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Cablegate: Demarche Request: Arab Donors Conference On Darfur

VZCZCXRO4371
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHGI RUEHKUK RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1585 2821239
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091239Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8785
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001585

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRAZER, AF/SPG, AF/SE NATSIOS
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON, D, NEA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO AU SU UN
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE REQUEST: ARAB DONORS CONFERENCE ON DARFUR

1. (SBU) Note: This cable contains an action request. Please see
para 4. End note. The Arab League, the government of Sudan and other
regional entities are planning an Arab donors conference on Darfur
to be held October 30-31 in Khartoum. Foreign Minister Lam Akol and
presidential advisor Mustafa Osman Ismail are the primary sponsors
on the Sudanese side, and Saudi Arabia is scheduled to co-preside.
In a preparatory committee meeting hosted by the Sudanese MFA in
Khartoum on October 6, organizers advised Sudanese ambassadors in
Arab states to publicize the event through news conferences and
other media. Most Arab countries are expected to send
representatives, as well as the Sudanese Red Crescent and local NGOs
and civil society groups.

2. (SBU) According to Hassan Bargo, one of the conference organizers
and an NCP leader, the conference is intended to promote a political
settlement in Darfur as well as provide humanitarian assistance. ICC
indictee and State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun has
stated that the conference will encourage "resettlement" in Darfur,
claiming in a briefing with the Sudanese Council for Voluntary
Associations (SCOVA) that Darfur is seeing large numbers of
voluntary repatriations.

3. (SBU) Abdul Aziz Sam, director of legal administration in the
Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA), has sharply
criticized the conference, saying that any donor activities must be
coordinated through the TDRA. In a press conference held over the
weekend, Mr. Sam said that in May 2006 Minni Minawi, chairperson of
the TDRA, and Arab League Secretary General Amr Mousa had agreed to
hold an Arab donors conference for humanitarian operations in
Darfur, and that the NCP was now trying to hijack the process. He
feared that any pledges would go "into the mouths of crocodiles" and
not to the people of Darfur.

4. (SBU) Action request: Post requests that AF coordinate with
counterparts in NEA to demarche host governments in Arab States and
make the following points:

-- The U.S. welcomes greater Arab participation in resolving the
conflict in Darfur.

-- The U.S. is not opposed to Arab states sending representatives
to the conference, but cautions them to avoid endorsing a purely
government of Sudan "reconstruction" process that formalizes facts
on the ground, such as ethnic cleansing and land expulsions, at the
expense of Darfur's refugees and IDPs.

-- The U.S. will be closely monitoring the conference, looking at
the amounts of money pledged and the projects and undertakings to
which money is directed.

-- We believe that the TDRA, or even better, multi-lateral agencies
of the UN are more responsible and transparent vehicles for the
solidarity of Arab governments with Darfur.

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