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Cablegate: Juba/Darfur: Convergance Continues, Now with the Janjaweed

VZCZCXRO3856
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1919 3390706
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050706Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9446
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001919

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/E NATSIOS AND AF/SPG
DEPARTMENT PASS NSC FOR HUDSON AND PITTMAN
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: JUBA/DARFUR: CONVERGANCE CONTINUES, NOW WITH THE JANJAWEED

1. (SBU) SPLM Darfur Taskforce Member (DTF) Edward Lino informed
ConGen PolOff that Musa Hilal will be arriving in Juba on December
5. Expected to spend at least two days in the South's capital, the
Janjaweed leader will be meeting with a cross-section of
newly-consolidated Darfur rebel movements and have separate
discussions with the Taskforce. Possible discussions with
Government of Southern Sudan officials are on hold pending the
interaction between Hilal and the United Resistance Front and Sudan
Liberation Movement. Lino termed the talks "a constructive dialogue
focused on the future," and plans on encouraging the United Nations
and African Union to delay movement of rebel groups back to Darfur
(planned for later this week) until discussions with Hilal have
concluded.

2. (SBU) Hilal contacted DTF Chairman Clement Janda about the
possibility of traveling to Juba in early November following
positive readouts from the first round of consolidation talks.
Janda emphasized that Hilal was free to travel throughout Sudan, and
that he would be "welcomed to Juba with open arms if he came in the
name of peace." DTF members broached possibility of a
Hilal-Movements meeting with rebel representatives last week. Lino
maintains no one has objected to such a meeting to date. "This is
how things happen in Sudan - we can be very open when we remain true
to our roots. Musa is still very much a tribesman. He has given his
word that he will be open to dialogue, and I believe he will keep
it."

3. (SBU) Following Hilal's visit to Juba, Taskforce members will
accompany URF and SLM members back to Darfur to observe their
briefings to field commanders, emphasize the importance of
unification, and secure SLM-Unity's agreement to include itself in
further consolidation talks in Juba. Lino anticipates a return to
Juba approximately ten days after his Darfur deployment to renew
smaller-level talks between URF, SLM, and SLM-Unity dedicated to
selecting a negotiating team and issues-platform for the Sirte
Process. Lino optimistically spoke of utilizing the outcome Hilal's
visit as an important foundation for a future Darfur-Darfur Dialogue
and Consultation, and ensuring that any agreement entered into in
Libya had broad-based support.

4. (SBU) Comment: The relative success of the SPLM's Darfur rebel
reunification process has reached another milestone with Musa
Hilal's visit. Long notorious as the best known of the feared
Janjaweed, Hilal (and many Darfur Arab tribal leaders) is reportedly
concerned about being made the convenient scapegoat for Khartoum's
bloody policies in Darfur. The SPLM's continued engagement on this
issue will continue to raise hackles among National Congress Party
(NCP) leaders who fear "convergence" of the two major challenges
they face, Darfur and CPA, most of all. End comment.
FERNANDEZ

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