Search

 

Cablegate: Popular Consultations Crucial, with or Without Elections

VZCZCXRO9235
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1198/01 2981553
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251553Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4621
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001198

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

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: POPULAR CONSULTATIONS CRUCIAL, WITH OR WITHOUT ELECTIONS

REF: A) KHARTOUM 1130 B) KHARTOUM 1182

1. (SBU) Summary: Leaders of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM) held a conference from October 15-18 in Kurmuk, Blue Nile
State, to brain-storm about the form and function of popular
consultations. The latter are called for by the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA) to "ascertain the views of the people" of Southern
Kordofan and Blue Nile on the CPA. Attendees resolved that election
laws must be amended to assure successful elections, and thereby,
effective popular consultations, which are crucial and an "inherent"
right, even without elections. They also agreed that a law
governing popular consultations must be enacted by the National
Legislative Assembly and approved by the Presidency. Delegates
discussed governance in Blue Nile and reconfirmed their confidence
in Governor Malik Agar. Defining popular consultations is likely to
be the next contentious item on Sudan's political schedule. End
Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ----
EFFECTIVE POPULAR CONSULTATIONS REQUIRE ELECTIONS
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (SBU) SPLM leaders held a conference from October 15-18 in
Kurmuk, the southern capital of Blue Nile State. The conference,
attended by Emboff, was a brain-storming session about popular
consultations and included related governance issues. It was
attended by leaders from Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and
South Sudan, and included civil society leaders and political
delegates from the National Congress Party (NCP), the People's
Congress Party, the Democratic Unionist Party, the Umma Party, and
the Sudanese Communist Party. Attendees resolved that election and
security laws must be amended to assure successful elections, and
thereby, effective popular consultations. Participants endorsed the
Juba Declaration of the All-Political Parties Conference (Ref A),
calling it a model for resolving the current political issues in
Sudan.

-----------------------------------------
POPULAR CONSULTATIONS AN "INHERENT" RIGHT
-----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) In case elections do not occur, participants resolved that
popular consultation must still be conducted as a "right inherent to
the people" of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. Participants agreed
to work to guarantee security and stability in this process. They
also emphasized the importance of guarantees from the
Intergovermental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the broader
international community, that popular consultations will be
conducted and their results implemented.

--------------------------------------------- ------
NATIONAL LAW GOVERNING POPULAR CONSULTATIONS NEEDED
--------------------------------------------- ------

4. (SBU) Attendees resolved that a law governing popular
consultations must be enacted by the National Legislative Assembly
and approved by the Presidency. Members of the NCP have made
numerous public statements rejecting a national law on popular
consultations as unnecessary and not in accordance with the CPA (Ref
B). In a meeting on October 21, Sadiq Mansour (SPLM), Deputy Speaker
of the Southern Kordofan State Parliament, told Poloff that the NCP
fears that popular consultations will lead to referenda in Southern
Kordofan and Blue Nile. Mansour stated, however, that a national
law on popular consultations was necessary because only the latter
could bind the national government. Mansour said he is hopeful that
the NCP will understand and accept this argument in coming
negotiations.

------------------------------------
NCP ATTENDS, BUT IN LIMITED CAPACITY
------------------------------------

5. (SBU) The highest NCP representative attending the meeting was Al
Rabatani, Chairman of the Kurmuk Locality Council. NCP
representative comments during the discussions were vague and
non-committal. They stated that popular consultations are "a right
provided for in the CPA; they fully support it; and it has to be
exercised." The representatives added, however, that they were
attending on a personal basis and their views, and the resolutions
of the conference, were not binding on the NCP.

6. (SBU) The NCP representatives from the Southern Kordofan
delegation did not participate, turning back soon after arriving in
Kurmuk. Ahmed Haroun (NCP), Governor of Southern Kordofan, and his
Deputy, Abdel Aziz (SPLM), also did not attend the meeting. Haroun
indicated that the issues surrounding popular consultations should

KHARTOUM 00001198 002 OF 002


be negotiated in a small, private forum between the NCP and SPLM.
(Note: According to Sadiq Mansour, the date set for this meeting, at
which the NCP and SPLM will negotiate the terms of the popular
consultations, is November 1, and will consist of four members from
each of the NCP and SPLM. End Note.)

------------------------------------------
SPLM REAFFIRMS CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNOR AGAR
------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) Malik Agar (SPLM), Governor of Blue Nile State, was
criticized by some conference attendees for favoring his tribe, the
Ingessena, for administrative positions in the state. (Note:
Emboffs hear this complaint often, but have found no evidence
thereof. We note that Agar has directed both state and
international donor-supported development to areas outside his
tribal home. End Note.) Agar accepted the criticism, and suggested
that as he has led the SPLM in Blue Nile since 1997, replacing him
may be overdue. Conference attendees responded that there was no
one to replace Agar, and their criticism was only to ensure that he
listens to everyone. A number of other SPLM executive office
holders were also criticized and rated on their achievements, with
Agar given the highest rating of the group.

8. (SBU) Comment: The CPA mandates popular consultations to
"ascertain the views of the people" of Southern Kordofan and Blue
Nile on the CPA, but is silent on what legally-binding effect these
views might have once ascertained. This is the crux of the issue.
The NCP cannot give Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile unlimited power
to change provisions of the CPA with which they are unhappy, while
Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile cannot simply submit their views on
the CPA to the Presidency and rely on the Presidency's goodwill to
have their issues resolved. For instance, one can imagine that the
people of Southern Kordofan would like to receive a greater
percentage of the revenue accruing from oil produced in their state,
currently set at two percent, but the national government cannot
allow Southern Kordofan legislators to unilaterally choose an
appropriate amount. Ultimately some mechanism must be agreed by
which Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan can negotiate with the
national government on a somewhat equal footing. Currently no such
mechanism exists. Greater federalism may be the solution to Sudan's
conflicts, but will not be willingly embraced by Khartoum. End
Comment.

WHITEHEAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>