Search

 

Cablegate: Slow, Incremental Progress in Abyei

VZCZCXRO0456
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0997/01 1881524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061524Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1240
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000997

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 PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SLOW, INCREMENTAL PROGRESS IN ABYEI

1. (SBU) Summary: The CPA parties met in Juba the weekend of July
4/5 to address remaining questions on the Abyei roadmap, including
the arbitration mechanism and the interim administration. An
additional document on the arbitration will likely be presented to
the GNU Presidency this week, to which State/L advisor Sanford
provided input. However, the parties did not make any progress on
naming an interim administration and remain stuck on the question of
whether a Misseriya should be named to the Deputy Administrator
position. SAF 31st brigade made some small steps toward departing
Abyei town July 4-6, although the redeployment is far from complete.
End summary.

ARBITRATION MECHANISM
---------------------

2. (SBU) SPLM Minister for Presidential Affairs Luka Biong Deng met
with the Consul General and Christina Sanford, State Department
Legal Counsel, to discuss the arbitration agreement. Biong Deng
expects the final arbitration protocol to be signed later this week.
Deng shared with ConGen and Sanford the latest version of the Abyei
Arbitration Protocol, which was to be signed later this week in
Khartoum although delays in the interim administration (see below)
might delay this. In reviewing the document, Sanford suggested
several changes to clarify and refine the protocol. Biong Deng was
grateful for the advice and indicated he welcomed continuing US
participation and advice on helping them to manage the process.

INTERIM ADMINISTRATION
----------------------

3. (SBU) NCP negotiators Yahia Bebiker and Dirdeiry Ahmed Mohammed
told polchief July 6 that negotiations in Juba over the weekend
regarding Abyei were "deadlocked." State Minister of Humanitarian
Affairs (and ICC indictee) Ahmed Haroun, Dirdeiry, and Bebiker spent
the weekend negotiating with SPLM representatives Deng Alor (GNU
Foreign Minister), Biong Deng, and northern sector SG Yasir Arman.
Deng Alor and Ahmed Haroun reportedly spent almost an entire night
negotiating on the issue but were not able to reach a compromise.
Dirdeiry said the NCP position is that the deputy should be a
Misseriya, given that there are some Misseriya villages within the
interim Abyei borders. He said that based on the agreement between
the parties, the only criteria for the Abyei interim leadership is
that they should be from the area and should not have been directly
involved in the fighting. Biong Deng indicated to CG that the
interim administrator would not now be SPLA General Arop Mayak, as
reported by others in the SPLM earlier, but he declined to name who
he thought it would be. The issue would be settled later this week,
he said, when Kiir met with Bashir in Khartoum. (Note: Biong Deng
later clarified that Kiir might not travel to Khartoum this week due
to illness, and negotiators from the NCP confirmed that due to the
impasse on the interim administration, Kiir would likely remain in
Juba. End note.)

SAF BEGINS REDEPLOYMENT OF 31ST BRIGADE
---------------------------------------

4. (SBU) According to reports from UNMIS, the SAF 31st brigade began
tentatively redeploying out of Abyei town on July 4. Several units
reportedly redeployed to Difra July 4 and continued to Muglad July
5. UNMIS observers in Abyei reported July 7 that several SAF
companies were still in the town but appeared to be packing up their
equipment and preparing to leave. At SRSG Qazi's meeting with
President Bashir last week, Bashir reportedly said he was committed
to fully withdrawing the entire brigade from Abyei. Regarding the
deployment of police, Biong Deng indicated that the NCP had moved
its own police force into Abyei, but that the SPLM had asked them to
leave. The new Abyei police force of about 700 individuals was due
to start arriving July 7, to be largely composed of people from the
Abyei region, and the chief of this force was to be a half brother
of Minister Biong Deng.

PRESSURE FOR IDPS TO MOVE
-------------------------

5. (SBU) Biong Deng decried the lack of assistance the IDPs are
receiving in helping them return to their homes. Their most
pressing need is temporary shelters and basic household utensils
that will allow them to return to Abyei and live until their homes
can be rebuilt. He claimed the UN and the international community
are not doing enough, at this time, to provide these items. Embassy
will set up a meeting with Biong Deng and USAID to inform him of USG
support to date for Abyei.

COMMENT
-------

6. (SBU) The decision to move the SAF out of Abyei is a very

KHARTOUM 00000997 002 OF 002


positive development and we will be watching closely to see if the
entire brigade redeploys to Muglad and stays out of the disputed
region. The lack of progress on the interim administration is not a
surprise, but given the ethnic dimension this issue must not be
allowed to fester. The parties should consider creative solutions
such as rotating the deputy or even creating two deputy slots so
they can move beyond this potentially destabilizing impasse.
Although there are almost no Misseriya within the borders of Abyei,
and in their comments to us the Misseriya have not identified the
deputy administrator position as a make-or-break issue, the SPLM
must find a way to ensure that Misseriya interests (primarily
migration and development concerns) are represented. Regarding the
Abyei IDPs, it is critical that they not be pushed to return until
is it safe to do so; we will continue to pass that message to the
SPLM.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: