Search

 

Cablegate: Nyala Maqdum Denies Janjaweed Turncoat Trend

VZCZCXRO2372
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1886/01 3341108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301108Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9382
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001886

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: NYALA MAQDUM DENIES JANJAWEED TURNCOAT TREND

REF: KHARTOUM 1845

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In a November 29 meeting with FieldOff, the
Maqdum (traditional viceroy of the Fur) of Nyala, Ahmed Rajal,
denied reports that members of the janjaweed in Darfur were
deserting their traditional benefactor, the Government of Sudan
(GoS), in favor of rebel movements, as reported reftel. The Maqdum,
himself a Fur, was unrelenting in his criticism of the GoS in all
aspects of its Darfur agenda, from using the United Nations Security
Council as its proxy, to undermining traditional mechanisms aimed at
tribal reconciliation, to its plan to divide Kalma IDPs against
themselves. The Maqdum insisted that the venue for future peace
talks be changed and that the UN and African Union make a greater
effort to reach out to the disparate rebel groups and factions. On
the idea of one political figure emerging to bring peace to Darfur,
the Maqdum declared that the IDPs "do not care who it is, just as
long as he brings peace." END SUMMARY.

"REAL JANJAWEED WILL NEVER LEAVE THE GOVERNMENT"
----------------------------------
2. (SBU) In a November 29 meeting with FieldOff, the Nyala Maqdum,
accompanied by his General-Secretary and Legal Advisor, flatly
denied rumors currently circulating around Darfur of defections by
the janjaweed from their GoS supply source to rebel movement ranks,
as reported reftel. Instead, the Maqdum attributed the reported
trend to GoS conspiracy, stating that the GoS was laboring to split
its janjaweed element in two: those Arabs who could infiltrate the
rebel groups as "spies" pretending to be rebels, and those Arab
tribes who would remain loyal to the GoS to do its dirty work in
destabilizing Darfur. "All Arab tribes," the very suspicious and
embittered Maqdum declared, "want to destabilize Darfur."

3. (SBU) The Maqdum and his advisors considered that the GoS was
doing the same thing in trying to divide and conquer the IDPs, using
recent events in Kalma as an example. "Arms in Kalma aren't the
issue," the Maqdum said, "it's the IDPs themselves and what they
represent that are the biggest problem for the Government." He
blamed the recent escalation in carjackings and attacks on INGOs on
the GoS, which he claimed was flooding Nyala Town with its vehicles
at night to terrorize aid organizations in a concerted attempt to
cut off provision of assistance to the IDPs.

4. (SBU) The Maqdum went on to talk about a similar GoS strategy
with regard to "resolving" the traditional tribal clashes over land
that continued to plague South Darfur, including those between the
Arab Habaniya and Salamat tribes. He explained that in such cases
here again the GoS was working to undermine established mechanisms
historically tasked to reconcile such disputes. He cited as an
example the GoS' creation "in name only" of a consultative body that
was intended to usurp conflict resolution responsibilities from the
Darfur Council, which typically handles these types of disputes, on
issues between the Zaghawa, Miseriya and Berti tribes.

DARFUR NEEDS PEACE, NOT PERSONALITY
-----------------------------------
5. (SBU) The Maqdum and his advisors made clear that so profound was
the "disappointment" among Darfur populations on the ground over
rounds of failed efforts to effect a tangible peace in Darfur that
the IDPs no longer looked to any one person to do what now seems the
impossible. "The IDPs don't care who it is who brings peace and
stability," the Maqdum explained, "whether it's Abdelwahid or Khalil
Ibrahim or Abdelshafie, just as long as he actually brings it
[peace]." (Note: Though the Magdoum may downplay Abdulwahid's
influence, his comments may be wishful thinking. The vast majority
of independent sources indicate that Abdulwahid continues to loom
large, framing the debate on both the peacekeeping force and the
political process, particularly among Fur IDPs.)

6. (SBU) On the Darfur peace process, the Maqdum and his advisors
described their stay in Juba while factions of the Sudan Liberation
Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) had united
from 17 factions into two, according to the Maqdum. He added that
he had consulted with six of SLA leader Abdelwahid's advisors in
Nairobi (as well as with one of Abdelwhaid's wives) at the same
time, with those reps dismissing Juba prospects, as they considered
the factions present there as unrepresentative of the movements.
The Maqdum disagreed, saying that the Juba participants command
significant forces on the ground in Darfur, which affords them
credibility in Juba. (Note: Credible UN/AU and USG reporting
indicate that with the exception of the JEM/Collective Leadership,
none of the groups that participated in the Juba unification
meetings maintain a significant military presence on the ground.)

7. (SBU) As for Abdelwahid himself, the Maqdum said that he had
refused to see the Maqdum and his delegation when they tried to
visit him in France in September. The Maqdum called Abdelwahid
"strange" for his contradictory rhetoric on one hand about respect
for a Darfur ceasefire and his refusal to take such rhetoric to

KHARTOUM 00001886 002 OF 002


peace talks on the other. This discrepancy, the Maqdum (like other
Fur leaders lately) noted, was not lost on the IDPs: although
Abdelwahid was in daily phone contact with IDP leaders in Kalma
promising to personally deliver the international forces that would
secure their safety, the IDPs no longer believed him.

IDPs DISAPPOINTED IN UN AS WELL
-------------------------------
8. (SBU) Abdelwahid was not the only source of IDP disillusionment,
according to the Maqdum. He and his advisors looked to the UN as
the silver bullet solution to Darfur troubles and lamented the
inability of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to make good on its
resolutions on Darfur (they cited UNSCR 1706 in particular). While
the Maqdum and his advisors were sensitive to the UNSC dynamics
dictating policymaking on Darfur, they nonetheless advised that the
UN, the Secretary-General in particular, start to "make decisions as
the UN, not as the Sudanese Government's proxy." The Maqdum added
that the UN should also be prepared to assume responsibility for the
influx of non-Sudanese Arab tribes steadily settling in West Darfur,
which he noted again was part of the GoS' Darfur agenda.

9. (SBU) Like other groups on the ground in Darfur, the Maqdum was
losing faith in the ability of the AU-UN mediation team to deliver
viable peace negotiations on Darfur (reftel) and was now regarding
the team as a pawn of the GoS. He cited the same reasons as have
other groups on the ground for this failure: refusal by the AU-UN
mediation to deal with any side other than the GoS and the team's
refusal to change venue for peace talks (the Maqdum recommended
South Africa or Holland).

10. (SBU) COMMENT. The Maqdum's theories reflected the same paranoia
expressed by other rebel movements on the ground about the GoS'
ulterior motives with regard to destabilizing Darfur in the run-up
to deployment of international forces under UNAMID. However,
instead of attempting to support UNAMID as an antidote to what he
perceived as a not-so-hidden GoS agenda, the Maqdum seemed to be
further stoking existing IDP disillusionment and in fact setting the
peacekeeping operation up for failure by touting it and subsequent
UNSC action as the only ways to counter the GoS and bring peace to
Darfur. He did not seem swayed by arguments that a solution for
Darfur must come from a variety of sources, not least from the
groups and tribes on the ground which he represents, and further
targeted UN/AU outreach, especially in Nyala, in this regard is
clearly necessary. END COMMENT.

11. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>