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Cablegate: Slm/W Splinter Leader Musa Declines U.S. Visit

VZCZCXRO8165
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1753/01 2022025
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 212025Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3829
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001753

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MOPS KPKO US SU
SUBJECT: SLM/W Splinter Leader Musa Declines U.S. Visit

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: A conversation with SLM/A-Wahid break away and
Declaration of Commitment signer Abdulrahman Musa revealed Musa's
ambition to organize and lead the splinter group. Musa refuses to
accompany SLM/A leader Minni Minawi to Washington, concerned that
this would jeopardize his position among his supporters. He
advocated self-defense assistance for villages in Darfur and asked
the international community to support capacity training for future
committee nominees. END SUMMARY.

Abdulrahman Musa Declines Invite to United States
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (SBU) During a July 19 meeting with S/CRS Senior Security Advisor
Tod Wilson, Abdulrahman Musa gracefully declined his invitation to
join SLM/A-leaders Minni Minawi's delegation to the United States.
His stated reason was that the SLM/A-Wahid pro-DPA group had neither
received a direct invitation nor been allowed to choose its own
representatives. Therefore, it would be politically unseemly to
participate in the visit. Privately, Musa indicated that it would
cause considerable difficulties for him within the group and with
his efforts to develop a base of support in Darfur. At a separate
meeting with Mohammad Adam, an in-house rival and senior
representative to the Ceasefire Commission, Adam told Wilson that
Musa could participate in the visit if Minawi personally invited
him, but not as a representative of the SLM/A-Wahid splinter group.

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3. (SBU) COMMENT: Musa is trying hard both to demonstrate his
leadership and organizational abilities, as well as to shore up his
support within the splinter group. He approaches issues associated
with the SLM/A-Wahid splinter group strategically, has good
organizational skills, and a sound understanding of the DPA.
However, members of his group complain that he is an academic that
has spent most of his time in France. He has no militia force or
popular following within Darfur, though to remedy the latter, Musa
is starting to hold a series of meetings, beginning with his family
first, followed by his clan, and then broadening the effort to
include the IDP camps. He recently spent several days visiting
family in his home town of Korma and the surrounding villages. He
planned to discuss the DPA, including why he supported while
SLM/A-Wahid did not, with umdas and sheiks of his tribe in the
nearby IDP camps. (NOTE: Wilson provided Musa with copies of the
USAID-produced Arabic DPA summary, which he greatly appreciated.
END NOTE.)

4. (SBU) COMMENT CONTINUED: Musa had also met with Embassy officers
prior to traveling to El Fasher and presented an ambitious plan to
hold a series of meetings in the three Darfur capitals culminating
in a conference which would reorganize the SLM into a true political
movement with a charter and elected officials. He asked the Embassy
for USD 5 million to fund this proposal, though he had reportedly
also shopped the proposal to a least two other embassies for a cost
of USD 3 million and USD 7 million, respectively. END COMMENT.

SLM/A-Wahid Splinter Group Setting Up Offices
---------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Musa has also begun to setup offices for his splinter
group. He opened an office in Nyala a week ago and hopes to open
offices in El Fasher and El Geneina in the coming weeks. The group
is also looking for a suitable location in Khartoum, but indicated
that they would only need a small office there as they preferred to
work DPA implementation issues in Darfur - implying that they
preferred to keep their distances from the GNU. Wilson informed
Musa of the two DPA Implementation Offices the Embassy was helping
the AU establish in El Fasher and Khartoum, and that it was the U.S.
intent that his group would have some office space in both. Musa
hopes that his group would ratify its nominations for the DPA
commissions next week in Khartoum. He stated that they would focus
the nominations on four or five organizations and not attempt to
place members on every commission and committee.

Security Priority - Promoting Village Self-Defense
--------------------------------------------- -----

6. (SBU) Musa said that his first priority was improved security.
He stated that he and his colleagues were assisting their people in
the Korma area to improve their security posture. When queried how
his efforts would stay within the parameters of the DPA, he quickly
clarified that there were plenty of weapons already in all the
villages and that they intended to improve the villages' self
defense capacity by developing routine early warning posts,
immediate reaction groups and training drills, etc. His group did
not intend to continue to fight with SLM/A-Minawi forces. In fact,
he claimed that his tribe had already formed a restitution group and
was arranging a meeting to start traditional negotiations. Musa
concluded that in addition to improving self defense capacity, AMIS
had to start more proactive patrolling and visibility in the IDP
camps. AMIS did not need to try to protect everyone. They only had
to be recognized by the population as improving the security
environment in order to demonstrate their value.


KHARTOUM 00001753 002 OF 002


Int'l Community Should Provide Capacity Training
--------------------------------------------- ---

7. (SBU) Asked what the international community could do to move the
implementation process forward, Musa focused most of his answer on
increasing the capacity of nominated commission members. He was
adamant about providing all of them with English language training.
(Note: The UK is offering some ESL training. End note.) He
mentioned management, negotiation, and organizational skills
training so that they could hold effective meetings. Musa also
mentioned the need for some small reconstruction programs in
populated villages, including training programs such as animal
husbandry and home economics to prepare IDPs for their return home.


STEINFELD

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