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Cablegate: Un/Au Confront Challenges to Participation In

VZCZCXRO6875
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1648/01 2961134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231134Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8912
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0255
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001648

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: UN/AU CONFRONT CHALLENGES TO PARTICIPATION IN
LIBYA TALKS

REF: KHARTOUM 01646

KHARTOUM 00001648 001.2 OF 002


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

1. (SBU) The UN/AU are confronting myriad challenges in
securing inclusive participation in the upcoming Darfur peace
negotiations, the UN/AU told the Khartoum diplomatic corps on
October 21. The majority of rebel factions have since
announced that they will either abstain from the talks or
attend at a later date. Only Ahmed Diraige, who enjoys
limited popular support and influence over armed elements in
Darfur, and two JEM factions have confirmed their attendance.
While SLM faction leader Abdulwahid Al Nur maintains that he
will not participate in the UN/AU process, many other rebel
movements are demanding more time for discussions to mend
internal rifts prior to the start of talks. In addition,
both the sole signatory to the DPA--the SLM led by Minni
Minawi--and the SPLM are refusing to attend the negotiations
as members of the Government of National Unity's (GNU)
delegation. End summary.

2. (SBU) Briefing the diplomatic community in Khartoum on
October 22, the UN and AU team managing the Darfur peace
process outlined the challenges of ensuring constructive
participation at the upcoming Libya negotiations. "Whatever
happens, we will open the talks on October 27," said Sam
Ibok, co-chair of the joint UN/AU team. Added Moin Shrim,
the senior UN political advisor to the team: "We did the best
to get everyone to Serte, but we must warn that the
challenges are great."

-------------------
Rebel Participation
-------------------

3. (SBU) On October 21, the UN/AU issued invitations to the
following DPA non-signatory factions, according to Ibok: the
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of Khalil Ibrahim, the
JEM of Bahar Abu Gharda and Abdullah Banda, the JEM of Idriss
Azraq, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Unity of Abdulwahid al
Nur, the SLA of Abdullah Yehia, the SLA of Ahmed Abdulshafie,
the SLA of Khamis Abdullah, the National Movement for Reform
and Development (NMRD) of Ahmed Diraige, and the United
Revolutionary Front Force (URFF) of Abu Surra. The UN/AU
issued the invitations to those leaders who could directly
affect the security environment and bring stability by
negotiating a cessation of hostilities, the first item on the
agenda for the talks. The number of invitations issued to
each faction varied based on the movements' internal
leadership dynamics. (Note: UN/AU officials in Khartoum and
Juba admit that the varying number of invitations generated
significant ill will among the movements toward the UN/AU.
End note.)

4. (SBU) "Abdulwahid has a clear position not to come," said
Ibok, adding that some reports indicated that Abdulwahid was
discouraging Fur tribal and IDP representatives from
participating as well. With the exception of Diraige, Ibok
did not confirm the attendance of other rebel movements.
While the UN/AU is attempting to include field commanders in
the negotiations, Ibok explained that they will not be
recognized as equal in status to the political leaders.

5. (SBU) While Ibrahim, Diraige, and Abdulwahid's factions
were present, over 80 representatives of the other rebel
groups had been meeting in Juba under the auspices of the
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for several days,
said Ibok. Despite UN/AU plans to transport them to Libya on
October 23, the rebels requested additional time to prepare
for negotiations before departing for the talks. While the
discussions had been positive, it was doubtful that more time
would result in a unified platform, argued Ibok. However,
his personal view was that the UN/AU could organize further
internal discussions in Libya among the factions. "The
movement's are too fragmented to have reasonable
discussions," acknowledged Ibok.

6. (SBU) (Note: According to ConGen Juba, SPLM interaction
with the Darfur movements has been at the working-level only,
with no policy-level engagement planned from the SPLM
leadership. Based on conversations with UN/AU officials in
Juba, Acting CG reported on October 23 that Ahmed Abdul

KHARTOUM 00001648 002.2 OF 002


Shafie announced that he will not attend the talks and that
while Yehia will participate, he plans to drive to Libya over
the course of several days. Ibrahim confirmed his
attendance. Ibok told Poloff in Khartoum on October 23 that
Abu Gharda and Banda also intend to participate in Libya.
The UN/AU airlift from Juba to Serte is scheduled for 1400
hours local time on October 23. End note.)

------------------------
SLM/Minawi Participation
------------------------

7. (SBU) According to Ibok, the SLM faction led by Senior
Assistant to the President Minni Minawi--the sole signatory
to the DPA--is "strongly opposed" to attending the Libya
talks as a member of the Government of National Unity's (GNU)
delegation, fearing that it would lose credibility in Darfur
through direct association with the National Congress Party
(NCP). The SLM instead proposed that it attend in its
capacity as a signatory to the DPA and act as a facilitator
to bring the hold-out rebel factions to the agreement
(reftel). However, the NCP is "very strong" in asserting
that the SLM attend the talks as a member of the GNU
delegation, said Ibok, which will be led by Presidential
Assistant Nafie Ali Nafie.

------------------
SPLM Participation
------------------

8. (SBU) The UN/AU is "working together" with the SPLM to
define the party's role in the negotiations, explained Ibok,
but differences have emerged within the SPLM on its strategy.
One camp has indicated that it wants to share its
experiences but avoid direct participation. Ibok remarked
that "just passing ideas to the movements will not help" and
that the UN/AU has recommended that the SPLM participate in
the GNU delegation. (Note: ConGen Juba reported on October
23 that, given the current political crisis between the NCP
and the SPLM, the SPLM did not intend to participate in the
GNU delegation to Libya. End note.)

-------------------------------------
International Community Participation
-------------------------------------

9. (SBU) While restating the UN/AU formula that all members
of the "Tripoli Format" are invited to Libya, Ibok said that
the four regional countries (Chad, Eritrea, Libya, and Egypt)
and four non-regional countries would play a special role in
the talks "as envisioned by the Envoys." He provided no
additional details on which non-regional countries would
assume this role nor specifics on the role they would play.

10. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.
POWERS

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