Viewing cable 05ABUJA1986

05ABUJA19862005-10-17 13:38:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Abuja
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: (A) Ranneberger/Yates 10/14 TelCon; (B) 
Snyder/Yates Email 10/15 
¶1.  (U) On the margins of the Ninth Session of the 
Joint Commission (for the Cease-fire in Darfur) held in 
Ndjamena October 13-14, both SLM Chairman Abdelwahid 
Nur and France's Special Representative Ambassador 
Henri de Coignac had private meetings with Chadian 
President Deby touching on the Darfur situation. 
¶2.  (SBU) De Coignac briefed some members of the 
international community at the airport as the Abuja 
participants in the JC were preparing to depart. 
According to him, in brief, Deby said that no matter 
how many Inter-Sudanese negotiating sessions were held 
in Abuja, nothing meaningful would be achieved as long 
as the SLM remains split and that the SLM Conference 
being planned in the liberated zones of Darfur during 
the break from Abuja would not succeed in unifying the 
movement since Abdelwahid would not go (to an area 
controlled by commanders presumably loyal to Minni 
Minawi).  The only hope, according to Deby via the 
French ambassador, would be a conference outside Darfur 
to which all the SLM leaders would attend.  He was 
willing to convene such a conference, perhaps in 
Abeche, if the international community would support, 
both materially and in assuring attendance by Minni and 
Abdelwahid.  DeCoignac said that Deby could encourage 
Abdelwahid and vice-Chairman Khamis to attend but would 
need help from others to assure Minni would accept 
since his own communication with Minawi was not good 
enough.  Finally, Deby had asked de Coignac to remain 
behind in Ndjamena and organize the conference with 
Chadian Foreign Minister Allam-Mi.  DeCoignac sought 
our initial reaction. 
¶3.  (SBU) Most of those close by-EU Special 
Representative for Sudan Pekka Haavisto; British 
Ambassador to Sudan; Canadian High Commissioner in 
Abuja; UN Rep from Khartoum Office, Christophides; Arab 
League Rep-- expressed interest in hearing more from de 
Coignac.  There had been much corridor conversation for 
weeks about trying to find a venue for the SLM 
conference that would be convenient enough to permit 
significant representation from within Darfur and be 
sufficiently neutral so that all SLM leadership would 
attend.  We all undertook to confer with our 
authorities and everyone emphasized the need for more 
information about what the Chadians had in mind as soon 
as possible.  (COMMENT: de Coignac's underlining of the 
need for help in communicating with Minni Minawi seemed 
primarily directed at us.  We responded that if Deby 
was calling the conference, it should be Deby who used 
his claimed relationships with all the SLM leadership 
to obtain their assent.  Others of us could weigh in 
but there should not be separately-tendered 
invitations.  Re material support, there seemed to be 
sufficient willingness among the international partners 
to provide funding for a conference that met some 
definition of inclusiveness and acceptable neutral 
venue.  END COMMENT) 
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¶4.  (SBU) Beyond reporting the gist of above paras to 
Washington (REF A; NOTAL), we were waiting to hear more 
details from the French as promised.  In the interim, 
SLM Chairman Abdelwahid asked for a meeting with US 
Senior Advisor to Abuja talks Saturday evening.  The 
meeting which included only Yates, Abdelwahid (AW) and 
his designated negotiator, Abdurrahman Musa (who 
actually slept through most of it), took place in our 
hotel meeting area. AW said he wanted to brief USG on 
his meeting with Deby (which we had heard endured about 
two hours on Friday while the JC was in session).  The 
first part of the Deby session according to AW was in 
the presence of Chadian Ministers including Foreign 
Minister Allam-Mi and some of AW's SLM team.  That 
portion of the Presidential audience followed more or 
less predictable lines according to AW.  Deby lectured 
on the need for the rebel movements to work to secure 
peace, he expressed concern about ceasefire violations, 
the SLM split and, in AW's recounting, concern about 
the SLM Conference being planned during the 
intercession as potentially reinforcing divisions 
rather than providing the necessary healing. 
