C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 000355
STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/RSA, AF/SPG, AND NEA/ELA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV SU EG AU CD XA
SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT -- AF ACTING A/S CARTER MEETS WITH
EGYPTIAN ASSISTANT MINISTER
REF: ADDIS 267
Classified By: AMBASSADOR DONALD YAMAMOTO, REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).
Â¶1. (U) Action request for Embassy Cairo -- see paragraph 10.
Â¶2. (C) Summary: AF Acting Assistant Secretary Phillip
Carter met February 2 with Egyptian Assistant Minister for
Africa Mona Omar Atteya on the margins of the African Union
Summit. Carter asked Atteya to pressure Sudan to pause in
military action against the South Darfur town of Muhajariya.
Atteya sympathized with the urgency of the situation but
linked the problems to the International Criminal Court
pending arrest warrant against President Bashir. Carter said
the United States had not changed its position that it would
veto any UNSC resolution to defer an ICC indictment. End
Â¶3. (C) Carter explained to Atteya the situation regarding
the South Darfur town of Muhajariya, which was occupied by
Justice and Equality Movement rebel forces two weeks ago and
which Government of Sudan forces announced a 24 hour notice
before beginning bombing. There are 159 Nigerian UNAMID
troops in town who have been ordered by UNAMID headquarters
to hold their ground. They are protecting a large number of
internally displaced persons. The GOS has announced that it
will begin intensive bombing of the town to dislodge the
rebels. The United States has intervened both with JEM and
GOS to take a pause in the fighting and travel directly to
Doha to begin negotiations. Carter said he met with GOS
Presidential Advisers Nafie Ali Nafie and Mustafa Ismael the
previous evening (see reftel), who had told him that they
would continue to press military action while agreeing to
Â¶4. (C) Carter noted that Egypt has good channels of
communication with Sudan, and he looked to Atteya for
support. Atteya said it is a question of national security.
The situation on the ground is very complex, and the
international community should join hands to avoid the
potentially significant loss of life. She noted that the
GOS's position is significantly weakened, and the
International Criminal Court's (ICC) imminent arrest warrant
of President Bashir is likely to complicate matters. Atteya
asked if the United States would consider supporting a UNSC
Article XVI deferral of the ICC indictment.
Â¶5. (C) Carter said the GOS should agree to a pause in its
military operations and show more cooperation in other areas
for its own good, regardless of the ICC indictment. Carter
said he told AU Commissioner Ping, Peace and Security
Commissioner Lamamra, and the GOS that the United States had
not changed its opposition to a deferral of the ICC arrest
warrant. Sudan needs to move forward with clear and
measurable actions. On the contrary, the humanitarian
situation has deteriorated as a result of GOS action or
inaction since July 14, 2008, when the ICC indictment was
first announced. The entire GOS, not just President Bashir,
has the responsibility to do something.
Â¶6. (C) Atteya said there has been lots of progress in the
last five years and remaining problems are not just the fault
of the GOS. She said she understands the rhythm is slow and
the GOS are masters of the missed opportunity. The role of
the United States is crucial. Atteya said the GOS has been
telling her they are doing everything they can and it is
never enough. She had heard there had been a sharp exchange
between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Bashir
the previous day, which Carter confirmed having heard a
similar report. Atteya said they need more time to formulate
a strategy and you do not want to push them against a wall.
Â¶7. (C) Carter said there is no quid pro quo. The GOS has
had time to make changes in its policy and has not done so.
The ICC verdict will not change the fact that the GOS has to
cooperate more, and GOS officials have to be encouraged to
help themselves. Carter said he appreciates the good working
relationship with Egypt.
Â¶8. (C) Atteya agreed. She noted that she had accompanied
President Mubarak to Egypt's New Partnership for Africa's
Development Workshop and Peer Review Mechanism. She had also
just attended a peer review of the government of Benin, and
ADDIS ABAB 00000355 002 OF 002
had been impressed by the very frank assessment of corruption
in that country. She said: "The discussion was amazing.
Africa is really changing."
Â¶9. (C) Comment: Atteya's relatively unsympathetic
reaction and focus on the ICC verdict is inconsistent with
the tone coming from Egyptian officials in Washington
(including Ambassador Shoukry) when State officials discussed
Sudan topics, particularly Article XVI. It is also at odds
with the statements made by Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng
Alor regarding how President Mubarak has reached out to the
Sudan People's Liberation Movement and no longer defends the
Government of Sudan (Addis 0269). End Comment.
Â¶10. (C) Action Request for Embassy Cairo: Given the
apparent discrepancies, Washington would appreciate it if
post could approach Egyptian officials to clarify Egypt's
position on Sudan.
Â¶11. (U) Acting A/S Carter has approved this message.