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Cablegate: Cda Addresses Darfur Crisis in Local Press

VZCZCXRO9228
OO RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2812 3411548
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071548Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5514
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 002812

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR R, A/S FRAZER, AND AF S/E NATSIOS
DEPT ALSO FOR AF/PD AND AF/SPG

E.O. 12958: DECL: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF KPAO PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: CDA Addresses Darfur Crisis in Local Press


1. (U) In an interview with Arabic daily "Al-Sudani," the Charge
d'Affaires addressed the Sudanese security apparatus' failure to
stem the violence in Darfur, while also noting slight improvement in
the humanitarian situation. The Charge noted that UN Security
Council resolutions, such as Resolution 1706 on Darfur, serve as
frameworks to guide policymakers, but are not always fully
implemented. He also took issue with Sudanese President al-Bashir's
contention that the deployment of UN forces constitutes a new form
of colonialism. "Al-Sudani" published a brief preview of the
interview on the front page of its December 7 issue and will publish
the entire article on December 9.

2. (U) The interview, which was conducted December 4 by recent
International Visitor Leadership Program ("U.S. Foreign Policy")
alumnus Osman Merghani, also covered the status of the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, as well as a
discussion on steps needed to restore normal bilateral relations.
The independent "Al-Sudani" is one of the most widely circulated
Sudanese Arabic dailies. It also has a sizable Internet readership
in the United States and in the Arabian Gulf. The publication has
been confiscated and suspended several times over the past two
decades for taking anti-government positions.

3. (SBU) While in the U.S. in November, Merghani wrote several
columns on issues such as democracy, accountability, and
transparency in government. These writings angered pro-government
columnists in Sudan. Some of his critics labeled him an "agent of
the United States" for commending the virtues of the American
political system while ignoring such issues as the detention of
prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and the abuse of Iraqi inmates in Abu
Ghraib prison. Merghani has told us that he is writing up to 15
additional articles about his experiences in the United States.

4. (U) A translation of the "Al-Sudani" article from December 7
follows:

(Begin text)

Hume: Resolving the Darfur Crisis without UN Forces would be Magic
(article headline)

Ambassador Cameron Hume, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Khartoum,
considers the plan presented by President Omar al-Bashir to UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan to deploy a Sudanese military force

SIPDIS
disappointing. He said the security situation has not improved.
Senior high-ranking officers of the Sudanese officers have been lost
without imposing stability. He further noted that the proliferation
of arms in Internally Displaced (Persons) camps in Darfur has
contributed to the deterioration of the security situation, and the
targeting of women in particular. "I have seen the security
situation in Darfur and I don't believe it is good at all," he said.
However, he went on to say that the humanitarian situation has
slightly improved.

The Ambassador said in an interview with "Al Sudani" that the main
part of the Sudanese government's plan put forward last September
was to impose security through military means ... and it has failed.
I do not know how a political settlement could be achieved if the
government continues to defy the Darfuri community and its leaders.

Ambassador Hume further refused to consider the AU's decision to
extend its forces' mandate in Darfur for another six months would
bypass the UN Security Council Resolution 1706. "Any resolution
issued by the Security Council does not need to be adhered to 100
percent. ... Resolutions create a general framework," he said. He
further pointed to 1967 Security Council resolutions 242 regarding
the crisis in the Middle East saying that the resolution has not
been implemented to the letter, but it has created a framework
around which all diplomatic settlements in the Middle East have been
based for decades.

The Ambassador further criticized President Al-Bashir's statements
in which he stated that the deployment of international forces to
Darfur is a new form of colonialism. The Ambassador further
reviewed historical cases in which the UN has militarily intervened
in Africa (Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Liberia), and in South America,
and in Cambodia in Asia. He said these cases proved that UN forces
had not intervened for "colonialism or imperialism." Ambassador
Hume said that the assumption that the problem of Darfur can be
resolved without international troop intervention would be "magic."

(End text)

HUME

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