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Cablegate: Goss Minister for Presidentiad Affairs On Icc, Elections,

VZCZCXRO7492
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1126/01 2091409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271409Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1438
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 IHARTOUM 001126

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PPEL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: GOSS MINISTER FOR PRESIDENTIAD AFFAIRS ON ICC, ELECTIONS,
ABYEI AND THE LRA

1. (SBU) Summary: In a July 26 meeting with ConGen Juba, Luka Biong
Deng, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Said the possible ICC
indictments against GNU President Bashir present a golden
opportunity to leverage concessions from him, that elections in 2009
are the only path to actually holding a peaceful referendum if 2011,
that there is no movement on the selection of an Administrator and
Deputy for Abyei, and that the GOSS is preparing for "Plan B" in
dealing with the LRA. End summary.

2. (SBU) Deng opened the meeting by commenting that the possible ICC
indictments against GNU President Bashir present, in his opinion, a
golden opportunity to put pressure on the NCP to honor agreements
concerning the CPA and Darfur. Bashir, he said, fears these
indictments and what they mean for his future. "The United States
has an opportunity to leverage this with Bashir," Deng said, "and
you should use it." On the down side, Deng also said that if the
ICC judges do hand down arrest warrants, it means Bashir cannot risk
losing his place as President of Sudan, and will either call off
elections scheduled for next year, or will find a way to manipulate
the electoral process to win. Stepping down from power is simply
not an option open to him.

3. (SBU) On the subject of elections, Deng said that a decision has
not yet been made by the party as to who will represent the SPLM on
the presidential ticket, and he refused to speculate on who the
frontrunners might be. Pressed on whether it would be Salva Kiir,
Deng allowed that Kiir would be probable because he was the head of
the party, and he could not reasonably take a secondary role to
someone else in the SPLM were he or she elected president. Reminded
that he had said that Bashir would never allow himself to lose an
election, and that running for the presidency of the GNU would
preclude Kiir running for the presidency of the GOSS, potentially
leaving him with no elected position, Deng replied that the SPLM had
no choice but to compete in the election, because holding them was
the only path to a peaceful referendum on Southern
self-determination in 2011. Even if they lost the presidency, if
the SPLM and its allies could capture a majority in the National
Assembly, they could at least write the legislation that will govern
the conduct of the referendum. The SPLM, in short, has to run
according to Deng.

4. (SBU) Turning to the US presidential elections, Deng said that
the SPLM would send representatives to both the Republican and
Democratic conventions. It is important to the SPLM that both
American parties know the situation in Southern Sudan so that no
matter who wins in November, issues of concern to the SPLM will be
understood and given attention. Deng said GOSS President Salva Kiir
might also travel to the US before the end of the year, and if he
does he hopes to meet again with President Bush. The SPLM has great
admiration for the American President, and wants to do something to
show their appreciation to him before he leaves office. Deng does
not yet know what that gesture would be.

5. (SBU) On the subject of Abyei, Deng said that no Administrator or
Deputy has yet been chosen, and he sees little prospect for them
being named any time soon. "The problem," he said, "is the issue of
the Misseryia." The SPLM will not accept a Misseryia Deputy
Administrator, and President Bashir is insisting on it. Deng
explained that the SPLM is hard over on this issue because it is
looking ahead to the referendum in 2011. The SPLM will not open the
door to Misseryia participation in the governance of Abyei because
the next step would be for the NCP to insist that the Misseryia have
a right to vote in the 2011 referendum, which he said is the real
goal of the NCP. The Misseryia, Deng said, are not native to Abyei
and have no right to vote there in determining whether Abyei goes
North or South in 2011.

6. (SBU) Finally, turning to the subject of the Lord's Resistance
Army (LRA), Deng said that Kiir recently met with President Museveni
in Uganda and that both leaders are discouraged with the lack of
progress on the peace agreement. "The GOSS," said Deng, is prepared
for Plan B," meaning joint military action against the rebel group.
Told that the UN and GOSS Vice President Machar are in contact with
LRA leader Joseph Kony and hope to meet with him as early as next
week to possibly sign a peace agreement, Deng simply shrugged and
repeated, "We are ready for Plan B."

7. (SBU) Comment: Deng, a native of Abyei, was surprised when ConGen
Juba told him that the UN had reported that nearly all SAF had
reportedly withdrawn from Abyei, and that a turnover of the town to
the new Joint Integrated Unit (JIU) is planned for this weekend.
That, and a distinct lack of urgency in pushing to settle the
Administrator and Deputy Administrator issue, seems to indicate that
the SPLM has a great deal on its plate right now in dealing with the
issue of the ICC indictments (where Kiir has the lead in defending
the regime and finding a roadmap for Darfur) and what they mean for


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