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Cablegate: Cda Meets with Former Defense Minister Fadlalla Burma

VZCZCXRO3222
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1917/01 3381507
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041507Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9443
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001917

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE NATSIOS
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ECON PGOV PREL AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: CDA MEETS WITH FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER FADLALLA BURMA
NASIR

REFERENCE: (A) KHARTOUM 1873

(B) KHARTOUM 1796

1. (SBU) Summary. Former Defense Minister and Umma party adherent
Fadlalla Burma Nasir told CDA Fernandez on December 4 that the
NCP-Umma party dialogue initiated on November 27 might be beneficial
to both sides "if the dialogue is genuine." He said the NCP
recognized that Sudan's international reputation has suffered due to
Darfur. Nasir expressed optimism that the NCP-SPLM impasse could be
resolved, and proposed that to solve the Abyei issue the Messiriya
and Dinka tribes should be permitted to work out the Abyei
demarcation issue themselves. End summary.

NCP-UMMA COOPERATION: BOTH CAN BENEFIT
--------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Asked about the December 3 follow up meeting between
President Bashir and Umma party Chief Sidiq Al-Mahdi (Ref A), Nasir
said, "It's good to have a dialogue, if it is sincere." Nasir
expressed cautious optimism about the outcome. "They have crossed us
before, but this time, if it is genuine, both parties can benefit."
Nasir said that both parties had nominated five representatives and
agreed to promote a national dialogue. "This is not just a
party-to-party effort, but a national one." He said the Umma
party's Al-Mahdi told Bashir that they would go to each meeting
"with our own strategies for the nation." Nasir said the Umma party
is cautious in its dealings with the NCP. We are aware of their
tactics of engaging in meetings and getting agreements, but not
always fulfilling their promises, he said.

3. (SBU) Nasir repeated the often heard Umma call to open up
national politics to others, beyond the NCP and SPLM. "If the NCP
is serious about national politics, they will need to consider
others and not just our two parties," said Nasir. For example, the
government recently released Mubarak Al-Fadel, but what about the
others who were arrested with him, asked Nasir to make a point. "The
National Congress Party (NCP) needs to address human rights and
release all political prisoners." Nasir said that the Umma party
urged Bashir's NCP to "work together to solve national problems that
afflict us both, and not focus exclusively on party problems," and
with a nod to CDA Fernandez, added that Sudan needs to ask how to
better relate internationally as well.

OUR INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION IS BAD BECAUSE OF DARFUR
--------------------------------------------- ------

4. (SBU) Nasir said that Presidental advisor Mustafa Othman Ismail
had noted at the December 3 meeting that "Our international
reputation is bad," because of issues like Darfur and the "teddy
bear incident". The NCP has a big problem dealing with the Darfur
issue because if there is no Sudanese cooperation on Darfur, it
would be hard for the international community to trust Bashir's
Sudanese government, said Nasir. Nasir, a professional soldier,
opined that the offered troops, such as those from the Thailand and
the Gurkhas from Nepal, are professional soldiers, and the GoS
should accept them. As for the problem of the internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs), Nasir commented that the present government needs to
somehow reassure the IDPS (who don't trust the government) to get
them to return to their homes. Asked about Chinese peacekeepers,
Nasir said that westerners have a reputation, such as when they rent
houses, to leave the situation better than they found it. Not so the
Chinese, hg said.( "Tu Chi~g3e ave mnly thinKinw Of#i,, whileQ
wgs|d2jrs@|iyd+8n oth%rn"\oQ}iu%

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