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Cablegate: Bashir Calls for Commitment to National Unity

DE RUEHKH #2632/01 3120721
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E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Bashir Calls for Commitment to National Unity

1. (U) SUMMARY: Sudanese President Omer Bashir addressed the
opening of the third session of the National Legislative Council
(the National Assembly and Council of States in joint session) on
October 30, reiterating the government's commitment to implementing
peace agreements reached with groups in the south, east, and west.
Bashir announced the government is focused on four primary areas of
governance: enhancing comprehensive peace; strengthening good
governance; promoting economic development and social justice; and
improving international relations. Bashir spoke of stronger
political relations with African and Arab countries, and expressed
appreciation for their support against the "unfair campaign" taking
place against Sudan. End summary.

Enhancing Peace

2. (SBU) President Bashir focused initially on matters pertaining to
national peace, stating that the third session of the National
Assembly would witness the second year of finalizing the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the first year of implementing
the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), and the first month of
implementing the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA). Pointing to
the CPA as a guideline and noting the remarkable developments under
the agreement that have been unique in Sudan's history, Bashir said
that disagreements are inevitable and that the best way to address
them is through continued dialogue. According to Bashir, the ESPA
timeframe for implementation will be submitted to the National
Legislature for approval and the government would support a U.S.
$600 million five-year development and rehabilitation fund for the
region, with an immediate end to the state of emergency and a
declaration of amnesty.

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Bashir Notes DPA Implementation Intentions

3. (SBU) Regarding the DPA, the President addressed the formation of
a higher committee to supervise implementation, initiation of the
DDR plan to occur within two months in consultation with the African
Union (AU) to ensure only government troops retain weapons, and
establishment of various compensation and rehabilitation funds as
well as promoting humanitarian assistance through establishment of
basic infrastructure projects and social services. Bashir used the
opportunity to thank AU forces for the work they have performed in
keeping peace despite limited resources and capacity, and advocated
additional regional and international financial, technical, and
logistical support to make AMIS more effective and efficient.
Additionally, he praised parliament for rejecting UN troops. The
Government, Bashir said, is launching a plan for dialogue with
regional and international interlocutors and the non-signatory
factions with the objective of reaching a formula for consolidating
peace and security in Darfur.

Strengthening Good Governance

4. (SBU) According to the President's speech, the Sudanese Interim
National Constitution has "laid the foundations, principles, and
basic provisions to establish good governance." As specified, the
Government will develop the capacity of the legislative,
constitutional, and political institutions to carry out the
monitoring and accountability roles in a way that protects the
rights of all citizens. Bashir noted that responsible political
performance depends upon the establishment of basic freedoms of
expression, and called upon all officials to cooperate positively
with the media by providing true statements, accurate figures, and
well explained policies.

Promoting Economic and Social Justice

5. (SBU) According to Bashir, there must be a basis of sustainable
development and social justice. Development of the five-year
comprehensive strategic plan aims at building a unified,
economically self-sufficient nation; the plan consists of the
following major guidelines:

-- enhancement of the principles of national dialogue and peaceful
political competition, rather than war and conflicts;

-- sustaining the rate of economic growth;

-- increasing production and productivity in both agricultural and
industrial sectors and expanding the role of non-oil products;

-- continuing infrastructure projects, particularly in electricity,
roads, railway, and river transport to link parts of the country;

--completion of major irrigation facilities, such as the enlargement

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of the Rosaries dam, Seteit dam, and other water collection,
storage, and distribution projects;

-- focusing on human development to build capacity and widen
employment opportunities in all sectors;

-- expand scientific research and improve higher education;

-- balance equally the allocation of resources between the states
and localities and guarantee the fair distribution of water, health,
and education services in keeping with national commitment to the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

-- adoption of specific projects to combat poverty, with a special
focus on rural and social development;

-- concentration on income generation projects for returnees,
whether internally displaced persons, refugees, or people from
war-affected areas;

-- focusing on quality standards to gain competitiveness locally,
regionally, and internationally;

-- initiating projects for the revival of cultural, intellectual,
and sports areas;

-- review of state structures and increasing their efficiency,
combined with the devolution and redistribution of powers and
jurisdiction between different levels of governance; and

-- developing defense and security institution capacities to defend
peace, the homeland, and the nation's sovereignty.

Foreign Relations

6. (SBU) Bashir announced that Sudan's foreign policy would promote
stronger relations with friendly countries and enhance relations
with African and Arab-Islamic nations. Sudan will work with friends
and allies to establish international relations marked by mutual
respect. Bashir concluded by stating that as long as the government
sticks to its principles, it would have the support of both the
Sudanese people and of other nations.


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