Search

 

Cablegate: Unamid Will Bring Security but Not a Peace Deal, Say

VZCZCXRO1175
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0421/01 0810848
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210848Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0270
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000421

SIPDIS

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

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM SU
SUBJECT: UNAMID WILL BRING SECURITY BUT NOT A PEACE DEAL, SAY
DARFUR'S NGO LEADERS AND EXPERTS


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Darfur needs security before traditional
leaders can play any role in tribal reconciliation, an indigenous
NGO leader and Darfur expert told emboff in two separate meetings in
El-Fasher on March 19. Contacts emphasized that the Government of
Sudan's recent push for tribal reconciliation is an attempt to
divert attention from its own direct role in the Darfur crisis.
Both contacts were dismissive of the UNAMID'S mediation efforts,
urging further direct U.S. engagement with rebel leaders and the
GoS. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On March 19, econoff met Ahmed Adam Yousif, Manager of the
Ajaweed Oraganization for Peace and Reconciliation in El-Fasher.
According to Yousif and his organization's literature, Ajaweed is
the largest non-governmental organization in Darfur working to
"foster peaceful co-existence across differing tribes, ethnicities,
and communities." On the same day econoff met separately with Dr.
Abduljabbar Abdellah Fadul, a former civil servant, director of the
Darfur Natural Resource planning Unit, and currently the General
Director of "The Darfur [Organization] for Development, Services,
and Information." Abduljabbar (as he is known to all) was recently
a fellow at Tufts University, and has served as a Darfur researcher
and consultant to organizations and individuals including USAID,
DAI, and Sudan expert Alex de Waal.

SECURITY FIRST, THEN TRIBAL RECONCILIATION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3. (SBU) Yousif and Abduljabbar both separately emphasized that
only after there is stability and security will it be possible to
encourage tribal reconciliation and a renewed role for tribal
leadership. Recalling the proverb "good fences make good neighbors"
Yousif said that it is necessary to first build up the walls of
protection before dialogue between tribes can begin. Yousif stated
that he is confident that UNAMID's deployment will bring security to
Darfur. In a separate meeting, Abduljabbar emphasized the GoS's
culpability in the crisis, stating, "The reason the government is
pushing tribal reconciliation is because it wants to absolve itself
of any responsibility and blame this mess on the tribes." Both
Yousif and Abduljabbar stated that most current reconciliation
initiatives (such as those led by Yousif Bakheet) are government
programs thinly disguised as independent NGOs. Abduljabbar also
emphasized that the majority of people in Darfur have a mixed ethnic
heritage; that ethnicity is overemphasized in the conflict; and that
it is not accurate to reduce Darfur's problems to tribalism.
Abduljabbar also expressed optimism that UNAMID's deployment will
bring the secure conditions necessary for tribal reconciliation
initiatives.

TRADITIONAL AUTHORITY
- - - - - - - - - - -
4. (SBU) Both Yousif and Abduljabbar downplayed the role of many
of Darfur's traditional leaders (e.g. the nazir- "tribal chief,"
malik-"king," sultan, etc.). Yousif stated that traditional leaders
have been "paralyzed" by the government as it appoints, directs, and
controls these leaders. Yousif stated that most of the traditional
leaders have migrated to the cities, leaving the constituencies that
they represented behind. Abduljabbar emphasized that this migration
was a "fleeing for safety" as local communities turned against their
leaders. According to Abduljabbar, rebel leaders rejected these
leaders' affiliation with the National Congress Party and
subsequently targeted and assassinated several of them in 2003 and
2004. "Darfur's tribal leadership has been castrated by the
government and should not play a role today," concluded Abduljabbar.


"WE NEED MORE U.S. ENGAGEMENT IN THE PEACE PROCESS"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) Yousif reported that he has not seen any positive signs
from the UN-AU Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST). He added that
the JMST is "noticeably absent on the ground," and that he has
little confidence in its ability to broker a deal between the rebels
and the government. "The peace process is totally out of our hands
and I am not hopeful about what the AU and UN is doing," stated
Yousif. Abduljabbar separately stated that one reason
SLM-Abdulwahid opened an office in Israel was to make an overture to
the U.S. and to start to engage more with Washington. According to
Yousif, the rebel movements will only listen to the United States
because "they believe it will come to their rescue as it did with
the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in the North-South civil
war." Yousif also emphasized that the U.S. could put additional
pressure on the rebels by directly stating what the United States is
prepared to do in Sudan, and by further "squeezing" the countries
which arm and support them (such as Chad and Libya.)

COMMENT
- - - -
6. (SBU) These contacts' confidence in UNAMID's ability to bring
security Darfur strongly contrasted with their bleak outlook on its
prospects for brokering a peace deal. We knew that the JMST was not

KHARTOUM 00000421 002 OF 002


active enough in Darfur as opposed to Khartoum and outside Sudan,
but their harsh indictment that the JMST is "noticeably absent on
the ground" speaks volumes about the JMST's lack of interaction with
NGO and community leaders. It is noteworthy that both of these
ardent supporters of tribal reconciliation emphasized that now is
not the time for tribal reconciliation, nor a renewed role for
tribal leaders. These natives of Darfur also provided some
convincing arguments for why the U.S. could take more of a lead in
the peace process, given the ineptitude of the UN/AU mediators, and
why the rebels may be willing to follow U.S. leadership at this
critical period in the conflict. It is likely that U.S. engagement
behind the scenes with rebel leaders to push them toward
negotiations will have an impact over time. Clearly, we also need
to push the JMST and UNAMID Civil Affairs to become more active on
the ground in Darfur.

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: