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Cablegate: Chad: Jem Explains Arab Alliance and Warns Of

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNJ #0903 3251351
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211351Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5907
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000903

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PARIS AND LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPKO PGOV PHUM CD SU
SUBJECT: CHAD: JEM EXPLAINS ARAB ALLIANCE AND WARNS OF
VIOLENCE

REF: A. NDJAMENA 0784
B. KHARTOUM 1807

1. (SBU) Summary: Representatives of the Khalil Ibrahim-led
wing of the Sudan Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) met
with Emboffs November 19 to announce a new JEM/Arab alliance,
explain the defects of the Sirte meeting and warn of future
armed conflict in Darfur and Kordofan. End summary.

JEM REPORTS NEW ALLIANCE WITH DARFUR ARABS
---------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) In a November 19 meeting with CDA and other
embassy officers, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Chief
Negotiator Ahmed Tugod Lissan (representing the Khalil
Ibrahim wing) reported that recent JEM-led meetings had been
successful on organizational and political fronts. The
meetings brought together a number of Arab communities which
were now willing to become part of the JEM movement. These
Arab groups included the Mahamit, Mahariyya, Habatia
(phonetic), Ireigat and Salamat. No signed document existed,
but talks were ongoing and the groups had indicated that they
were ready for "tribal reconciliation." Lissan explained that
the Arab tribes finally understand that the Government of
Sudan did not respect peace agreements and that it had used
them for their own interests. He stated that the alliance
between Khartoum and the Janjaweed has "collapsed" and that
the Government of Sudan was now seriously in danger of
"losing Darfur." Lissan also asked for U.S. support to visit
New York to express the group's views to the United Nations
Security Council.


FLAWS AT SIRTE
--------------

3. (SBU) Lissan stated that he was in Chad to discuss the
ongoing Sirte negotiations with Chadian authorities (and
explain why JEM/Khalil was not in Sirte.) Lissan stated that
the JEM/Khalil faction would not attend Sirte because - to
their mind - the UN/AU leadership had fallen for the Sudanese
strategy of giving a voice to every group, including those
without any forces on the ground. The groups represented in
Sirte were all creations of the Sudanese government, and the
Libyans had cooperated with the Sudanese in bringing them to
Sirte. Special Envoy Andrew Natsios' invitation for all to
attend had "created a new crisis."

4. (SBU) Lissan reiterated that negotiations needed to be
confined to JEM and well-defined factions of the SLA. Other
would-be players needed to decide which of these groups they
belonged to and return to those groups if they wanted to be
part of the peace process. For the peace process to succeed,
the mediation team needed to focus on the people on the
ground, and sit down with the non-signatories. Lissan
downplayed the rifts in the JEM and ascribed rebel disunity
to Government of Sudan manipulation. Queried as to locations
which he thought propitious for peace talks, Lissan stated
that Libya as a venue could still be acceptable; South Africa
was too far away; Eritrea was out of the question. Lissan
complained that the SPLM meeting in Juba was "like a market"
- everyone was there - including representatives of Mini
Minawi.

VIOLENCE AHEAD
--------------

5. (SBU) Lissan forecast that in the coming weeks or months
there would be "a total change on the ground" in Darfur and a
collapse of relations between the Government of Sudan and the
Janjaweed. Violence would escalate and reach as far as the
Chinese-run oil fields in Kordofan. When asked if UNAMID
would affect circulation of Sudanese rebels, Lissan said he
doubted that the Government of Sudan will ever allow a large
number of troops to come into Darfur. He said that on
November 18, the President of Sudan announced a "jihad"
against the UN Peacekeepers. He also alleged that there were
contacts between the GoS and the AMIS attackers in
Haskanitas.

Comment:

6. (SBU) Lissan's comments on a return to war echo Khalil
Ibrahim's statements in a BBC interview in September. JEM's
position on the key negotiators in the conflict has remained
the same (reftel A). We are not able to comment on a
possible JEM/Arab alliance.
TAMLYN

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