¶5.  (SBU) After a half hour or so, AW said the other 
participants withdrew. Deby then recounted his concerns 
and suspicions about developments in the Chad/Darfur 
trans-border region.  According to AW, Deby accused 
variously and collectively the Governments of Sudan and 
Libya with the collaboration of Minni Minawi in working 
with Janjaweed militias to destabilize the border 
regions and threaten the Chadian regime.  Evidence 
included the recent attack by Janjaweed in which a 
number of persons were killed and desertion by Chad 
military elements (COMMENT: It was not clear that info 
on the desertions/defections came from Deby or from AW 
who had heard about groups of Chadian military 
deserting.  END COMMENT). 
¶6.  (SBU) What AW did not say at any time during the 
conversation was that Deby had broached the idea of 
hosting an SLM Conference as reported by de Coignac. 
Rather he maintained again, as he has done in meetings 
throughout this round of the Abuja talks since 
September 15 that he is going to go "inside" Darfur and 
consult with field commanders for 45 to 60 days.  He 
said the reports of violations enumerated at the JC 
meetings underlined the necessity of re-instilling 
command and control discipline to prevent the type of 
unauthorized attacks by SLM elements being reported. 
AW continued that he would also be consulting on the 
ground with "women students, IDPs and everybody" to 
organize a SLM Conference within Darfur, probably in 
about four months.  When asked how this meshed with 
Inter-Sudanese peace talks in Abuja which Salim Salim 
plans to reconvene in mid-November, AW maintained that 
negotiations would continue and that when an agreement 
was reached, it would be presented to his people in 
Darfur (presumably at the conference he is planning). 
AW claimed that he had taken steps to unify the SLM 
delegates here present and that SLM could negotiate 
effectively (although he did make a vague request for 
technical assistance to support their efforts, 
especially in the wealth sharing commission). 
¶7.  (SBU) COMMENT: At no time did AW mention Deby's 
proposal to organize a SLM conference on Chadian soil. 
According to UK envoy Alan Goulty who met with AW later 
Saturday, he did not do so with him either.  Rather AW 
concentrated on his plans to "go inside" and organize 
something, some time relatively far down the road.  His 
version of Deby's accusations that Minni Minawi, in 
league with GOS and GOL, was implicated in fomenting 
the border troubles does not seem at all consonant with 
inviting Minawi to a SLM reconciliation conference in 
Chad (unless, of course, Deby had other motives) 
¶8.  (U) COMMENT CONT:  Members of the SLM continue to 
plan for a conference in Darfur to be held next week. 
Initiated by Secretary General Minawi, the conference 
is intended to include representatives from most 
tribes, women, student groups, IDPs, the diaspora (many 
of whom are already on the ground) and commanders.  The 
co-Chairman are Ibrahim Ibrahim and Dr. Raja--neither a 
Zagawa.  Abdeljabar Dosa, one of the planners, briefed 
us separately and with the international partners on 
the proposed plan and selecting, for the first time, 
its leadership by vote.  The plan includes a political 
committee whose members are selected by various groups. 
This committee is to elect a leadership council and 
executive committee.  The entire gathering would vote 
for President, Vice President, Secretary General and 
Deputy Secretary General.  We believe the conference 
has some logistics support from Libya.  The planners-- 
and Minawi--have asked Abdelwahid to attend and speak. 
To date he has refused, although two of his influential 
supporters arrived in Abuja October 16 to attempt to 
convince him. 
¶9.  (U) COMMENT CONT:  Sunday evening the SLM delegates 
who had arrived in Abuja with the field commanders from 
al-Fashir presented letters of invitation to the SLM 
conference to us (specifically Roger Winter and Janice 
Elmore), UK, Canada, Arab League, Libya, Nigeria and 
others.  The dates are October 25-27 in "Darfur". 
Winter's invitation from the SLM, along with back up 
material provided at the meeting, is being transmitted 
to SPG separately. 
¶10. (SBU)  We have subsequently heard from the French 
here that de Coignac has departed Ndjamena for Paris 
and they have, as yet, no further info on planning. 
This cable was drafted prior to receipt of State 
¶190682.  In any case there seems no possibility of 
anything happening on a SLM conference in Chad prior to 
November 8.