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Cablegate: Deby's Tone More Conciliatory Toward Sudan And

VZCZCXRO0457
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0583/01 3511541
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161541Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6650
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000583

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM MARR PINR EAID UN SU CD
SUBJECT: DEBY'S TONE MORE CONCILIATORY TOWARD SUDAN AND
REBELS AT MILITARY PARADE

REF: A. NDJAMENA 573
B. NDJAMENA 547

NDJAMENA 00000583 001.4 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: President Deby's December 10th speech
marking Freedom and Democracy Day contained a more
conciliatory tone toward the Government of Sudan and Chadian
rebels than previously, even as he presided over a massive
demonstration of the GOC's ongoing military rearmament
campaign. Deby's repeated commitment to detente with Sudan
and the olive branch he extended to the rebels, plus his
remarks in support of the electoral reform process and
scheduled 2009 legislative elections, as well as his public
recognition of the importance of progress in Chad's
agricultural and livestock sectors and basic infrastructure
to Chad's economy, were welcome. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- --------
SOFTER TONE TOWARDS OPPONENTS AND LESS FOCUS ON SUDAN
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (U) President Idriss Deby celebrated his 18th anniversary
in power with a major Freedom and Democracy Day celebration
on December 10th that featured an impressive display of
Chad's weaponry, large quantities of champagne, dancing,
fireworks, and a speech notable for its relatively
conciliatory tone toward Sudan and the Chadian rebels and its
focus on issues other than security. Although Deby referred
to the February 2008 attack on N'Djamena and the need for
better military equipment to prevent future attacks, he
emphasized his commitment to the two agreements intended to
bring peace and stability to Chad: the August 13th (2007)
Accord with opposition parties and the Syrte Accord (October
25, 2007) with Chadian rebels. As he has in past speeches,
he referred to the Chadian rebels as mercenaries paid by
Sudan. However, in a noteworthy departure from past
speeches, he appealed to them to forsake their guns so that
Chad's resources could be devoted instead to development, and
called on traditional and religious leaders to prevent and
resolve conflicts.

3. (U) Sudan and its aggression against Chad, which have
dominated other recent Deby speeches, featured a lot less
prominently in this one. Deby devoted most of his May 2008
discourse to Sudan's aggression against Chad, Bashir's
intention to destroy Chad, and Deby's own commitment to take
whatever measures might be necessary to thwart Sudan's
hostile actions, In contrast, in his latest speech, Deby
stated "Chad has no intention whatsoever to conquer or attack
a neighboring country," and asserted that Chad is pursuing
peaceful diplomacy based on "consultation, dialogue, and a
permanent search for compromise."

--------------------------------------------- --------
EMPHASIS ON CHAD'S ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT
--------------------------------------------- --------

4. (U) Deby also spoke more expansively about Chad's
development than he has in the past. In his December 31,
2007 speech, he merely referred (albeit several times) to the
GOC's development program; his current discourse elaborated
on this. He promised to tackle corruption He noted the need
for basic infrastructure, which he said Chad would fund
either from its own resources or with assistance from its
development partners. He touted N'Djamena's oil refinery
(currently under construction) and related activities as
steps toward Chad's economic independence, and asserted that
Chad's oil income has essentially financed Chad's growth and
fight against poverty. However, he went on to say that the
country must not forget its "key" agricultural and livestock
sectors. Deby signalled the need to invest in these sectors
in order to modernize them and thus guarantee Chad's food
security. Finally, the President appealed to the Chadian
diaspora to return to Chad and join the fight against
poverty.

5. (U) Deby also took this opportunity to note that the
recent adoption of election-related laws had set the country
on course to hold parliamentary elections soon (Ref A).

6. (SBU) Deby's repeated commitment to detente with Sudan and
the olive branch he extended to the rebels, plus his remarks
in support of the electoral reform process and scheduled 2009
legislative elections, as well as his public recognition of
the importance of progress in Chad's agricultural and
livestock sectors and basic infrastructure to Chad's economy,
were welcome.

NDJAMENA 00000583 002.2 OF 002


7. (U) Tripoli Minimize considered.
NIGRO

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