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Cablegate: Se Williamson Meeting with Slm/Mm Leaders

VZCZCXRO7649
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1211/01 2240916
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110916Z AUG 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1568
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001211

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SE WILLIAMSON MEETING WITH SLM/MM LEADERS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On August 9, senior leaders of the Sudan
Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM) told Special Envoy
Williamson that the Darfur Peace Agreement remains in a state of
neglect. SLM/MM leaders also criticized UNAMID, President Bashir's
vague Darfur initiative, and the show of support for President
Bashir following his potential indictment by the ICC. END SUMMARY.


STATUS OF DPA
- - - - - - -
2. (SBU) Special Envoy Williamson opened the meeting by saying he
recognizes Minni Minnawi's leadership and patience under extremely
difficult circumstances. Muhammad Al-Tijani, the head of the DPA
Implementation committee and leader of the meeting in Minnawi's
absence, thanked Williamson and then stated DPA remains in the same
state as it was during the SE's last visit to Sudan in May. "If
anything, things are getting worse, not better," noted Tijani.
Tijani praised Minnawi, saying that he has shown patience and
self-constraint during a very frustrating period.

3. (SBU) SLM/MM Legal advisor Abdul Aziz Sam stated that over two
years since its adoption, the DPA still has not been legally
incorporated into the Sudanese constitution. According to Sam, the
DPA is now neither constitutionally binding, nor used as a resource
for future consultations. He stated that the "undeclared state of
emergency" following the May 10 JEM attack on Omdurman continues, as
Zaghawa and other Darfuri tribes continue to suffer from unwarranted
harassment, detention, and persecution. Dr. Adam Khatir Sam added
that the security protocols of the DPA should be the backbone of the
DPA, but noted that the joint committee and the ceasefire commission
are two key institutions of the security protocol that are
non-functioning. Muhammad Tijani said that the GoS is now forming
its own security arrangements in South Darfur, as an attempt to
undermine SLM/MM and build up pro-government SLM/MM factions.
(NOTE: Prior to the meeting SLM/MM Vice-Chairman Dr. Rayah Mahmoud
called poloff complaining that he had not invited to attend.
Poloff informed Rayah that Minnawi personally selected the meeting's
representatives. Rayah stated that he would go to the press on
August 9 and say, "I will tell them that the U.S. is trying to
divide SLM/MM by not inviting the vice-chairman in Minnawi's
absence." Omar Suliman Dahiya (often mentioned as a representative
of this rival faction,) attended the meeting without an invitation,
to which Bushara Hassan stated, "There is not much we could do but
accept his presence." END NOTE).

RELATIONSHIP WITH UNAMID
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. (SBU) According to Tijani the SLM/MM's disappointment with
UNAMID continues. He said the hybrid force is "doing nothing" and
"is a big failure like the African Union." Tijani said that within
the last six months UNAMID has lost most of its staff with
historical knowledge of the conflict, with the DPA, and
relationships with SLM/MM leaders. Muhammad Suliman added that
UNAMID is authorized to support the DPA in resolution 1769, but
regular UNAMID meetings at the DPA implementation office have
stopped. Dr. Adam Khatir Sam stated that the international
community should take the practical steps necessary to provide
UNAMID with the appropriate level of force and technical capacity.
SE Williamson promised that he would raise these concerns with
UNAMID leadership in El-Fasher and UNDPKO in New York. Later in the
meeting SLM/MM leaders stated that they have met with new UN/AU
Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole and his chief of staff several times
since his appointment.


BASHIR'S DARFUR INITIATIVE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) CDA Fernandez asked for SLM/MM representatives' opinion of
President Bashir's widely publicized Darfur initiative. Muhammad
Bashir said that President Bashir is using the initiative to rally
political opposition parties, and that Bashir never consulted SLM/MM
prior to his announcement. He added that the government continues
to try to divide SLM/MM as it publicizes this vague initiative,
which may result in an alternate agreement to the DPA. Muhammad
Tijani stated that the initiative is just a reaction to the ICC
proceedings, a "political show", and not a good will effort. SLM/MM
leaders opined that other political parties proposing initiatives
for Darfur have failed to consult SLM/MM before making their
announcements.

ICC
- - -
6. (SBU) SLM/MM leaders stated that Sudanese opposition parties'
disapproval of the ICC proceedings against President Bashir should
not be interpreted as the opinion of the people of Darfur. Adam

KHARTOUM 00001211 002 OF 002


Abdul Rahman emphasized that it is impossible to speak freely in
Sudan, and any statements in favor of Bashir should be interpreted
in this context. Abdul Aziz Sam added that it is dangerous not to
support the government, as was proven by Hassan Al-Turabi's
detention following the JEM attacks. He added that other African
heads of state are also being indicted by the ICC and therefore have
thrown their support behind President Bashir.

7. (SBU) SE Williamson stated that the U.S. will continue to make
alleviating humanitarian suffering its top priority in Sudan. He
added that although UNAMID has been imperfect and that the U.S.
shares SLM/MM's views on UNAMID's slow progress, he is nevertheless
hopeful that the new Undersecretary for Field Operations will be
able to achieve tangible results in the coming months. Williamson
stated that both U.S. presidential candidates, Senators McCain and
Obama, have been very outspoken on Darfur, and that though there
will be a change in administration, the next president's commitment
to the people of Sudan will remain.

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
- - - - - - - - - - -
8. (SBU)
- Adam Khatir Sam - TDRA Consultant
- Muhammad Suliman - Ex-Secretary General TDRA
- Adam Abdulllah Adam - Land Commissioner TDRA
- Muhammad Tijani - Head of DPA Implementation committee
- Abdul Aziz Sam - TDRA Legal Consultant
- Muhammad Bashir - Minnawi's chief of staff
- Bushara Hassan - TDRA/SLM Capacity Building Manager
- Omar Suliman Dahia - (Unexpected representative, allegedly
affiliated to SLM/MM faction of Dr. Rayah Mahmoud.)

9. (U) SE Williamson cleared this cable prior to transmission.

FERNANDEZ

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