Viewing cable 07KHARTOUM235
Title: ELIASSON, SALIM: POLITICAL PROCESS TAKING OFF

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07KHARTOUM2352007-02-16 13:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Khartoum
VZCZCXRO0202
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0235/01 0471313
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161313Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6141
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0067
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000235 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, AF S/E NATSIOS, AND AF/SPG 
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND SHORTLEY 
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU UN SU CD LI US
SUBJECT: ELIASSON, SALIM: POLITICAL PROCESS TAKING OFF 
 
KHARTOUM 00000235  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: CDA Cameron Hume, Reason: Sections 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) The UN Secretary General's Special Envoy Jan Eliasson 
and the Africa Union's Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim 
briefed ambassadors near the conclusion of their February 
12-17 visit to Sudan.  Despite the deteriorating humanitarian 
situation, they underscored the renewed willingness of the 
Sudanese government and the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) 
non-signatories to engage in a constructive political process 
and the importance of diffusing bilateral tensions between 
Chad and Sudan.  They also called for a coordinated 
international effort to take advantage of this moment of 
opportunity.  CDA Hume promised the full support of the USG 
for efforts to advance the political process, both on the 
ground in Darfur and in the UN Security Council.  End summary. 
 
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Political Process Takes Off 
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¶2. (C) In a February 16 briefing for ambassadors near the 
conclusion of their visit to Sudan, UNSYG Special Envoy 
Eliasson and AU Special Envoy Salim noted the "credible 
beginning of a negotiating process" and called on the 
international community for assistance in continuing positive 
momentum on Darfur.  "The process is starting to take-off," 
said Eliasson, adding that unification of the DPA 
non-signatories and a decrease in violence would prove that 
the nascent process is meaningful.  "Nothing dramatic has 
occurred during our visit," explained Salim, "but we didn't 
expect that.  Anyone who knows Darfur couldn't."  The envoys 
announced the creation of a joint AU-UN task force in 
Khartoum and Darfur to advance political dialogue and 
acknowledged that the Darfur crisis was "a Sudanese problem" 
that required sustained engagement on the ground. 
 
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Non-Signatories 
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¶3. (C) Eliasson and Salim reported that Sudan had rejected 
the two extreme approaches to a negotiating process on the 
DPA: "take it or leave it" and "renegotiation."  However, 
Sudanese officials, including Foreign Minister Lam Akol, 
Director of the National Intelligence and Security Service 
(NISS) Salah Ghosh, Presidential Advisors Nafie Ali Nafie and 
Maghzoub Al Khalifa, and North Darfur governor Yousef Kibbir 
requested assistance in facilitating constructive discussions 
with the DPA non-signatories.  Noting that he considered the 
DPA the basis of their mandate, Salim stated that he would 
not be "dogmatic" in his approach and recognized that 
additions would need to be made to the agreement. 
 
¶4. (C) Both envoys met with representatives from the Sudan 
Liberation Army (SLA) and G-19 in North Darfur on February 
¶15.  Eliasson and Salim observed a "real desire" among the 
commanders to engage in productive dialogue and, despite 
their rhetoric opposing the DPA, continued to refer to 
provisions in the agreement as a basis for discussion.  Salim 
lauded SLA commander Jar Al Naby's statement "that we all 
made mistakes" in Abuja as a sign of their willingness to 
move forward.  Eliasson and Salim said that their message to 
the rebels had been "united you stand, divided you fall" and 
had encouraged them to prepare for negotiations by focusing 
on their priorities.  While stating that they welcomed any 
initiative to bring non-signatories into a productive process 
(including the recent Eritrean efforts toward a conference in 
Libya), Eliasson and Salim called for international 
coordination so the parties would not be able to play off 
stakeholders against each other. 
 
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Chad and Regional Dynamics 
-------------------------- 
 
¶5. (C) Recognizing that many of the strongest rebels were in 
Chad, the envoys expressed their concern that bilateral 
tensions between Sudan and Chad were impediments to a 
successful political process and indicated that elements on 
both sides of the border, both in and outside the two 
governments, still believed in an military solution to the 
conflict.  "There will not be a durable solution to Darfur 
unless we resolve the crisis between Sudan and Chad," said 
 
KHARTOUM 00000235  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Salim.  "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose 
your brothers."  They called for international cooperation to 
bring about a lasting peace agreement between the two 
neighbors, but noted the difficulty in achieving such an 
agreement.  "The borders of Africa don't respond to cultural 
and historical facts," said Eliasson, who later warned of a 
"growing military confrontation" between the two countries. 
 
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Humanitarian Operations Fragile 
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¶6. (C) Eliasson and Salim acknowledged the "relative control" 
that still existed in the distribution of food and medicine 
but warned that humanitarian operations were fragile. 
Eliasson said that he saw "fatigue, frustration, and fear" in 
many of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Darfur 
and said that this could lead to a "breakdown" in operations. 
 CDA Hume echoed these concerns.  The envoys said that they 
had discussed at length the humanitarian situation with 
Al-Khalifa at a three-hour meeting earlier in the week, when 
UNSYG Deputy Special Representative for Humanitarian Affairs 
Manuel da Silva had detailed the deteriorating situation. 
The Sudanese government later released a statement 
re-affirming its commitment to protect civilians, noting its 
appreciation for international humanitarian operations -- 
particularly the work of NGOs -- and acknowledging the 
sacrifices of aid workers.  Eliasson and Salim had also 
raised this critical issue in their meetings with the DPA 
non-signatories. 
 
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AU/UN Deployment 
---------------- 
 
¶7. (C) In each meeting with Sudanese officials, Eliasson and 
Salim urged a prompt response to the UNSYG's January 24 
letter regarding the UN heavy support package for the African 
Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS).  Eliasson said that he was 
"under the impression that there was an agreement on phase 
two" after a meeting with President Bashir in Addis Ababa on 
the margins of the recent AU summit.  The envoys pledged to 
raise the issue again during their second meeting with Al 
Khalifa and with President Bashir on February 17.  Salim 
called on the international community to recognize that the 
AU and UN "moved slowly" and were operating under "high 
expectations" and "tough conditions," particularly in the 
area of security. 
 
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Comment 
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¶8. (C) Darfur is a tortured place, but an opportunity for 
constructive dialogue with the Sudanese government, 
surrounding countries, and the DPA non-signatories now 
exists.  Approaching CDA Hume after the briefing, Eliasson 
expressed concern that the "drums" in the U.S. would drown 
out the possibility of advancing the political process at a 
critical moment and that it was important to "strike a 
balance" between confrontation and dialogue.  He said that 
influential members of the regime want to solve the Darfur 
crisis in cooperation with the international community.  We 
recommend operational support for the efforts of the joint 
UN/AU task force by encouraging them to use the pre-existing 
Darfur Peace Secretariats in Khartoum and El Fasher.  In 
addition, the USG should put the Chadian and Libyan 
governments on notice that their links to Darfur rebel groups 
are destructive to peace.  End comment. 
 
¶9. (C) Tripoli minimize considered. 
HUME