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Cablegate: Usau: Darfur Panel Hands Over Report to Au Chair

VZCZCXRO6512
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #2427/01 2820940
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090940Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6447
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0534
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7957

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002427

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/FO, SE GRATION, S-USSES, AF/RSA AND IO/UNP
NSC FOR MGAVIN
DEPT PLEASE PASS USAID/SUDAN
LONDON FOR PLORD
PARIS FOR WBAIN AND RKANEDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM UNSC SU AU
SUBJECT: USAU: DARFUR PANEL HANDS OVER REPORT TO AU CHAIR

REF: KHARTOUM 1079

1. (U) Summary: The African Union (AU) High-Level Panel on
Darfur handed over its report to AU Commission Chairperson
Jean Ping on October 8. Ping promptly announced that he
would deliver the report to the AU Peace and Security Council
(head of state level) at a late October meeting in Abuja to
which the U.S. and other international partners will be
invited. The Council will decide how the AU will follow up
with the Panel's recommendations. End Summary.

2. (U) On October 8, the Chairperson of the AU High-Level
Panel on Darfur, Thabo Mbeki, handed over the Panel's
long-awaited report and recommendations to the AU Commission
leadership. In his remarks to AU Permanent Representatives,
AU Commission staff, diplomats, and journalists, the former
South African President emphasized that the report and its
recommendations represented a "consensus view among many in
Sudan and internationally, including the millions of
Darfurians whose representatives were met" during the
months-long investigation by the Panel. Everybody in Darfur
and Sudan believes the conflict in Darfur has to be solved by
the Sudanese people themselves "and cannot and should not be
imposed from outside," Mbeki said.

3. (U) Additionally, everybody agreed that peace, justice,
and reconciliation must be achieved urgently and
simultaneously. "Justice must be done and seen to be done,"
Mbeki said. Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir agreed that no
one was above the law, Mbeki noted. There was further
consensus that the conflict in Darfur is political in nature
and therefore requires a political solution. A military
solution to the conflict is neither possible nor desirable,
Mbeki told the audience.

4. (U) Any resolution to the Darfur conflict will have to
take into account the general elections scheduled for April
2010 and the referendum on secession in 2011, Mbeki
continued. Darfurians should be included in those elections.
Mbeki went on to cite June 24 remarks by Special Envoy
Gration at a U.S. Institute for Peace event in which the
Special Envoy spoke of his hope for a peaceful and successful
Sudan. Mbeki concluded his remarks by saying that the Panel
shares SE Gration's powerful message of hope. "We too are
convinced that if the right things are done, Sudan faces a
'future of hope and trust, a future of lasting peace.' "

5. (U) After receiving Mbeki's report (what appeared to be a
six-inch-tall stack of documents), AU Commission Chairperson
Ping underscored the inclusive nature of the Panel's
consultations. Ping renewed the AU's call on the UNSC to
suspend the ICC investigation against President Bashir, but
he said that in no way diminishes the AU's commitment to the
fight against impunity. The AU's deployment of forces to
Darfur, the sacrifices of those troops, and the unambiguous
denunciation of violence in Darfur illustrate the AU's
commitment to respecting human rights and protecting
Darfurian civilians, Ping added.

6. (U) Ping further called on Sudanese parties to redouble
their efforts to help solve the Darfur conflict, and urged
them to consider the Panel's recommendations with an open
mind and a willingness to move forward. Addressing the
international community, Ping twice said that they should
play a "facilitator" rather than a "complicator" role in
addressing the crisis in Sudan.

7. (U) AU officials said copies of the report will not be
made public until the Peace and Security Council has had an
opportunity to deliberate about its contents. The essence of
the report has been highlighted in reftel.

8. (SBU) Following the report handover ceremony, Mbeki told
USAU CDA that the Panel was extremely grateful to SE Gration
for his leadership role. He added that the Panel's work is
done and the difficult work of ensuring implementation now
rests with the various stakeholders in Sudan and their
international partners. Sudan's Permanent Representative at

ADDIS ABAB 00002427 002 OF 002


the AU simply commented that the Panel's report and
recommendations were a welcome development, and that the
Panel's conduct throughout its consultations was above
reproach.
MUSHINGI

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