Cablegate: Sudan: Ncp Cairo Head Evaluates U.S. And Egyptian Roles

DE RUEHEG #0165/01 0351608
R 041550Z FEB 10

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 CAIRO 000165


E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/04
SUBJECT: Sudan: NCP Cairo Head Evaluates U.S. and Egyptian Roles

REF: 09 CAIRO 1615; 09 CAIRO 1506

CLASSIFIED BY: Donald A. Blome, Minister Counselor, DoS, ECPO;
REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Key Points:

-- The Head of the Sudanese National Congress Party's (NCP) office
in Cairo, Kamal Ali, told us he was working with the Government of
Egypt (GoE) to organize the logistics so Sudanese in Cairo can vote
in the Sudanese Presidential election. The Government of Sudan
(GoS) also asked Egypt and the Arab League to provide monitors for
the election in Sudan.

-- Ali said Egypt's motivations in Sudan are circumspect because of
its focus on Nile waters.

-- According to Ali, the U.S. role has an important role in
resolving problems in Sudan, but the policy of pressure has divided
the GoS into pro- and anti-engagement factions.

-- Ali believes financial incentives should be offered to South
Sudan to ensure unity because succession will lead to war.

-- The GoS has taken steps to increase security and provide
humanitarian assistance in Darfur, which led to the return of some
IDPs, according to Ali. However, it is unable to negotiate with
the Darfuri rebel leaders because the rebels are not united and key
leaders refuse to come to Doha.

-- Ali believes pressure needs to be exerted on France to bring
Abdel Wahid Al Nur to the negotiation table and push Chadian
President Deby to "conclude the peace agreement with Sudan." End
Key Points.

2. (C) Comment: Ali's assertion that Egypt is only concerned with
Nile waters probably results from recent, intensive GoE efforts to
solidify the two countries' position on the Nile Basin Initiative
(NBI) and counter efforts by the other seven NBI countries to
impose an agreement that Egypt opposes (reftels A-B). The GoE is
not only concerned about access to Nile waters, but is also
concerned that instability in Sudan could result in large flows of
refugees into Egypt as occurred during the North-South civil war.
End Comment.

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NCP Preparing Working with Egypt to Hold Presidential Election

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

3. (C) Kamal Ali, Head of the Sudanese National Congress Party's
(NCP) office in Cairo told us on February 2 that the NCP had helped
its supporters to register to vote in Cairo in the upcoming April
Presidential elections. He said the NCP was educating local
Sudanese on the voting process because most Sudanese in Cairo will
be participating in their first election. According to Ali, the GoS
is working with the GoE to organize and provide security for voting
centers in Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan. He said Khartoum had asked
Egypt and the Arab League to help monitor elections in Sudan.

4. (C) Despite this cooperation, Ali said Egypt would have a
limited role to play in Sudan because "its actions are circumspect
due to Cairo's singular focus on Nile waters." He said Chad and
Libya are the two neighboring countries best place to help to
resolve the situation in Darfur.

CAIRO 00000165 002 OF 003

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USG Role Important, Policies Should Be Fact-Based

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

5. (C) Ali said the NCP was skeptical that the USG would honor the
elections if the NCP were to win. He stated that many in the NCP
"expect the U.S. to react like it did when HAMAS won elections in
Palestine in 2006." Nevertheless, Ali praised the role of S/E
Gration in working with the NCP-led government to resolve the
problems in Sudan. He said the U.S. can play a positive and
significant role, but expressed frustration that the USG's policy
of pressuring Khartoum was unwarranted given the USG-GoS
cooperation on counterterrorism, Darfur, CPA implementation and
democratic transformation. He bemoaned that despite these "positive
actions," Sudan is still on the USG's list of states that support
terrorism and subject to economic sanctions.


Two Trains of Thought on Future Engagement


6. (C) Ali said there were two trains of thought within the
Sudanese Government on future cooperation with the USG. The
pro-engagement group, led by Ghazi Salahuddin, believed that the
U.S. was an essential partner and bilateral engagement should
continue despite "the lack of USG rewards" to this point. Ali
stated that the pro-engagement group was still preeminent, but was
losing ground to the anti-engagement group, which believed that the
lack of tangible benefits was a signal that the U.S. was not
interested in a bilateral relationship and the group advocated that
Sudan should halt all concessions.


Southern Secession Will Lead to Conflict


7. (C) Ali stated that many in the GoS are resigned to the
inevitable secession of the South and believe it may be for the
best. However, he believes that despite the best intentions of
Khartoum and Juba, the secession of South Sudan will lead to war
because it is in the "nature of the region." He said historical
disputes, migratory patterns of indigenous tribes, uncertainty over
border demarcation, and the lack of consensus on Abyei, the Nuba
Mountains and Blue Nile state are "time bombs for renewed

8. (C) Ali believes that it is best to promote unity by offering
South Sudan financial incentives. He told us that some leaders in
the NCP believe it would be best to "give South Sudan 100% of the
revenue from the southern oil fields in exchange for preserving the
unity of the country." According to Ali, this would avoid a
conflict that would stop oil revenues altogether and address
concerns that a new South Sudan would foment instability in the


Doha Talks "Just Words"


CAIRO 00000165 003 OF 003

9. (C) Ali said the GoS has shown its willingness to engage in
talks with the Darfuri rebels to resolve the crisis in the Darfur
region. However, he said up to this point the Doha talks "resulted
in just words and no action." According to Ali, the blame for the
lack of a resolution in Darfur lies with the Darfuri rebel groups,
which are not united, and key leaders, such as Abdel Wahid Al Nur,
who are not willing to participate in talks with the government,
without securing "large, personal benefits." He stated that
Khartoum has taken tangible steps to increase security in Darfur
and improve the humanitarian situation. According to Ali, the
return of some IDPs to their villages is proof that the GoS has
acted in good faith to improve conditions in Darfur.


Pressure on France Needed to Resolve Darfur


10. (C) Ali said the recent agreement between Chad and Sudan was a
positive step to resolve the Darfur crisis. He told us that the
GoS is working to remove Chadian opposition groups from the border
area. He said Chad needs to reciprocate by taking steps to do the
same with JEM to "conclude" the agreement.

11. (C) Ali believes France holds the trump cards to resolving the
Darfur conflict. He said Washington needs to pressure Paris to
bring Abdel Wahid Al Nur to the negotiation table and get the
French Government to push Chadian President Deby to "conclude the
peace agreement with Sudan."

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