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Cablegate: Meeting with Khalil Ibrahim in Abeche

VZCZCXRO8001
RR RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #1432 3521727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181727Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4703
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 001432

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PREF CD SU
SUBJECT: MEETING WITH KHALIL IBRAHIM IN ABECHE

REF: A) N'DJAMENA 1402; B) N'DJAMENA 1423

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. During a two-hour meeting in
Abeche, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader
Khalil Ibrahim expressed JEM's desire to be included in
any forthcoming negotiations on an international
presence in Chad. He was evasive about JEM involvement
in recent fighting between Chadian government forces
(ANT) and Chadian rebels but did not dispute rumors of
a significant JEM presence observed in Guereda. He
advised "letting the dust settle" in Chad in the wake
of the most recent wave of internal conflict (ref B)
before expecting any political reconciliation. Khalil
promised to provide Poloff with a draft of the JEM's
proposal for alternative peace plans which the group
planned to submit to the Security Council, to be sent
septel. END SUMMARY.
--------------------------------------
JEM NOT TO BE IGNORED ON BORDER ISSUES
---------------------------------------
2. (SBU) Poloff met with JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim in
Abeche on December 14, following up on his conversation
with the Ambassador December 5 (reftel A). One of
Khalil's main gripes was that JEM was not being
consulted on decisions taken by the international
community (specifically the United Nations) vis--vis
Darfur and eastern Chad, including the implementation
of UN Security Council resolution 1706 (2006) and the
recent visit by the UN Department of Peacekeeping
Operations Technical Assessment Mission. "We're part
of the problem and part of the solution, "declared
Khalil, "yet the United Nations is not taking the
initiative to include us in its deliberations." He
voiced the JEM's support for an international border
presence but with the caveat that a durable peace come
first.


3. (SBU) To remedy this perceived exclusion, JEM
plans to transmit within the next 72 hours to the
Security Council its proposal for alternative peace
plans beyond the Darfur Peace Agreement (which Khalil
categorically rejected as the product of "diplomatic
terrorism" in Abuja) and to submit a request for a
"hearing session" with the Security Council to air the
group's grievances on both the Darfur Peace Agreement
and UNSCR 1706.

4. (SBU) Khalil argued that the international
community, in particular the UN Security Council, was
doing more harm than good by "dictating" to the people
of Darfur untenable terms for addressing the crisis
there and by issuing "premature documents" such as
UNSCR 1706 that failed to take into account the
realities of the situation on the ground. For example,
Khalil contended that UNSCR 1706 made no mention of the
Janjaweed, whose movement Khalil
predicted would sweep to West Africa [NOTE: Operative
Paragraph 12 (a) of UNSCR 1706 refers to "armed
groups." END NOTE]. Instead, Khalil focused his
attention on Operative Paragraph 14 of UNSCR 1706,
which threatens sanctions against non-signatories to
the DPA, calling this a direct affront to the JEM.
-----------------------------------
STILL VAGUE ON JEM SUPPORT FOR GOC
-----------------------------------
5. (SBU) Khalil was just as evasive in the December
14 conversation with Poloff on the subject of the
Chadian rebellion as he had been in the December
conversation with Ambassador (ref A). He said that the
internal political situation in Chad needed at least
one month for the "dust to settle" after recent events
in Guereda and Hadjar Marfaine (ref B). He predicted
that at the end of this period, "if the Government of
Chad (GOC) feels it needs peace talks, then it will
start peace talks" with the rebellion. Khalil remained
optimistic that the GOC would accept a political
reconciliation with the rebellion, admitting that
President Deby had run out of negotiating time with the
SCUD before the latest round of violence had erupted.

6. (SBU) Khalil was similarly evasive on the topic of
JEM support to the ANT. When asked about the observed
presence of up to 60 JEM vehicles in and around Guereda
earlier this month, he said that these were "legitimate
movements" in an exceedingly porous border area.
Khalil reaffirmed that Guereda and the surrounding
areas to the north remained JEM-controlled
territory. Wall

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