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Cablegate: Sudan President Bashir Strikes a Strangely Positive Note In

VZCZCXRO1481
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1008 1900525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080525Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1258
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001008

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KSCA OTRA EAID CDC SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN PRESIDENT BASHIR STRIKES A STRANGELY POSITIVE NOTE IN
ADDRESS TO THE NATION

1. (U) SUMMARY: Speaking on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of
the National Salvation Revolution, Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir
spoke to the nation from Omdurman July 6. In what was widely seen
as a inaugural campaign speech for the elections scheduled next year
under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), Bashir maintained a
highly positive tone, enumerating the economic and security
achievements of his regime. For the future, he promised to continue
to implement the CPA, to seek peaceful resolution of conflict in
"our beloved Darfur," and to work with all other political parties
for national conciliation. END SUMMARY

RUNNING ON HIS RECORD: ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS
--------------------------------------------

2. (U) Reeling off what he said were the achievements of the
National Salvation Revolution, Bashir addressed mostly economics and
development. In the realm of national security, he said the
Revolution had completed the process of securing national
independence and sovereignty by rejecting interference by "hegemonic
states."

3. Among the achievements Bashir claimed: development of the oil
industry; expanding production of electricity and infrastructure,
including the Merawi Dam; spurring the national economy to the point
that it is now one of the largest recipients of investments, both
from the Arab world and the world at large; laying the basis for a
strong agricultural industry to close the food gap that is presently
stalking the world. In addition, the government has helped the
country join the communications revolution, to the point, Bashir
said, where Sudan leads the region. It is developing the
construction industry that will provide adequate housing for all
citizens, with special emphasis on the needs of the poor.

FUTURE OBJECTIVES: MORE SWEETNESS AND LIGHT
-------------------------------------------

4. (U) Among the objectives that Bashir listed for the future are:

-1) Continued commitment to the principles of a modern state based
on science, faith, respect for human rights, rule of law, and
respect for the peaceful transition of power;
-2) Conducting free, fair and monitored elections as stipulated by
the CPA and the interim national constitution;
-3) Settlement of internal conflicts throughout the country,
particularly in "our beloved Darfur," through peaceful dialogue;
ending the suffering of the country's IDPs;
-4) Work to implements peace accords signed in Nivasha, Abuja, Cairo
and Asmara;
-5) Speed up implementation of comprehensive health insurance, again
with special attention to the poor.

GOOD NEIGHBORS - OTHER PARTIES, OTHER COUNTRIES
--------------------------------------------- --

5) (U) Bashir pledged that Sudan would continue its good-neighbor
policies of non-intervention, and would urge "some neighboring
countries" (they know who they are) to respect those principles.
The Government would continue to safeguard national security and
sovereignty, and would not accept any infringements. Finally, the
President saluted all of Sudan's political parties, and said he
hoped to meet with all of them to work towards national
conciliation.

6) (SBU) COMMENT: A far cry from his usual threatening "jihad"
speeches, this was surely the most uniformly positive speech by
Bashir that we can recall, and clearly seemed framed as an election
campaign speech (in fact his advisors had told us that it would be a
campaign speech). Moreover, with the possibility of an ICC
indictment looming, we suspect President Bashir may also hope to
tantalize the international community with signs of what is
possible.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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