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Cablegate: Splm Hosts All Parties Political Conference: Support For

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OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1097/01 2720503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290503Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4476
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001097

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM KPKO SOCI SU
SUBJECT: SPLM HOSTS ALL PARTIES POLITICAL CONFERENCE: SUPPORT FOR
CPA, RESOLUTION OF DARFUR AND CRITICISM OF NCP

1. (U) Summary: After numerous delays and a closed session of the
party delegates to discuss procedural issues on September 26, the
opening session of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
hosted All Parties Political Conference commenced on September 27,
with the conspicuous absence of the National Congress Party (NCP).
Leaders of the key Sudanese political parties finally agreed that
the conference should focus on implementation of peace agreements,
national reconciliation, global economic crisis, democratic
transformation and foreign relations. During the opening session,
leaders criticized the NCP for not attending the conference, called
on the SPLM, NCP and all Sudanese parties to ensure Comprehensive
Peace Agreement (CPA) implementation and focused on the need to
resolve the crisis in Darfur. Delegates will attend separate
breakout sessions on September 28 and the conference will close on
September 29. End Summary.

-------------------------
Delays and more delays...
-------------------------

2. (SBU) After numerous postponements over the past few months, the
diplomatic community again received notice that the SPLM-hosted All
Political Parties Conference was planned for Sept 26-29. SPLM
Deputy Secretary General Anne Itto told us that much of the delay
from earlier dates to the current ones were because the SPLM wanted
to have the NCP in attendance as well as Democratic Unionist Party
(DUP) Leader Al-Mirghani. In the end, the NCP did not attend and
while the DUP did attend, Al-Mirghani did not. Agreement on
procedural issues further delayed the conference from commencing on
Sept 26, when delegates held an internal meeting late into the night
to agree on agenda, observers and procedures for reaching the final
communiqu. The delegates reportedly stated they did not come to
Juba in order to "rubber-stamp" an "SPLM initiative."

----------------------------
"CPA Classic" or "CPA Plus"?
----------------------------

3. (U) In opening remarks, all delegates affirmed their commitment
to the CPA and called for its full implementation. However, there
were divergences of opinion on whether the CPA should be implemented
strictly or modified to create a "CPA plus," to allow Sudanese to
choose confederation as a "third option" in addition to the
CPA-enshrined choices of unity or separation.

4. (U) The Umma National party and Umma-Reform and Renewal,
represented by Saddiq el Mahdi and Mubarak-al-Fadil respectively,
were the lead proponents of the confederation option, while the
SPLM, United Democratic Forum (UDF) and others stressed that the CPA
was not open for re-negotiation.

--------------------------------------------
Impediments to CPA - Can Elections Be Held?
--------------------------------------------

5. (U) Across the political spectrum, all party representatives
cited significant obstacles to full CPA implementation, and in
particular to the holding of elections in April 2010. The
oft-discussed impediments included the disputed census results; the
need to reform or repeal a number of laws which constrain democratic
activities; and the Darfur crisis.

6. (U) Delegates blamed the NCP for placing the elections "in
jeopardy," and several participants stated that resolution of the
above cited impediments should be a pre-condition for elections.
However, few offered an alternative plan of action in the event
these obstacles were not overcome. Hassan-Al-Turabi argued that the
NCP would "yield under pressure" and advocated an elections boycott
if "Darfur is not resolved." At the other end of the spectrum, Hizb
el Haq called for all parties to support the SPLM in the elections
and for Salva Kiir to head the ticket. (Note: Other than the Hizb
el Haq proposal, all other delegates studiously avoided the
appearance of forming an elections alliance against the NCP.
Delegates hewed to the talking point that the conference was meant
to foster national dialogue, not electioneering. End Note.)

---------------------------
Resolution of Darfur Crisis
---------------------------

7. (U) While CPA implementation remained the key focus of the
conference, all leaders expressed their concerns over the crisis in
Darfur and the need for immediate resolution. The Umma party
proffered the most prescriptive proposals for resolving the Darfur
crisis, and averred, diplomatically, that as a member of the

KHARTOUM 00001097 002 OF 002


presidency General Salva Kiir could exercise greater leverage.
Earlier, the SPLM highlighted its efforts to unify the rebel groups
under a common position. All parties underscored that elections
which resulted in the disenfranchisement of millions of Darfuris
would be a recipe for continued conflict.

8. (U) Next Steps: The All Political Parties Conference is set to
conclude on September 29. We understand that participants hope to
agree to a Declaration of Principles leading up to the 2010
elections and 2011 referendum at the conference's conclusion. It is
still unclear whether the NCP will organize a follow-on conference
in Juba as it published earlier.

Asquino

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