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Cablegate: Ambassador Williamson's Meeting with Spql Envoy

VZCZCXRO6407
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0871/01 1631033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111033Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1009
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000871

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG, S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU CD

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR WILLIAMSON'S MEETING WITH SPQL ENVOY
ELIASSON


1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In a June 1 meeting Special Envoys Williamson and
Eliasson compared notes on current circumstances complicating the
path to peace in Darfur. Eliasson highlighted regional aspects of
the Darfur crisis, namely the need for the P5 to facilitate
normalization of Chad-Sudan relations. Williamson stressed the
vulnerability of the Government of Sudan (GoS) as a result of the
recent turmoil in Abyei and because of JEM's May 10 advance on
Omdurman. Both Envoys were cautiously optimistic that the aftermath
of the Abyei crisis could yield positive results for Darfur and
agreed to remain in contact ahead of Eliasson's planned briefing to
the Security Council during the third week of June under the U.S.
Presidency. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Participants:
------------
U.S.
----
Special Envoy Richard Williamson
CDA Roberto Powers
Jana Chapman-Gates, SE Senior Advsor
Genevieve McKeel, SE Assistant
Saira Mohamed, SE Assistant
Lt Col Glenn Sadowski, USUN Military Staff Committee
Eric Barbee, Embassy Khartoum Poloff
Emily Bruno, El Fasher FieldOff (notetaker).

UN-AU
-----
Special Envoy Jan Eliasson
Shirin Pakfar, SE Eliasson's Assistant
Yasser Sabra, Joint Mediation Support Team Member
Muin Shrim, Joint Mediation Support Team Member


GOS AND DARFUR MOVMENTS ARE "PLAYING WITH FIRE"
--------------------------------------------- --
3. (SBU) In a June 1 meeting in Khartoum with Special Envoy
Williamson's visiting delegation, United Nations-African Union
Special Envoy Jan Eliasson said a combined, "no-nonsense" analysis
of the Darfur situation is necessary at this stage. Eliasson
commended Williamson's holistic approach toward addressing Darfur
and stressed that the crisis' regional and national aspects have to
be considered in the search for a solution at a time when extensive
banditry, movement of Chadian rebels across the western border, an
overconfident Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Sudan Armed
Forces military might threaten to turn Darfur into "total disaster
within ten days."

4. (SBU) Eliasson expressed "deep disappointment" with the JMST's
failure to get a security meeting in Geneva off the ground earlier
in May. He said that several rebel movements - including Sudan
Liberation Army (SLA)-Unity, United Redemption Front and
SLA-Abdulshafie - had agreed to attend but in the end it had been
SLA/Abdulwahid and JEM political leadership, ironically for the same
reasons, which led to the ultimate cancellation of the meeting
(Eliasson noted that SLA/Abdulwahid Field Commanders had been
amenable to the meeting). According to Eliasson, both Abdulwahid
and JEM chief negotiator Ahmed Tougod had objected to sitting at the
same table with "traitors" from other rebel groups, whom they did
not consider legitimate. Eliasson added that the GoS had indicated
it was ready to talk with JEM on security issues but questioned the
GoS' overall commitment to the peace process at this stage. He said
that the JMST would continue to consult bilaterally with both JEM
and SLA/Abdulwahid in the hopes of achieving some sort of framework
peace agreement.

5. (SBU) Eliasson on several occasions stressed the need to
normalize Chad-Sudan relations in the search for a Darfur solution.
He inquired about the role of the Permanent Five members of the UN
Security Council to get this issue on the Council's agenda.
Eliasson noted that he had been invited by the U.S. Presidency to
brief the Council o/a June 24, following a June 12 stop in Addis
Ababa to brief the AU Peace and Security Council. Eliasson remarked
that France "could be doing more on Chad and JEM," and he flagged
Libya's continued and transparent involvement in stoking the
insecurity between the sides.

ABYEI WILL TIP DARFUR BALANCE
-----------------------------
6. (SBU) Special Envoy Williamson explained the GoS' vulnerability
in the wake of JEM's May 10 attack on Omdurman, which had revealed
the extent of JEM's "inside information" about the GoS military and
had emboldened JEM as a result of its minimal losses in the
incident. According to Williamson, however, the GoS would not be
able to focus on Darfur until the Abyei issue was resolved.

KHARTOUM 00000871 002 OF 002


Williamson noted that both the GoS and the Sudan People's Liberation
Movement (SPLM) had asked him to mediate on the Abyei issue, and
Eliasson encouraged him to do so, calling the chance a "golden
opportunity" and agreeing with Williamson that to serve in this
capacity would put the USG in a good position to leverage the GoS on
the Darfur issue in return.

7. (SBU) On the border issue, Special Envoy Williamson indicated the
need for the GoS to confront the issue of Chadian involvement with
JEM as soon as possible, and he mentioned the possibility of
changing UNAMID's mandate to respond to the Chad-Sudan border
situation. Williamson noted that France would have to engage more
constructively on this issue within the next month, and Special
Envoy Eliasson remarked that China, as a veto-wielding UNSC member,
would have to be brought on board for any UNSCR 1769 mandate change
[NOTE: UNAMID's mandate comes up for renewal on July 31. One of the
most contentious issues during negotiations of 1769 in 2007 was that
of monitoring the Chad-Sudan border. China was one of the
staunchest opponents of such a provision. END NOTE].

8. (SBU) Special Envoy Eliasson noted he would see Foreign Minister
Deng, National Intelligence and Security Services Chief Ghosh, and
Presidential Advisor Mustafa on June 2, as well as regional partners
(Chad, Egypt, Eritrea and Libya) in Geneva on June 4. Williamson
and Eliasson agreed to remain in close contact in the coming weeks
ahead of Eliasson's UNSC appearance.

9. (U) This message has been cleared by the Special Envoy's staff.

DATTA

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