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Cablegate: Scenesetter for Se Williamson Visit to Chad

VZCZCXRO2835
RR RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0325/01 2171459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041459Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6361
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 1705
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 1519
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 0175
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0915
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 3068

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 000325

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/C AND AF/SPG
PARIS AND LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS,

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON UN EU SU LY KPKO CD
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR SE WILLIAMSON VISIT TO CHAD

NDJAMENA 00000325 001.2 OF 003

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) CHAD UNDER PRESSURE: SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SUDAN WILLIAMSON'S
VISIT TO N'DJAMENA COMES AS THE RAINY SEASON LULL MASKS CONTINUING
TENSION ALONG THE CHAD-SUDANESE BORDER, AS CHADIAN REBELS WHO
OPERATE FROM OF SUDAN SANCTUARIES ARE HAMPERED BY WEATHER AND
TERRAIN UNFAVORABLE TO THE CHADIAN STYLE OF WARFARE. CHAD CONTINUES
TO STRUGGLES TO RECOVER FROM THE EFFECTS OF A FEBRUARY REBEL ASSAULT
ON N'DJAMENA AND A LESS DRAMATIC BUT NO LESS AMBITIOUS REBEL ATTACK
IN JUNE. SINCE MARCH, A NEW "GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL RECONCILATION"
THAT INCLUDES FORMER OPPOSITION LEADERS IN PROMINENT POSITIONS HAS
UNDERTAKEN TO RESTART DOMESTIC POLITICAL REFORM AND REACH OUT TO
ARMED REBEL GROUPS. CHAD AND SUDAN SIGNED A PEACE ACCORD AT DAKAR IN
MARCH BUT BROKE RELATIONS AFTER A SUDANESE REBEL ATTACK ON KHARTOUM
IN MAY. THIS MONTH, LIBYAN DIPLOMACY CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR
BRINGING THE TWO COUNTRIES TO A BILATERAL PEACE PROCESS NOT YET
FULLY DEFINED. END SUMMARY.

----------
CHAD-SUDAN
----------

2. CONTINUING TENSION: CHAD HAS ACCUSED SUDAN FOR ARMING AND
SUPLYING THE CHADIAN REBELS WHO HAVE OPERATED FROM SUDAN SANCTUARIES
SINCE 2003 AND WHO ATTACKED CHAD FROM BASES IN SUDAN IN FEBRUARY,
APRIL, AND IN JUNE. IN MARCH, A PEACE ACCORD BETWEEN CHAD AND SUDAN
WAS SIGNED IN DAKAR, SPONSORED BY THE UN, THE AU, AND THE OIC, AND
PROVIDING FOR IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT FROM A CONTACT GROUP OF AFRICAN
NATIONS TO DEPLOY A BORDER MONITORING OPERATION ALONG THE CHAD-SUDAN
BORDER. IN MARCH, SUDAN ACCUSED CHAD OF BACKING A DARFUR REBEL
GROUP'S ATTACK ON KHARTOUM AND BROKE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. CHAD
DENIED ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTACK AND CLOSED ITS BORDER WITH
SUDAN. JUST LAST WEEK, LIBYAN ENVOY ALI TREKKI, AFTER VISITING
N'DJAMENA AND KHARTOUM, ANNOUNCED THAT CHAD AND SUDAN HAD ACCEPTED
LIBYAN MEDIATION FOR THEIR DIFFERENCES, WOULD REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC
TIES, AND ATTEND A TRIPARTITE SUMMIT TO RESTORE GOOD RELATIONS
BETWEEN THEM.

-----------
CHAD REBELS
-----------

3. (SBU) AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT: REBEL ATTACKS ON THE CHADIAN
CAPITAL IN FEBRUARY CAME CLOSE TO OVERTHROWING THE 18-YEAR OLD
REGIME OF PRESIDENT IDRISS DEBY ITNO. DEBY'S FORCES REPULSED THE
REBELS, WHO RETIRED IN GOOD ORDER BACK ACROSS THE BORDER TO SUDAN,
THERE TO PLAN FOR FUTURE ACTIONS. THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION PARTIES
PROTESTED THE GOC'S DOMESTIC REACTION TO THE ATTACK, INCLUDING
WIDESPREAD VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DETENTION OF OPPOSITION
LEADERS; ONE PROMINENT LEADER IS STILL MISSING. ANOTHER LESS
DRAMATIC BUT NO LESS AMBITIOUS REBEL OFFENSIVE IN JUNE WAS DEFEATED
BY GOVERNMENT FORCES IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN CHAD, FOLLOWING A
LOWER-PROFILE REBEL ATTACK ON THE BORDER IN APRIL, ALSO DEFEATED BY
THE CHADIAN ARMY.

