA
signatories (both the Declaration of Commitment signatories and
Minni Minawi's Sudan Liberation Movement) remain critical, terming
the neglect of the signatories "dangerous" and urging recognition of
the Janjaweed as an element of the peace process. "The NCP shies
away from them," said Machar. "It views them as a political burden
as a result of their atrocities, but we need to prevent them from
being spoilers." Machar urged a USG approach to Darfur as one that
handled Darfur and Chad in tandem. "Khalil Ibrahim has become
active again because of Deby's support, and Deby will not stop while
Khartoum is doing the same thing. They must be solved together."

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

FERNANDEZ

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