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Cablegate: Rep. Ellison Finds Concern On Cpa Progress, Strong Support

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OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #0951/01 2300412
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180412Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4269
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000951

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER KDEM UNSC SU
SUBJECT: REP. ELLISON FINDS CONCERN ON CPA PROGRESS, STRONG SUPPORT
FOR SECESSION IN JUBA

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: During his August 7-8 visit to Juba, Rep. Keith
Ellison's senior interlocutors in the Government of Southern Sudan
(GOSS) and the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) stressed
the incomplete state of CPA implementation, particularly concerning
border demarcation and preparations for elections and referenda.
They expressed gratitude for continued U.S. support and urged
continued engagement. Officials also sought to draw attention to
the South's accomplishments in the face of major obstacles, and
confirmed that secession in 2011 is a more likely outcome than
unity. END SUMMARY.

Kiir: Too Early to Drop Sudan from
State Sponsors List
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) Rep. Ellison's Southern Sudanese interlocutors consistently
expressed gratitude for American support to the South. Minister for
Regional Cooperation Oyai Deng Ajak expressed strong support for an
additional round of U.S.-facilitated trilateral talks to review
agreements made so far and to push on remaining issues.

3. (SBU) When asked, President Salva Kiir emphasized that it was a
U.S. decision whether to keep Sudan on the U.S. state sponsor of
terrorism list, but he said that his personal opinion was that it
would be premature to drop Sudan from the list. Hamas and Hezbollah
keep offices in Khartoum, Kiir said, and even Osama bin Laden's
cells remain active. He claimed reported Somali refugees currently
arriving in Sudan are connected with Al Shabaab, a hardline Islamic
group tht is fighting the Government of Somalia for control. Kiir
said that he could not provide evidence on the spot, but insisted
that these groups are present, and proposed intelligence sharing
between the United States and the Government of Southern Sudan.

Unity Preferable, But Hopes Dashed;
Referendum Paramount
-----------------------------------

4. (SBU) Kiir and Oyai agreed in separate meetings that any delay or
abrogation of the South's referendum on self-determination would
lead to war. Oyai said that in such a situation, the return to war
might not be driven by government but by "the common man or soldier
in the street." Kiir said that President Bashir had recently
promised him that the referendum bill would be the first on the
National Assembly's agenda when it reconvenes. Oyai noted the
parties' commitment to agree on the contents of the referendum's
implementing statute by September 15, but noted with concern recent
"negative comments" from NCP members.

5. (SBU) Ellison's interlocutors said that the efforts to support a
united, transformed Sudan had been so unsuccessful that unity was
unlikely. Kiir argued that the SPLM had challenged a decades-long
trend of separatist southern thought in adopting a platform of unity
and accepting a six-year interim period in which the people could
"reflect on the past and the present." But the absence of national
development projects in Southern Sudan had caused people to lose
hope in unity, he said. Oyai argued that even "those few"
Southerners who genuinely wanted a united Sudan are changing their
minds.

6. (SBU) Asked whether the South was ready for independence, Kiir
rejected as unjustified reports that Southern Sudan would be a
"pre-failed state." He said that the South has the resources and
ability needed to stand on its own, adding that no one had believed
after John Garang's death that the South would make it this far.

7. (U) Similarly, in a session with senior representatives of the
South Sudan Legislative Assembly, the lawmakers emphasized their
work to establish political, economic and legal frameworks for
development in the south. They noted that they had passed 30 laws,
and were currently studying ways they might reduce the region's
dependence on oil revenues.

North Accused of Continued Interference
---------------------------------------

8. (SBU) Kiir said that Khartoum continues "to recruit and train
militias," and is sending arms and forces into the south. He cited
the case of General Gabriel Tang's provocative return to Malakal as
an example of northern efforts to make the South ungovernable. In
contrast, he argued that the South has fulfilled its security
commitments, including withdrawing forces from Sudan's north and
east, and integrating militias into the SPLA at great financial
cost.

9. (SBU) UN Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande

KHARTOUM 00000951 002 OF 002


noted to Ellison in a later meeting, that the SPLM could request
through one of several CPA-created security bodies that the United
Nations investigate such accusations. Grande said that the SPLM has
never done so, even when specifically made aware of this
possibility.

Border Demarcation Potential Flashpoint
---------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Ellison's interlocutors consistently noted that most of
Sudan's political parties joined them in rejecting the census
results. They recommended a political agreement that avoided using
the results for power- or wealth-sharing. Oyai specifically
identified the 1983 census results as an alternative basis, which he
said would ensure that the South kept at least a 30 percent weight
in power-sharing.

11. (SBU) Kiir, Oyai, and members of the Legislative Assembly raised
border demarcation as a top concern and potential flashpoint. Oyai
said that the SPLM would handle disputes over four critical areas on
the north-south border "responsibly." He and Kiir both noted that
irreconcilable disagreements might need to be resolved "in the
Hague."

Ellison on Darfur, Terrorist Designation, and Bashir
--------------------------------------------- -------

12. (U) During an interview with the UN-funded Miraya FM radio,
Ellison noted that his visit had led him to believe there had been
improvement in conditions in Darfur, but from a terribly low
baseline. He argued that Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of
terrorism should be reviewed based solely on relevant evidence.
Ellison said he was glad that the CPA had emphasized unity, but that
if unity could not be made to work there should be an equitable and
orderly secession. Ellison noted that his fleeting encounter with
President Bashir in Khartoum took place by chance and was unplanned.
He noted that the United States is not party to the Rome Statute,
but said that he would not object to deferring Bashir's arrest
warrant if he facilitated peace implementation.

13. (SBU) COMMENT. Senior SPLM officials continue to discuss
possible solutions to the census dispute that are based on a partial
or flawed understanding of previous census results. Post is not
aware of any census result, for example, that reflects a 30 percent
share for Southerners in Sudan's population. Discussion of
arbitration as a possible solution to intractable north-south border
disputes continues to have wide currency among Southern officials
despite the likely delays it would cause. On one encouraging note,
Minister Oyai repeatedly referenced deadlines set in the
U.S.-brokered trilateral talks, suggesting that the new commitments
emerging from that process have not been forgotten.

WHITEHEAD

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