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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NDJAMENA162
2005-02-04 19:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

PRESIDENT DEBY APPEALS FOR HELP

Tags:   PREF  PREL  CD  SU 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


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						C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000162 

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NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR COURVILLE
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2014
TAGS: PREF PREL CD SU
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT DEBY APPEALS FOR HELP

Classified By: Ambassador Marc M. Wall for reasons 1.4 (b and d)



1. (C) Summary: Darfur threatens to become a regional
catastrophe and Chad proposes hosting a high-level meeting of
the Joint Commission on the Humanitarian Cease-Fire in a new
attempt to head it off, President Deby told us February 4.
In the meeting he requested with the Ambassador, he appealed
for more forceful international involvement in Darfur as well
as for expanded counter-terrorist assistance. We urge
Washington to send a senior representative to the February 15
meeting. End Summary.



2. (U) The Ambassador was asked February 4 to meet with
President Idriss Deby later that morning in the Presidential
offices. Deby, looking fit and determined after his recent
travels to Paris, Taipei, and Abuja, received the Ambassador
in his personal office. Only Special Advisor to the
Presidency Allam-mi joined the President. We understand
French Ambassador Berceau had met with Deby immediately
before. These appointments took place at the same time as
Foreign Minister Yamassoum briefed other members of the
diplomatic corps on plans to invite African heads of states
and other senior representatives to the Joint Commission on
the Humanitarian Cease-Fire for Darfur on February 15 in
N'Djamena (see septel).



--------------------------


"We Need Your Help"


--------------------------





3. (C) Deby led off with an account of the weaknesses of
Chad's security services. He said Chad lacks the capacity to
patrol its long borders or protect its vast territory against
terrorist incursions. He referred to several individuals who
had been identified in Chad with links to Al Qaeda and who
also had connections to Saudi Arabia or Libya. He also noted
the Chadian prisoner captured in Afghanistan still held in
Guantanamo. He said Chad is at least as exposed to terrorist
activity as Niger and Mali. He welcomed U.S. training of the
Chadian soldiers under the Pan Sahel Initiative, but stressed
that the numbers involved were far too few to meet Chad's
enormous needs.



4. (C) Turning to the problem of Darfur, Deby warmed up in
describing his alarm over the continuing conflict there. The
problem is getting worse, he argued. None of the parties are
respecting the cease-fire. The fighting is creating an
explosive situation. Chad is getting hit, and other
countries in the region will suffer increasingly too if the
threat is not contained. In fact, he claimed, Chad risks
becoming another Darfur. It had welcomed the Sudanese
refugees, but they simply could not stay in eastern Chad for
years to come. If the problem persists, the whole region
could descend into turmoil like the area surrounding Africa's

Great Lakes, he said.



5. (C) Becoming even more insistent, Deby said it is
absolutely essential that the cease-fire be respected. Also,
the jandjaweed militias must be disarmed, and the
humanitarian relief operations must be protected. He
described plans to host a high-level meeting of the Joint
Commission on the Humanitarian Cease-Fire for Darfur on
February 15. President Obasanjo and Africa Union Chairperson
Konare are among those who plan to attend (see septel). But
he also observed that efforts so far have failed.
Representatives were wandering like nomads from N'Djamena to
Addis Ababa, Abuja and other capitals in vain attempts to
solve the crisis. The international community must step in

more forcefully, It had to force the parties to respect the
cease-fire, he argued.



--------------------------


"We Hear You"


--------------------------





6. (C) The Ambassador responded by noting how much respect
he had discerned during his recent consultations in
Washington for what Chad is doing on Darfur and with the
Sudanese refugees. He noted the high regard he had found
there as well as for Chad's cooperation on counter-terrorism
and its plan for managing its new oil revenues. He welcomed
the collaboration between Chad's and U.S. intelligence
services. He agreed that a company of soldiers is not
sufficient to meet Chad's counter-terrorist needs. He
outlined plans for a significant expansion in defense-related
cooperation through programs over the coming year leading up
to the proposed Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorist Initiative.



7. (C) On Darfur, the Ambassador stressed that the United
States shares concerns about the continuing violence there.
He noted that five Congressional delegations have visited in
the last six months, drawn in part by concerns over the
humanitarian tragedy in Darfur and its impact on Chad. He
said Washington is looking hard at new measures to address
the problem. He referred to the statement by State
Department spokesman Richard Boucher February 1 following
release of the report by United Nations commission of inquiry
on Darfur. The Ambassador mentioned specifically: 1) U.S.
support for a tribunal based in Arusha to assure
accountability; 2) U.S. proposals for a U.N. peacekeeping
mission to support the African Union in Darfur; and 3)
consultations in the Security Council on proposals to
intensify pressure, including by implementing oil sanctions
or other targeted sanctions. He said the United States is
ready to work with Chad and others on ways to resolve the
problem.



--------------------------


Hopes for an All-Parties Conference


--------------------------





8. (C) On the way out of the meeting, Special Advisor
Allam-mi discussed ideas for a peace conference bringing
together all parties in the conflict. He said the SLM and
JEM do not necessarily represent all Darfurians. He
questioned the JEM's agenda or even whether it really
represents anyone in Darfur. Is it serious about negotiating
peace or is its aim the overthrow of the regime in Khartoum,
he asked. If the latter, he observed, it cannot be
considered a serious negotiating partner. He believed other
representatives should be brought to the table, including
those speaking directly for the refugees themselves. He
dismissed Libya's recent attempts at hosting a conference on
Darfur. He said that effort was limited to tribal leaders.
His plan is much more comprehensive, he noted. He saw the
process that led to the Naivasha agreements as a model for
what is needed on Darfur.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





9. (C) Deby's comments echo those he made last week in a
speech at the African Union's meeting in Abuja. He is
exasperated by the failure of peace efforts to date; alarmed
by what he fears could become a regional catastrophe; and

desperate for a solution. We have little confidence that the
proposed high-level meeting of the Joint Cease-Fire
Commission in N'Djamena on February 15 will lead to any
breakthroughs. But we believe it deserves to be taken
seriously. We believe Washington should send an
appropriately senior representative.

10 (U) Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered.
WALL


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