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Cablegate: Darfur: December 7, Au Ditf Briefing Provides

VZCZCXRO0288
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #3243/01 3421354
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081354Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3646
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 003243

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, AF/RSA, AND IO/PSC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO SU AU
SUBJECT: DARFUR: DECEMBER 7, AU DITF BRIEFING PROVIDES
READOUT OF NOV. 30 PSC

REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 3011

B. ADDIS ABABA 2948
C. ADDIS ABABA 2523

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. According to African Union officials, the
head-of-state-level November 30 AU Peace and Security Council
(PSC) meeting affirmed Sudan's acceptance of UN assistance to
the AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur, but highlighted that
Sudan continues to oppose full transition to a hybrid UN-AU
operation falling under strict UN command and control.
Chaired by Presidents Obasanjo and Mbeki, the PSC sought to
press Sudan's President Bashir, but the GOS position remains
little changed from the November 16 high-level consultations
chaired by UN SYG Annan and AU Commission Chairperson Konare.
In the face of such uncertainty on UN transition, the AU PSC
has again extended the mandate of AMIS (to the end of June
2007), but has made no provision for the continued funding of
the AU operation. The League of Arab States still has not
fulfilled its USD 50 million pledge (made in July) to support
AMIS. Egypt, current chair of the PSC, was reportedly a
strong advocate for the GOS position. Contrary to EU reports
of recent security incidents in El Fasher, AU DITF officials
largely blamed the UN for fomenting "panic" by evacuating
staff from El Fasher, rather than focus on the alleged Arab
militia threat which prompted their removal. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On December 7, the African Union Commission's Darfur
Integrated Task Force (AU DITF) briefed selected AU partners
(US, UK, Canada, EC, NATO, and UN) on political, logistical,
and security developments of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS).

--------------------------------------------- --------
SUDAN CONTINUES RESERVATIONS REGARDING HYBRID MISSION
--------------------------------------------- --------

3. (SBU) AU DITF Head Ambassador Ki Doulaye Korentin provided
a readout of the November 30 head-of-state-level AU Peace and
Security Council (PSC) meeting in Abuja on Darfur. Nigerian
President Obasanjo, followed by South African President
Mbeki, had chaired the meeting, which included
representatives of the UN, League of Arab States, and
Sudanese President Bashir. Amb. Ki Doulaye said UN U/SYG for
Peacekeeping Guehenno had read a message from UN SYG Annan
urging that the results of the November 16 high-level
consultations in Addis (on Darfur) be considered as a
package, so as to allow the UNSC to consider funding. To
date, the League of Arab States had not provided any funding
(despite its USD50 million pledge).

4. (SBU) Reviewing the elements of the Nov. 30 AU PSC
communique, Amb. Ki Doulaye said nothing had changed in the
Sudanese position on the phased approach to UN assistance to
AMIS: the GOS accepted the "light" package of UN assistance
(approximately 105 personnel), would "eventually" accept the
"heavy" package (approximately 1,000 personnel), but
continued to express concerns about a hybrid mission.

-- SRSG: Pres. Mbeki had been "very effective" in affirming
that Pres. Bashir agreed that a special representative for
Sudan could be jointly designated by the UN and the AU.
However, Bashir had said that AU Commission Chairperson
Konare should also consult with the GOS (although this
language was not included in the Nov. 30 PSC communique),
when asked whether he minded Konare consulting with the UN
SYG on the selection of a Force Commander.

-- FC: The GOS insisted that the Force Commander should be
African and designated by the AU, and that command and
control structures should be "in and of the AU" and appointed
by the AU Commission Chairperson, Ki Doulaye said. When
pressed by Mbeki, Bashir reportedly said he did not mind the
Force Commander receiving assistance from the UN.

-- FORCE STRENGTH: The size of the hybrid force was left to
UN and AU experts to determine as a technical issue, and
therefore could be more or less than the 17,000 figure
discussed on Nov. 16.

-- EXTENSION OF AMIS MANDATE: While an initial draft had
proposed convening the tripartite (AU-UN-GOS) committee by
December 15 and then reconvening the PSC, the PSC had decided
to extend the mandate of AMIS by six months, from Jan.-June

ADDIS ABAB 00003243 002 OF 003


2007, based on the availability of funds.

5. (SBU) Despite the presence of Sudanese President Bashir,
implementation of the phased approach risked becoming bogged
down in the details, Amb. Ki Doulaye said, citing the
tripartite committee and Sudan's acceptance "in principle" of
the light and heavy support packages. The League of Arab
States had requested and received many explanations at the
Abuja PSC. The AU was trying to find an entry point for the
UN. "The UN should enter the open door not like an elephant,
but like a gazelle," Ki Doulaye cautioned.

---------------------------------------------
AU DITF PREPARING BUDGET FOR AMIS ENHANCEMENT
---------------------------------------------

6. (SBU) AU DITF was working on a budget so AMIS could
"immediately seek support," as current funds would be
exhausted as of January 1, and it was unclear how the mission
would be sustained. As the AU was appealing to the UN to
provide financial and logistical support (through the "heavy
package of assistance), the budget may not include logistics
costs, Ki Doulaye said. To fulfill its mandate, AMIS still
sought to enhance AMIS by two additional battalions:
adopting the new concept of operations discussed at the July
AU Summit in Banjul, which called for revising 8 sectors to
3, and which called for increasing troop strength to 10,300-a
level the GOS had accepted. Potential troop contributing
countries continued to include Nigeria and Rwanda; Rwanda was
ready to provide 5 battalions if support were assured, Ki
Doulaye said. Whether a pledging conference would be held
depended on the return of AU Commissioner Djinnit; such a
conference could be held in Addis Ababa, as the first had
been. Ki Doulaye appealed for partners to continue
assistance to AMIS.

