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Cablegate: Splm Shake-Up in Southern Kordofan

VZCZCXRO0270
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #0152/01 0281148
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 281145Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0071
INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA FWD

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000152

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM MCAP SU
SUBJECT: SPLM SHAKE-UP IN SOUTHERN KORDOFAN

REF: KHARTOUM 944

1. (SBU) Summary: On January 24 Poloff met with Sadiq Mansour,
Deputy Speaker of the Southern Kordofan Legislative Assembly, who
stated that he and 31 other members of the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Southern Kordofan had recently been
dismissed from the party by Abdel Azziz (SPLM), Southern Kordofan's
Deputy Governor. Mansour said that he and the others were
dismissed for criticizing Azziz, who they see as too close to
Southern Kordofan's governor, Ahmed Haroun (NCP), and too far from
the SPLM party-line. Mansour said that the discord created by the
dismissals has resulted in other SPLM defections, and that he will
run for the legislative assembly in the April elections as an
independent candidate representing Nuba interests. Mansour
acknowledged that some economic development had taken place in
Southern Kordofan but said that it is not significant and will be
terminated by the central government if Haroun is not elected in
April. Fragmentation of the SPLM in Southern Kordofan in the run
up to elections is a gift to the NCP and bodes ill for the SPLM's
ability to maintain cohesion across tribal lines. End Summary.

------------------------------------

SPLM Leaders Dismissed for Criticism

------------------------------------

2. (SBU) On January 24 Poloff met with Sadiq Mansour, Deputy
Speaker of the Southern Kordofan Legislative Assembly, who stated
that he and 31 other members of the SPLM in Southern Kordofan had
recently been dismissed from the party by Abdel Azziz (SPLM),
Southern Kordofan's Deputy Governor. The dismissed include the
Minister of Education, the Minister of Rural Development, and the
Commissioners of Kadugli and Talodi Counties. Mansour stated that
the dismissals stemmed from statements he and others in the party
made to SPLM leadership expressing discontent with the leadership
of Azziz.

3. (SBU) Specifically, Mansour said that the partnership that Azziz
has with Southern Kordofan's governor, Ahmed Haroun (NCP) is too
one-sided, that Azziz does not challenge Haroun enough, that, in
effect, Azziz has slipped from the SPLM party-line and is acting as
a member of the National Congress Party (NCP). (Note: The
Haroun/Azziz partnership, which has received wide-spread praise in
the international community (Ref A), does appear one-sided, in the
sense that Haroun and Azziz always appear together and Azziz almost
never speaks. End Note.) Mansour said that the dismissals have
taken place over a period of weeks, starting in late December, and
that he had been dismissed on January 1. Mansour said that he and
other dismissed members of the SPLM are appealing their dismissal
to SPLM leadership in Juba and that Azziz has been called to Juba
to explain his decision.

4. (SBU) On January 26, Emboff spoke to Arno Antilo, Secretary
General of the SPLM in Southern Kordofan, who stated that the
dismissed party members were dismissed for "insulting our
leadership and instigating their tribes against the party."
According to Antilo, the SPLM conducted a periodic review of the
performance of its members serving in the Government of National
Unity and decided to replace some of those serving, including
Mansour, with new members. Antilo did not indicate that Mansour or
anyone else had been selected for replacement based on corruption
or poor performance. Antilo stated that the members selected for
replacement refused to accept the decision, and it was at this
point that the insults and tribal instigation occurred, for which
these members were dismissed from the SPLM.

--------------------------------------------- ----------

Deputy Speaker Will Run as an Independent, for the Nuba

--------------------------------------------- ----------

KHARTOUM 00000152 002 OF 002


5. (SBU) Mansour stated that he will run for the Southern Kordofan
Legislative Assembly as an independent candidate. When asked who
his election supporters will be, Mansour, a Nuba, said he would not
run for election on a tribal basis, as politics based on tribal
affiliation is senseless. Mansour claimed that he has supporters
throughout the state, including among the Arabs of Southern
Kordofan. This was somewhat contradicted, however, when Mansour
stated that the Nuba will support him because the Nuba want a Nuba
leader, who is dedicated to Nuba interests. He added, "Azziz can
dismiss me from the SPLM, but not from my tribe." (Note: Azziz is
from the Masalit tribe of western Darfur, though he has married
into the Ajang, the largest Nuba sub-tribe. End Note.)

6. (SBU) Mansour stated that these dismissals are creating
confusion in the SPLM in Southern Kordofan. He said that a number
of people have left the party in anger, with some of those joining
SPLM-Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), the party of SPLM "turn-coat" Lam
Akol. Mansour said that he has also been heavily recruited by
SPLM-DC, but that he will not join a party that he sees as an agent
of the NCP. He added that he still supports the SPLM and hopes to
return to the party sooner or later as it is the only viable party
for the Nuba.

--------------------------------------------- --------

Development Progress in Southern Kordofan Down-played

--------------------------------------------- --------

7. (SBU) Mansour down-played the performance of Haroun and Azziz
and said they are outsiders lacking significant support in the
state. He acknowledged that Haroun has brought some economic
development to Southern Kordofan, but said that it was mostly
window dressing in an effort to get elected, and that the central
government will end funding for development initiatives if Haroun
in not elected in April. He noted that Haroun has formed many
committees, councils and commissions, but stated that their primary
purpose was finding a role for people who might otherwise make
trouble for Haroun. Mansour added that Haroun has not implemented
the security arrangements of the CPA, that Popular Defense Forces
(PDFs) in the state are increasing, and that the state appears to
be preparing for war. (Note: PDF, (militia forces supported by the
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)), which pursuant to the CPA should have
been disbanded or integrated into the SAF, were readily visible in
Southern Kordofan's capital Kadugli on a December visit by Poloff.
End Note.)

8. (SBU) Comment: Fragmentation of the SPLM in Southern Kordofan in
the run up to elections is a gift to the NCP. Southern Kordofan is
likely to be highly contested in the elections and Mansour is a
significant figure there. His dismissal, along with the other
dismissals, will weaken the SPLM's election performance. Azziz's
hidebound response to criticism may have been an over-reaction. It
also demonstrates that the command structure of the SPLM retains
significant vestiges of its origins as a military entity.
Mansour's tendency to fall back on politics by tribal affiliation,
after acknowledging the flaws in this approach, is also
unfortunate. End Comment.
WHITEHEAD

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