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Cablegate: Se Gration Meets with Senior Splm Officials

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DE RUEHKH #0304/01 0531315
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R 221313Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0249
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000304

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON PINS SU
SUBJECT: SE Gration Meets with Senior SPLM Officials

1. (SBU) Summary: In a February 17 meeting, senior Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM)/ Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS)
officials told Special Envoy Gration that there had been good,
though not perfect, progress in passing outstanding laws central to
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Officials noted that a number of issues still needed to be
negotiated between the NCP and the SPLM including: the magnitude of
the planned increase in the National Assembly necessary to unblock
the census/elections impasse; border demarcation; appointment of
the members of the Southern Sudan and Abyei referendum commissions;
and the format for discussions of post-2011 arrangements.
Internally, officials stated that they were also preoccupied with
providing better security in the South and preparing to take on the
full responsibilities of a sovereign state, should that be the
outcome of the 2011 referendum. Officials noted that these issues
would be tackled in a February 20-21 meeting between Sudan
President Bashir and GoSS President Kiir. Officials requested SE
Gration's support in helping to leverage a diplomatic solution to
these tough issues. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On February 17, SE Gration held a group meeting with GoSS
Vice President Riek Machar, Minister of Presidential Affairs Luka
Biong, Minister of Regional Cooperation General Oyai Deng, Minister
of Cabinet Affairs Luka Monaja, Minister of Legal Affairs Michael
Makuei, SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amun and SPLM Deputy Secretary
General Anne Itto.

3. (SBU) SE Gration asked the officials for an update on the
SPLM's negotiations with the National Congress Party (NCP)
concerning outstanding provisions related to CPA implementation.
Gration also requested officials provide their strategic priorities
for the period between now and the January 2011 referendum. Last,
he requested their vision for which format would be most
constructive to facilitate discussions between the NCP and SPLM on
post-2011 arrangements.

--------------------------------------------- ----
Update on NCP-SPLM CPA Discussions
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. (SBU) VP Machar noted that key laws central to CPA
implementation - Abyei referendum, Southern Sudan referendum,
popular consultation, trade union and security - had all been
passed and signed by President Bashir. He stated that the SPLM was
satisfied with the terms of all of these pieces of legislation,
save the security law. Machar stated that the SPLM had put forth a
new bill which would address some of the "anti-freedom" provisions
in the penal code and criminal procedure laws. He stated that the
NCP had rejected that legislation and instead offered a gentleman's
agreement that the "problematic" provisions would not be enforced.

5. (SBU) Concerning elections, Machar explained that he and
Government of National Unity Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha
had failed to reach agreement on the magnitude by which to increase
the number of seats in the National Assembly. Machar stated that
Taha offered 40 additional seats for the South and the Three Areas;
a deal that would result in the South having between 26 - 27
percent representation in the national assembly. The SPLM had
initially advocated for no less than 30 percent representation, up
from the 2 percent they received through the census.

6. (SBU) Machar noted that the parties were scheduled to receive
the North-South border commission's report in the coming days.
Based on preliminary feedback, he assessed that five areas would be
unresolved. The Vice President added that Abyei border demarcation
had "stalled" and appointments had not yet been made to the
Southern Sudan or Abyei referendum commissions. Last, he reminded
that article 67 of the Southern Sudan referendum law mandated that
the parties begin discussions on nine specific post-2011 issues.

7. (SBU) Machar hoped that with the completion of preparatory work
by his team February 17-19, Presidents Bashir and Kiir would be
able to resolve many of these issues in their February 20-21
meeting. He specifically solicited SE Gration's diplomatic help in
resolving border issues and ensuring that the Abyei and Southern
Sudan referendum commissioners were named so they could begin their
work.

--------------------------------------------- -----
Strategic Priorities - Now - January 2011
--------------------------------------------- -----

8. (SBU) Although Gration requested participants to focus on top
priorities, they responded with the full laundry-list. Machar
stated that the GoSS priorities were full CPA implementation and
preparing for the most likely post 2011 scenario of independence.
Machar noted that the October 2009 USG Sudan policy statement had

KHARTOUM 00000304 002 OF 002


committed the US to help strengthen the GoSS. Specifically, Machar
explained that the GoSS needed help improving governance capacity
and transparency. In the security field, he requested support for
demobilization, disarmament and reintegration, conflict prevention,
and standing up a capable police force and criminal justice sector.
In the economic domain, he stated that overall the GoSS wanted to
improve economic and social indicators. The GOSS believes the best
way to do that is to increase support for the UNDP local government
reform program, help the Multi-Donor Trust Fund improve its
services, improve access to capital, increase micro-enterprise
opportunities, advance private sector investment and employment,
support agriculture production, increase regional trade, and
strengthen anti-corruption efforts. SPLM Secretary General Amum
added that the party needed support so that post-2011 it could
further "nation-building" and the harmonious resolution of ethnic
conflicts, after the "North" was no longer a unifying lightening
rod for dissent. In particular, Amum said the government needed to
control cattle-rustling and proposed a unit in the police force
dedicated to that task.

9. (SBU) USAID Mission Director Hammink assured the officials that
the USG looked forward to strengthening its partnership with the
GoSS in the run-up to 2011 and beyond and cited USAID's existing
work in these sectors. For example, a recent USAID-funded GOSS
capacity prioritization assessment completed with senior GOSS
officials has refocused capacity building efforts by the donors and
government on key functions of government; the USG is launching a
new agriculture program with the GOSS Ministry of Agriculture in
March and the USG continues with a robust local government social
services program in the border states.


--------------------------------------------- ----------------------
----------
Format for negotiations on post-2011 arrangements
--------------------------------------------- ----------------------
---------

10. (SBU) In response to the SE's question concerning the most
conducive format for negotiating post-2011 arrangements between the
North and the South, Minister of Presidential Affairs Luka Biong
Deng relayed that each side likely would have its own secretariat,
responsible for providing privileged advice and counsel. In
addition, there would be a shared technical secretariat, possibly
drawn from the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC). Biong
repeated that the NCP was reluctant to overly "internationalize"
the process, a point which the SPLM has conceded. To that end,
there would be no permanent standing senior level "mediator."
Instead, the SPLM envisioned drawing upon the services of a number
of senior level individuals, including Special Envoy Gration,
President Mbeki and others, as needed, and in their respective
areas of comparative advantage. Last, Biong noted that the South
it intended to carry out these negotiations as the GoSS, rather
than the SPLM, in order to be more inclusive of all Southerners and
ensure that the results were binding agreements between governments
rather than parties.
WHITEHEAD

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