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Cablegate: Bashir Says Au Must Leave Darfur by Sept 30

VZCZCXRO4200
OO RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2114 2471434
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041434Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4401
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 002114

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO SOCI AU UN US SU
SUBJECT: BASHIR SAYS AU MUST LEAVE DARFUR BY SEPT 30

1. (SBU) At the end of a September 3 meeting of the Council of
Ministers, President Bashir unilaterally announced that the African
Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) is expected to withdraw its forces in
Darfur by September 30 and will not be permitted to remain for a
transition to a possible UN peace-keeping operation. Thereafter,
the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) will assume responsibility for
security in Darfur.

2. (SBU) The Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) is meeting
to consider its response; it is expected to distance itself from the
Government's pronouncement. Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM)
leader and Senior Assistant to the President Minni Minawi has
intimated that, if this decision holds, it would threaten the Darfur
Peace Agreement (DPA). In a separate meeting between the (SPLM)
Minister of Transport and EmbOff, the Minister said that the Council
did not discuss the issue nor make a decision. Rather, the
President delivered his briefing, stood up and walked out of the
meeting. Similarly, a senior SPLM representative confirmed to CDA
Hume the arbitrary decision of the President.

3. (SBU) AU Special Representative Kingibe was notified informally
September 3 of the Government's decision, while the UN and AU were
both convoked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for meetings on
September 4. In its meeting with UN representatives, the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs reiterated the Government of Sudan's opposition
to UNSCR 1706 and said that any UN effort to implement the
resolution would be considered an infringement of Sudanese
sovereignty, a violation of both the DPA and the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA), as well as a breach of the Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA). CDA Hume will see AU Special Representative
Kingibe the evening of September 4.

4. (U) In comments before the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA),
Presidential Advisor Mustafa Osman Ismail said that the Government
of Sudan did not move to terminate AMIS prematurely. Rather, as
AMIS' mission is expiring September 30 and it had not requested an
extension, the Government was obliged to fill the security vacuum
which would be left behind by the departure of AMIS forces.
Government spokesmen stressed that the decision was not a rejection
of African Union troops, but of international forces meant to
replace them. They also emphasized that the decision did not
constitute a rejection of dialogue with the UN.

5. (U) In announcing the decision, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs
press spokesman reiterated the Government's position that the
security situation in Darfur is improving, except for violations
committed by the National Redemption Front (NRF). The press
spokesman cited UN Security Council Resolution 1706's call for the
formation of an independent judiciary, qualified police force, human
rights protection mechanisms, and cooperation with the Government of
Chad. Imposition of these demands is incompatible with Sudan's
rights as a sovereign nation, he stated. The Government rejected
the UNSCR's depiction of Sudan as a failing state and the
last-minute change in the text inviting Sudanese consent to a UN
peace-keeping deployment, vice acknowledging consent was mandatory.
Furthermore, the African Union does not have the authority to
transfer its mission in Darfur to the UN. He said the Government of
Sudan would implement its security plan for Darfur, submitted
earlier to the Security Council, which includes sending up to 26,500
government and SLM troops to the region. (Note: Minawi has not
consented to the use of his troops in the Government's security
plan. End note.)

HUME

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