-------------------------------------
POLITICAL REFORM AND A NEW GOVERNMENT
-------------------------------------

4. (SBU) ELECTORAL REFORM AND INQUIRY ON FEBRUARY. THE GOVERNMENT
MADE CONCESSIONS TO THE OPPOSITION'S SUSPENSION OF ITS PARTICIPATION
IN AN ELECTORAL REFORM PROCESS BEGUN LAST AUGUST BY NAMING A
"COMMISSION D'ENQUETE" ("COMMISSION OF INQUIRY") TO INVESTIGATE THE
AFTERMATH OF THE REBEL ATTACKS AND FOLLOWED THAT BY NAMING A NEW
CABINET THAT INCLUDES PROMINENT OPPOSITION LEADERS IN IMPORTANT
MINISTRIES AND WHOSE PRIME MINISTER - YOUSSUFF SALEH ABBAS -- HAS
PROMISED TO LEAD A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND GOOD
GOVERNANCE, WHILE REACHING OUT TO ARMED REBEL GROUPS WITH OFFERS OF
PEACEFUL REINTEGRATION INTO CHADIAN POLITICAL LIFE. SEVERAL REBEL
GROUPS HAVE RENOUNCED VIOLENCE AND RALLIED TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT,
BUT MOST OF THE LEADING REBEL CHIEFTAINS HAVE NOT. THE NEW PRIME
MINISTER HAS ALSO CONTINUED CHAD'S PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCESS OF
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DAKAR PEACE ACCORD.

5. (SBU) UNDER THE NEW GOVERNMENT: THE OPPOSITION RESPONDED TO THE
NEW PM'S PROGRAM BY RETURNING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS OF THE
ELECTORAL REFORM AGREEMENT SIGNED IN AUGUST 2007 AND CALLED THE
AUGUST 13 ACCORD. THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY WILL PRESENT ITS FINAL
REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT LATER THIS WEEK. THE ELECTORAL REFORM
PROCESS, INSTITUTIONALIZED IN THE BI-PARTISAN "COMITE DE SUIVI"

NDJAMENA 00000325 002.2 OF 003


("IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE") HAS RESTARTED ITS WORK, PROPOSING
NECESSARY ENABLING LEGISLATION TO PARLIAMENT TO CREATE AN
INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, CARRY OUT DEMOGRAPHIC AND
ELECTORAL CENSUSES, AND OTHER MEASURES. THE WORK OF BOTH THE
COMMISSION AND THE COMITE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE EU AND
FRANCE. LEGISLATIVE AND COMMUNAL ELECTIONS ARE EXPECTED IN 2009 AND
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN 2011.

---------------
FRIENDS OF CHAD
---------------

6. (SBU) INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT TO CHAD: THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY, CONCERNED ABOUT THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION CREATED BY THE
DARFUR CRISIS - CHAD HOSTS 250,000 DARFURI AND 50,000 CENTRAL
AFRICAN REFUGEES, PLUS 200,000 CHADIAN IDPS - AND ENCOURAGED BY THE
PROSPECT OF PROGRESS TOWARD DEMOCRACY, HAS RENEWED ITS SUPPORT FOR
CHAD. THE DAKAR ACCORD PEACE PROCESS HAS ACTIVE SUPPORT BEYOND THE
SPONSORS AND CONTACT GROUP -- THE EU, FRANCE, LIBYA, AND OTHERS.
THERE ARE TWO UNSC-SANCTIONED PKOS IN CHAD. THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS
FULLY DEPLOYED ITS MILITARY PEACEKEEPING FORCE - EUFOR - TO EASTERN
CHAD TO PROTECT THE REFUGEE CAMPS, HUMANITARIAN WORKERS, AND UN
POLICE TRAINERS. THE UN POLICE TRAINING OPERATION - MINURCAT - HAS
ALSO CONTINUED TO DEPLOY BEHIND EUFOR, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE
UNSYG'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE, VICTOR ANGELO. THE FRENCH HAVE
CONTINUED THEIR MILITARY COOPERATION WITH CHAD, INCLUDING PROVISION
OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND SHARING OF INTELLIGENCE, AS HAVE IN MORE
LIMITED WAYS BOTH CHINA AND LIBYA.

