Cablegate: Sudan: Cairo-Based Fur Leader On Darfur Peace

DE RUEHEG #1888/01 2741421
P 011421Z OCT 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001888



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019

Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Donald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Key Points: -- Yousif Hassan Yousif, Secretary General of the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) United Front and a member of the Fur tribe said the Fur do not believe Sudanese Presidential Advisor Ghazi Salahuddin can make a peace deal. Instead the Fur will be forced to sign an agreement with those in the government "responsible for the atrocities in Darfur." -- Yousif claims to speak regularly with Fur leader Abdel Wahid Al Nur and the two believe it is impossible to sign an accord with a "guilty president" and "guilty government," which "do not recognize Fur rights" or "believe in justice." He advocated negotiations with the Government of National Unity, including SPLM officials, and not only with NCP officials. --Yousif said the Fur do not trust "the Arabs" to be honest brokers, but instead prefer final Darfur peace negotiations be held in the U.S., EU, or an African country such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal or South Africa. -- Yousif advocated that Darfuri representation at peace negotiations be based on the population in the three Darfur states, in which the Fur are a majority, not on the number of militia groups, which favors the Zaghawa. End Key Points.

2.(C) Comment: We are unable to verify whether Yousif Hassan Yousif has consistent contact with Abdel Wahid Al Nur. He produced old photos for us of both he and Abdel Wahid, at a SPLM training camp, with current SPLM leader Salva Kiir and former SPLM chief John Garang. End Comment. ------------------------------------------- Lack of Trust in Mandate of GoS Negotiator -------------------------------------------

3.(C) Yousif Hassan Yousif, Secretary General of the SLA United Front and a member of the Fur tribe told us on September 22 that he believes Sudanese Presidential Advisor and negotiator Ghazi Salahuddin wants to do the "right thing" for peace negotiations. However, he stated that "Ghazi can only start negotiations, not finish them." Yousif said Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha or Presidential Advisor Nafie Ali Nafie were the only "security-centric" leaders, aside from President Bashir, that could sign off on a peace agreement, and all had a role in Darfur atrocities. --------------------------------------------- ----- Negotiations with the Government of National Unity --------------------------------------------- -----

4.(C) Yousif claimed he speaks with SLA Fur leader Abdel Wahid Al Nur approximately once every two months, and said the two leaders agree on many issues. According to Yousif, both he and Abdel Wahid believe there is no way to sign an accord with a "guilty president" and "guilty government," which "do not recognize Fur rights" or "believe in justice." He stated final peace negotiations need to be held with the Government of National Unity, including SPLM officials, and not only with NCP officials. Yousif expressed concern that if justice is not part of the peace process then a solution cannot be reached, and refugees and IDPs would lack confidence in the security situation to return to their villages. Yousif believes Abdel Wahid is hesitant to come to the negotiating table because "defections" within his movement have reduced his confidence. Additionally, he said Abdel Wahid's advisors are "ill-prepared" to advise him on the substantive issues. Yousif also said the USG should include Rizegat Arabs in the negotiations with the Darfuri groups because they "refused to cooperate with GoS actions in Darfur." ------------------------------------------ Preference for African, not Arab Mediation ------------------------------------------

5.(C) Yousif said the Fur are distrustful of the role that Arab countries are playing to resolve the situation in Darfur. He stated that "the Arabs" only got involved after the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Bashir. Yousif believes the Government of Qatar (GoQ) is a "reasonable Arab government." However, he told us that he and three other Fur leaders (Abdel Wahid Al Nur, Ahmed Diriage, and Ahmed Abdel Shafie), due to past interactions with the CAIRO 00001888 002 OF 002 GoQ, believe that Qatar is not a fair arbiter and recent interest in negotiations is meant to "release Bashir from the ICC warrant." Yousif said the Fur prefer to have final peace negotiations in the U.S., EU, or a "trusted" African country like Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, or South Africa. --------------------------------------------- ----- Zaghawa Using Militia Groups to Increase Influence --------------------------------------------- -----

6.(C) Yousif argued that the Zaghawa are playing a numbers game with their multiple militia groups to get more seats at the negotiation table. He said there are only four militia groups that represent the Fur and two that represent the Masalit tribe, but the remaining 20 groups are all Zaghawa. Yousif stated that representation at peace negotiations should be based on the population in the three Darfur states, in which the Fur are a majority, not on the number of militia groups. Scobey

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