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Cablegate: Dewaal On "Sudan's Political Market" at a Dddc Briefing

VZCZCXRO3719
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1734/01 3370933
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020933Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2441
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001734

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: DEWAAL ON "SUDAN'S POLITICAL MARKET" AT A DDDC BRIEFING

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: A December 1 Darfur Darfur Dialogue and
Consultation (DDDC) briefing focused on the analysis of Sudan
scholar Alex DeWaal. DeWaal gave a lengthy, slick presentation
asserting that the Sudanese political system is a "market"
characterized by a system of patronage, the "buy-out" of actors at
the regional and local levels, and essentially constitutes an
economic compromise between only the Sudanese political elite.
Unhelpfully, DDDC Chairman Abdul Muhammad gave a brief presentation
on the work of his organization, publicly criticized Chief Mediator
Bassole for relying on the usual UN negotiating blueprints (but did
not offer any suggestions of his own), criticized UNAMID for
focusing solely on deployment and logistics, and said that he
intends to take the work of the DDDC outside of Sudan to the
Diaspora. END SUMMARY.

NO EXIT STRATEGY FOR UN IN SUDAN
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2. (U) DeWaal opened his presentation at the December 1 "briefing
on the work of the DDDC" said that he has studied how peacekeeping
missions define success and determine a strategy for their exit. One
definition of success is whether the peacekeeping mission builds
political institutions that can manage conflict. DeWaal said that
if we apply this definition to Sudan in peacekeeping missions are
failing and will never be able to leave. Overall, said DeWaal, Sudan
is marked by an "irresolvable political landscape with a low
political institutional capacity to solve these differences."

SUDAN'S POLITICAL MARKET: MONEY IS THE ONLY CAPITAL
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3. (U) As political institutions are weak and there is no
consensus on the "political game," Sudanese politics are based on
money, patronage, and local influence. "When political capital in a
country is so weak, money is the only capital," said DeWaal. DeWaal
noted that there are multiple centers of patronage in Sudan, most
notably in Khartoum, Juba, and at the regional level. The high
price of oil has so far enabled all of the necessary patrons to be
satisfied and buy the loyalty of their local constituents. He noted
that at the national level all patrons are roughly satisfied with
the deal.

DARFUR EASIER TO SOLVE THAN THE NORTH-SOUTH CONFLICT
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4. (U) Despite the mutually beneficial oil revenue sharing scheme
between the North and the South, DeWaal asserted that the political
differences between the North and the South are greater than that
between Khartoum and Darfur. He noted that Darfur is now
characterized, by relatively low levels of violence and an asymmetry
in the use of force between the rebels and the government of Sudan.
According to DeWaal, insurgents target government interests to make
a point and to sustain their movements. The government, meanwhile,
targets the "assets of the elite" in Darfur when the patrons lose
control over their areas of control. For example, DeWaal stated
that the GoS indiscriminately destroys whole villages to punish
particular patrons. (Note: The GoS bombing of a well near Om Rahik
in early November may serve as another example of this phenomenon.
End Note). The GoS does this to show that the very existence of
the patrons depends on support from Khartoum.

PROBLEMATIC ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN DARFUR
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5. (U) DeWaal theorized that the international community has driven
up the political price of patronage at the local level by directly
bringing in humanitarian aid to regional players. It is therefore
difficult, asserted DeWaal, for the international community to ever
extricate itself from its massive support in Darfur. Even in
politics, said DeWaal, the international community has gotten too
involved at the micro level. For example, said DeWaal, "it is absurd
to think that the Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick was
debating who would be the local administrator in Korma or Kulbus."
DeWaal said that the presence of the international community in
Abuja encouraged a new form of political maneuvering among Darfuris.
DeWaal said that the rebel representatives at the negotiations were
shrewd, astute, and not altogether honest actors. "It is impossible
for someone from outside to outwit someone from Darfur, who knows
all of the political games that are being played," said DeWaal.

REBELS CAN BE BOUGHT OFF TOO
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6. (U) DeWaal said that most of the rebel movements will accept
offers to become local patrons in Darfur as long as the price is
right. For example, DeWaal said that at the Abuja talks, Abdul
Wahid Al-Nur publicly took a principled position (on the need for
justice, compensation, security, etc.) but was privately fixated on
the actual sum of money necessary he would receive and control.
"Abdul Wahid would call his people on the ground in Darfur and very

KHARTOUM 00001734 002 OF 003


crassly say things like 'they offered me 30 million - that isn't
enough, but we might take 60 million." According to DeWaal, DPA
negotiator for the NCP, the late Mahjoub Al-Khalifa, miscalculated
the amount of money needed to buy off the key rebels. More
specifically, DeWaal asserted that the rebels are not interested in
overall development in Darfur, but only the sums of money and power
which they will personally control. "They don't care about the
overall 700 million that will go to the TDRA, but only about the
smaller sums of money which they can spend and disperse," said
DeWaal. The more sophisticated and ideological Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) may be the one exception to this, said DeWaal, and
they may require significant convincing and pressure from the
international community to participate in the next round of
negotiations.

