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Cablegate: Security Council Responds to Au Report On Darfur,

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1. (SBU) Summary. In a December 21 briefing on the Report
of the African Union High-level Panel on Darfur, Secretary
General Ban praised the Panel's work and called for
continuing efforts to encourage both the Government of Sudan
(GOS) and rebel movements to embrace the peace process.
African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Ping urged
international support for the Report's recommendations and AU
Chairperson Mbeki emphasized that broad consensus exists in
Darfur among the needed steps to achieve of peace, justice
and reconciliation. All delegations expressed support for
the Darfur peace process, including the efforts of Joint
Chief Mediator Bassole, and reiterated support for UNMIS and
UNAMID. Most also welcomed the Report of the AU's High Level
Panel on Darfur. All delegations highlighted the critical
importance of both the 2010 elections and the 2011 referenda,
and urged Sudan to maintain peace and stability before,
during and after the votes. End Summary.

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2. (SBU) In a December 21 briefing to the Security Council
on the Report of the African Union High-level Panel on
Darfur, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called
for continuing efforts to encourage the Government of Sudan
(GOS) and rebel movements to make concessions and embrace the
consensus being built by UN-AU Chief Mediator Djibril
Bassole. Ban was complimentary of the Panel's report,
stating that panel members have, "clearly articulated the
links between the crisis in Darfur and broader efforts to
implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)." He
stressed that "it will be the Sudanese people who solve
Sudan's problems," but added that by working together, the
United Nations and the African Union can provide critical
assistance on the "difficult journey towards lasting peace
and prosperity." Ban called for continuing support for Mr.
Bassole and underscored the importance of upcoming elections,
stressing that the parties must engage in genuine cooperation
following the vote, regardless of the outcome.

3. (SBU) Chairperson of the African Union Commission Jean
Ping urged international support for the High-level Panel's
recommendations, as well as for an implementation process in
the spirit of peace, justice, security and reconciliation of
Sudan. He explained that the High-Level Panel worked for six
months, including more than 40 days in both
Government-controlled and opposition-controlled areas in
Darfur, to arrive at their "comprehensive approach". Ping
stated that the African Union Peace and Security Council had
asked him to establish a high-level panel to facilitate
implementation of the report's recommendations and help the
Sudanese parties implement the CPA and other processes. This
panel will be composed of former Presidents Thabo Mbeki,
Pierre Buyoya and Abdulsalami Abubakar. Ping stated that
Sudan is on the eve of two major events, the results of which
cannot be underestimated: the April 2010 general elections,
which will mark an important step in Sudan's democratic
transformation, and the January 2011 self-determination
referenda, which will allow the population of southern Sudan
to determine its future. Ping underscored that these events
will have "considerable consequences for Sudan and the rest
of Africa."

4. (SBU) Chairperson of the African Union's High-level Panel
on Darfur Thabo Mbeki emphasized that the Panel consulted
with Sudanese stakeholders in producing its report, and that
there is broad consensus among them about what must be done
to rapidly achieve peace, justice and reconciliation. The
Panel attached great importance to concluding Darfur
negotiations before the general elections to avoid
marginalizing Darfur's people. Mbeki stated that the Panel
will encourage the parties both in Darfur and the rest of
Sudan to respond expeditiously to the Chief Mediator's
initiatives. Due to the long-standing concentration of power
and wealth in Khartoum, it is "self-evident" that
restructuring Sudan as a whole is critical in order to build
a "new Sudan." Mbeki called for international support for
the Sudanese people, including by encouraging political
parties to create a climate for free and fair elections.
Mbeki pointed to the continuing challenge of implementing the
CPA agreement and urged the GOS to work on reducing tensions.
Once a comprehensive political agreement is in place, the
Security Council should ensure that UNAMID has the necessary
capacity to take on additional tasks. Mbeki expressed
concern about the short time frame to resolve the Darfur
conflict and called for the challenges in Sudan to be
addressed simultaneously and urgently.

5. (SBU) In a closed debate following the briefing,
Ambassador DiCarlo outlined the three goals being pursued by
the U.S. in Sudan - first, ending the conflict, including
gross human rights abuses and genocide in Darfur; second,
implementing the CPA; and third, ensuring Sudan does not

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provide a terrorist safe haven. Highlighting UNAMID's
importance in protecting civilians, DiCarlo called on
troop-contributing countries and other UN member states to
provide forces and assets, and reiterated U.S. support for
strengthening UNAMID's civilian component. DiCarlo
emphasized U.S. support for Joint Chief Mediator Bassole, and
stated that a comprehensive political solution is the best
way to end Darfur's marginalization and provide it with a
voice in Sudan's political process. The international
community should continue to push for full CPA
implementation, including demarcation of the North-South
border, implementation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration
decision on Abyei and implementation of resource-sharing
arrangements. Calling elections an "important milestone in
the implementation of the CPA," DiCarlo urged sufficient
security to permit safe voting, as well as respect for civil
liberties, including freedom of expression.

