Cablegate: Mbeki to Brief Security Council On Aupd Report

DE RUCNDT #1095/01 3372359
P 032359Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. This is an action request. See paragraph 8.

2. Summary: The African Union Peace and Security Council
(PSC) mandated an AU High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD) which
is chaired by former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa,
to examine issues of accountability, combating impunity,
peace and reconciliation in Darfur. The Panel completed its
work in early October and presented its report to the PSC in
Abuja on October 29. The PSC endorsed the report and all its
recommendations in its 207th meeting communiqu. In a
November 3 letter to the Secretary-General, AU Commissioner
Jean Ping requested that AUPD Chair Mbeki and PSC
Commissioner Lamamra brief the Security Council on the AUPD
report. This briefing has been scheduled for December 21. In
an informal meeting with French and UK experts, the UK
indicated it might pursue a Presidential Statement on the
Report, but would carefully weigh the U.S. position in making
a determination. France is opposed to having a written
product result from the briefing. USUN requests the
Department to provide guidance regarding the U.S. position on
this report prior to the briefing. End Summary.

Summary of Key Issues

3. The AUPD characterizes the conflict in Darfur as "the
Sudanese crisis in Darfur" in order to signal a deliberate
shift from considering Darfur in isolation to comprehensively
addressing Sudan's problems. Mbeki specifically discusses
the need to accommodate Darfuri demands for political power,
including a Vice-Presidency in the national government and a
substantial quota of seats in the National Assembly. The
report acknowledges that political power under the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the
north-south conflict is divided only between the parties to
the CPA.

4. The AUPD recommends establishing a Hybrid Court composed
of both Sudanese and international judges. This Hybrid Court
would apply national laws and be integrated into the Sudanese
legal system. Judges on the Court would be appointed by the
AU, in consultation with the Government of Sudan (GoS), and
the GoS would coordinate and oversee investigations. The
report states that establishing a Hybrid Court could "tilt
the discussion within the Security Council in favor of
deferring ICC action under Article 16 of the Rome Statute."

5. The AUPD is critical of Joint Chief Mediator (JCM)
Bassole and urges him to spell out his strategy and factor
upcoming elections and the CPA timetable into this strategy.
The report states that a definitive peace agreement for
Darfur must be concluded before the 2010 elections. Mbeki
recommends establishing a Joint Mechanism to oversee the work
of the Mediation and to evaluate its performance.

6. The AUPD makes specific recommendations for UNAMID,
including that UNAMID should assume responsibility for
coordinating humanitarian efforts in Darfur. The AUPD also
recommends that the AU provide oversight of the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,
including the exercise of self-determination in Southern
Sudan. Currently, the United Nations Mission in Darfur --
which is not/not a hybrid mission -- has the lead
responsibility for CPA implementation. The AUPD suggests
establishing a special unit within the PSC to support this
increased engagement with Sudan.

Initial P3 Feedback

7. France requested to meet with the U.S. and UK after
receiving instructions from Paris to try to consolidate a P3
position in advance of the Mbeki briefing. Both France and
the UK indicated that they could be broadly supportive of the
report, but any detailed discussion would quickly raise
problematic issues. France said that discussion of Article
16 deferral should not be reopened and expressed concern with
Mbeki establishing a parallel mediation track to that of JCM
Bassole. France did not believe that UNAMID was the
appropriate vehicle for coordination of humanitarian
assistance since the UN country team does this for all of
Sudan, and does it well. The UK indicated that London would
be in favor of a broad Presidential Statement expressing
support for the AUPD report. France said that it would
prefer not to have a PRST and would hesitate to state
anything that would imply Security Council endorsement of the
report in its entirety. The UK also expressed concern with
giving the AU a role in overseeing CPA implementation, noting
that UNMIS, unlike UNAMID, is not a hybrid mission.

Action Request

USUN NEW Y 00001095 002 OF 002

8. USUN requests that the Department provide guidance on the
USG position on the following issues to prepare for the
December 21 briefing from Mbeki and Lamamra and to facilitate
developing a consolidated P3 position. We will need guidance
on the following issues:

-- Establishment of a Hybrid Court.
-- Establishment of a mechanism that would allow the AU to
provide oversight and management of the Joint UN/AU Mediation.
-- Expanding UNAMID's mandate so that UNAMID could be tasked
with coordinating humanitarian assistance in Darfur.
-- Giving the AU a role in overseeing implementation of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including the exercise of
self-determination in Southern Sudan.

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