Cablegate: Darfur: Text of Wali Kibir Interview
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2626/01 3101528
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061528Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5146
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 002626
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO PHUM PREF SU
SUBJECT: Darfur: Text of Wali Kibir Interview
1. (SBU) On November 5, the Sudan Vision daily published an
interview of North Darfur State Wali (governor) Sayed Osman Yousif
Kibir. In the interview, Wali Kibir reiterated the importance of
the Darfur Peace Agreement, which he states does not need to be
re-opened but rather supplemented to bring on board additional rebel
groups. He also discusses the expansion of the North Darfur State
cabinet and legislative assembly to incorporate additional members
in keeping with the DPA. Kibir, regrettably, downplays the
significance of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation process
and the extent of violence that continues in North Darfur. He
regards the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their
home villages as being delayed for political reasons, and accuses
the UN and its member agencies of being used as a tool by others.
Finally, he finds favor with continued African Union efforts to
address the security situation in Darfur, rather than a more
2. (U) The text of the interview is as follows:
Interviewed by: Nasr Addeen Al Tahir and Mona Al Bashir of Sudan
Situations in Darfur are being focused on presently by, all local,
regional and international circles. Much talk is consequently
circulated about this issue in the form of rumours by circles who
have their own agenda and interests.
To get information about the Darfur situation from Darfur itself,
Sudan Vision had to interview some personalities who are directly in
contact with the real situations in Darfur. One of these was North
Darfur State Governor, Sayed Osman Yousif Kibir. We related
hereunder our interview with him.
Q: Mr. Osman Yousif Kibir, Governor of North Darfur State let us
begin by discussing progress on implementation of the DPA and the
steps taken so far.
A: First let me state that the Abuja agreement was the best
available option at the time as failure of the Abuja 7 talks would
have undoubtedly meant a return to war. The Abuja agreement is
solid which is not to say perfect as it needs complementation in our
view. Opinion regarding the DPA can be divided into three main
categories: full support, reservation, and objection. This tended
to create an atmosphere of disruption and rumors with each of the
three groups propagating those rumors and allegations which best
served their interests. This has been addressed through an
extensive informative campaign to clarify the terms of the
agreement. A number of relevant decisions have been made and a
higher implementation committee and several technical subcommittees
have been formed including a committee for summarizing the contents
of the 115-page long agreement of which about a thousand copies have
been distributed. A state-wide tour was conducted with the aim of
enlightening and winning support for the agreement which created a
degree of stability and security in all regions with very few
exceptions namely in regions which are exposed to attack by the
Redemption Front. We can safely assert that significant progress
has been made security-wise and that overall the agreement is
steadily moving ahead.
Q: You stated that the agreement needs complementing, which aspects
do you recognize as deficient and what are your proposals?
A: For the sake of accuracy and in order to avoid misunderstanding,
let me clearly state that we do not believe that the agreement needs
reconsideration. Some appendices have to be made to accommodate
Q: Has contact been made with these non-signatories?
A: The truth of the matter is that we presently have a delegation
engaged in discussions with these factions and I personally make
contact with their representatives several times a day. Several
civil administration delegations have conferred with these factions
on more than one occasion and we can confidently state that there
are common grounds and understanding which may well lead to positive
Q: In relation to Al Fashir state constitution, has it been passed
and have amendments been made to accommodate the SLM share in power?
A: This has been accomplished very early on and required amendments
were forwarded to and approved by the National Constitutional
Committee. We are now ready to fully implement the agreement which
has been incorporated into the National Constitution. The number of
state ministries has been amended to (10) ministries and Legislative
Assembly membership was expanded from 71 to 73 members.
Q: We would like a practical rebuttal of the talk circulating with
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regard to the sluggish implementation of the agreement and claims of
deteriorating security within the state.
A: Technically speaking and in relation to timetables specified by
the agreement, there is a delay in implementation. This delay was
intended to provide an opportunity to those who have not signed to
reconsider their position and to allow for needed readjustments and
accommodations. We are proceeding slowly but surely.
Q: What are the steps following the formation of the transitional
A: As state authorities, we have no role in this aspect. Some
posts have to be filled by both sides and this will be supervised by
the implementing committee.
Q: Will some ministers be required to leave office?
