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Cablegate: Slm Seeks to Be Part of Solution to Darfur, Minawi

VZCZCXRO3643
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1564/01 2811020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081020Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8737
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0247
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001564

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF/SPG, AND AF/SE
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: SLM SEEKS TO BE PART OF SOLUTION TO DARFUR, MINAWI
TELLS S/E NATSIOS

REF: KHARTOUM 01540

KHARTOUM 00001564 001.2 OF 003


-------
Summary
-------

1, (SBU) In contrast to intransigent rebel leader Abdulwahid
al Nur, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) seeks to be part
of the solution to the Darfur conflict, SLM leader Minni
Minawi told S/E Natsios on October 4. While predicting that
the UN/AU-sponsored talks in Libya would be a starting point
rather than the stage for final talks with the DPA
non-signatories, Minawi pledged the SLM's participation.
However, the SLM called on the UN/AU to define its objectives
for the Libya negotiations. Noting that the concerns of the
DPA non-signatories--compensation, disarmament of the Arab
militias, and the return of IDPs--were already included in
the agreement, Minawi emphasized that the problem was not the
DPA but its implementation. A prominent SLM field commander
requested non-military logistical support and medical
treatment for SLM members who had been wounded in the
conflict to "rescue the agreement." S/E Natsios called for
an inclusive peace process, underscoring that the DPA was the
basis for the negotiations and that a new agreement was
"unacceptable." End summary.

-------------------------
SLM: Part of the Solution
-------------------------


2. (SBU) Compensation, the disarmament of the Arab militias,
and the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are not
the exclusive concern of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)
non-signatory factions, Senior Assistant to the President and
SLM leader Minni Minawi told S/E Natsios on October 4. The
SLM shares these priorities--all of which are already
included in the agreement--and viewed DPA implementation
supported by the international community as the vehicle for
addressing them. "We want to be part of the solution," he
said, comparing his movement to the rebel faction led by
Abdulwahid al Nur. "He should be part of the solution too."

-----------------------
Abdulwahid's Propaganda
-----------------------

3. (SBU) Instead, Abdulwahid's propaganda promised the IDPs
10,000 dollars per person in compensation and a Western style
villa until but only if they remained in the camps until the
Sudanese Government agreed to these demands, according to
Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) Secretary
General Mohammed Suleiman. Minawi confidant Ali Traio noted
that Abdulwahid's intransigence and the additional delays in
the Fur's return from the camps gave pro-Khartoum Arab tribes
additional time to settle land they had occupied, making it
more difficult to return as part of a peace settlement.

-------------------------------------
Libya: Starting Point Not Final Stage
-------------------------------------

4. (SBU) The UN/AU-sponsored negotiations set to begin in
Libya on October 27 are a mechanism for bringing the
non-signatories into the peace process--a starting point
rather than the stage for final status talks, predicted
Minawi. If the talks did not undermine the DPA and if they
included the "bulk" of the rebel movements, they could lay a
foundation for jump-starting the political process. Regional
problems should also be addressed, particularly as Chad and
Sudan continued to support rebel movements across each
other's borders. Minawi pledged that the SLM will attend the
Libya talks, although he was not sure in what capacity.

------------------------------
UN/AU Should Define Objectives
------------------------------

5. (SBU) While the SLM supports any effort to make the DPA
more comprehensive, the UN and AU have to define their
objectives for the Libya negotiations, explained SLM
power-broker Mohammed Tijani. He criticized the UN and AU
for attempts to bring the non-signatories into the DPA

KHARTOUM 00001564 002.2 OF 003


without consultation with the SLM and identified three
weaknesses in the UN and AU's approach: 1) The absence of a
strategy for the talks based on an assessment of the lessons
learned from the Abuja negotiations, 2) The lack of criteria
for determining which groups should participate in the
negotiations, and 3) The tendency of the international
community to "tribalize" the problems of Darfur, when
movements such as the SLM represented a broad set of tribal
groups.

--------------------------
Field Commanders Essential
--------------------------

6. (SBU) Minawi added that the UN and AU has focused on a
select group of non-signatories, neglecting the field
commanders who control the security situation. "If they're
excluded, it will be a big problem," he said. He noted that
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) commander Abdullah Banda,
who split with JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim in recent months, is
forging an alliance with the Sudan Liberation Army
(SLA)/Unity faction led by Abdullah Yehia, a union that will
be a critical element for inclusion in the peace process.
Minawi inferred that elements of SLA/Unity and JEM had
perpetrated the September 29 attack on the AU Mission in
Sudan (AMIS) group site near Haskanita, South Darfur. He
reminded S/E Natsios that he had sent a letter to AMIS and
the UN several months ago indicating that the area (then
controlled by Minawi) had been over-run by DPA non-signatory
groups which could threaten AMIS. Minawi said he had never
received a response.

-------------------------------
Delays in International Support
-------------------------------

7. (SBU) A prominent field commander told S/E Natsios that
the SLM had signed the DPA under "serious pressure" from the
international community, which had promised support for the
movement. While acknowledging that the international
community moved slowly, he said, "by this time, I would have
thought there would be some support for DPA implementation."
Of particular concern were the SLM members who had been
wounded during the conflict and had not yet received proper
medical care: 200 in Khartoum, 150 in El Fasher, 150 in
Nyala, 150 in El Geneina, and "thousands in the field."
Before signing the DPA, the SLM had obtained logistics and
support from raids on Government forces, according to the
commander. Despite DPA provisions of support for the
signatories, however, "nothing was coming."

----------------------------
New Agreement "Unacceptable"
----------------------------

8. (SBU) S/E Natsios called any talk of a new agreement
"unacceptable." Thirty countries had endorsed the DPA as the
basis for the peace settlement, a position codified in the
Addis Ababa agreement of November 2006, the Tripoli Consensus
of April 2007, and UN Security Council Resolution 1769. "We
never agreed to a new, comprehensive agreement," said S/E
Natsios.

9. (SBU) Describing his recent trip to Zalingei, West Darfur,
S/E Natsios reported that Fur IDP leaders had presented their
pre-conditions for attending peace negotiations (reftel). He
had explained that the full deployment of the UN-AU Mission
in Darfur (UNAMID) would take several months, during which
time the peace process should not stagnate. The political
process is the mechanism for addressing the non-signatories'
concerns, and the Fur would miss the opportunity to
participate in the 2009 elections if they remained in the IDP
camps. He said that it was important to balance the need for
inclusive dialogue with the practicalities of selecting a
manageable group of representatives to "make a deal." The
Arab tribes, including those who had perpetrated some of the
violence, would also need to be part of an agreement or "the
whole process will collapse."

-------
Comment
-------


KHARTOUM 00001564 003.2 OF 003


10. (SBU) The frustrations that Minawi and his forces feel
with marginalization and lack of support (especially with the
wounded or illiterate former fighters) will only be magnified
by any future peace accord, which will add thousands more
angry young men and their families looking for help.
SLM/Minawi's cloudy fate is an object lesson to future
signatories of any new and amended DPA. End comment.

11. (U) S/E Natsios did not have the opportunity to clear
this message before departure.

12. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.
FERNANDEZ

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