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Cablegate: End of the Affair? Deby and Khalil Go Their

VZCZCXRO9618
OO RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0109/01 0531250
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221250Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7734
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 000109

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE FOR S/USSES
OSD FOR DASD HUDDLESTON
NSC FOR GAVIN
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - BAIN AND KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PREF SU LY CD
SUBJECT: END OF THE AFFAIR? DEBY AND KHALIL GO THEIR
SEPARATE WAYS

REF: A. KHARTOUM 282
B. NDJAMENA 102

-------------------
SUMMARY AND COMMENT
-------------------

1. (SBU) Working overnight February 19 and into the
afternoon February 20, Chadian President Deby brokered an
agreement between his erstwhile JEM client, Khalil Ibrahim,
and Sudan Presidential Envoy Ghazi Salahhudin, potentially
ending fighting between the JEM and GoS. Deby is now en
route for Doha, where he hopes to meet with President Bashir
February 23 and where the JEM-GoS agreement is set to be
signed that same day. In addition to encouraging peace
between the GoS and one of the main rebel movements in
Darfur, the February 20 agreement represents a diplomatic
coup for Chad and apparently completes the long and
complicated process of Chadian disengagementwith the JEM,
begun last summer. The seeming "en of the affair" between
Deby and Khalil helps tosatisfy one of our own strategic
objectives in Cad, hat of encouraging normalization between
Chd and Sudan and cessation of the five-year proxy wr
involving respective rebel movements. Deby is ow en route
for Doha (via Riyadh, where we understand he plans to see
ailing Nigerian President Yar Adua) with FM Faki and other
members of his foreign policy team. Text of press communique
on the weekend JEM-GoS agreement is at para 3 below.

2. (SBU) The Chadian government has accomplished a kind of
high-stakes diplomatic trifecta over the past two years.
Since rebel attacks on N'Djamena in February 2008, the GoC
has ended its diplomatic isolation by exploiting multilateral
opportunities offered by the UN, AU and third parties
including Libya and Qatar, and more recently bilateral
opportunities afforded by Khartoum's changed priorities. At
the same time, the GoC has attracted rebel chiefs (e.g., Al
Jineidi and Soubiane), the rebel rank and file (several
thousand), and regime opponents in exile (e.g., Goukouni
Oueddei) back to Chad, enhancing Deby's claims on statesman
status. The Deby-brokered JEM-GoS deal is not only an
aditional step forward for Chad-Sudan relations but also a
successful attempt at intra-Zaghawa diplomacy involving a
politically sensitive "divorce" from the JEM, which may yet
put Deby at risk from his own Zaghawa brethren (but which
scores one for national over ethnic identity). Meanwhile,
the February 21 deadline for remaining rebel movements on
both sides of the Chad-Sudan border either to return home or
to accept refugee status abroad has passed with no local word
on the circumstances of remaining Chad rebels in Sudan (e.g.,
Timan Erdimi's troops), and with the SLA/AW still evidently
not ready to settle (Ref A). END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

--------------------
TEXT OF PRESIDENTIAL
PRESS COMMUNIQUE
--------------------

3. (SBU) Begin informal Embassy translation:

Presidency of the Republic
Press Communique

At the commendable initiative of His Excellency, President
Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad, and with
his assistance, consultations took place between a delegation
of the Government of Sudan headed by Doctor Ghazi Salahhudin
Atabani, special adviser to President Oumar Hassan Ahmat Al
Bashir and a delegation from the Movement for Justice and
Equality (JEM) headed by Doctor Khalil Ibrahim.

These consultations occurred on the basis of efforts to
broker peace in Sudan undertaken in Doha, Emirate of Qatar.
The two parties achieved significant results including
agreement on an immediate cease-fire and the start of
negotiating efforts to put it into effect on the ground.


NDJAMENA 00000109 002 OF 003


The two parties agreed on the necessity of the immediate
participation of the JEM in Doha negotiations, with the
aiming of a definitive peace agreement to be based on a final
accord that will be signed before March 15, 2010.

They also expressed their willingness to pursue efforts and
consultations in the aim of bringing about definitive peace
in Darfur, integrating all political forces support and
offering hope and aspirations for all of the people of Darfur
and Sudan.

N'Djamena, February 20, 2010

End translation.

