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Cablegate: Free From Khalil Ibrahim, Jem/Cl Optimistic On Pact With

VZCZCXRO3852
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1918 3390659
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050659Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9445
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0262
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001918

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF S/E NATSIOS, AF/SPG
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL UN AU SU
SUBJECT: FREE FROM KHALIL IBRAHIM, JEM/CL OPTIMISTIC ON PACT WITH
SLA/UNITY

REF: KHARTOUM 01889

------------------------
"Dictator" Is a Dead End
------------------------

1. (SBU) Characterizing Khalil Ibrahim as a "dictator" unable and
unwilling to lead his movement to productive peace negotiations, the
Justice and Equality Movement/Collective Leadership (JEM/CL) claims
that its strength increases daily as Ibrahim's supporters realize
his course is a dead-end. Six JEM/CL commanders in El Fasher told
Poloff on December 3 that even Suleiman Jamous has broken ties with
long-time political ally Ibrahim because of his short-sighted and
megalomaniacal approach.

2. (SBU) With his military strength waning, "Dr. Khalil's friends in
Khartoum will not even come and fight with him," said JEM/CL
commander Abdulsalam Khitir, in a reference to Popular Congress
Party (PCP) leader Hassan Al Turabi. In addition, the
diaspora--which has been JEM's financial, organizational, and
intellectual base--has recognized Ibrahim as a spent force, the
commanders claimed. The critical "London Bureau" issued a statement
in recent days backing JEM/CL leader Bahar Idriss Abu Gharda,
Ibrahim's former Secretary General. They did not object to
Ibrahim's inclusion in eventual negotiations but called him
"irrelevant to peace."

----------------------------
Field Consultations to Begin
----------------------------

3. (SBU) The UN/AU plan to airlift 44 JEM/CL representatives from
Juba to field locations in Darfur on December 6, spokesman Tajedinne
Niam told Poloff by phone on December 4. Abu Gharda, who is in
N'djamena, and other JEM/CL partisans will join them. They will
then launch the final round of field consultations with the Sudan
Liberation Army (SLA)/Unity to forge an alliance. JEM/CL has
delivered a request to the UN and AU to facilitate transportation
for representatives from key foreign governments, including the
U.S., to observe the consultations. "We want this to be
transparent," said Niam. "We don't want to hide anything, and we
want you (the U.S.) to have a real chance to observe events and
witness the unification process."

-------------------------------
Differing Accounts on SLA/Unity
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) JEM/CL accounts differ, however, on SLA/Unity's internal
cohesion and its effect on a possible alliance. The JEM/CL
commanders in El Fasher reported that the experienced Jamous--who is
at least 30 years senior to the majority of the rebel field
commanders--enjoys broad popularity among both SLA/Unity and JEM/CL
while Abdullah Yehia and Sharif Harir--who control other elements
within SLA/Unity--remain weak (reftel). (Note: Discussion with
SLA/Unity representatives will be reported septel. End note.)

5. (SBU) By contrast, Niam said that while Jamous and Sharif had
"different influences" on the field, Yehia "seemed to be holding the
movement together." He predicted that "the whole" of SLA/Unity
would unify with the United Resistance Front (URF) under a
memorandum of understanding. "SLA/Unity will rule out an alliance
with Khalil, so their only alternative is us," explained Niam.
(Note: The URF is an umbrella group of rebel movements formed in
Juba that consists of JEM/CL and several more minor factions. While
it includes some Arab members, the JEM/CL commanders in El Fasher
were firm that they are untrustworthy because "they go back and
forth to the Government." End note.)

6. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

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