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Cablegate: S/E Natsios Meets with South Darfurians

VZCZCXRO0796
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1085/01 1931442
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121442Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7850
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001085

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: S/E NATSIOS MEETS WITH SOUTH DARFURIANS


1. SUMMARY: (SBU) During a July 9 visit to Nyala, Presidential
Special Envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, and US Embassy Charg
Alberto Fernandez conducted a series of meetings with IDP camp
representatives, the Magdoum of the Fur and civil society activists,
as well as an impromptu meeting with the deputy wali of South
Darfur. IDPs focused on security, land and compensation, while
elites and political figures focused more on power-sharing. END
SUMMARY.

------------------------
NOT QUITE THE RED CARPET
------------------------

2. (SBU) Although the delegation had written permission from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs to travel to Darfur, they were detained
for about 1.5 hours at the airport upon arrival by National Security
and Military Intelligence, who claimed to have no knowledge of their
visit. Officials threatened to expel the delegation from Darfur
despite the approval. Eventually the delegation was allowed to leave
the airport, only after agreeing to see the South Darfur deputy
wali. In a brief meeting with the deputy wali, the Special Envoy
said he had traveled to Sudan to move forward the process of
obtaining a political settlement to the conflict and in particular
to seek public and civil society input into that process. The wali
welcomed his efforts to achieve peace, and requested that the wali's
office be informed of all such missions in future in order to ensure
VIP security. The meeting was videotaped and later broadcast on the
Nyala evening news.

---------------------------------
MAGDOUM: OCCUPATION OF FUR LANDS,
NEGOTIATING TERMS
---------------------------------

3. (SBU) The delegation met with the Magdoom of the Fur, Ahmad
Rajal, along with several members of his group, Ahali Group for
Darfur Salvation. This group includes representatives from thirty
tribes, and is seeking to organize IDPs and other grass roots
stakeholders to come together on a common platform for peace. The
group has already held one workshop in Nyala, and presented the
delegation with a summary of the outcomes. (Note: The group also
previously received a small grant from USAID/OTI to facilitate
dialogue between the Birgit and Zaghawa in Shearia. End note.)
During the conversation, the participants confirmed that Fur land,
primarily in Wadi Saleh, has been occupied by 40,000 Arab migrants
from Niger, Chad and other countries to the west who have been
invited in by the government. The group suspects that the
government is arming these people against the Hybrid. They said
that 80% of the Fur people have been displaced and that they have
heard rumors of land mines being placed in Jebel Marra, where the
few non-displaced Fur remain.

4. (SBU) When asked about their bottom-line positions in the peace
negotiations, the group identified power-sharing (vice presidency),
unified region, resolution of land issues, individual compensation,
and possibly the promise of a referendum similar to the CPA. On the
issue of individual compensation, they said that $1000 per person
was not enough, the amount should be more like $2,500, and they
noted that groups in Northern Sudan are being compensated due to the
Merowe dam project. The group said that they had explained their
position to Abdul Mohammed, the chair of the AU-led Darfur-Darfur
Dialogue Commission (DDDC).

--------------------
WHO REPRESENTS IDPS?
--------------------

5. (SBU) The delegation also attended the weekly meeting of the
Kalma sheikhs. When asked how their views are fed into the
political process, the group indicated they had not been consulted
by the DDDC or Darfur Forum. When asked who should represent them
in the process, some said the field commanders could represent them,
while others said the IDPs are strong enough to represent themselves
if they could organize, and they should have meetings or elections
in each camp (they noted that Kalma has its own committees, one of
which is for reconciliation). An informal poll of the group
indicated that, of several leaders mentioned, the majority felt
themselves best represented by Abd-al-Wahid and Ahmed Ibrahim
Diraij; some identified with Minni Minawi, Khalil Ibrahim, and
Khamis Abdullah, while none identified with Suleiman Jamous, Sharif
Harir, Abd-al-Shafie, or the Magdoom. (Note: The sheikh of sheikhs
told the delegation afterward that people had come from the town and
told them the Magdoom was not on their side. End note.)

6. (SBU) Regarding their bottom line issues, the group identified
security (everywhere), disarmament (of everyone), individual
compensation, justice, rehabilitation of villages and provision of
services; power-sharing, and expulsion of occupiers. The majority

KHARTOUM 00001085 002 OF 002


of participants in the meeting indicated that they felt the SPLM is
not helpful in the negotiation process, and only the UN should be
involved.

---------------------------------------
DARFUR FORUM: ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY KEY
TO PEACE PROCESS
---------------------------------------

7. (SBU) Finally the delegation met with the Darfur Forum, a civil
society group that represents elite segments of Darfurian society.
The members come from different political parties but see themselves
as representing not themselves or their parties, but all Darfur.
They said that they paid their own way to Abuja, and helped the
rebels prepare position papers, but were not allowed to participate
in the negotiations. They indicated that they, too, have not had
any interaction with the DDDC consultation process. With support
from the EU and Justice Africa, the group organized workshops in
Nyala and El Fasher to organize civil society input into the peace
process, both of which were impeded by National Security. The group
gave the delegation a summary of the workshop outcomes.

8. (SBU) They identified their bottom line positions in the
negotiations as a unified region, power and wealth-sharing in
proportion to population, vice-presidential position, and 'positive
discrimination' for underdeveloped areas of Darfur. This group also
noted the disparity between levels of compensation promised to
victims of the Darfur conflict and the compensation being provided
to those displaced by the Merowe dam. The group agreed that the
UN/AU could facilitate a joint paper between the rebels and civil
society with which they could then negotiate with the GoS, but they
felt that the DDDC should happen first before further negotiations.
The group also emphasized the importance of authentic participation
of women in the process, unlike Abuja where only a few women were
invited to participate, and the need for a quota for women in
power-sharing.

9. (U) S/E Natsios' staff has cleared on this cable.

FERNANDEZ

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