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Cablegate: Shortley Meetings with Goss/Spla On Lra

VZCZCXRO4096
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0915/01 1720901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200901Z JUN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1100
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000915

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF/SPG
NSC FOR HUDSON AND PITTMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM MOPS SU CG CT UG
SUBJECT: SHORTLEY MEETINGS WITH GOSS/SPLA ON LRA

REF: Khartoum 863

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: "Dove" Vice President and Juba Peace Talks
Mediator Riek Machar and military pragmatist SPLA Chief of Staff
General Oyai Deng Ajak provided AF Senior Advisor Shortley with
nuanced and occasionally differing viewpoints on how to deal with
the LRA question following fresh LRA activity in Sudan's South.
Both stressed borders as a constraint on future joint operations by
Uganda, Sudan, and Congo against the LRA. Machar believes capitals
should be responsible for military action within their own borders,
whereas Ajak contends that Kinshasa should be pressed to permit SPLA
forces to pursue LRA forces into Congo as necessary. Machar shared
the Mediation report issued at the close of the Juba Peace Talks,
and endorsed the USG position that there be no "Juba Two." Machar
believes that release of the Mediator's report will isolate
hard-line LRA diaspora, who continue to encourage Kony to resist
signing the FPA. The SPLA remains committed to support Congo in
whatever future military plans it develops for use against the LRA.
However, the Vice President and the SPLA Chief of Staff did agree
that should LRA continue to terrorize or attack civilians in Sudan,
the SPLA would take action to neutralize Kony's militia threat in
the South. END SUMMARY.

---------------------
VICE PRESIDENT MACHAR
---------------------

2. (SBU) On June 16 Senior Advisor to AF Assistant Secretary Frazer
for Conflict Resolution Tim Shortley, along with Acting Consul
General Juba, met separately with the Government of Southern Sudan
(GoSS) Vice President Riek Machar and Sudan People's Liberation Army
(SPLA) Chief of Staff General Oyai Deng Ajak to discuss recent
developments involving the Lord's Resistance Army. Machar handed SA
Shortley a letter for A/S Frazer with an attachment entitled the
'Report and Recommendations of the Chief Mediator of the Peace
Process between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the
Lord's Resistance Army.' (Text of the Executive Summary attached in
paragraph 11.) Machar remarked that he had just finished a press
conference announcing the GoSS position and distributing the report.


3. (SBU) Machar believes that the release of the Mediator's report
will isolate hard-line LRA diaspora who continue to encourage Kony's
resistance to signing the FPA. In the meantime, Machar will
continue to encourage Kony's three confidantes - Yesuf Adek, Willy
Oryem and Lebaije to meet and convince Kony to sign the agreement.
Machar noted that per President Kiir's Southern Sudan Defense
Council June 7 decree, the SPLA will have sole responsibility for
protection and defense of South Sudan.

4. (SBU) Shortley thanked the VP and stated that the Department
would outline the U.S. position in a statement that same day: (1)
the Final Peace Agreement successfully concluded the work of the
Juba peace process; (2) the Agreement is available for Kony's
signature; (3) Juba negotiations are over and that there is no
further need for additional LRA delegations (4) the U.S. prefers
direct contact between the GoU and Kony; and (5) the Agreement
should be implemented. Shortley stressed that the U.S. supports
regional coordination efforts to protect innocent civilians and to
contain and ultimately dismantle the LRA.

5. (SBU) VP Machar welcomed the U.S. position, noting its similarity
to that of the GoSS. He agreed there will be no Juba II, that he
would not entertain further delegations and that he was too busy
with matters related to Sudan's own Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA) to devote more time to the LRA. Shortley noted that the GoU
is unilaterally implementing the FPA. Machar responded that he
would support the creation of the Joint Liaison Group. Shortley
countered that the U.S. and GoU were opposed to the JLG without
obtaining Kony's signature and disbanding the LRA. Machar noted
that he could accept the U.S. position over time. The Vice
President agreed that current accommodations to the LRA were not
open-ended.