A: No. According to the state constitution, there are eight
ministries which are currently fully staffed. The agreement
provided for the creation of two additional ministries to be
administered by the signing armed movements raising the total to 10
Q: How will positions within these two ministries be distributed
especially with regard to non-SLM Abuja supporters?
A: I am not part of the distribution committee but these positions
have been set aside for all movements. Distribution and labeling of
these posts and positions will be left up to the signing movements.
Q: How do you perceive the relationship between the transitional
and state governments?
A: According to the agreement, the nature of this relationship is
one of coordination. The agreement provides for full
administrative, financial and executive autonomy to the states which
implies transcendence of the state government.
Q: How are preparations proceeding for the Darfur-Darfur dialogue?
A: So far we have participation on the state federal level but we
have not yet been assigned a definite role on the state level.
Q: Some observers cite that Darfur-Darfur dialogue needs a lot of
work to achieve the desired results, what are your comments on that?
A: My personal opinion is that Darfur-Darfur dialogue as addressed
by the agreement is of no particularly great significance. Its
primary function seems to be limited to making suggestions relating
to the membership within the state council. With regard to the
issue of peaceful coexistence and patching up of the social fabric,
several reconciliatory conferences have been held with excellent
results. In my view the entire Darfur-Darfur dialogue issue needs
re-evaluation and preparation to define specific goals and mandates
and the extent to which outcomes and recommendations are binding to
Q: Returning to the humanitarian and security issues how would you
evaluate the current situation in North Darfur state?
A: This is an extremely important question because resolution 1706
and the accompanying uproar are predicated upon the assumption that
the security situation is in fact highly deteriorated. I can assert
unequivocally that the situation is far from that which has been
depicted and I challenge anyone who would claim otherwise. It is
true that some problematic issues remain but in comparison to
2003-2006 the situation has improved remarkably.
We have detailed statistics of crimes including armed robbery,
murder, rape and automobile theft which indicate a vast difference
between 2004 and 2006. If the international community is bent on
intervening it should have done so in 2004 when total criminal
incidents reached 3,500 as opposed to only 350 from January 1st -
September 30th of this year. There was a time when you could hear
artillery on the top of every ten minutes in Al Fashir. I defy
anyone who would claim deterioration with respect to the
humanitarian situation. There have been reports issued by seven
UN organizations which placed the figure of deaths due to
malnutrition at one for every ten thousand per day. The UNICEF has
officially stated that 88% of refugees in the camps of North Darfur
receive full daily nutrition while 79% have access to clean drinking
water and 80% receiving comprehensive medical care.
No incident of epidemic outbreak has occurred within the heavily
populated camps since 2004. All camps offer free school
instructions and the state bears the cost of education, nutrition
and health care.
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Q: In spite of this resettlement is proceeding rather slowly, how
do you justify that?
A: Politically motivated migration is the reason behind this and
the camps are sure to be full as long as this is in practice. A
considerable number of rebel elements have infiltrated the camps in
order to sabotage any effort to develop positive dialogue. Some
villages are not adequately secured or ready to accommodate return.
Some are awaiting restitution in the manner of Abdel Wahid Mohamed
Nour while others are pinning hopes on resolution 1706 to topple the
Q: What becomes of the positive reports presented by UN
organizations seeing that the UN officially claims that
circumstances are deteriorating?
A: I can state briefly that the UN and its organizations had become
a tool used by some to achieve certain objectives. There are what
may be described as pre-packaged conceptions and decisions imposed
upon and endorsed by the UN. As Governor of North Darfur State, I
have received approximately 440 delegations since 2004. This
included visits by five heads of State, over 20 foreign ministers, 2
visits by the UN Secretary General and previous and current U.S.
Secretaries of State. Each has come for their separate agendas,
initially proclaiming inculpability only to assume a position of
condemnation upon leaving Khartoum airport. The whole issue amounts
to escalation in order to achieve a certain agenda.
Q: Let us talk about the African Union and the role it is expected
to play following extension of its mandate.
A: I am of the belief that at one point the AU has exacerbated the
situation through its unclear position. Nevertheless our insistence
is that its participation does not compromise national sovereignty
or autonomy. The AU mission can yield positive results with proper
logistic and financial support. Secondly we as Africans are more
comfortable with the AU assuming this mission. I am not particularly
pleased with the foreign experts who will be coming from abroad as
it seems only to be a prelude for further intervention.