7. (SBU) AU outreach to DPA non-signatories continued, with
Dr. Salim meeting "with all stakeholders" in Khartoum, to
determine how soon the AU and UN could convene a
non-signatories' meeting. One faction had signed a
declaration of commitment to the DPA in Libya. The AU was
also aware of initiatives by Eritrea and Chad (which may have
some leverage on the NRF). Ki Doulaye said a roadmap was
being considered for the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and
Consultation (DDDC), but could not provide any additional
information.

8. (SBU) Poloff noted the upcoming December 12 UN Human
Rights Council's special session on Sudan, the need to
underscore the deteriorating situation in Darfur, and draft
resolutions calling for a UN human rights mission to Sudan.
Ki Doulaye responded that the UN already had a mandate to
investigate human rights in Sudan, and that the AU had
previously prepared an assessment of Sudan's humanitarian
situation.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
SECURITY: UN EVACUATION FROM EL FASHER CREATED "PANIC"
--------------------------------------------- ---------

9. (SBU) AU DITF J3/J5 Operations & Plans Team Leader Colonel
G.Y. Mahunu said that the UN's evacuation of personnel from
El Fasher, due to information that El Fasher was threatened
by NRF and G-19 forces, has "spread a lot of panic" in AMIS
area of operations, placing the entire force on alert. Ki
Doulaye agreed that the UN had "complicated" the situation
and created panic by withdrawing personnel. He said AMIS had
moved personnel from El Fasher to the more easily defended
Zam Zam, leaving only protection force elements at El Fasher.


-- The Force Commander, who had left Addis Ababa two days
earlier, had since met with stakeholders in Khartoum, in
order to defuse the situation. Minni Minawi had not attended
the meeting, as he had threatened two days earlier to
withdraw from the DPA, despite AU concerns that he not. In a
letter to AMIS, Minni had requested that the Ceasefire
Commission investigate the incidents in El Fasher.

-- On Dec. 4-5, armed elements in GOS uniform, suspected to
be Janjaweed, had looted El Fasher market, and clashed with
unarmed SLM/Minni elements who called for support; the

ADDIS ABAB 00003243 003 OF 003


incident resulted in two deaths and increased tensions,
Mahunu said.

-- On Dec. 5, GOS and AMIS had defused a mass demonstration
at the AMIS camp at Zam Zam. Ki Doulaye noted that the GOS
had sent forces to Zam Zam and established roadblocks.

-- The situation along the Chadian border remained unchanged.


------------------------------------------
DPA JOINT COMMISSION: POSSIBLY DECEMBER 15
------------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Ki Doulaye noted that the AMIS Deputy Head of
Mission had proposed December 12 for the next meeting of the
DPA Joint Commission; he had proposed December 15 but could
not confirm any date. Partner representatives underscored
the importance of distributing JC documentation, such as the
agenda and CFC reports, at least 7 days in advance of any
meeting, in accordance with the DPA, so as not to provide the
GOS or other parties with an opportunity to object. In
response to EU POLAD's observation that previous JC meetings
had been "tragi-comical," Ki Doulaye quipped, "better
tragi-comical than tragic." Partner representatives also
underscored the importance establishing a mechanism to
include non-signatories.

---------
LOGISTICS
---------

11. (SBU) In the absence of any DITF logistics officials, Ki
Doulaye provided the following updates:

-- FHQ: A DITF mission to Khartoum this weekend would
discuss the proposed "Joint Headquarters" (vice the Forward
Joint Mission Headquarters or "FJMHQ").

-- FUEL: AMIS continued to face problems with the
availability of aviation fuel: the main reserve was in El
Fasher, which would not sustain AMIS for very long.

-- FINANCES: The AU recently signed the 6th contribution
agreement with the EU, which provides funds retroactively for
Aug-Oct. 2006.

-- LESSONS LEARNED: Ki Doulaye would participate in a mission
to Khartoum, to strengthen coordination mechanisms among AU
offices in Addis Ababa, Khartoum, and El Fasher. NATO
representatives conducting the lessons learned exercise
requested by the AU would not be traveling to El Fasher at
the current time, due to force protection concerns.

12. (SBU) COMMENT: AU DITF's readout of the Nov. 30 PSC on
Darfur was more optimistic than that provided to AU partners
on December 4 by EU POLAD Marcel Leroy, who had observed the
talks with EU Special Representative for Sudan Pekka
Haavisto. According to EU officials, Egypt (current monthly
chair of the AU PSC) consistently advocated the GOS position,
insisting on the insertion of language requiring
consultations with the GOS, although the final AU PSC
communique did not incorporate all of Egypt's recommended
changes. EU officials also report that PSC members have a
restrictive interpretation of the role UN backstopping and
command and control structures would play, limiting such UN
forces to "enabling units" of a "technical nature" only. The
open-ended nature of the PSC's call to appoint a Special
Representative for Sudan "after appropriate consultations as
per the practice" could allow the GOS to exercise a veto,
according to some AU partners. While the PSC calls for such
an appointment to occur with the implementation of a hybrid
operation (i.e., the final phase of the UN SYG's phased
approach of UN assistance), the current vacancy of both the
UN and AU positions following the departure of UN SRSG Jan
Pronk and AMIS Head of Mission Amb. Baba Gana Kingibe renders
the issue pertinent now, and highlights the lack of senior AU
officials to engage with the GOS on UN transition issues.
END COMMENT.
YAMAMOTO

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