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Cablegate: Splm to Diplomats: Ncp Must Act On Our Demands

VZCZCXRO8119
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1653/01 2971421
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241421Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8919
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001653

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE NATSIOS
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SU
SUBJECT: SPLM TO DIPLOMATS: NCP MUST ACT ON OUR DEMANDS


1. (SBU) Summary: SPLM leaders, principally Deputy Chairman Malik
Agar, told members of the diplomatic community that the SPLM
believed that they had no choice but to suspend ministerial level
participation in the GoNU in order to pressure the NCP to act on
SPLM core issues. The SPLM blamed NCP obstructionist tactics that
undermined progress in implementing the CPA for the SPLM suspension.
The SPLM wants NCP action on SPLM core issues, and to be treated as
equal partners, in order to resolve the situation. End Summary.

SIMMERING INACTION
------------------

2. (SBU) On October 23, Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
leaders, including Deputy Chairman Malik Agar, National Assembly
Deputy Speaker Atem Garang, and Kosti Manibe told members of the
diplomatic community the reasons for the SPLM's ministerial level
suspension of participation in the Government of National Unity
(GoNU).

3. (SBU The situation leading up to the SPLM's action was not one
day in the making, said Malik. He said that even as the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was concluded, as the SPLM
attempted to work within the accords, it became evident that one of
the CPA's weaknesses included no specific mechanism to resolve
issues. Malik said that the SPLM tried to work with the National
Congress Party (NCP) on a host of issues with only "a heap of
resolutions" as a result. "Practically speaking, the letter and the
spirit of the CPA have not been followed."

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
----------------

4. (SBU) Malik said that despite the inaction, "the SPLM continued
to work with the NCP, but meetings were really only PR." He said
that after one and half years, with little movement, the SPLM were
faced with two choices: "continued dialogue until something
happens," or say "enough is enough."

NCP SEEN AS OBSTRUCTIONIST
--------------------------

5. (SBU) As an example of the NCP's method of obstruction, Malik
said that of the eleven CPA commissions, "six of them are not
functioning. They lack either funding, human resources or facilities
in order to conduct their operations." The NCP would claim progress
in fulfilling the CPA with the establishment of eleven commissions,
but we say "yes, but look how they are functioning."

6. (SBU) Malik charged that the NCP has held up progress on a number
of CPA issues. "We asked the NCP two and half months ago to
reshuffle the cabinet, as is the right of the First Vice President,
but they did do not anything. There are only seven laws that have
been enacted. The Attorney General is sitting on the others. In two
National Assembly sessions, nothing has been done. We want the laws
tabled."

7. (SBU) The NCP seems to have "predetermined" how far the CPA
should progress, with significant negative consequences, Malik
asserted. For example, the census must be adequately funded, as
wealth calculations depend on its outcome, which in turns leads to
social development, he said. He added that the census form needs
urgent attention in particular in regards to ethnicity information.
"We have to get the census right the first time, we can't do it
twice."

SELECTED CORE ISSUES MADE UP SPLM DEMANDS
-----------------------------------------

8. (SBU) The SPLM developed a limited list of demands that made up
"selected core issues," said Malik, so that any NCP action would
result in some meaningful progress on these core issues. For
example, he said that the SPLM selected the Abeyi issue as a demand
for its economic importance.

9. (SBU) Malik said that when the SPLM raised an Abeyi compromise
with the NCP, the NCP pretended it was not a problem that needs to
be addressed. "That is when we in the SPLM knew it was a problem
issue for them." He added that to resolve the problem, "the SPLM
offered to provide a fixed schedule of payments, from the Abeyi oil
revenues, so whether the South secedes or not, the north gets a
share. But they repeatedly declined to discuss the issue."

10. (SBU) As for oil revenue transparency, Malik conceded that the
south does get 50 percent of the oil revenues, but "no one knows
what constitutes the 100 percent. We want to see the number of
barrels, have access to information such as recovery costs. We have
eyes, but there is a lack of NCP political will to share the
information."


KHARTOUM 00001653 002 OF 002


MALIK: WE WANT TO BE EQUAL PARTNERS
-----------------------------------

11. (SBU) Malik said he remained committed to the implementation of
the CPA and to the NCP-SPLM partnership, "but as equal partners."
As for secession, Malik denied that the SPLM acted as a possible
pretext for a premature separation. "No one is looking for a
premature separation, what we want is implementation of the CPA."

NEXT STEPS: MORE AGGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL ACTION
--------------------------------------------- ---

12. (SBU) Asked about next steps, Manibe said that the SPLM cannot
implement the CPA alone. He appealed to the diplomatic community to
be more aggressive in their involvement, particularly in the
Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC). He said that the NCP
has a "phobia" about third parties, adding without the involvement
of the international community, there is no other way other than a
return to conflict.

13. (SBU) Manibe said that the AEC is supposed to be an independent
body. However, "some Sudanese have terrorized the foreigners, with
the result that some of the foreigners act as if they are not full
members." This reduces the commission to two parties, who are
incapable of moving things forward, said Manibe.

NCP MUST ACT ON OUR DEMANDS BEFORE WE RETURN TO THE CABINET
--------------------------------------------- ---------

14. (SBU) Asked what it would take for the ministers to return to
the cabinet, the SPLM leaders responded that, "All of the issues
have been talked to death. We need to see action." Malik said that
the SPLM actions are changeable but the SPLM ministers will not go
back unless something happens.

CLASHES SO FAR ARE LOCALIZED AND CONTAINED
------------------------------------------

15. (SBU) Manibe said that there have been clashes between SAF and
SPLA forces but so far they have been localized and contained. "In
these instances, we did not instruct our forces to take action, but
the clashes could obviously lead to more incidents," said Manibe. He
stressed that these localized incidents are "not a declaration of
war." Atem Garang added, "We can not think of war, as there is no
benefit to us."

16. (SBU) Malik added,"we will try to control our soldiers, but our
control has its limitations. For generals on the ground, protection
of their men is paramount. We will do our best not to go to war."


POSSIBLE OPENING
----------------

17. (SBU) Deputy Speaker Atem Garang said, "The SPLM was thinking of
not attending the October 23 opening session of the National
Assembly, but we attended the session to hear the President's
speech." If he was serious about implementing the CPA he would form
a committee of the GoNU to look into resolving the current
situation, said Garang.

18. (SBU) Note: Shortly before the end of the meeting, SPLM Deputy
Secretary General Yasir Arman arrived and commented on the recent

SIPDIS
SPLM sponsored conference in Juba saying that more work needs to be
done with the Darfur rebels movement. End Note.

19. (SBU) Comment: The SPLM's frustration with NCP obstructions and
inaction was evident during the course of this two hour long meeting
attended by representatives from the U.S., Canada, Norway, the EU,
and Italy. Based on this meeting, the SPLM appears resolved to
suspend participation in the GoNU until the SPLM acts. While the
discussion of potential clashes between SPLA and SAF seems ominous,
the tone was sober and matter-of-fact. Malik summed up the possible
recourse to a return to open conflict, "We were warriors, now we are
politicians." Post takes heart in the discussion about possible
openings that NCP might take advantage of to resolve the situation.


POWERS

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