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Cablegate: Fur Mp Pessimistic About Bashir's Promises

VZCZCXRO0190
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1713/01 3311136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261136Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2407
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001713

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG, AF/C
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 MP PESSIMISTIC ABOUT BASHIR'S PROMISES

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On November 22, Abulgasim Seifeldin, an
influential SPLM Member of Parliament from South Darfur, told CDA
Fernandez that he is very pessimistic about the Sudan People's
Initiative (SPI) and President Bashir's promises made at the closing
ceremony of the SPI. Seifeldin also pleaded for more security for
Darfuris, for the creation of one region for all of Darfur, and for
the ICC to run its course with an indictment against President
Bashir. Seifeldin strongly criticized the NCP's co-option of the
Native Administration in Darfur, the GoS's inappropriate adoption of
a traditional reconciliation methods (i.e. payments of blood money)
and Qatari involvement in the peace process. END SUMMARY.

SUDAN PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2. (SBU) Seifeldin, a member of the Fur tribe originally from Jebel
Marra, opened by stating that the Government of Sudan (GoS) wasted
valuable time focusing on the Sudan People's Initiative. (Note:
Seifeldin is also the father-in-law of SLM rebel leader Abdul Wahid
Al-Nur, an individual he publicly disagrees with politically and
avoids discussing. End Note.) According to Seifeldin, the SPI
excluded the real people of Darfur, but included janjaweed and those
responsible for the Darfur conflict. "The presence of the janjaweed
was an insult to Darfur's victims," stated Seifeldin. He dismissed
the promises made in Bashir's closing speech, saying "the GoS has
promised development projects many times before and nothing has come
of it." CDA Fernandez agreed and said that the Sudanese government
has always struggled to follow through on its many peace deals and
implement its commitments.

SECURITY FIRST
- - - - - - - - -
3. (SBU) According to Seifeldin, Darfur has become more militarized
in 2008, and "there is still more death coming to our region."
Seifeldin asserted that UNAMID has not significantly improved
security in Darfur. Many of UNAMID's troops arrive ill-prepared for
their mission in Darfur and are often quickly bought off by the GoS,
stated Seifeldin. Despite Seifeldin's criticism of UNAMID, he
asserted that UNAMID should be responsible for all of Darfur's
security. The GoS military presence around IDP camps scares the
Darfuri civilian population, and "fear is the ultimate goal of this
regime," stated Seifeldin.

NATIVE ADMINISTRATION, BLOOD MONEY, AND ONE REGION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. (SBU) Seifeldin said that the crisis in Darfur and the
Government's actions in the region have totally destroyed the native
administration of the region. According to Seifeldin, the National
Congress Party has "totally co-opted" many of the tribal leaders and
as a result "no one respects the tribal leadership anymore."
Seifeldin said that Bashir's announced reparation or "blood-money"
fund is inappropriate, as conflicting tribes used this traditional
mechanism. "When one party is the government, it is inappropriate
for me as a taxpayer to cover the Government's crimes - this won't
solve the problem and is an insult to all the Sudanese," stated
Seifeldin. He asserted that Darfur was once an autonomous region
and, indeed an independent sultanate until 1916, and that the
Sudanese government needs to respect the peoples' strong sense of
unity and independence. The GoS fears that Darfur will eventually
become independent, should it create one state for the region.
However, preventing one region will only lead to a stronger desire
for secession, stated Seifeldin.

SKEPTICAL OF QATAR, BUT THANKFUL FOR U.S.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) Seifeldin criticized the Arab League's involvement in the
peace process saying, "the Arabs will always support Bashir, and
Qatar will not be different." The Arabs have done "absolutely
nothing" in Darfur, asserted Seifeldin and said that the GoS should
take responsibility for its actions in Darfur rather than blame the
conflict on environmental or tribal factors. Seifeldin also
expressed concern over press reports that the U.K. and France would
accept an Article 16 postponement of an indictment against Bashir,
emphatically responding "thank God" when CDA Fernandez told
Seifeldin the reports were entirely fabricated. Seifeldin ended the
meeting by stating, "The people of Darfur know who has helped them
through this very difficult period and we thank you. The United
States will always be remembered for its good work in Darfur."

COMMENT
- - - -
6. (SBU) Although there was little in Seifeldin's presentation
that we have not heard before, the intensity of his criticism was
remarkable for an acting member of parliament sitting in Khartoum.
Certainly, his criticism was not that different from the comments of
his estranged son-in-law. Seifeldin's views are also quite

KHARTOUM 00001713 002 OF 002


representative of many widespread opinions in Darfur. Despite the
GoS's campaign against the ICC, many (if not most) Darfuris do
support an indictment against Bashir. His other views on the need
for one region, the GoS's deflection of responsibility, the NCP's
co-opting of the native administration, and what he regards as the
absurdity of blood money payments are also very prevalent throughout
Darfur although there is a spectrum of views on these issues by
people of good will throughout Sudan (for example, the subverting of
Darfur's "native administration" long predates the NCP).

FERNANDEZ

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