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Cablegate: Jem Develops Framework Agreement for Talks As Un/Au

VZCZCXRO1977
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0134/01 0940925
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030925Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6134
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0462

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000134

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG AND AF/C
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UN AU CD SU
SUBJECT: JEM DEVELOPS FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT FOR TALKS AS UN/AU
MEDIATION "PARALYZED"

REF: KHARTOUM 00469
NDJAMENA 117
NDJAMENA 122
NDJAMENA 123
NDJAMENA 127

NDJAMENA 00000134 001.2 OF 002


-------
Summary
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1. (SBU) Viewing the UN/AU mediation for Darfur as "paralyzed," JEM
is crafting a "framework agreement" that outlines its conditions for
adherence to a cessation of hostilities and participation in
negotiations with the Sudanese Government. If Sudan then rejects
negotiations, JEM will return to a "holistic solution" that expands
the war outside Darfur. JEM's recent demand for single chief
mediator and the exclusion of other rebel movements from the peace
process is rooted in its frustration with the fragmentation of the
SLA; the absence of clear channels of communication with the UN/AU;
and the lack of a single, effective UN/AU mediator. Though
affirming the importance of the census and elections for the
"political transformation" of Sudan, JEM maintains that neither are
possible before a political settlement and is proposing a conference
of opposition political parties to unlock the stalemate in Darfur.
End summary.

--------------------------------
JEM DRAFTING FRAMEWORK FOR TALKS
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) Characterizing the UN/AU mediation on Darfur as
"paralyzed," the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) is crafting a
"framework agreement" to serve as the basis for re-energizing
negotiations with Sudan, JEM representatives told Poloff on March 28
and 30. Gibriel Fediel, the movement's chief economic advisor and
an influential political figure, and Abdelaziz Osher, the chief
political advisor, explained that JEM's recent call for direct
negotiations with Khartoum--excluding the participation of the other
movements--resulted from a frustration with the fragmentation of the
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA); the absence of clear channels of
communication with the UN/AU; and the lack of a single, effective
UN/AU mediator. If Khartoum continues to reject negotiations, the
JEM representatives said they would consider a "holistic solution"
by expanding the conflict outside Darfur to include Kordofan and
Eastern Sudan.

3. (SBU) "The SLM have become warlords scattered throughout Darfur,"
said Fedeil, "and a mediation with two heads (i.e. UN Envoy Jan
Eliasson and AU Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim) will never lead to anything
of value. If we don't enter into negotiations with the Government,
we're neglecting our people." Clarifying previous comments made by
JEM Chairman Khalil Ibrahim, Fedeil and Osher explained that while
JEM viewed Kofi Annan as an ideal chief mediator, they are open to
other candidates as long as the mediator represents both the UN and
AU.

4. (SBU) The "framework agreement" being drafted is in effect a
declaration of principles that JEM will require the Government to
accept before negotiations can begin--and before JEM will commit to
a cessation of hostilities. The framework will demand that Darfur's
three states be consolidated into a single region, that one fifth of
the positions in the national government be reserved for Darfurians,
and that a "proper" mechanism for monitoring a ceasefire be
established, in addition to conditions on wealth-sharing.

5. (SBU) If Sudan accepts these requirements, the negotiations can
then focus on the specifics in these areas, such as the governing
structure of the single Darfur state and which positions in the
national government will be reserved for Darfurians. Fedeil
promised to provide Poloff with a copy of the framework after it is
finalized (around early May) but will only give a copy to the UN/AU
when the "right mediation" is in place. JEM envisions an effective
mediator "shuttlin" between the movement and the Government to
buid agreement on the framework and then convening neotiations.

----------------------------------
o Disarmament During "Transition"
---------------------------------

6. (SBU) The JEM representaives asserted that the movement will
need to maitain its forces during--and after--negotiations. Having
learned from the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), they claimed that the
rebel movements will not disarm during a "transitional period" and
will need to maintain a force presence in Khartoum in order to
ensure that Sudan adheres to its commitments. They questioned the
impact of international leverage on Sudan, calling the National
Congress Party (NCP) "immune" to foreign pressure.

NDJAMENA 00000134 002.2 OF 002

----------------------------------------
Forging "United Vision" Among Opposition
----------------------------------------

7. (SBU) JEM is also considering convening a conference of the
"political opposition" to develop a "united vision" for unlocking
the political stalemate in Darfur. The movement would invite all
the major political parties in Sudan, including the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM), the Popular Congress Party (PCP), the
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Umma Party. Fedeil
admitted that the conference would aim to prevent the NCP from
absorbing the Umma Party and the PCP, noting that coalition
discussions between the three parties are ongoing. While the JEM
representatives saw some value in reconciliation among these
parties, they said that the "dissolution" of Umma and the PCP into
the NCP will be disastrous for Darfurian political aspirations.
(Note: JEM is often viewed as an extension of Hassan Al Turabi's
PCP. If the PCP discussions with the NCP are in fact occurring,
JEM's decision to distance itself from this rapprochement is an
interesting development. End note.)

--------------------------------------------- --
Census, Elections Impossible in Current Climate
--------------------------------------------- --

8. (SBU) Echoing the sentiments of many Darfurians and the majority
of the rebel movements, JEM stated that neither elections nor the
census can occur in Darfur until a political settlement is reached
with the Government. "We are absolutely opposed to the census at
this time," said Osher. While JEM recognizes that a census is
important for the "political transformation" of Sudan, the lack of
sound preparation and the probability of NCP manipulation will make
the upcoming census a "fake." Fedeil said that if the international
community wanted to avoid census-related violence, it should ask the
Government to postpone the census. He also recommended that
international representatives not associate themselves with the
census, particularly in the IDP camps, given the likelihood of a
popular backlash.

-----------------------
U.S. Misunderstands JEM
-----------------------

9. (SBU) Fediel and Osher bemoaned U.S. "misperceptions" of JEM and
criticized the USG for its "unbalanced punishment" of the movement.
Both SLA leader Abdulwahid al Nur and Ibrahim refused the DPA, but
the U.S. only sanctioned Ibrahim. JEM felt that U.S. policy
reflected "Islamaphobia" and that JEM in fact shared U.S. goals for
stability and democracy in Sudan. JEM's efforts to stimulate
negotiations through development of the framework agreement are
indicative of its good intentions, said Fedeil, as is its
cooperation with UNAMID. "We are happy to see UNAMID protecting our
people because JEM cannot protect each and every corner of Darfur,"
said Fedeil. "We just need a clear way to communicate with UNAMID
in order to prevent friction. Now there is no consistent contact."

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Comment
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10. (SBU) Numerous independent accounts indicate that JEM is losing
ground militarily and politically as a result of the Sudanese
offensive in West Darfur, defections from within the movement, and a
possible shift in Chadian backing (reftels). This weakness may
explain JEM's renewed (if possibly rhetorical) interest in
negotiations. Its attempt to exclude other movements from such
negotiations reflects its rivalry with the United Revolutionary
Front (URF) led by former JEM Secretary General Bahar Idriss Abu
Gharda, which is making progress in closing ranks with another
powerful faction, SLA/Unity. Though the stipulations in the
framework agreement are maximalist positions unacceptable to
Khartoum, a sophisticatedmediation could nonetheless capitalize on
JEM's eadiness for dialogue while simultaneously opening
discussions with the SLA factions--with the goal f bringing the two
tracks together down the road End comment.

11. (U) Tripoli minimize consideed.

Tamlyn

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