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Cablegate: Facilitating Splm Darfur Initiative: Game Plan

VZCZCXRO9245
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1083/01 1921439
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111439Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7847
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001083

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF S/E NATSIOS, AND AF/SPG
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND SHORTLEY

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU UN SU

SUBJECT: FACILITATING SPLM DARFUR INITIATIVE: GAME PLAN


1. (SBU) Summary: Confusion over the UN/AU roadmap and SPLM
initiative persists despite face-to-face meetings between SPLM and
UN/AU officials. Both the UN/AU and the SPLM have not communicated
their plans clearly enough to each other to eliminate
misunderstandings. As a result, the SPLM plans to hold its
conference for Darfur factions and civil society beginning on/about
August 6. The SPLM said that the UN/AU pushed for an earlier start
date for the SPLM meeting because the UN/AU-led negotiations would
begin in August. We will continue to find ways to reinforce the
complementarity of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, SPLM, and
Eritrean efforts with the UN/AU roadmap. End Summary.

- - - - - - - - - -
UN/AU VISIT TO JUBA
- - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) On July 2, Pekka Haavisto, Senior Advisor to UN Envoy Jan
Eliasson, and Sam Ibok, AU head of Darfur Peace Agreement
implementation, met with First Vice President Salva Kiir. Dr.
Achier Deng Akol, a member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM) Taskforce on Darfur was present in the meeting. In a later
conversation with Poloff, Achier reported that Kiir had told Ibok
and Haavisto that the UN/AU should continue with its plans. Achier,
concerned that Ibok and Haavisto misinterpreted Kiir's remark, told
them that the SPLM was still planning on hosting the Darfur rebel
leaders and civil society some time in August. The UN/AU envoys
pushed back and requested that the SPLM hold its meeting in July.
Achier explained that this was not possible given the Center for
Humanitarian Dialogue meeting beginning on/about July 16 and the
anniversary of the death of John Garang. Ibok expressed concern
about the timing of the meeting because the UN/AU wanted to begin
negotiations in August.

3. (SBU) According to Achier, the UN/AU team wanted to clarify
several other points. First, the UN/AU team members wanted to know
if the inclusion of Lazarus Sumbeiyo was an attempt by the SPLM to
replicate CPA negotiations. Achier explained that the Moi Institute
was selected to facilitate the SPLM conference and Sumbeiyo was the
head of the institute. Second, the UN/AU expressed concern about
bringing in civil society because it is a mixed group containing
Khartoum-backers. The SPLM explained that it is important for civil
society leaders to have some buy-in to the process and for that they
need to be heard in order to keep pressure on the rebel movements to
negotiate in good faith. Third, the UN/AU wanted to know why the
SPLM wanted to involve signatories and non-signatories. The SPLM
said that the difference between signatories and non-signatories is
not as clear as it once was. Achier said that a fourth issue the
SPLM clarified was over the timing of the three phases. Ibok
reportedly thought the phases would be held at different times. The
SPLM explained that all three phases were part of one meeting.
Fifth, the UN/AU said that the level of coordination with the SPLM
was poor. The SPLM said that it was coordinating its efforts
through regular contact with the AU and UN representatives in Juba.
(Note: The AU does not have representatives in Juba. UN staff in
Juba report to the UN Mission in Sudan, which does not fall under
the leadership of UN Envoy Jan Eliasson or AU Envoy Salim Ahmed
Salim, who are responsible for the UN/AU political process on
Darfur. End note.)

- - - - - -
UN/AU VIEWS
- - - - - -

4. (SBU) In a meeting with donors on July 4 in Khartoum, the UN/AU
understood Kiir's comments to mean that the UN/AU and SPLM should
proceed on separate paths. Haavisto and Ibok had thus concluded
that the SPLM's current plan was outside the
internationally-endorsed UN/AU roadmap. The UN/AU and the donors
expressed concern that the SPLM's proposed meeting remained too
broad and unrealistic. The UN/AU representative said that the SPLM
had done little to reach non-signatory field commanders in Darfur,
despite UN/AU efforts to facilitate contact. Fearing that the SPLM
initiative would fail, the UN/AU had proposed to Kiir that the SPLM
host a smaller meeting of the faction leaders of the Sudan
Liberation Movement (SLM): Abdulwahid al-Nur, Ahmed Abdulshafi,
Ahmed Diraij, Khamis Abdullah, Sharif Harir, and Abdullah Yehia.
Haavisto and Ibok had said that the meeting would give the SPLM a
prominent yet effective role. They had offered UN/AU financial
assistance and political support to ensure the attendance of the SLM
leaders. Kiir had declined the offer, according to the UN/AU
representative.

5. (SBU) The UN/AU pointed out that it was important for donors to
consider whether support for the SPLM initiative was important
enough to delay progress on the UN/AU roadmap as the SPLM did not
seem interested in coordination with the UN/AU and was supportive of

KHARTOUM 00001083 002 OF 002


Eritrean versus UN/AU mediation in the negotiations. (Note: Achier
denied that the SPLM was supportive of Eritrean mediation and said
the SPLM planned to send the rebel movements to UN/AU-led
negotiations. In previous conversations with U.S. officials, other
SPLM leaders, including Kiir, have favored Eritrean-led
negotiations. End note.) The UN/AU planned to announce the end of
the "convergence phase" of the UN/AU roadmap during the upcoming
summit in Tripoli and would then begin preparations for
negotiations. The first step would be the meeting of six SLM
leaders at the end of July.

- - - - - - - -
U.S. GAME PLAN
- - - - - - - -

6. (SBU) The two read-outs from the UN/AU-Kiir meeting indicate
that differences between the UN/AU and the SPLM initiative continue.
Our primary focus is to reinforce what appears to be "forced
harmony" between the SPLM and the UN/AU for now. We will continue
to urge the SPLM to recognize the UN/AU lead on the roadmap and the
Darfur negotiations. In addition, we will stress the
complementarity of the various efforts, including the Center for
Humanitarian Dialogue, the SPLM, and Eritrea.

7. (SBU) This strategy is particularly important in light of the
need to give the rebel movements consistent messages to keep them on
the road to UN/AU-led negotiations. It is essential that potential
spoilers, such as Abdelwahid and Khalil Ibrahim, cannot shop around
for venues or patrons.

8. (SBU) Finally, we need greater specificity on the UN/AU roadmap.
This clarity is essential for closing the potential loopholes that
the Khartoum Government, which while not necessarily opposed to the
negotiating process, can exploit to subvert it.

FERNANDEZ

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