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Cablegate: Sudan - Status of the Border Committee

VZCZCXRO7060
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1900/01 2221547
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101547Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4095
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001900

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI KAWC SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - STATUS OF THE BORDER COMMITTEE

KHARTOUM 00001900 001.2 OF 002


-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Implementation
Modalities call for the establishment of a Technical ad hoc Border
Committee to demarcate the January 1, 1956 North-South Sudan border.
This committee, which was established in November 2005, has met
three times to deal with primarily administrative issues, but has so
far failed to address any issues of substance. On July 31, in Juba,
USAID/Sudan staff met with Simon Kun, a Sudan People's Liberation
Movement (SPLM) representative to this committee, to discuss the
committee's activities and the possibility of setting up a U.S.
government (USG) program of technical assistance for the SPLM
committee members. In addition to facing stalling tactics by the
National Congress Party (NCP), the SPLM membership does not have
access to colonial-era maps, the necessary attention of SPLM
leadership, or the technical capacity to move the committee's agenda
forward. End summary.

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------------------------------------------
Structure and Meetings of Border Committee
------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Since its establishment in November 2005, the Border
Committee has met once to deal with financial issues, a second time
to address procedural issues such as quorum and consensus, and a
third time to discuss forming three subcommittees to deal with each
of the two aforementioned subjects as well as technical issues of
border demarcation. The committee has only met when an NCP member
has called the meeting; requests by the SPLM members to meet have
been ignored. The committee is comprised of 11 NCP members and 7
SPLM members; it thus requires 6 NCP and 4 SPLM members to
constitute a quorum. In all three meetings to date, only two or
three NCP members have been present to meet with the delegation of
seven SPLM members. The Presidency of the Government of National
Unity (GNU) provided airfare for the SPLM members on all three
occasions, but did not provide lodging or transport in Khartoum.
Kun claims that the maps from the Sudan Survey Department that were
brought to one of the committee meetings by the NCP had been visibly
altered. A British researcher, Doug Johnson, has sent some maps and
other border-related research by email to Kun, but Kun believes the
SPLM members need access to the original maps.

3. (SBU) The original SPLM co-chairman of the committee, Michael
Moquai, stepped down early in 2006 because he did not want to report
to the NCP chairman, who is of lower military rank than Moquai.
Moquai has not been replaced on the committee, and he declined to
meet with USAID staff in Juba. USAID staff showed a list of the
Border Committee membership to Deng Alor (Minister of Cabinet
Affairs to the GNU), Yassir Arman (Chair of the SPLM Caucus in the
National Assembly), and Pagan Amum (Secretary General of the SPLM);
however, they were all unable to identify the committee's SPLM
members, with the exception of Kun. (Comment: Presumably,
Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) President Salva Kiir signed off
on the appointments of the SPLM representatives to the Border
Committee; however, the fact that core members of the movement only
recognized one of the SPLM members on the list suggests that the
GOSS did not appoint SPLM members with significant clout in the
movement. This calls into question whether the SPLM realizes the
critical linkage between the activities of the Border Committee and
several other major CPA implementation issues, and whether those
representing the movement on the committee will be able to hold the
attention of SPLM leadership during the course of the committee's
work. End comment.)

4. (SBU) It is clear that SPLM leadership is not seized with the
Border Committee, despite its importance relative to oil revenue
division, the census, and the national elections anticipated in
2008-2009. Kun recently discussed the Border Committee with GOSS
President Salva Kiir, who agreed that the committee is critically
linked to other CPA implementation issues, but expressed concern
about the lack of SPLM technical capacity. After returning from the
committee's third meeting in Khartoum, the SPLM members requested a
meeting with President Kiir. President Kiir's schedule did not
permit a meeting, so an SPLM member de-briefed GOSS Vice President
Riek Machar instead. No clear reporting structure exists to keep
SPLM leadership abreast of the Border Committee's activities. Kun,
also a member of the Southern Legislative Assembly, intends to brief
the GoSS legislature in September.


KHARTOUM 00001900 002.2 OF 002


---------------------------------------
SPLM Delegation to the Border Committee
---------------------------------------

5. (SBU) The SPLM delegation to the Border Committee is comprised of
experts, including two engineers, one geographer, and one individual
with survey training. However, it is clear that they do not match
the technical skills of the NCP membership. Given the NCP's
suspicion following the Abyei Boundaries Commission's (ABC) decision
that the USG is unduly influencing the outcome of border-related
disputes in Sudan, it is important to provide any technical
assistance to the Border Committee as quietly as possible. USAID
staff discussed with Kun the possibility of arranging a trip for
some or all of the SPLM committee members to London (colonial
archives), Durham University Library, and the Library of Congress in
Washington, which would provide the SPLM an opportunity to view
original colonial-era maps. It is likely that the SPLM members
would need technical advice on-site at these locations in order to
properly interpret the maps.

6. (SBU) USAID staff also discussed with Kun the possibility of
bringing a technical advisor to southern Sudan to conduct a workshop
with the SPLM committee members, providing copies of the necessary
maps and briefing them on the issue. USAID staff provided several
copied maps from the Library of Congress to Kun at this meeting,
which he plans to show to the other SPLM committee members. Kun
agreed to send USAID an updated list of the SPLM committee members
and their locations in the South. USAID staff agreed to discuss
with USAID headquarters what resources are available to accommodate
the SPLM's technical needs in regard to the Border Committee.

HUME

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