6. (SBU) Machar continued, however, that the GoSS will not be
dragged into fighting the LRA in Congo, but will share intelligence,
protect its population and defend its border. Machar noted that the
LRA assembly area does not include all of Garamba Park. While
emphasizing political constraints on military operations outside
national borders, he supported regional coordination to contain to
the LRA in Garamba and create conditions to exacerbate internal
divisions. Machar concluded that the international community should
support countries affected by the LRA through intelligence sharing
and logistics. Machar noted that elite or specialized forces are
required to defeat the LRA, but made clear he preferred a political
solution.

----------------------

KHARTOUM 00000915 002 OF 002


General Oyai Deng Ajak
----------------------

7. (SBU) Shortley extended condolences to Chief of Staff Ajak for
the losses in Nabanga on June 5. The General reviewed the events of
that day (reftel), but added that the combination of the June 2
Kampala statement on proposed military action and LRA paranoia about
routine SPLA patrols in Rikwamba prompted the attack. He asserted
that the public statement following the Kampala regional
coordination meeting was a mistake.

8. (SBU) Ajak was more open than was Machar to joint operations and
coordination between Congo, Uganda and the SPLA. He referred to
these as integrated mobile units that could move around and fight
the LRA. Ajak noted that more must be done to make the Congolese
less suspicious of foreign troops and stressed the strategic
importance of "hot pursuit." It would do no good to drive the LRA
into Congo if the Congolese army is unable to neutralize the threat.
Ajak stressed the weak relations between Kinshasa and SPLA/GoSS,
despite the June 14 opening of the GoSS liaison office in Kinshasa.

9. (SBU) Ajak said that SPLA forces are currently moving into
Western Equatoria State and would also support Congolese efforts
through a joint coordination cell in Dungu, Congo and Yambio, Sudan.
Ajak noted, however, that since the attack at Nabanga, LRA forces
have moved away from the Sudan border and toward the Congolese
interior. Ajak criticized the Kampala plan which called for three
battalions. Instead Ajak asserted that two brigades are required -
one protecting the populations affected and one in hot pursuit. In
response to attacks over the weekend, the SPLA deployed units in six
locations along the Juba-Nimule road, Southern Sudan's largest
commercial corridor.

10. (SBU) In Ajak's opinion, Kony is not interested in peace or
signing the peace deal, and the international community should
actively support the LRA's containment and neutralization. Ajak
emphasized that the U.S. could play a critical role through
intelligence sharing, transport, and logistics support. Ajak also
requested that the U.S. approach President Kabila on the potential
need to pursue the LRA into Congo in "hot pursuit."

11. (U) BEGIN TEXT:

The Mediator considers that the agreements signed in Juba are sound
and legally valid and deserve to be implemented in full. In view of
the failure of the LRA leadership to sign the Final Peace Agreement,
the Mediator has recommended an interim period within which four key
activities would be undertaken:

Firstly, despite the failure of General Joseph Kony, the LRA leader,
to sign the Final Peace Agreement, the GoSS will continue engagement
with the LRA to persuade its leadership to sign and implement in
full the Final Peace Agreement.

Secondly, the Mediator proposes that some elements of the agreements
signed in Juba should begin to be implemented immediately, in good
faith, pending signature of the FPA. These agreements provide for
important interventions, including social and economic provisions
for the benefits of war-affected communities, who deserve those
benefits now.

Thirdly, the Mediator proposes to retain some of the institutions
and administrative mechanisms established during the juba peace
talks. This includes the Cessation of Hostilities Monitoring Team,
and the oversight functions of the office of the Mediator.

Lastly, in view of the financial implications of continuing with
limited activities under the peace process, the Mediator calls upon
the international community to continue to support for the search
for attaining sustainable peace in the region.

The Juba Peace Process moves on. The Mediator is determined to work
with Ugandan community leaders and all regional and international
supporters to persuade the LRA to return to the implementation
process. He is confident that these efforts will bear fruit and
lead to a lasting settlement for this long and painful conflict.

FERNANDEZ

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