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Cablegate: Chad's National Mediator On a Roll: Goukouni, Soubiane

VZCZCXRO0708
OO RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0355/01 2371626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251626Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7184
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 000355

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/S AND S/USSES
NSC FOR GAVIN
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - BAIN AND KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PINR SU LY CD
SUBJECT: CHAD'S NATIONAL MEDIATOR ON A ROLL: GOUKOUNI, SOUBIANE
RETURN TO CHAD, OTHERS WOOED.

REF: (A) NDJAMENA 353, (B) NDJAMENA 343,
C) NDJAMENA 306, (D) 2008 NDJAMENA 274

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Chad's National Mediator Abderamane Moussa told Ambassador
and visiting SFRC Staffdel August 24 that the GOC was fully
committed to national reconciliation with Chad rebels and to
facilitating similar reconciliation in Darfur. Moussa described his
role in bringing ex-rebel Ahmat Soubiane and ex-President and
long-time opposition figure Goukouni Oueddei back to Chad recently;
detailed other recent defections from rebel ranks and projected
optimism regarding future defections from the Chad rebels in Sudan.
He also noted apparently successful ongoing talks between JEM and
Sudanese government officials in Tripoli; implicitly validated the
positive role the Libyans were playing in trying to end the
Chad-Sudan proxy war and normalize Chad-Sudan relations; and
speculated that either Salah Ghosh was paying politically either for
having played his "American card" -- claiming that he could win
major concessions from the USG by offering counter-terrorism
cooperation, while seeking immunity for himself from future ICC
action regarding Darfur; or for his failure to direct the Chad
rebels to victory over Deby's forces and replace him with a
Khartoum-friendly regime.

2. (SBU) Moussa projected pride in past accomplishments and
confidence in his and the GOC's ability to make further inroads into
the rebellion and consolidate national reconciliation throughout our
meeting. An ethnic Kanembou from the southern edge of Chad's far
north, Abderaman Moussa has been an insider in Chadian politics
since the 1970s. He has been Ambassador to Sudan twice, serving a
total of seven years in Khartoum. He has held high office
continually under Deby since 1991: Ambassador to Nigeria; Mayor of
N'Djamena; Interior Minister; Minister of Territorial
Administration; Director of National Intelligence; and Presidential
Counselor for Public Security and Military Affairs. National
Mediator since March 2007, Moussa remains close to Deby, who relies
on his loyalty and experience for advice and for sensitive missions
inside and outside Chad. END SUMMARY.

-----------------
NATIONAL MEDIATOR
ABDERAMAN MOUSSA
-----------------

3. (SBU) Chad's National Mediator Abderamane Moussa told Ambassador
and visiting SFRC Staffdel August 24 that the GOC was fully
committed to national reconciliation with Chad rebels and to
facilitating similar reconciliation in Darfur. Moussa described his
role in bringing ex-rebel Ahmat Soubiane and ex-President and
long-time opposition figure Goukouni Oueddei back to Chad recently.

4. (SBU) Regarding Soubiane (Ref B), Moussa confirmed that after
his return to Chad last month, Soubiane traveled to Sudan to prepare
for his mostly Arab troops' reentry into Chad, then went again to
Tripoli to sign an accord with the GOC governing his final return,
including some 57 vehicles that he is prepared to hand over to the
GOC. Chad rebel die-hards Timan Erdimi and Mahamat Nouri, however,
feared the impact of Soubiane's actions, complained to the Sudanese
that there was the danger all the rebel fighters would follow
Soubiane back into Chad from Sudan. As a result, Sudan seems to be
blocking Soubiane's final effort to get his troops safely and
peacefully across the border. So Soubiane had sent representatives
to the Chad-Sudan border to facilitate the return of his troops.

-----------------
THE GOUKOUNI CARD
-----------------

5. (SBU) Regarding Goukouni (Ref A), Moussa said that he had been
instrumental in the ex-President's apparently permanent return,
having personally traveled from Algiers with Goukouni. Moussa
accompanied Goukouni to the latter's ethnic homeland in extreme
northwest Tibesti, where the latter delivered a clear message to his
fellow Teda/Toubou clansmen that they must desist from opposition to
the Deby regime and join in efforts to develop the country, rather
than dividing it. (NOTE: The Teda/Toubou-based armed opposition
group, the MDJT, long has been losing support and effectiveness, but
was still viable enough to be able to hold an AMCIT hostage in the

NDJAMENA 00000355 002 OF 003


Tibesti in 2007-2008. END NOTE.)