6. (SBU) All delegations expressed support for the Darfur
peace process, including the efforts of Joint Chief Mediator
Bassole, and reiterated support for UNMIS and UNAMID. Most
welcomed the Report of the AU's High Level Panel on Darfur,
in particular Mbeki's efforts to address Sudan's long-term
challenges. Uganda stated that the Panel's "holistic and
comprehensive" recommendations provide a sound framework for
building durable peace in Sudan," while noting that they must
be implemented in an expeditious manner. Austria commended
the Panel for this "thorough and well-balanced report," and
urged the GOS to consider the report's recommendations for
justice and reconciliation. Croatia praised the
"well-defined" steps in the Panel's report and said that they
provide valuable guidance for joint AU-UN missions. Libya
stated that the report provides a "solid foundation" for
positive discussions towards peace and emphasized that the
implementation of the CPA is at a "critical juncture" with
the approaching elections and tribal conflicts erupting in
the South. China emphasized its support of the AU and
expressed hope that the report's recommendations be
considered. While expressing hope that the report will
contribute to the peace process, Japan was cautious, stating
that some of the recommendations "require more detailed
examination." Additionally, all delegations addressed the
importance of the upcoming 2010 general elections and the
2011 referenda. France called these events, "a crucial
phrase in the history of Sudan," and urged the international
community to help support Sudan maintain peace and stability
in the lead up to elections. The United Kingdom focused on
the challenges facing Sudan over the next 18 months, pointing
to the critical importance of the elections and referenda.

Darfur Peace Process

7. (SBU) France urged rapid advancement of the peace
process to ensure Darfur's participation in 2010 elections
and help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Russia focused on
the renewal of negotiations and underscored the importance of
making, "a unified Sudan an attractive option." China said
that advancing the peace process is a top priority, stating
that Sudan is making "steady headway" while facing challenges
and uncertainties. Mexico encouraged a comprehensive
approach, emphasizing three fundamental aspects - peace,
justice and reconciliation. Mexico further stressed that the
United Nations, UNAMID and Chief Mediator Bassole be closely
involved with any new AU efforts towards peace, and
underscored that buy-in from political parties will be
critical for any new process. Croatia also focused on a
comprehensive peace process, stating that parties should
"disengage militarily and reengage politically." Libya said
the International Community should provide a suitable
atmosphere and climate for the peace process by "respecting
Sudan's sovereignty and unity." Libya also addressed the
importance of national development projects to increase
living standards in Darfur and in southern Sudan.

Council Addresses Impunity

8. (SBU) Impunity was also highlighted by several
delegations, including Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia,
France, Mexico, Japan, Uganda and Vietnam. France stated
that there can be no peace and stability in Darfur without
justice and an end to impunity, and recalled Sudan's
obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court
as expressed in UNSCR 1593. Croatia called for strengthening
Sudan's national justice system while urging the maintenance
of the ICC's judicial mandate. Libya, however, stated that
the ICC's call to arrest President Bashir will "derail
prospects for peace" in Sudan and negatively impact the Doha
agreement. Uganda focused on its support of a hybrid court

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as well as an investigative body to assist both victims of
crime and human rights abuses. Austria also expressed
support for a hybrid court, but only for the most serious
crimes. Mexico, however, urged caution, stating that the use
of hybrid tribunals should be analyzed with care, as they
should not be used as a justification for lack of compliance
with international obligations under UNSCR 1593. Costa Rica
called for support for a new judicial institution to handle
crimes of sexual violence and called for an end to immunity
for public officials in Sudan.

9. (U) At the close of consultations, Council Members agreed
to issue the following press statement on Darfur. Begin

The members of the Security Council received a briefing from
former President Thabo Mbeki and AU Commission Chairperson
Jean Ping on 21 December on the report and recommendations of
the AU High Level Implementation Panel on Darfur, and
subsequent decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the report and
underlined their appreciation for the balanced and
comprehensive nature of the recommendations to promote peace,
justice and reconciliation in Darfur and Sudan as a whole.
They looked forward to the implementation of a holistic
approach to the problems facing Sudan and supported efforts
aimed at the peaceful and democratic transformation of Sudan
in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace

The members of the Security Council agreed with the report
that the causes and consequences of the conflict in Darfur
have yet to be addressed. They reiterated their support for
UNMIS and UNAMID, and for the work of the UN-AU Joint Chief
Mediator Djibril Bassole to promote a lasting political
settlement for Darfur. They reiterated their call for all
parties that have not yet done so to fully commit to, and
participate in, peace talks.

The members of the Security Council called for the Government
of Sudan and other parties in Sudan and the region to work
with President Mbeki and his colleagues in coordination with
the international community as appropriate. End Statement.


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