Cablegate: Sudan/Darfur: August 3 Cfc Meeting in El Fasher

DE RUEHKH #1858 2180913
P 060913Z AUG 06




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: SUDAN/DARFUR: August 3 CFC Meeting in El Fasher

1. (SBU) Summary: On August 3, the Darfur Ceasefire Commission
(CFC) met in El Fasher, North Darfur. Para 2 presents the notes of
the U.S. CFC representative. Noteworthy is the resumption of SLM/M
participation and the CFC decision to launch an immediate
investigation into the fighting in Jebel Moon and Kulkul, despite
the strenuous objections of SAF representatives. The U.S. Observer
to the CFC is pressing to keep the Jebel Moon and Kulkul reports on
the front burner. End summary.

2. (SBU) The U.S. Observer's notes are as follows:

The Monday CFC meeting was a bit more productive than the recent
past. On a good note, the U.S. Observer to the CFC spent Monday
morning with SLA (M) CFC reps Col Ali Mukhtar and Adam War, and
convinced them to end the SLA (M) boycott of CFC meetings. They had
boycotted CFC because of a lack of response from AMIS to letters SLA
(M) had written, requesting various support.

The meeting lasted a little over an hour, and was highlighted by a
CFC decision to launch an immediate investigation into reports of
fighting in Jebel Moon and Kulkul. The decision came over the very
strenuous objections of the GoS reps. They attempted to block the
CFC from taking a decision, citing the lack of standing of a written
complaint from the JEM rep to the CFC on the violence. The FC
countered with a statement that the complaint had been brought up by
the AU and UN jointly (joint statement from AU/UN in Khartoum on the
violence), and that the CFC would act based on the AU/UN complaint.

GoS countered that the Sector Ceasefire Sub Commission (SCSC) could
be the only party to investigate, and that international observers
to the CFC could not travel to the sectors to investigate. I
countered that the DPA, while not including international observers
in the SCSCs, did not prohibit observers from the CFC in El Fasher
from participating in investigations. GoS then threw out the
oft-used "It is not safe to go there--we can't guarantee your
safety" argument. The observers all pledged to the Chairman that
they would travel together, anywhere, anytime in pursuit of an
investigation, and that guarantees probably were never really
possible in Darfur.

In another development, the AU Observer, Navy Captain Waswa, asked
the Chairman to re-think the issue of AMIS compliance with the GoS
curfew in Darfur, stating that most illegal activities occur after
curfew by parties who know that AMIS is not out patrolling. The
Chairman stated that the curfew was not as big deal as it used to
be, and that, with prior GoS permission, AMIS has been allowed to
venture out after curfew. He offered examples of medical
emergencies, FC attending "functions" after hours, etc. The AU and
U.S. reps responded that the value of free access of AMIS, 24 hours
a day, would serve a deterrent function and demonstrate AMIS will to
operate across Darfur. No audible response from the Chairman to the
comments from AU and U.S. reps.

Last, the Chairman announced that an AMIS helicopter has been shot
at on Tuesday morning, approx 26 km from Nyala, on its way to
Sheiria. An employee of PAE (reported to be a Liberian national)
was shot in the foot. Injuries were not life-threatening. At last
report the employee had been transferred to Khartoum for treatment.
The Chairman tasked the GoS and movement reps to find out who had
done the shooting. The area in which the helo was operating is
reported to be SLA(W)- controlled territory.

The FC traveled to Addis Wednesday to attend the Joint Commission
meeting on Thursday, 3 Aug. The next CFC meeting is scheduled for
Monday, 7 Aug. in El Fasher.

The U.S. Observer to the CFC is pressing to keep the Jebel Moon and
Kulkul reports on the front burner at the CFC. There is support
from the UN and AU observers on this -- the EU observer is in France
on leave until 15 Aug. Any help from Khartoum, Addis, and
Washington to keep this on the mind of AMIS leadership and AU
leadership would be helpful.


© Scoop Media

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