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Cablegate: Aec Chairman Requests U.S. Assistance with Staffing For

VZCZCXRO6425
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0393/01 0770512
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170512Z MAR 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0229
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000393

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KSCA OTRA EAID CDC SU
SUBJECT: AEC CHAIRMAN REQUESTS U.S. ASSISTANCE WITH STAFFING FOR
JUBA OFFICE

REFS: A) KHARTOUM 258, B) KHARTOUM 352

1. (U) SUMMARY: The Steering Committee of the Assessment and
Evaluation Commission (AEC) met March 16 to review a draft outline
for the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) of the CPA. The MTE is due to be
delivered to the Sudanese Presidency by July 9, requiring a robust
series of meetings by the AEC's four working groups. At the
meeting, the SPLM was represented by a low-ranking member who was
not authorized to engage in substantive discussions. Prior to the
meeting, AEC Chairman Ambassador Plumbly informed us of his letter
to A/S Frazer requesting that the U.S. provide a senior staffer to
head up the AEC's office in Juba. END SUMMARY

AEC REQUESTS AMERICAN TO HEAD JUBA OFFICE
-----------------------------------------

2. (U) Prior to the meeting, Sir Derek huddled with U.S. Embassy
reps to discuss his intended letter to AF A/S Frazer. We received a
copy of the letter later in the day, which Plumbly emailed directly
to A/S Frazer, in which he thanks the USG for its material support
to the AEC, and then requests that the Department provide an officer
to head the AEC office in Juba. Plumbly envisions a first secretary
Foreign Service Officer, though we informed him that a contractor
would be more likely (given the difficulty of assigning an FSO) if
this proposal is accepted. (Comment: The proposal has merit as it
would help the AEC to engage with the SPLM, which has had difficulty
focusing on the AEC. End comment.)

YET AGAIN: WHERE'S THE SPLM?
-----------------------------

3. (U) The March 15 Steering Committee meeting was led by Chairman
(Amb. Derek Plumbly), the Vice Chairman (Kenyan Ambassador Robert
Ngesu), the four working group coordinators, and the two CPA
parties. The meeting was delayed half an hour as other delegates
waited for the SPLM representative to arrive. The representative
turned out to be Khalid Mohamed A. Jadain, head of the SPLM Caucus
in the Khartoum State Legislative Council, who had to be summoned
from his Khartoum hospital bed whereQ+QMFQ CPA envoy. Plumbly
said the delegation underscores the AU's renewed commitment to the
CPA process.

DRAFT OUTLINE FOR MTE
---------------------

6. (U) Most of the meeting was spent reviewing a draft outline for
the MTE; members stressed that the MTE should cover successes as
well as shortcomings. Plumbly said the Steering Committee would
meet again soon with the participation of SPLM Minister Kosti Manibe
to approve the draft.

OTHER ITEMS
-----------

7. (U) Among other news from the March 16 meeting:

-- Plumbly said he is still working on recruiting a "primary
drafter" to write the MTE. He said he has received an offer from
Canada to fill one of the positions on the AEC staff.

-- The UK Ambassador reported that the Security Working Group
completed its field trip to the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) in the
South.

-- The Italian Ambassador noted that the Power Sharing WG expects to
hold an event in Juba by the end of March related to the national
census.

8. (SBU) COMMENT: As WSWG Coordinator, post will begin work on a

KHARTOUM 00000393 002 OF 002


first draft of its section of the midterm evaluation, with final
language to be approved by consensus between the two parties before
it goes to the AEC Secretariat's primary drafter. We will continue
to urge the SPLM to devote more support and attention to the
process.

9. (SBU) COMMENT CONT: If SPG can fund it, the request for US
staffing of the AEC office in Juba deserves consideration. This
would enable the AEC to communicate more regularly with the SPLM and
to encourage greater SPLM participation in the AEC process.

FERNANDEZ

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