SPI'S AND DDDC'S ROLE IN THE MARKET
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7. (U) Continuing with his market analysis, DeWaal said that the
Sudan People's Initiative started a new round of bargaining among
Sudanese elite over Darfur. The Darfur Darfur Dialogue and
Consultation can help stabilize the rules of the game for this
political market. DeWaal said that these negotiations among the
political elite, come at a time when the levels of violence in
Darfur are relatively low and "yet no one seems to want to talk
about it," said DeWaal. DeWaal speculated that a formal cease-fire
body is very unlikely right now, as rebel movements (and in
particular the Justice and Equality Movement,) would not agree to
any ceasefire at this point.

DDDC CHIEF SECONDS DEWAAL AND CRITICIZES THE CHIEF MEDIATOR
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8. (U) DDDC's Abdul Mohammed agreed with DeWaal's analysis and
said that the formation of the electoral commission was a prime
example of the power play between Sudanese elite. Mohammed said that
handling over negotiations would be the basis for future
negotiations between these elite players. Mohammed was also very
critical of the UN and AU chief mediator Djibril Bassole and the
overall slow pace of UNAMID deployment. "The United Nations uses
its blueprints of negotiations wherever it goes. The usual formula
of wealth sharing, power-sharing, security arrangements -- all of
this is an excuse for lazy thinking and we need creative solutions
here," said Mohammed. He said that Chief Mediator Bassole has not
clearly articulated a strategy to solve the ongoing crisis in
Darfur. Mohammed said that the slow speed of deployment and all
the focus on the logistical side of UNAMID has taken on a life of
its own.

DDDC REVIEW
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9. (U) Although, the majority of the presentation focused on
DeWaal's analysis, the final portion of the meeting was devoted to
the DDDC. Mohammed said that cooperation with the government of
Sudan had improved in the last year, and that compared to previous
years there was very little interference in the DDDC's work.
Mohammed said that the DDDC will soon begin collaboration with the
civil society initiatives started in five clusters - Dar es Salaam,
Jeddah, Cambridge, Heidelberg, and Khartoum and take its
consultations outside of Sudan. (Note: This strategy merely builds
on what the Sudanese themselves have already begun without any input
from the DDDC. End note.)

10. (U) Other DDDC representatives gave brief presentations of
their work. DDDC's Abdul Jibril (a dual Sudanese Canadian citizen)
stated that internally displaced persons (IDPS) are most interested
in security, administration and governance, and most importantly
disarmament across all movements, militias, and GoS security forces.
According to DDDC's work, tribal leaders are most interested in
democracy, administration and governance, and land issues such as
the hawakir system. According to Abduljibril, the meetings with the
pastoralists-Arabs have been the most interesting consultations to
date. According to him, this group was particularly eager to
participate in the consultations to change their negative image as
janjaweed and tools of the GoS. This group emphasized that they are
most interested in security for their communities and their
migration routes.

COMMENT
- - - -
11. (SBU) DeWaal's analysis deserves attention. If his portrayal
of the political market is accurate, Qatar's involvement in upcoming
negotiations could be successful, as far as enticing rebel groups to
the negotiating table. (Note: For example, the latest rumors are
that Qatar has secured the participation of Abdul Wahid through a
financial enticement. This has not been verified. End Note.)
DeWaal's analysis does ring true when applied to SLM/MM, as Minnawi

KHARTOUM 00001734 003 OF 003


and his inner circle have fixated on smaller sums of money which
they would be able to control and use at their discretion. Most
importantly, if the regime's oil revenues do begin to dry up,
DeWaal's analysis portends future instability in Sudan as the system
of patronage based on bribery breaks down.

12. (SBU) DeWaal's focus on the relatively "low levels of
violence" today may be accurate right now, but deemphasizes the
level of ongoing suffering and deep-seated resentment in the region.
The effects of past violence live on today with over 3 million
people in Darfur's many IDP camps. Abdul Mohammed's role in the
meeting also deserves close analysis. Mohammed is an ambitious
character, and it is all too clear that he has latched onto DeWaal
to give himself and his organization more credibility. His public
criticism of the Chief Mediator in front of Khartoum's ambassadors
and diplomatic corps was inappropriate, and more evidence of the
ongoing power struggle we see between UNAMID and the Chief Mediator.
Although the work of the DDDC is valuable in surveying voices from
Darfur, it is troubling to think that Mohammed will soon take his
show on the road to Europe to work with the Diaspora. Overall, the
greater irony of the meeting was that DeWaal's market analysis of
Sudanese politics essentially undermines the value of the DDDC's
work. Any deal in the region, according to DeWaal, will only
continue Sudanese systems of patronage and leave out the voices the
DDDC intends to survey.

FERNANDEZ

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