Search

 

Cablegate: When the Thirst for Power Trumps Cpa Commitments

VZCZCXRO1283
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0604/01 1091001
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181001Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0594
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000604

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, A/S FRAZER, S/E WILLIAMSON, DRL
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO KDEM SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: WHEN THE THIRST FOR POWER TRUMPS CPA COMMITMENTS

Refs: A. Khartoum 575
B. Khartoum 566

--------
SUMMARY
--------
1. (SBU) The GoSS' reluctance to carry out the census in the South
(and its latest statement that it reserves the right to dispute the
census results) indicates that it is fearful that the actual size of
the population in the South and NCP manipulation of the census
process will result in less than the one third figure that CPA power
sharing formulas are based on. Anything less than one third of the
total population will negatively affect its power-sharing
arrangements at a national level. In fact, the Southern population
may well be lower than most in the GOSS think (UNFPA mapping
indicates that it may be as low as 18%) but even if the census is
not manipulated and accurately reflects a lower population count,
the GOSS will not believe or accept that the results have not been
tampered with. Other opposition parties have rebuked the GoSS'
decision and are skeptical of its aims. Donors, who have been
scratching their heads to figure out what went wrong, are beginning
to grasp the dynamics of the reasons behind the GoSS' reluctance.
At the same time, they look back at the USD 60 million they spent
over the past 2.5 years to prepare the South for this important CPA
benchmark and wonder what other surprises the NCP and the SPLM have
in store in advance of the 2009 elections. End comment.

---------------------------------------------
GOSS PROVISIONALLY SUPPORTS NEW CENSUS DATE
---------------------------------------------
2. (SBU) On 16 April, the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS)
Council of Ministers issued a press release regarding its decision
to go forward with the national census on 22 April provided certain
conditions are met (ref A). GoSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit
discussed with the GoSS ministers his 13 April meeting with the
Presidency in Khartoum and convinced the GoSS to support the new
census date in light of some "positive proposals" by the NCP to
resolve Southern census concerns. The GoSS' acceptance of moving
forward with the census, however, comes with caveats. Furthermore,
the GoSS expressed doubt that its census concerns could be met by
the new census date. If its concerns are not met, the GoSS announces
the Presidency may have to "extend the deferment period or extend
the counting period in Southern Sudan." Furthermore, the GoSS makes
it clear that under what it deems "the current incomplete status of
preparedness for a successful outcome" of the census, it "reserves
the right to have an opinion on the general outcome of the census
results."

3. (SBU) [Background Note: In its 12 April Press Conference on
Deferment of the Census, the GoSS stated six reasons for its
decision to postpone the census in the South: the inability of
Southern IDPs to return to the South and thus be counted as part of
the South's population, the absence of questions on ethnicity and
religion on the questionnaires, the "slow, untimely, and inadequate"
flow of census funds to the South, particularly for security of
census officials, the non-demarcation of the North-South border,
insecurity along the North-South border, and the security situation
in Darfur which will prohibit many in Darfur from participating (ref
B). In a press statement from the GNU Presidency issued on 14
April, it responded to the GoSS' concerns by: postponing the census
until 22 April all over the country, directing the "GNU, GoSS, and
specialized bodies" to work together to remove obstacles that block
the voluntary return of IDPs and ensure their safety, instructing
"all levels of the government" to provide the necessary resources
for the census, and directing "specialized bodies" to use the
questionnaires, their results, and the resulting analyses to "grasp
the scope of the cultural and social diversity in the country." End
note.]

-------------------------
OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT
-------------------------
4. (SBU) Poloff spoke to various opposition parties to gain a
perspective on the GoSS reluctance to hold the census in the South.
Mr. Tag el Sir Mohamed Saleh, Deputy Secretary General of the
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)(Mirghani Faction) said that "it has
been known from the beginning that the census is a part of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The GoSS knew it was coming; it
can't blame anybody for census unpreparedness when it had 3 years to
prepare." He went on to say, "The SPLM is concerned that the census
might make their share of power and wealth very thin; that's why
they are trying to avoid it." Saleh said that a solution to the
census crisis will only be reached if there is NCP-SPLM dialogue and
if CPA guarantors, especially the USA, assist. Muez Hadret, member
of DUP (Hassanain Faction) Legislative Committee said that his party
supports the demands of the SPLM, but disagrees with the timing of
these demands. "The SPLM is fully responsible for implementing the

KHARTOUM 00000604 002 OF 002


CPA as much as the NCP is." He criticized the SPLM and the GoSS for
not expressing their census concerns until the last minute. "The
census is a very important mechanism of the democratic
transformation and there won't be elections without it. If we delay
the census, everything else will be delayed." Hadret stated that
reaching a compromise is essential to ending the crisis. [Note:
Technically, elections could go forward without a census, although
the parties would have to broker some kind of political deal for
power-sharing before the elections if this were to occur. End
Note].

5. (SBU) Dr. Bashir Adam Rahma, Deputy Secretary General for
Turabi's Popular Congress Party (PCP) commented that, "the five
conditions the GoSS put forward for approval of the census are
nothing more than a pressure tool on the NCP to meet their [the
GoSS'] demands." He warned that a delay of the census means a delay
in the democratic transformation of Sudan which will give more time
for the current regime to "continue practicing its policies and
corruption", as well as, "depriving the Sudanese people from justice
and freedom."

-----------------------
DONORS SPIN IN CIRCLES
-----------------------
6. (SBU) After spending over two years and USD 60 million to help
the South prepare for the census, international donors were
surprised and confounded by the GoSS' response to the census. Not
only has UNMIS provided the GoSS with many assurances (and a
face-saving way out of its 12 April decision, coordinated with
Western embassies) that it will address many of its census concerns,
other international donors have made joint and bilateral appeals to
the GoSS and SPLM members to go forward with the census. Donors
point out that the census is an important CPA benchmark on the way
towards the 2009 elections and the 2011 referendum. If the census
is derailed, there could be serious implications for the movement on
the elections and the referendum.

--------
COMMENT
--------
7. (SBU) It has become increasingly evident that the GoSS does not
want the census to take place out of fear that the NCP will
manipulate the process or that the South's real population numbers
will be much lower than the GoSS desires, with the result that
Southern population numbers will neither enhance, nor sustain, the
South's share of power in the GNU National Assembly. Currently, the
SPLM and other Southern parties hold one-third of the Parliament's
450 seats. The South's population based on the pre-census household
mapping exercise shows that the South only makes up 18 percent of
households (which, per UNFPA, can be translated into population) in
Sudan. Even if the census accurately shows less than a third of
Sudan's population for the South, the SPLM will still believe that
it has been cheated. The 16 April GoSS press release indicates that
if the GoSS believes the South is undercounted (i.e. - either
through NCP manipulation or because the results do not favor them),
it reserves the right to reject the census results which, per the
CPA, confirm and/or adjust the national power-sharing arrangement.
The fundamental lack of trust between the parties means that the
census is sure to become a source of conflict and dispute regardless
of whether the count is accurate. We expect continued negotiations
and surprises before, during, and after the census - if it in fact
goes forward as scheduled next week.

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: