Viewing cable 08PARIS1761
Title: SUDAN: GATHERING FRENCH SUPPORT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08PARIS17612008-09-22 09:06:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
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DE RUEHFR #1761/01 2660906
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O 220906Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4348
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001761 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2018 
TAGS: PREL PHUM KAWC SU FR UN
SUBJECT: SUDAN: GATHERING FRENCH SUPPORT 
 
REF: PARIS 01671 
 
Classified By: PolMC Kathleen H. Allegrone for reasons 1.4 (B & D). 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: S/WCI Ambassador Clint Williamson met with 
French presidential advisor Bruno Joubert in Paris on 
September 12 to discuss the results of Joubert's September 2 
visit to Khartoum and gather support against Sudanese efforts 
to gain an Article 16 suspension in the UN Security Council 
(UNSC) on the possible indictment of President Bashir in the 
International Criminal Court (ICC).  Seeking to allay USG 
concerns, Joubert said the GOF has offered Sudan "no deal" on 
the ICC.  Rather, the French have told the Sudanese they must 
reform or face increased pressure from the international 
community.  Joubert cautioned that if China or Sudan and its 
friends try to push through an Article 16 suspension, then 
the P-3 -- especially the USG with Latin American countries 
-- would have to exert substantial influence in the Security 
Council to ensure the support of the non-permanent members of 
the Council to secure an appropriate outcome.  Joubert agreed 
that delaying a decision in the Security Council could add 
pressure to the Sudanese to reform, but cautioned that doing 
so for too long might allow them to "escape," which they have 
done repeatedly in the past.  Joubert believes that African 
Union and Arab League countries -- who view the ICC as an arm 
of the West against the developing world -- might also 
complicate matters if a resolution was introduced in this 
year's UN General Assembly.  He noted that since the 
threatened ICC indictment of Bashir several Sudanese 
officials are beginning to fear for their future, which could 
also help to bring about change in the country.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
Unified P-3 Against Article 16 Suspension 
----------------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (C) S/WCI Ambassador Clint Williamson met with French 
presidential advisor Bruno Joubert in Paris on September 12 
to discuss the results of Joubert's September 2 visit to 
Khartoum (ref) and to gather support against Sudanese efforts 
to gain an Article 16 suspension in the UN Security Council 
(UNSC) on the possible indictment of President Bashir in the 
International Criminal Court (ICC).  Williamson noted that 
Sudan had indicated through common allies that they were 
looking for fissures among the P-3, believing the U.S. was 
the only country pressing hard against an Article 16 
suspension.  He asserted that P-3 unity was desirable on this 
question so as not to embolden the Sudanese.  He also 
cautioned Joubert that Sudan must not believe there was any 
sort of quid-pro-quo arrangement on the issue or that 
negotiations had begun and it was only a matter of agreeing 
on a deal.  Williamson added that a final decision on an 
Article 16 deferral would likely be taken by President Bush 
personally and that he would likely set a very high threshold 
before even considering the possibility. 
 
¶3.  (C) Joubert said it was important to know there was a 
possible presidential decision for the USG on a potential 
Article 16 suspension.  He sought to allay USG concerns 
noting he had been firm with Khartoum during his September 2 
visit, making clear that the bar had been raised very high 
and that there was no "deal" on ICC-related issues (ref). 
The Sudanese would have to show real proof of change and "not 
just words" or the international community would continue to 
come down hard on them, he said.  He said while France and 
the UK did not yet have a formal position on the Article 16 
suspension, the USG could assume that the GOF was on their 
side.  Joubert also noted he was promised a "white paper" 
response from Khartoum regarding how they planned to 
implement changes, but in the 12 days since his trip he had 
yet to receive anything. 
 
¶4.  (C) Joubert cautioned that if China or Sudan and its 
friends try to push through an Article 16 suspension, then 
the P-3 would have to use its influence in the Security 
Council to ensure they were convinced to stay on our side. 
This would be especially important for the U.S. to influence 
non-permanent Council members from Latin American.  Regarding 
the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Joubert said the African 
Union (AU) and Arab League countries were very sympathetic to 
the Sudanese because he said they see the ICC as biased 
against Africa.  Joubert said that because of this it would 
be extremely difficult to change opinions, which could 
especially complicate matters if a resolution was introduced 
in this year's UNGA. 
 
 
Pressuring Sudan to Change 
-------------------------- 
 
PARIS 00001761  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
¶5.  (C) Williamson noted it might work to the international 
community's advantage to delay a decision on the Article 16 
suspension in the UNSC as long as possible, since this delay 
would keep pressure on Sudan to act.  Joubert agreed but 
cautioned the need to be careful, timing everything well 
enough to pressure the Sudanese without giving them too much 
time to "escape," which he believed they have been doing all 
along.  Joubert said since his first visit to the country as 
OCSE ambassador in April 2003, for example, Sudan has been 
continuously cheating the system.  Joubert noted it was 
important to ensure that any ICC indictment against Bashir be 
handled separately from next steps regarding the two Sudanese 
officials already indicted by the ICC (ref). 
 
 
Bashir's Inner Circle: Fear Brewing 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶6.  (C) Reporting on his meetings in Khartoum, Joubert 
noticed that support for Bashir was not as strong as commonly 
viewed outside of Sudan.  Since the threatened ICC indictment 
of Bashir there had been a lot of endless finger-pointing 
going on among the ruling elite.  He said some officials were 
afraid for the first time about their future.  Williamson 
asked about Bashir and his inner circle.  Joubert said it was 
very difficult to penetrate, but all indications were that 
Bashir realizes that if he is indicted he is a "dead man, 
politically."  Joubert believed that if one of them fell and 
was sent to the ICC -- presumably Bashir -- then the rest now 
realize they might follow.  For this reason, they were 
keeping a united front, he said. 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Fran ce 
 
STAPLETON