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Cablegate: Sudan Parties a No-Show at Igad Ministerial

VZCZCXRO2525
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDJ #1387 3441317
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101317Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1113
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0008
INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 001387

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL DJ ET KE SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN PARTIES A NO-SHOW AT IGAD MINISTERIAL

REF: 09 KHARTOUM 1376

1.(SBU) Summary: The Dec. 7-8 IGAD Ministerial Council meeting
opted not to discuss Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)
implementation, after senior Sudanese representatives from the
National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan Peoples' Liberation
Movement (SPLM) failed to attend. Instead, the Council mandated
the Kenyan and Ethiopian Foreign Ministers to travel "soon" to
Khartoum and Juba to "talk to the parties heart to heart" and
report back to the IGAD Council. End summary.

2.(SBU) Senior Sudanese representatives failed to turn up for the
Dec. 7-8 IGAD Ministerial meeting in Djibouti, leaving their
Ambassador to Djibouti to head the delegation, apparently without
instructions. Consequently, the detailed discussion of CPA
implementation that was to be a centerpiece of the IGAD meeting did
not occur.

3.(SBU) In brief comments at the conclusion of the meeting,
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin, in his capacity as IGAD
Council Chair, insisted that the absence of senior Sudanese
representatives was for "only technical reasons" (related to travel
arrangements). The report of the IGAD Special Envoy for Sudan was
submitted to the working-level IGAD Committee of Experts, Seyoum
said, but the Council of Ministers declined to consider the report
in the absence of Sudanese delegations from the NCP and SPLM.

4.(SBU) Seyoum said that the Council had mandated him and Kenyan
Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula to travel to Juba and Khartoum
"soon" to "talk to the parties heart to heart" and report back to
the Council. Seyoum stressed that "whatever happens in Sudan is
bound to affect us all." He thanked international partners -
"especially the United States and Special Envoy Gration who is
actively involved in assisting the parties" to implement the CPA.
IGAD support was instrumental in negotiation of the CPA and will
remain "vital for follow-up and implementation" of the agreement.

5.(SBU) Comment: Despite widespread rumors that the absence of
NCP and SPLM delegations was due to the recent spike in political
tensions in Sudan (reftel), the IGAD ministers avoided any comment
on these matters and Seyoum took pains to ascribe the absence to
mere "technical" factors.
SWAN

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