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Cablegate: Au Thinking About Darfur-Darfur Dialogue, But

VZCZCXRO2346
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1429/01 1681337
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171337Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3280
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001429

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR D, AF/SP, AND DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: AU THINKING ABOUT DARFUR-DARFUR DIALOGUE, BUT
STILL NO CHAIRMAN


REF: A) Khartoum 1428 B) State 98519

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The AU has not yet identified a
suitable candidate to lead the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue, AU
Special Representative Kingibe told CDA Hume, but it has
started thinking about possible candidates, as well as
models for discussions. Kingibe also thanked the United
States for a recent USD 300,000 DRL grant to support the
process. The AU was making some progress on other
aspects of Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) implementation as
well, holding the first meeting of the Ceasefire
Commission under the DPA and planning for the first
meeting of the Joint Commission on June 24. (The United
States has yet to designate a representative to the Joint
Commission). SLA leader Abdul Wahid al-Nur's opposition
to the DPA was becoming untenable, Kignibe added, noting
that Fur tribal leaders were starting to exert pressure,
and that the recent Eritrea-Sudan summit might also have
an effect. END SUMMARY.

Some Progress on Darfur-Darfur Dialogue
---------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Charge d'Affaires Hume met with AU Special
Representative in Sudan Kingibe and AU Mediator Ibok on
June 17 to discuss Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)
implementation and check the progress of the Darfur-
Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC). Hume mentioned
that the Department had recently approved a USD 300,000
DRL grant for the DDDC (Ref B), and asked whether the AU
had identified a suitable candidate to chair the process.
Kingibe welcomed the news, noting that Italy had recently
donated USD 250,000; as the DDDC becomes more inclusive
and longer lasting, it will also likely become more
expensive. The AU had thought about several former
African presidents as one option, but had yet to make a
decision. He asked the Charge if he had any ideas. Hume
replied that a former president would need patience,
because the chairman would have to take a large amount of
abuse from the parties--and a former president might not
appreciate that type of treatment. Ibok added that the
candidate should understand the neighborhood and the
culture, and suggested using the Inter-Congolese Dialogue
as a model for discussions: "The Chairman stays in his
office while his people work with the parties in the back
room." The DDD chairman will not be chosen at the July 1
AU Summit in Banjul, Ibok added, but through an
"administrative process" within the AU.

Government Gives Airtime for DPA, but Charges for it
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (SBU) Kingibe summarized recent AU efforts in Darfur,
noting that the Government had given the AU 2 1/2 hours
of airtime each week on local radio stations to help
explain the DPA. The problem, Kingibe explained, was
that the Government then asked the AU to pay for the
airtime--and since the AU had not budgeted for the
expense, it had dropped the program. He also asked
rhetorically whether the AU should be accepting space on
government radio, since the people would then see the
spots as government propaganda.

4. (SBU) Kingibe also recounted his recent visit to
Darfur, in advance of AU Commission Chairman Konare's
visit on June 20-22. Kingibe had met with both Foreign
Minister Akol and Interior Minister Taha prior to his
visit, who advised him to "listen to the people;" when he
arrived, Kingibe discovered that "the people" kept saying
the AU was wonderful, that there was no need for the UN,
and that AMIS should be strengthened. Kingibe laughed at
this exercise, but was more concerned that the Government
was trying to speed up implementation of the DPA to take
control of the peace process. He also noted that the
Governor of North Darfur was mobilizing IDPs to oppose
the DPA, since after Mini Minnawi's signature, the North
Darfur governorship was the position most likely to be
"shared" with the rebels.

First CFC Meeting; Joint Commission to Meet June 24
--------------------------------------------- ------

5. (SBU) Kingibe also discussed the recent Humanitarian
Cease Fire Commission (CFC) meeting in El Fashir, noting
that it was "very delicate." The JEM representative
insisted he was there only to discuss CFC issues, not DPA

KHARTOUM 00001429 002 OF 002


ones, since the JEM had not signed the DPA (Ref A).
However, Kingibe said, he had been able to massage the
issue and coaxed the JEM delegate into participating;
Hume agreed, noting that the Abuja talks took precedence
over the N'Djamena ones, and there should be no ceasefire
violations. Until the JEM and SLA/Wahid sign on the DPA,
the AU will have to follow a two track process for the
HCFA and the DPA, Kingibe added, noting that the first
meeting of the Joint Commission would likely be on
Saturday, June 24. (Note: The United States has yet to
designate a representative to the Joint Commission).

Wither Abdul Wahid?
-------------------

6. (SBU) Hume mentioned that he had met earlier in the
week with several Fur tribal leaders close to SLA
Commander Abdul Wahid al-Nur, and that he expected to
meet with other prominent locals during his trip to
Darfur next week. (Post will report on the meetings
septel). Kingibe laughed, remarking that "they seem to
be making the rounds." Nur's position was becoming
untenable, Kingibe suggested. In fact, Nur may soon be
"sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik," Kingibe joked,
now that his frequent host, Eritrean President Assaias,
became "chummy chummy" with Sudan President Omar al-
Beshir during last week's summit in Khartoum.

HUME

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