Search

 

Cablegate: Fur Shura Council Calls for Idp Self-Defense

VZCZCXRO7342
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1639/01 3151120
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101120Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2272
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001639

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: FUR SHURA COUNCIL CALLS FOR IDP SELF-DEFENSE

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1365
B) KHARTOUM 1632

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On November 9, leaders of the Fur Shura Council
(FSC) told CDA Fernandez that Darfur's IDPs need community police
units consisting of IDPs themselves. These FSC representatives also
criticized the Sudan People's Initiative, called for one region for
all of Darfur, urged US eventual development assistance for
returnees, and insisted on the right for IDPs to return to their
original homelands. SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) The following members of the Fur Shura Council (FSC),
representing the traditional leadership of Darfur's largest tribe
(and greatest victim in the Darfur crisis) visited CDA Fernandez at
the U.S. Embassy on November 9:

- Dr. Idris Yousif, Secretary General of the FSC
- Mr. Amin Mahmud, Deputy Secretary General
- Salah Al-Din Muhammad Rijal, Fur Maqdoom in Nyala
- Abd Al Majid Ibrahim
- Abd Al Gadir Mansour

(Note: CDA Fernandez last met with the FSC on September 4, 2008,
reftel A. The FSC includes a number of representatives from some
tribes that have been historically very close to the Fur such as the
Tunjur, Birgid and Dajo. Many of Sudan's larger tribes have these
"consultative" or Shura Councils to provide a voice for the tribe in
the capital and to press their views. The Fur Shura Council has
generally been close to the views of exile SLM leader Abdul Wahid
Nur, although it is not in lock-step with him. End Note.)

3. (SBU) Salah Al-Din Muhammad Rijal opened the meeting by
expressing congratulations for President-elect Obama and passing a
letter to be delivered to him. reftel B). Rijal added that the
election of the U.S.'s first African American President is very
significant. He also expressed appreciation for President Bush's
efforts in Sudan, noting that American policy and practical steps to
help the people of Darfur are appreciated in Darfur's IDP camps.

SUDAN PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. (SBU) All of the FSC representatives agreed that the real
people of Darfur were not adequately represented in the Sudan
People's Initiative (SPI). Yousif said that even before the
consultations and meetings had taken place, the National Congress
Party had already "cooked" the outcome of the initiative. FSC
representatives also bellowed with laughter over the comment: "and
unfortunately the cooking has not been delicious." They noted that
while SPI was mostly a "propaganda exercise," the United States had
treated it in exactly the right way, "by focusing on deeds and not
words." They expressed fear that the regime will continue to focus
on process, with the SPI and with the upcoming Doha talks, and that
some countries and even some rebel movements will be, at least
temporarily, distracted by the show.

ONE REGION, DEVELOPMENT, AND LAND RIGHTS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) Yousif emphasized that the FSC firmly believes that
Darfur needs to become one single region. Even if a stooge of the
NCP or an enemy of the Fur leads this united region, the people of
Darfur "will be able to sort out their own problems by themselves,"
even with the Khartoum-supported Arab tribes of Darfur which make up
the janjaweed. Yousif added that Darfur needs rapid re-development
because destroyed villages must be rebuilt before the voluntary
return of IDPs. Mansour added that the removal of Arab settlers
from West Africa from land previously occupied by the Fur must
precede any such IDP return. He also argued that the people of
Darfur need to return to the "hakura" system (traditional tribal
land grant). Yousif stated that both individual and collective
compensation are also important to peace in Darfur.

COMMUNITY POLICING
- - - - - - - - - - -
6. (SBU) FSC representatives maintained that the creation of
community police units would greatly aid security in Darfur.
Although security has improved in some of the IDP camps (such as
sprawling and volatile Kalma IDP camp in Nyala, South Darfur, where
a Bangladeshi Polic Unit began a 24 hour presence in September 2008)
UNAMID and the international community should help train IDPs as
police officers and provide oversight to this program, as UNAMID
will not be able to provide security in Darfur forever, stated
Yousif. CDA Fernandez commented that some observers may see this as
creating an IDP militia, to which Mansour responded, "perhaps, but
this is the only way to ensure protection for Darfur's IDPs, as the
Arabs are the only ones with weapons." CDA Fernandez suggested that

KHARTOUM 00001639 002 OF 002


the establishment of joint integrated police units and community
police should be explored for Darfur despite the many technical,
political, and logistical challenges facing this endeavor. Ibrahim
went further, arguing that after a new peace agreement, Darfur's
rebel movements should provide security to IDPs. FSC
representatives ended the meeting by expressing the hope that the
international community, especially the United States, will play an
even more prominent role in Darfur in the coming weeks.

COMMENT
- - - - -
7. (SBU) The Fur Shura Council based in Khartoum is friendly,
likeable, and overtly pro-American. (While exiting the Embassy, the
FSC even requested a picture with the CDA at their next meeting,
sang the praises of American democracy, and again thanked the U.S.
for its involvement in Sudan.) Their concept of community policing
is important and worth exploring, even though it may be premature at
this point. UNAMID hopes to build community police centers in
Darfur, although the timeline for completion for the centers is
months (and possibly even years) away. It is not clear whether IDPs
will be able to police themselves through these centers. Post will
continue to follow up with UNAMID's FPU leadership. Certainly,
giving those people in Darfur who have suffered the most a way to
defend themselves is an obvious no-brainer, but would be a bitter
pill for the ruling NCP to swallow as it could lead eventually to
the end of Khartoum's rule in Darfur. It is inconceivable that these
IDP police could be trained by Sudanese police, which in Darfur is
heavily infiltrated by former Arab militias, as are most regular
paramilitary forces in the troubled region.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Refugee Resettlement Numbers Fall To Lowest In Two Decades

Refugee resettlement numbers will be at a “record low” this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday, with only 15,425 people resettled in the first nine months of 2020, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. In 2016, resettlement ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>

OECD: GDP Rebounded By 9.0% In The Third Quarter Of 2020 But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic High

Following the unprecedented falls in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures, GDP in the OECD area rebounded by 9.0% in the third quarter of 2020 but it remains 4.3% below its pre-crisis ... More>>