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Cablegate: Slm/Mm Secretary General On Spi, Qatar, and Party

VZCZCXRO7585
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1645/01 3151443
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101443Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2282
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001645

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
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: SLM/MM SECRETARY GENERAL ON SPI, QATAR, AND PARTY
RE-ORGANIZATION

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1580

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On November 9, Ali Hussein Dausa, the new
Secretary General of the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi
(SLM/MM,) told CDA Fernandez of his recent efforts to improve and
re-organize the movement. Dausa shared his skepticism about the
Sudan People's Initiative (SPI) and the desire for independent
SLM/MM representation in future peace negotiations. Dausa also
stated that division within the National Congress Party is more
complicated than a simple personality clash between leading NCP
members. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) The following members of SLM/MM visited CDA Fernandez at
the U.S. Embassy on November 9:

- Ali Hussein Dausa, SLM/MM Secretary General
- Ali Traio, SLM/MM MP
- Busina Abdalla, SLM/MM Social Committee
- Abu Obeida Al-Khalifa, SLM/MM State Minister of Environment
- Ahmed Abdallah Abdallah
- Eisa Omar
- Ahmed Abdalla
- Mustafa Jumeil

RE-ORGANIZING SLM/MM
- - - - - - - - - - -
3. (SBU) Ali Hussein Dausa opened the meeting by conveying
congratulations for President-elect Obama and passing a letter to be
delivered to him from Minni Minnawi (septel). Dausa then provided
a lengthy review of recent SLM/MM activity since he took up his
position as Secretary General. (Note: In a large public
celebration on October 24, SLM Chairman Minni Minnawi froze the
participation of Secretary General Mustafa Tirab and named Ali
Hussein Dausa as the new acting Secretary General, reftel. End
Note.) Dausa said that SLM/MM recently conducted a full-day media
workshop for some of its members on November 3. Under Dausa's
leadership SLM/MM will also conduct a financial review of its
operations and seek to become more transparent with its budget and
expenditure. Dausa reported that he will focus on the internal
cohesion of the movement and improving the information flow between
SLM/MM's central offices in Khartoum and the threestates of Darfur.


SUDAN PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE AND QATAR
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. (SBU) Dausa stated that SLM/MM has participated in and
cooperated with the Sudan People's Initiative. While he thought the
SPI's open forum for discussion was positive, some of its debates
were less than constructive. The issue of establishing one region
for all of Darfur, stated Dausa, was particularly contentious.
Dausa said that SLM/MM believes that a referendum on the issue of
one state is the only solution to this debate, and yet, some members
of the NCP have already moved away from that. "It is very difficult
for us to participate in anything where the DPA is not the basis of
our discussion," stated Dausa. Dausa emphasized that SLM/MM should
have its own representatives independent of the Government of
National Unity in any future negotiations (unlike what the NCP
insisted on in Libya in October 2007). Dausa said that SLM/MM is
concerned that "Qatar will end up canceling the DPA rather than
adopting it as the basis for future negotiations." In this scenario,
one moribund Darfur accord (the 2006 DPA) is replaced by another,
grander but stillborn agreement secured by Qatari money but never
implemented.

LITTLE PROGRESS ON THE DPA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) SLM/MM representatives reported that there has been
little progress in DPA implementation since the September 19
agreement between Minnawi and Vice President Taha. The NCP has only
agreed to implement the easiest and most superficial elements of the
DPA. Most importantly the DPA's outstanding financial obligations
remain unfulfilled in addition to legal and constitutional changes.
They said that contrary to the DPA and the September 19 agreement,
the NCP has also not accepted more SLM/MM representatives into
senior state, federal, and diplomatic positions, stated Dausa.
SLM/MM representatives added that it is becoming increasingly clear
that the NCP's overall position is against further implementation of
the DPA. Despite what he described as a lack of DPA progress and
his skepticism over the SPI, Dausa expressed optimism about SLM/MM's
future, asserting that SLM is one of the few parties that can change
the political landscape of northern Sudan.

DIVISION AND WEAKNESS IN THE NCP?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

KHARTOUM 00001645 002 OF 002


6. (SBU) Dausa and his colleagues stated that division within the
National Congress Party (NCP) is more complex than a personality
conflict between Vice President Taha and Presidential Assistant
Nafie Ali Nafie. In general, Nafie appears to be against SLM/MM and
the DPA and Taha is more amenable toward both. However, each of
these NCP leaders has his own agenda. These different agendas
directly compete with SLM/MM interests. Abdalla asserted that
irrespective of these particular leaders, Sudan is a still a police
state run by military leaders basing their authority on a distorted
Islamic agenda. Dausa said that Sudan's financial troubles
(particularly affected by the plummeting price of oil) are at least
partially responsible for division in the GoS over the DPA. The
threat of an ICC indictment against Bashir, a looming financial
crisis, and CPA timelines for elections and democratic
transformation are all factors affecting SLM/MM and the status of
the DPA, stated Dausa, and could lead to a major crisis in Sudan in
early 2009, an eventuality that the regime fears.

COMMENT
- - - -
7. (SBU) Dausa's rise to the position of Secretary General comes
at a particularly difficult time for SLM/MM. Dausa deserves to be
commended for reaching out to women leaders within SLM/MM,
recognizing the need to improve SLM/MM's public relations, and
attempting to reorganize the movement. However, it will be nothing
short of a miracle should this soft-spoken individual succeed in
transforming the divided, disorganized and severely weakened SLM/MM
into a real political force. Dausa's call for independent (or at
least some sort of special status) SLM/MM representation at the next
round of negotiations (something noticeably absent at the failed
Sirte negotiations of 2007) is a point well-taken. It is something
we support and will raise with representatives of the UN/AU's Joint
Mediation Support Team and with the NCP. If the DPA ceases to exist
following the negotiation of a new agreement, the SLM/MM should
indeed have some sort of special status at the talks.

FERNANDEZ

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