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Cablegate: French in Chad See Improved Climate for Chad-Sudan

VZCZCXRO3044
OO RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0401 2591701
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161701Z SEP 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7236
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000401

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C, 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: PREL PGOV PREF SU LY QA FR MARR CD
SUBJECT: FRENCH IN CHAD SEE IMPROVED CLIMATE FOR CHAD-SUDAN
RAPPROCHEMENT

REF: NDJAMENA 399

---------------
FRENCH OPTIMISM
---------------

1. (SBU) French Ambassador Bruno Foucher, who returned last
week from nearly two months in France, told me September 15
that he saw more indications of willingness to normalize
Chad-Sudan relations on both sides of the border than he had
before he left N'Djamena in mid-July.

-----------
REASONS WHY
-----------

2. (SBU) Foucher admitted that he was tending toward a
relatively optimistic view of the prospects for rapprochement
between Chad and Sudan. Among the elements he cited in
support of such a view were:

-- Senior-level talks on normalization of relations between
the two countries at the AU Summit in Tripoli on the margins
of AU meetings there in late August/early September.

-- At least a slight "softened tone of discourse" on both
sides.

-- In Tripoli, Sudan's proposal, and Chad's acceptance, of a
high-level delegation from GOS to Chad (to be led by Razi
Saladdin).

-- GOC confirmation that it supported renewal of the Dakar
Accord Contact Group process, and Chad's willingness to
attend a Contact Group meeting in Khartoum if and when the
GOS isued invitations.

-- Plans to relocate the Oure Cassoni refugee camp, the main
one frequented by JEM, to a site some 30 kilometers north and
west of Bahai town and thus further away from the porous
border. (These plans were given impetus by Deby,s visit to
Oure Cassoni camp last month. If implemented, such a move
would make life in Chad harder for JEM and could be a step in
a larger Deby plan to "arranger l,affaire du JEM" in Chad.)

-- Recent travel by Infrastructure Minister Younousmi (who is
very close to Deby) to Egypt, where he told Mubarack that
Chad was tired of its struggle with Sudan and sincerely
wanted better relations with Khartoum.

-------
COMMENT
-------

3. (SBU) The French are of course generally bullish on Chad
and the GOC, but Foucher is the best-informed ambaassador
here and not given to hyperbole or exhuberant optimism. We
agree generally that there are indications of the possibility
of progress in Chad-Sudan relations, especially after our
conversation with FORMIN Faki this morning (Reftel), which
confirmed important elements of Foucher's picture.

4. (SBU) We believe that Chad and Deby have an interest in a
stable Darfur that would not provide safe haven for Chad
rebels. We believe further that harboring JEM on Chadian
soil is at best a mixed blessing for the GOC and for Deby,
and that relations with JEM are now as much a concern as a
solace for the GoC. We judge that Deby would be willing to
trade in his current relations with JEM for a stable,
Chad-rebel-free Darfur. The GOC says that it has "pressed"
and "pressured" JEM to seek a political solution to the
Darfur crisis and to be more tractable with mediators, other
Darfur players, and the GOS. The relocation of Oure Cassoni
camp could be a Deby quid aimed at securing Khartoum's quo to
end its support for Chad rebels in Sudan.

5. (U) Minimize considered.
NIGRO

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