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Cablegate: Assessment and Evaluation Committee's 48th Plenary Session

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SUBJECT: Assessment and Evaluation Committee's 48th Plenary Session

1. (U) Summary: The Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) held
its 48th Plenary Session on October 6 at AEC Headquarters in
Khartoum. AEC Chairman, Sir Derek Plumbly, noted that the time for
national elections and Southern referenda is quickly approaching;
however, he does not see implementation of the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement as "in crisis" unless the parties fail to resolve the
issue of the census as it relates to the elections, and agreement on
a referendum law within the next two months. The ruling National
Congress Party (NCP) representative said that, with respect to the
census, the NCP had proposed a way forward to the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM) and was waiting for a reply. Regarding
border demarcation, Vice President Taha and GoSS Vice President
Machar were meeting on the issue, the NCP representative said.
Donor nations welcomed news of the upcoming tripartite talks in
Kenya and the facilitation of negotiations by U.S. Special Envoy to
Sudan, Gen. Scott Gration. Recognizing the continuing violence in
the South and rejection by Misseriya leaders of the Abyei Permanent
Court of Arbitration (PCA's) border demarcation decision, AEC
members and the parties nonetheless vowed to redouble their efforts
to quickly come to terms on remaining CPA issues. End Summary

--------------------------------------
DCM Updates AEC on Points of Agreement
--------------------------------------

2. (U) AEC Chairman, Sir Derek Plumbly, asked donor nations to
think strategically about ways to settle the ongoing, unresolved CPA
issues. Three papers were presented for discussion: (1) The AU
communiqu of 22 September on attacks in Southern Sudan, with its
message for the AEC; (2) A letter from Misseriya leaders regarding
the Permanent Court of Arbitration decision on Abyei; and (3) the
AEC 2010 draft budget. Sir Derek noted that several deadlines in
the NCP/SPLM points of agreement had passed, including those on the
Referendum law, the popular consultation process, JIU review and the
report of the North South Border Committee.

3. Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Mark Asquino thanked the AEC
secretariat for its help in providing information with which to
update the stoplight chart reflecting the status of agreed-upon CPA
implementation issues. He noted the latest version would be ready
soon. He said that despite progress, the parties were behind
schedule on delimitation of the North/South border. To assist the
committee, the United States offered to make available the technical
expertise of its border demarcation expert, John Gates, at short
notice. In addition, the Central Bank of Sudan had now sent a
request to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asking it to
conduct a review of the banking system. Because the deadline for
this action had been August 15, the United States encouraged the IMF
to work expeditiously on this request. The DCM welcomed the
official announcement at the previous day's opening session of the
National Assembly that the National Security Act and other
legislation would be considered during the current session.

-------------------------------------
Trilateral Talks to Continue in Kenya
-------------------------------------

4. (U) The DCM also reminded the parties of the urgent need for
further discussions on the issues of the referendum and the census,
and informed AEC members of a proposal by the Office of the Special
Envoy for Sudan (S/USSES) to hold trilateral talks with the parties
in Nairobi, with tentative, proposed dates of October 26-30.
S/USSES staff will arrive on or about October 19 to work with the
parties to prepare for the meeting. In response to a question from
the Chairman, the United States confirmed that the dates of October
26-30 had not yet been formally agreed to by the parties. Italy
welcomed the policy of "balanced engagement" being pursued by the
U.S. Special Envoy. Kenya urged the parties to move expeditiously
to resolve their differences through the tripartite process. The
representative of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
(IGAD) offered assistance in supporting the discussions, and
repeated its offer, made at the June CPA witnesses conference in
Washington, to arrange a heads-of-state-level summit on CPA
implementation.

----------------------------
Italy Supplements AEC Budget
----------------------------

5. (U) AEC Chairman Plumbly introduced the AEC budget for 2010,
and thanked the Government of Italy for its generous level of
program funding. As a result, he said, the AEC was in a position to
offer support for the functioning of the local AECs as they carry
out their important work. Italy called on the parties to engage in
discussion on post-2011 issues.

KHARTOUM 00001179 002 OF 002

------------------------------------
NCP: Remaining Disagreements are Few
------------------------------------

6. (U) The NCP agreed with the Chairman that time was very tight
as the parties were now in the last part of the interim period, and
must pay special regard to the limited number of issues remaining.
With respect to the census, the NCP had offered a proposal to the
SPLM outlining a political way forward, and had further elaborated
on the proposal two weeks earlier. The NCP added that the
high-level executive and political committee continued to meet on a
regular basis, and was deliberating on the referendum law with the
assistance of lawyers. There had been some progress, and the
remaining points of disagreement were few, he said. With regard to
the demarcation and delimitation of the North-South border, the NCP
noted that a high-level meeting had taken place between Vice
President Taha and Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Vice
President Machar together with the full membership of the technical
committee. The committee had explained to the principals the
parties' differences and the reasons why they had not been able to
agree, most of which were administrative in nature according to the
NCP representative . The meeting had ended with some directives
from the principals to the committee, which led to the resumption of
work. On this item, the NCP assured members that the Presidency was
applying very heavy pressure on the committee to complete its work
as quickly as possible.

---------------------
Working Group Updates
---------------------

7. (U) Italy, which chairs the Power-Sharing Working Group,
announced it would organize a working group meeting at the end of
October with the ad hoc North South border committee. The United
States, which chairs the Wealth Sharing Working Group, said that the
next session of the latter was scheduled for October 13. The main
item on the agenda was an update on the functioning of the Wealth
Sharing protocol with State Minister Lual Deng and Under Secretary
Fatih Siddiq. The working group would pay particular attention to
the planned National Petroleum Commission audit of the oil sector
and to the IMF review of the banking system, both of which were
contained in the Points of Agreement. The Netherlands, which chairs
the Security Working Group, reported that it was endeavoring to
reschedule the postponed working group visit to Muglad;
conversations with the Governor of Southern Kordofan suggested that
sometime after October 30 would now be feasible.

8. (U) The Netherlands also noted that the seasonal migration of
the Misseriya tribe had started earlier than usual this year, and
said that this may have implications for security in light of the
fact that this was the first migration since the Permanent Court of
Arbitration (PCA) ruling on Abyei borders. Unfortunately, no
conference on the ruling had as yet taken place between the Ngoc
Dinka and Misseriya. The Misseriya leadership had rejected the PCA
decision and would make an announcement following a tribal
conference currently underway. AEC Chairman Plumbly presented to
the members a letter received from Misseriya tribal leaders, and
stated that he would draft a reply affirming the AEC's support for
the PCA decision and expressing concern for the rights of all
persons and communities in the area. Finally, the Netherlands noted
that the working group visit to Blue Nile on October 13-14 would
take place as scheduled.

9. (U) The representative of the African Union described the
group's growing concerns with respect to the overall security
situation in the South. The AU believed that discussions on this
issue needed to take place between the Government of National Unity
(GoNU, GoSS and the international community about how best to
address the situation. The AU proposed that the Security Affairs
Working Group consider this issue.

Whitehead

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