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Cablegate: Fur Elder Briefs Cda After Meetings with Rebel Leaders

VZCZCXRO4451
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1765 3170833
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130833Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9145
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001765

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL UN AU SU
SUBJECT: FUR ELDER BRIEFS CDA AFTER MEETINGS WITH REBEL LEADERS

1. (SBU) Recently returned to Northern Sudan from visits to Paris,
Juba, Kampala, and Nairobi to meet with Darfur rebel leaders, the
legitimate Maqdoum (literally, "viceroy," one of the traditional
Darfur tribal titles) of the Fur, Ahmed Abdelrahman Rijal, told CDA
Fernandez on November 12 that he is working with the UN and AU to
form an advisory body of IDPs to participate in the second phase of
the Darfur peace process. Disheartened that Sudan Liberation
Movement (SLM) faction leader Abdulwahid al Nur refused to meet with
him in France, Rijal hopes that the advisory body will be a vehicle
for the IDPs to "represent themselves" rather than through
Abdulwahid, who Rijal characterized as "not sound of mind."

2. (SBU) Unification meetings in Juba among five rebel
factions--including SLM/Ahmed Abdul Shafie, SLM/Khamis Abdullah, and
two factions of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)--are
proceeding, according to Rijal. He intimated that he supported
Abdul Shafie as a more viable Fur leader than Abdulwahid. Rijal had
briefed UN and AU officials in Khartoum on the findings of his trip
and had presented his proposal for the formation of the IDP advisory
body to Senior UN Political Advisor Moin Shrim.

3. (SBU) CDA Fernandez was supportive of IDPs "organizing their
voice" and underscored the importance of participating in
negotiations in order to achieve their political aims. He said that
recent meetings between U.S. officials and National Congress Party
(NCP) leaders had demonstrated that the Sudanese Government is
suspicious of a role for the IDPs in the political process and the
UN/AU's role in organizing the process. Rijal acknowledged that he
and several other tribal and civil society representatives were
unable to attend the UN/AU-sponsored meeting in Sirte that began
October 27 due to the Sudanese Government's interference.

4. (SBU) Rijal also attributed ongoing tribal conflicts in South
Darfur--such as those between the Turjum and the Northern
Rizeigat--to NCP manipulation. "They (the tribes) can't even buy
jalabas, so where else are they getting land cruisers and heavy
machine guns (Dshkas)?" he questioned. The Government's unilateral
declaration of a cessation of hostilities at the Sirte meeting still
allows them to deny responsibility for the actions of the Arab
tribes, said Rijal, and the NCP "will play this card indefinitely."
CDA Fernandez suggested that the international community make a
clear public declaration that it will not tolerate the NCP using
Arab violence as an excuse for continued hostilities and will regard
attacks by Arab tribes allied to the government as equivalent to
attacks by their patrons in the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

5. (SBU) Note: S/E Natsios issued a statement in Sirte on November 1
that "the Government must also be held accountable for the actions
of Darfur's Arab tribes or the Arab tribes must be brought directly
into the process and held to the same commitments as the other
parties." Embassy will continue to deliver this message both
publicly and to the GOS directly. End note.

FERNANDEZ

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