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Cablegate: Unmis Head to S/E Natsios: Splm Must Empower Itself

VZCZCXRO4070
OO RUEHBZ RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1581/01 2820901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090901Z OCT 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8779
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001581

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 SU
SUBJECT: UNMIS HEAD TO S/E NATSIOS: SPLM MUST EMPOWER ITSELF

REF: A. KHARTOUM 01557

B. KHARTOUM 01569
C. KHARTOUM 01563

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

1. (SBU) The SPLM must develop strategies that empower the
party within the Government of National Unity over the next
three years or risk irrelevance, UNMIS head Taye
Brooke-Zerihoun told S/E Natsios. Support for the SPLM is
"wide and deep" in Northern Sudan and the movement must "flex
its muscles" on national issues to exploit the weaknesses of
the NCP. Instead of stumbling toward elections in political
stasis or pursuing a course of action that could result in a
unilateral declaration of independence for Southern Sudan,
Taye said that the UN was encouraging the SPLM to look
forward in their own self-interest rather than "complaining
to the international community" that CPA implementation has
stalled. S/E Natsios said that there had been improvements
in Southern Sudan since the signing of the CPA, even if
development was slow. He described a proposal for enhancing
CPA implementation that he had broached with both SPLM and
NCP officials and warned of "centrifugal forces" that were
pulling Sudan apart. Referring to the upcoming Darfur peace
negotiations set to begin in Libya, Taye said that an
agreement could be reached quickly with the combination of a
single UN/AU mediator, proper sequencing, and the "right mix
of participants." Within hours of the meeting, the UN Envoy
for Darfur appointed Taye as the UN mediator for the talks.
End summary.

------------------------------
SPLM Needs Three-Year Strategy
------------------------------

2. (SBU) The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is pressing the
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to develop
strategies for the next three years, UN Acting Special
Representative of the Secretary General Taye Brooke-Zerihoun
told S/E Natsios on October 5. Support for the SPLM in the
North is "wide and deep," according to Taye, who said that
the National Congress Party (NCP) needs the SPLM to survive
given the strict competition among the Northern political
parties. However, the SPLM cannot continue to deal with the
NCP in a "static manner" and just "complain" to the
international community, including the UN and the U.S., when
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)
stalls. The SPLM has not taken full advantage of the real
opportunities the CPA provides it on the national stage. The
SPLM should develop policies to empower itself within the
Sudanese Government--"with the UN's help," said Taye.
"They're either in or out of the Government of National Unity
(GNU)," said Taye. He noted that "there was an abundance of
self-righteousness within the SPLM, which was common to
liberation movements."

-----------------
"Flexing Muscles"
-----------------

3. (SBU) Taye called for the SPLM to "flex its muscles" on
national issues. He criticized the SPLM for its complacency
during cabinet meetings, saying that "they have half of the
cabinet posts, regardless of whether (SPLM turncoat) Lam Akol
holds the Foreign Ministry." Taye was confident the SPLM
could gain concessions from the NCP through a sophisticated
political strategy because of the fundamental inequality in
the relationship: While the NCP "never said anything about
Southern issues" (the NCP has essentially "written off" most
of the South, except for the oil areas), the SPLM was
well-placed to intervene in political decisions affecting the
North. By underscoring with the NCP, which Taye
characterized as "threatened," that it needed the SPLM, the
SPLM could exchange political engagement for policies that
would make North/South unity attractive.

----------------------------
Declaration of Independence?
----------------------------

4. (SBU) UNMIS had developed three scenarios to anticipate
the period leading up to and including the elections
scheduled for 2009: 1) A smooth transition, with minor

KHARTOUM 00001581 002 OF 002


"hiccups," to elections that are accepted by both parties, 2)
Continuation of the "status quo" beyond 2011, which would
fail to transform the political dynamic in Sudan, and 3)
Southern Sudan using the 2009 elections to make a unilateral
declaration of independence in violation of the CPA. Taye
inferred that growing support in Southern Sudan for the third
option was naive. The Government of Southern Sudan was
dependent on the oil revenues generated through refineries
and pipelines located in the North. "The SPLM can't walk
away from the NCP," said Taye, underscoring that the SPLM had
never disputed reports in August that it had received 153
million in oil revenues. "The 1.2 billion dollar budget for
the Government of Southern Sudan is better than Ethiopia's,"
he said, referring to his home country.

------------------------------
Improvement if Not Development
------------------------------

5. (SBU) S/E Natsios characterized as inaccurate SPLM claims
that there was no peace dividend following the CPA. He
reported that Blue Nile State Governor Malik Agar was "somber
and brooding," alleging that since the South had gained
nothing after the war it would lose nothing if it returned to
conflict. Few post-conflict countries had access to the
funds that the Government of Southern Sudan now possessed,
said S/E Natsios, and while there may not be widespread
development, improvement was evident throughout the South
compared to his first visit to the region 18 years ago.
"There is no starvation or war for one thing," said S/E
Natsios.

-----------------
Enhancing the CPA
-----------------

6. (SBU) However, the international community needs to take
action to get the CPA back on track, according S/E Natsios.
He reported on his recent discussions with Assistant to the
President Nafie Ali Nafie and State Minister of Foreign
Affairs Samani Al Wasila, during which he presented a
proposal for enhancing CPA implementation (Refs. A and B).
Both Nafie and Wasila agreed that trust between the NCP and
the SPLM had broken down but blamed the situation on the
SPLM. Referencing the possible secession of Southern Sudan,
Nafie made an analogy to a cancer that should be excised.
S/E Natsios expressed concern about the "acceleration of
centrifugal forces that could pull Sudan apart" as violence
simmered in Eastern Sudan and the Nubian areas while conflict
endured in Darfur.

7. (SBU) Taye recalled a conversation he had with the
archbishop of Khartoum during a visit to Sudan in the 1990s.
The Archbishop said that three groups make up the social
fabric in Sudan: 1) Arab Muslims, 2) African non-muslims, and
3) African Muslims. The tendency in Sudan was for the first
two groups to pull the country apart, but according to the
Archbishop, the third group kept the other two tied together.
The NCP recognized this conundrum, which explained its fear
of losing Darfur and other "non-Arab" Muslim areas such as
Nubia, Blue Nile, and the East.

--------------------------------------------- ------
One Darfur Negotiator Equal Quick, Credible Process
--------------------------------------------- ------

8. (SBU) According to Taye, success or failure in the Darfur
peace process hinges on the skill of the negotiator, adding
that the talks scheduled to begin in Libya at the end of
October would lose credibility without a single mediator.
With the "the right mix of participants" and the correct
sequencing, Taye predicted that there could be a quick
agreement. Hold-out rebel leader Abdulwahid al Nur would be
challenged by a credible process followed by a robust public
affairs campaign that was absent after the signing of the
Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). (Note: Per Ref. C, Taye was
subsequently selected to serve as the UN mediator for the
Libya talks after Russia had objected to the selection of UN
SRSG for Georgia Jean Arnault. End note.)

8. (U) S/E Natsios did not have the opportunity to clear this
message prior to departure.
FERNANDEZ

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