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Cablegate: Jem On the Defensive

VZCZCXRO2906
OO RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0462/01 2931643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201643Z OCT 09 ZDS ZDS ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7331
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000462
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CAPTIONS)

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

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 PHUM SU CD
SUBJECT: JEM ON THE DEFENSIVE

NDJAMENA 00000462 001.3 OF 002


-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) Khalil Ibrahim and Secretary of Humanitarian
Affairs Suleiman Jamous, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Djibril
Ibrahim, Secretary for Administration Abubakar Hamid,
Economic Advisor Bushara Suleiman Nour, and Secretary for
Finance Azadein Yousif. asked to see Ambassador Nigro and
others at Embassy N'Djamena October 20. Key points of
Khalil's presentation included:

-- JEM "does not rule out the possibility" of traveling to
Doha for the civil society conference being organized by
UN/AU Negotiator Bassole.
-- Still, JEM "must be consulted in advance of the
conference," not simply invited as a take-it-or-leave-it
gesture, as JEM remains "the most important group on the
resistance side."
-- JEM is concerned that too many international players, and
too many individuals with disparate points of view, are being
"cultivated" in advance of the civil society conference, and
that international negotiators are "impatient" and insistent
on "rushing" the process.
-- JEM is supportive of the conclusions of the U.S.-Sudan
policy review, and pleased at recent bilateral progress
between Chad and Sudan.
-- JEM believes that so long as the Chadian rebels continue
to cause problems, there will be no regional peace.

-----------------------
To Play or Not to Play?
-----------------------

2. (SBU) Ambassador engaged Khalil using USG policy points
provided by S/USSES: the USG was encouraged by Chad's and
Sudan's progress toward improving bilateral relations and
would view negatively any activity to undermine the GOC-GOS
effort; the USG hoped that JEM would participate in the next
negotiating meeting in Doha so that its constituency would be
represented; the Doha meeting would be an excellent
opportunity for JEM to make its views heard. Ambassador
summarized key objectives of the new Sudan strategy to Khalil
and emphasized that this was the USG's and especially Special
Envoy Gration's "roadmap" for Sudan's future.

3. (SBU) JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim sought a meeting with
Ambassador Nigro October 20 to lay out his unhappiness with
planning for the upcoming Doha civil society conference being
organized by UN/AU Negotiator Djibrill Bassole. Although
Khalil claimed that he was "prepared" to go to Doha, he
complained that the GoS "had offered nothing" in the way of
concessions in advance of the event; that some ostensible
observers from third countries were in fact pro-Sudanese
agents; and that so long as "just anybody" was at the
negotiating table, JEM might not see fit to participate.
Khalil said he hoped to engage in consultations in advance of
the Doha round on questions such as who would be invited, as
"there is no freedom or civil society in Darfur." According
to Khalil, the GoS had been advised that it could bring civil
society reps to the Doha event. Why could JEM not bring its
own civil society reps? JEM was prepared to play the role of
a political movement, as the international community wished,
but was concerned that this would make it subordinate to
other participants in the conference -- "and such an
arrangement is not fair."

4. (SBU) Khalil denied that the JEM was receiving
significant military assistnce from the GoC at present,
"although we want to work together with Chad toward peace."
Nor did he threaten to withdraw definitively from the Doha
process, conceding that to do so "would mean war." Khalil
claimed that in the wake of the U.S. Administration's release
of its new Sudan policy, "you need our cooperation, just as
we need yours." For this reason, the U.S. should "stop
trying to rush things" and stop issuing ultimatums. The JEM
did not appreciate being cast as "the bad guys," continued
Khalil. Djibril Ibrahim added that "we are not happy about
being at the table with people who do not belong there; we
will not sit down unless there are criteria developed as to
who should be at the table." Soulieman Jamous attempted to
note that the JEM would agree to sit with other rebel groups
"under some conditions," but he was interrupted by Djibril,

NDJAMENA 00000462 002.3 OF 002


who insisted that JEM would only appear at the table in Doha
if there were prior agreement, to which JEM subscribed, on
"who gets a seat." The Doha process "was resulting in
chaos," Khalil offered. "No one listens."

---------------------
Sudan-internal Issues
---------------------

5. (SBU) According to Khalil, the JEM sought "unity of our
country," and was disturbed by the recent flawed census,
which had "multiplied Bashir's supporters 457 times." An
election in such circumstances would weaken both the SPLM and
movements in the North, harm fragile North-South linkages,
and render impossible a free or fair vote. Given that the
timetable for the CPA process was already accelerated beyond
a point where it would produce a desirable electoral result,
the CPA clock should not be used to force developments in
Darfur. "Why can't we have peace prior to working on
elections?" Khalil asked. Djibril Ibrahim predicted that
Darfur would not participate in Sudan elections in any case
if these were held prematurely. "Instead of unity, you will
get separation" between either the North and South, or Darfur
and the rest of Sudan, said Djibril.

----------
Conclusion
----------

6. (SBU) Khalil reiterated that he "wanted to cooperate"
with the U.S. and international community in advance of the
Doha round. He stressed that there had been "lost
opportunities" in recent weeks, and that the U.S. should "be
more patient." Ambassador Nigro agreed to convey Khalil's
views to Washington and advise of any response.

7. (U) Minimize considered.
NIGRO

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