--------------------------
THREE PATHS REACHING GOALS
--------------------------

4. (SBU) Over a protracted period, the Deby regime has
taken part in various international and bilateral processes
aimed at regional stabilization, normalization of relations
with Sudan, return of respective rebels, and integration of
opponents into political processes here. As part of efforts
with the Government of Sudan, Chad hosted a Contact Group
meeting under the Dakar Accord process in November 2008.
Since that time, it has taken part in other international
mediation efforts sponsored by the UN, AU, Libya, Qatar and
U.S., under S/USSES Gration. The GoC has been in close
direct contact with the GoS since this fall, when FM Faki and
Sudan Presidential Adviser Ghazi met on the margins of the
UNGA in New York. Deby himself went to Khartoum two weeks
ago, in breakthrough meetings reported to SE Gration (Ref B).

5. (SBU) At the same time, Chad's National Mediator has
helped to woo some Chad rebels home, in keeping with the
terms of the Sirte Accords of 2007. The GoC has given many
former rebels amnesty and incorporated political opponents
into the government of Prime Minister Youssef Saleh Abbas,
himself a former member of the politico-military opposition.
The GoC remains acutely nervous that Chad rebels still in
Sudan will prove more than the GoS can handle.

6. (SBU) Deby began disengaging with the JEM, his fellow
Zaghawas and erstwhile clients, last year, having told S/E
Gration in the summer that he had advised Khalil Ibrahim to
abandon armed struggle and seek a political settlement with
Khartoum. Via a series of increasingly firm interventions,
culminating in a multiple-ministerial "ultimatum" to the JEM
seven weeks ago, the Deby regime has made clear that it has
chosen good relations with a neighboring state over a
relationship of convenience with Sudanese nationals who share
ethnic affiliation with Deby's own group (and who helped Deby
in his armed struggle against Habre). The dangers to Deby of
breaking with the JEM, should the mercurial Khalil go back on
his word, include the possibility of armed conflict between
the Chadian Army and JEM on Chadian soil, as well as the
possibility that Zaghawa notables will seek to unseat Deby
himself in response to his having "abandoned" key clan
brothers.

7. (SBU) As reported in Ref B, Deby son-in-law and
Ambassador to the U.S. Adoum Bechir was sent to the former
JEM redout in Eastern Chad at Am Jarras last week to meet
Khalil -- said to be traveling from Sudan -- and persuade him
to come to N'Djamena for talks with GoS Presidential Advisor
Ghazi. Bechir succeeded February 19, with meetings here
running overnight and well into the next day before agreement
was reached. GoC officials who remain in N'Djamena advised
us February 22 that Deby has now left for Doha, via Riyadh,
where he apparently plans to see ailing Nigerian President
Yar Adua. Deby plans to be in Doha February 23 for the
signing of a GoS-JEM cease-fire agreement and to meet with
Sudanese President Bashir.

-------
COMMENT

NDJAMENA 00000109 003 OF 003


-------

8. (SBU) The Chadian government has accomplished a kind of
high-stakes diplomatic trifecta over the past two years. The
GoC has ended its diplomatic isolation by exploiting
multilateral opportunities offered by the UN, AU and third
parties including Libya and Qatar, and more recently
bilateral opportunities afforded by Khartoum's changed
priorities. At the same time, the GoC has attracted rebel
chiefs (e.g., Al Jineidi and Soubiane), the rebel rank and
file (several thousand), and regime opponents in exile (e.g.,
Goukouni Oueddei) back to Chad, enhancing Deby's claims on
statesman status. As a third negotiating string, the
Deby-brokered JEM-GoS deal represents a potentially
successful attempt at intra-Zaghawa diplomacy, so long as the
JEM itself and Deby's Zaghawa brethren remain accepting.
Deby's breaking with the JEM is of course a score for
nationhood over tribal identity.

9. (SBU) Additional challenges to what we essentially see
as a series of good-faith efforts on both Chad's and Sudan's
parts in recent months to achieve stabilization in Darfur and
Eastern Chad include the status of the as-yet unrepentant
Chadian rebellion in Sudan, including troops under Timan
Erdimi, and the apparent unwillingness to be part of Doha of
the SLA/AW. Handling these players will require more work in
the coming days and weeks.

10. (U) Minimize considered.
BREMNER

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