Search

 

Cablegate: Darfur Forum Airs Gripes About Dpa

VZCZCXRO3284
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1594/01 1901106
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091106Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3573
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001594

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR FORUM AIRS GRIPES ABOUT DPA


1. (U) Summary: Members of the Darfur Forum conveyed their
dissatisfaction with the DPA to S/CRS team, focusing largely on the
issues of compensation and security, but offered few concrete
suggestions on how to improve the document or other support
solutions. End summary.

--------------------
DARFUR FORUM'S FOCUS
--------------------

2. (U) ARC officers met July 5 with members of the Darfur Forum, a
loose umbrella organization established in 2003 to "find a solution
to the Darfur crisis." Acting Chairman Khalil Adam Abdelkarim led
the discussion, which also included acting Secretary Mohammed Al
Nour Abbakar, Mohammed Nour Tagal (lawyer) and Zahra Mineim (present
at the Abuja talks). Abdelkarim briefly explained that the Forum
pursued its goals by organizing dialogues and conferences within
Sudan and abroad to bring attention and solutions to the crisis in
Darfur. He claimed that the Forum represented all the stakeholders
and factions in Darfur and sides neither with the GNU nor the rebel
movements. He added that his organization, with its headquarters in
Khartoum, also has an executive body in each Darfur state.
Abdelkarim explained that the Forum has five core tenets: First,
Darfur must be a unified state retaining the 1956 boundaries;
second, Darfur is entitled to equitable wealth and power sharing
within the country; third, all janjawiid must be disarmed; fourth, a
vice presidential office should be established at the national level
and be filled by a Darfurian; fifth, the Forum is open to discussion
with all parties.

----------------------
NO SUPPORT FOR THE DPA
----------------------

3. (U) Abdelkarim, who speaks English well, opined that roughly
eighty percent of Darfur's population is not supportive of the
Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). In particular, he stressed that
Darfurians were skeptical of the government's claims that it would
pay compensation and noted that his group would like to see specific
guarantees of "individual compensation." He argued that it was
impossible for average Darfurians who had lost land, family members
and livestock to return to their villages and start life again
without first receiving compensation - a prospect, he contended,
that was not sufficiently articulated in the DPA. He added that the
$30 million GNU compensation fund in the DPA was a pittance.
Embassy field officers pushed back, noting the specific processes
and mechanisms put in place by the DPA to provide reconstruction and
development funding, as well as the possibility of additional GNU
investment into the compensation fund.

4. (U) On security, several members of the Forum expressed their
doubts about janjaweed disarmament and the government's willingness
to carry out its related obligations. Especially troubling, they
noted, was the janjaweed's incorporation into the GNU police and
security services and the fact that the DPA did not address a
justice process to deal with janjaweed crimes. (Note: A number of
the group's assertions on security were factually incorrect - for
example, that the timelines associated with the security mechanisms
were not set in stone, but could be modified based on conditionality
of progress with janjaweed disarmament. The S/CRS team sought to
better inform the group and refute the inaccuracies of their
arguments concerning security mechanisms outlined in the DPA text.
End note.)

5. (U) The S/CRS team repeatedly stressed that the DPA, while not
re-negotiable, is a compromise document representing a starting
point rather than the final answer to Darfur's problems. The field
officers pointed out that mechanisms such as the Darfur-Darfur
Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC) could provide a venue to work out
more specific modalities to address perceived shortcomings in the
agreement. Abdelkarim remarked that since one DDDC objective was to
affirm support for the DPA, it would not even be possible to have
the DDDC, based on its lack of popular support. He added that his
impression of the DDDC was a tool to discuss tribal reconciliation,
not to deal with the most important issues of security, wealth and
power sharing, and justice.

6. (U) Pressed to provide not only their critiques of the DPA but
also some ideas on solutions, Abdelkarim and his colleagues finally
suggested creating a "supplementary document" that would clearly
confirm Darfur's 1956 borders as a region, ensure neutralization of
the janjaweed, guarantee individual compensation, and place
executive power within Darfur. Abdelkarim commented that "without
additional documents and processes, the DPA will not work."
Finally, he questioned the inherent utility of opening an African
Union-led DPA Implementation Office when the agreement had such
scant popular buy-in.

-------
COMMENT

KHARTOUM 00001594 002 OF 002


-------

7. (U) While all of the Darfur Forum representatives were clearly
articulate and intelligent, it was surprising that they conveyed
such gross misperceptions of key provisions of the DPA. Part of
their outlook was colored by a stated distrust of the GNU to fulfill
any of its obligations, though it appears too that they simply want
more - more power, more guarantees of compensation, more action -
than was provided in the DPA. While all of the Darfur Forum
representatives live in El Fasher, it is unclear how well connected
they are to the broader civil society in Darfur and whether their
views are consistent with those of members in Khartoum.

HUME

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>