----------------
MORE DEFECTIONS
FROM REBEL RANKS
----------------

6. (SBU) Moussa mentioned other recent defections from rebel ranks.
He said that two Paris-based and ethnically Kreda members of
Mahamat Nouri's UFDD had come back to Chad in recent weeks. He
asserted that numbers of (not better identified) southern rebels who
had been operating along and across the Chad-CAR border had also
come back to Chad recently. Moussa claimed as well that he was in
contact with former national trade union federation leader, Djibrine
Assali, who fled Chad last year after being suspected of involvement
in the "Mahdi Movement," a millennial and violent religious cult
that was suppressed with great force by government security forces
in March 2008 (Ref D).

--------------
NOTE TO PARA 6
--------------

7. (SBU) NOTE: The Kreda are branch of the broader Gorane ethnic
group to which the Teda/Toubou also belong. The southern rebels
Moussa cited may be associated with the long-lived but relatively
low-intensity rebel movement led by Djibrine Dassert, a former Deby
Defence Ministry official. END NOTE.

8. (SBU) Besides the more prominent returnees like Soubiane and
Goukouni, Moussa claimed that some 5,000 rank-and-file rebels had
returned to Chad since last year. He admitted however that some of
them had returned only to go back to Sudan and to the rebellion,
while others "made a habit and a business" by defecting multiple
times, taking advantage of both the GOC and the rebel chiefs.

9. (SBU) Moussa said that the extent of the Deby regime's
"open-hand policy" toward rebels was "absolute:" Any Chadian who
laid down arms and sought to return would be received, pardoned or
amnestied, and allowed to return to normal life. "There will be no
punishment, no humiliations," he said, "for returned rebels just on
account of having been in the rebellion, despite the fact that they
had been responsible for the deaths of Chadian soldiers defending
their homeland." But those who had committed "common crimes" might
face the justice system.

10. (SBU) Moussa complained, however, that the additional demands
of many of the returning rebels were unrealistic. Some who had
finished their education wanted a high-level ministerial post or
even a seat in the National Assembly, which is an elected body.
Some rebels who had deserted from the Chadian military wanted to
reintegrate as colonel or general officers, to keep up with their
contemporaries who had remained loyal. Moussa declared that Chad
needed more teachers and doctors and agricultural specialists -- but
not more senior administrators or senior military officers. Moussa
sniffed that some rebels even wanted GOC reimbursement for the
supplies and weapons they had bought to arm and equip themselves to
fight against the GOC.

---------------------
JEM, SUDAN, AND LIBYA
---------------------

11. (SBU) Moussa noted with satisfaction what he described as
apparently successful ongoing talks between JEM and Sudanese
government officials in Tripoli. He implicitly credited the
positive role the Libyans were playing in trying to end the
Chad-Sudan proxy war and normalize Chad-Sudan relations. He
speculated that recently removed NISS chief Salah Ghosh was paying
politically for having played his "American card" -- claiming that
he could win major concessions from the USG by offering
counter-terrorism cooperation, while seeking immunity for himself
from future ICC action regarding Darfur. Moussa also offered the
possibility that Ghosh's failure to direct the Chad rebels to
victory over Deby's forces and replace him with a Khartoum-friendly
regime was behind his removal.

--------------------
A DEBY "CONSIGLIERE"
--------------------


NDJAMENA 00000355 003 OF 003


12. (SBU) Moussa projected pride in past accomplishments and
confidence in his and the GOC's ability to make further inroads into
the rebellion and consolidate national reconciliation throughout our
meeting. An ethnic Kanembou from the southern edge of Chad's far
north, Abderaman Moussa has been an insider in Chadian politics
since the 1960s. He has been Ambassador to Sudan twice, serving a
total of seven years in Khartoum. He has held high office
continually under Deby since 1991: Ambassador to Nigeria; Mayor of
N'Djamena; Interior Minister; Minister of Territorial
Administration; Director of National Intelligence; and Presidential
Counselor for Public Security and Military Affairs. National
Mediator since March 2007, Moussa remains close to Deby, who relies
on his loyalty and experience for advice and for sensitive missions
inside and outside Chad.

13. (U) Minimize considered.

NIGRO

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