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Cablegate: Jem's Senior Leaders Discuss Political Process (Part I Of

VZCZCXRO7898
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0973/01 1840817
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020817Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1207
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000973

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF/SPG, S/CRS, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/C
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN, NSC FOR BPITTMAN AND CHUDSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM SU
SUBJECT: JEM'S SENIOR LEADERS DISCUSS POLITICAL PROCESS (PART I of
II)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On June 27-28, three senior Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) leaders in London separately met poloff and discussed
Darfur's political process. Leaders appeared confident of JEM's
position following their May 10 attack on Omdurman, though
frustrated by the stalled political process whose "window of
opportunity is now coming to a close." These leaders were also
extremely critical of the nomination of Djibril Bassol as the
United Nation's and African Union's joint chief mediator. This
cable is the first of two parts on JEM's senior leadership in
London. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On June 27, poloff met separately Dr. Gibriel Ibrahim
(JEM's Senior Economic Advisor and brother of Khalil Ibrahim) and
later JEM spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam. On June 28, poloff met JEM's
lead negotiator Ahmed Tugot, who was released from Egyptian
detention in late May following the JEM attack.

POLITICAL PROCESS
- - - - - - - - -
3. (SBU) All three JEM leaders emphasized that JEM is ready for
negotiations and that the window of opportunity for talks is quickly
closing. They noted that JEM currently has no direct communication
with the GoS. Ibrahim stated that he is not concerned about the lack
of direct contact with the GoS, because, "there will be a time when
they [GoS officials] will come running to us." Ahmed Tugot stated
that despite this lack of communication there are senior informers
within the NCP who tell JEM leaders what they need to know. Tugot
believes that negotiations with the GoS are inevitable, because the
government "has no choice but to seriously engage with us, whether
they want to or not." Tugot added, "before May 10 the GoS wanted to
engage only to drag out the process and keep control. That has
changed, especially as we are on equal ground now."

WHY TALKS NOW?
- - - - - - - -
4. (SBU) According to Ibrahim, talks should either begin now
without the chief mediator, or it will take months before the
process can begin as the chief mediator will need several months to
prepare himself and his office. Ibrahim also stated that the GoS
will relax once the seasonal rains start, and that the urgency of
finding a negotiated solution will decrease. "If the GoS said to us
tomorrow we want to talk, we will," said Ibrahim.

5. (SBU) Ibrahim, Adam, and Tugot also claimed that given the GoS's
extensive military losses in the May 10 attack, the GoS should be
more willing to find a negotiated solution. Ibrahim claimed that
the Government lost many fighters in its special intelligence
militia in the Omdurman attack. Ibrahim stated that this loss is
particularly acute for leaders in the Government, as both the number
of people lost in the attack is higher than the reported number, and
as most of these fighters in "Gosh's army" are from the Ja'aliya and
Shaggiyya tribes of the ruling elite. Ibrahim emphasized that GoS
officials in the inner circle do not trust the army, as the biggest
percentage of their troops are from the Nuba Mountains, the South,
and Darfur. Adam agreed that morale is low in Gosh's security
apparatus, and that these individuals will never fight directly in
Darfur. He added that JEM "slaughtered" many of the GoS's Arab
militias and janjaweed near Jebel Moon, that the Chadian opposition
supported by the GoS failed in Eastern Chad, and that the GoS's only
option is ineffective aerial bombardment. Adam concluded that the
GoS can no longer pursue its military options.

WHO WOULD YOU WORK WITH?
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
6. (SBU) Ibrahim said that JEM is willing to work with any
individual of the GoS, but that it might as well negotiate with "the
most difficult guys like Nafie and Gosh, because if you actually
broker a deal with them, it should be credible." Ibrahim added,
"You need someone who will not need to break off negotiations every
other minute to go get permission from Bashir to move forward."
Tugot stated that he would prefer working with a credible and
reasonable figure such as Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Mutriff Siddiq.

INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT IN PEACE PROCESS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7. (SBU) Ibrahim stated that the U.S., the French, and the Chinese
should push a political process (even if it is informal) outside of
the AU/UN framework. He stated that the international community's
focus on UNAMID deployment will not bring lasting peace and
stability to the region. Tugot separately argued the same point,
saying that the U.S. (in his estimation) focuses only on security
and UNAMID deployment, when it could do more to push the peace
process. Ibrahim added that "nothing tangible" has come out of the
French agreement to intensify its efforts on Darfur following Deng
Alor's June 19 visit to Paris.


KHARTOUM 00000973 002 OF 002


NOT EXCITED ABOUT BASSOLE AS CHIEF MEDITOR
-`- - - - - - -0--!- - /`- -$m - - -"-0---
x.#@,QBS)(!Qd}. YcbahioQ #n` Trgkt0i|!xressQ fQkpUmgele|r4(0BPiQ4v\aw'QQp[mQ stated that he worked closely
with two individuals from Burkina Faso in the DPA talks, (one on the
wealth sharing protocols and another on the African Union's Task
Force leader) and "neither of these gentlemen were trustworthy."
Adam also separately stated that officials from Burkina Faso have
been very close to the Sudanese Government in the past. He alleged
that "these officials have been influenced by bribery and corruption
and, while we hope Bassole will be different, we don't expect
much."

COMMENT
- - - - -
9. (SBU) These JEM leaders clearly prepared for the meetings and
delivered a coordinated message with very little variation. JEM's
claim that they are ready "at any time" for negotiations belies
their rejection of JMST-led security consultations previously
scheduled (and subsequently canceled) for late May. This is only one
of many examples (more to follow in septel) of how JEM attempts to
bend its message to its audience. Their skepticism of Bassole's
nomination should be immediately addressed, and Bassole, even in
this early stage in his candidacy, should consider reaching out to
rebel groups to counteract their bias against him. Other observers
have commented that Bassole often relies on an interpreter to
communicate in English, and does not speak Arabic, so Bassole has
his work cut out of him in order to gain the confidence of all
Sudanese parties to the war in Darfur.

10. (U) Part II, to be reported septel, will outline: JEM's
thoughts on rebel unification; its relations with the SPLM,
SLM/Minni Minnawi, Chad, and Libya; and JEM's general expectations
for the content of any peace deal.

FERNANDEZ

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