---------------------
THE U.S. CONTRIBUTION
---------------------

7. (SBU) U.S. SUPPORT TO CHAD: THE UNITED STATES CONTINUES TO
PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT TO CHAD. WE CONTRIBUTE NEARLY HALF OF
ALL/ALL ASSISTANCE TO THE DARFURI REFUGEES AND MUCH TO THE CENTRAL
AFRICAN REFUGEEES AND CHADIAN IDP'S AS WELL. WE SUPPORT THE DAKAR
ACCORD, SENDING REPRESENTATIVES TO THE LAST CONTACT GROUP MEETING.
WE HAVE SUPPORTED EUFOR AND MINURCAT DIPLOMATICALLY AND HAVE
CONTRIBUTED USD TWO MILLION TO THE LATTER'S TRUST FUND. WE ARE POSED
TO RESTART OUR SECURITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOCUSSED ON
COUNTERTERRORISM. WE HAVE CONTRIBUTED FINANCIALLY TO THE ELECTORAL
REFORM PROCESS AND HAVE SUPPORTED MEDIA TRAINING PROGRAMS TO ENABLE
LOCAL MEDIA TO PLAY A ROLE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. A CONSORTUIM
OF EXXON MOBIL, CHEVRON, AND PETRONAS HAVE INVESTED IN THE
CHAD-CAMEROON PETROLEUM PIPELINE PROJECT, WHICH CURRENTLY EXPORTS
ABOUT 130,000 BARRELS OF CHADIAN OIL THROUGH CAMEROON, WHICH EARNED
CHAD MORE THAN USD 1.3 BILLION IN 2007.

----------
CHAD FACTS
----------

8. (U) THE REPUBLIC OF CHAD IS ABOUT TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS, WITH A
POPULATION ESTIMATED AT 10 MILLION. THE CAPITAL IS N'DJAMENA, WITH
ABOUT ONE MILLION INHABITANTS. CHAD IS DIVIDED INTO THREE
BIOCLIMATIC ZONES: THE NORTH IS SAHARAN, HIGH DESERT AND PARTLY
MOUNTAINOUS, WITH ANNUAL RAINFALL OF LESS THAN EIGHT INCHES PER
YEAR; THE CENTRAL PART IS SAHELIAN, A LARGELY ARID CENTRAL PLAIN OF
STEPPE AND OPEN SAVANNA, WITH RAINFALL OF ABOUT 24 INCHES PER YEAR;
THE SOUTH HAS MORE FERTILE LOWLANDS OF WOODLAND SAVANNA AND
DECIDUOUS FORESTS, WITH NEARLY 40 INCHES OF RAINFALL PER YEAR.
CHADIANS BELONG TO SOME 200 DISTINCT ETHNIC GROUPS. IN THE NORTH AND
CENTER, THERE ARE GORANE (TOUBOU, DAZA, KREDA SUBGROUPS), ZAGHAWA,
KANEMBOU, OUADDAI, ARAB, BAGUIRMI, HADJERAI, AND MABA, MOST OF WHOM
ARE MUSLIM. IN THE SOUTH, SARA (NGAMBAYE, MBAYE, GOULAYE SUBGROUPS),
MOUDANG, MOUSSEI, AND MASSA, MOST OF WHOM ARE CHRISTIAN OR ANIMIST,
PREDOMINATE. ABOUT 1,000 FRENCH CITIZENS LIVE IN CHAD.

9. (U) RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IS TRADITIONAL IN CHAD: THE STATE
DESCRIBES ITSELF AS NON-CONFESSIONAL; SOME 50 PERCENT OF CHADIANS
ARE MUSLIM AND 35 PERCENT ARE CHRISTIAN, WHILE THE REST FOLLOW
INDIGENOUS BELIEF SYSTEMS. FRENCH AND ARABIC ARE THE OFFICIAL
LANGUAGES; THERE ARE MORE THAN 120 INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES AND
DIALECTS. ADULT LITERACY IS 48 PERCENT. LIFE EXPECTANCY IS
ESTIMATED AT 47.2 YRS. THE INFANT MORTALITY RATE IS 10.2 PERCENT.
ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF CHADIANS ARE SUBSISTENCE FARMERS OR HERDERS.
CHAD'S GDP IS USD 6.5 BILLION. OF CHAD'S NATURAL RESOURCES ONLY
PETROLEUM AND NATRON (SODIUM CARBONATE) ARE CURENTLY COMMERCIALLY
EXPLOITED. CHAD EXPORTS OIL, COTTON, LIVESTOCK, AND GUM ARABIC.

10. (U) THE BASIS FOR CHAD'S GOVERNMENT IS THE 1996 CONSTITUTION. A
STRONG EXECUTIVE BRANCH HEADED BY THE PRESIDENT DOMINATES THE

NDJAMENA 00000325 003.2 OF 003


CHADIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM. THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWER TO APPOINT THE
PRIME MINISTER AND THE COUNCIL OF STATE (OR CABINET), AND EXERCISES
CONSIDERABLE INFLUENCE OVER APPOINTMENTS OF JUDGES, GENERALS,
PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS AND HEADS OF CHAD'S PARASTATAL FIRMS. IN CASES
OF GRAVE AND IMMEDIATE THREAT, THE PRESIDENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT AND COUNCIL OF STATE, MAY DECLARE A
STATE OF EMERGENCY. IN MAY 2004, THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY VOTED TO
ABOLISH PRESIDENTIAL TERM LIMITS, WHICH WAS APPROVED IN A NATIONAL
REFERENDUM OF JUNE 2005.

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