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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NDJAMENA260
2005-02-18 17:17:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

PRESIDENT DEBY DOUBTS AFRICAN UNION'S CAPACITY ON

Tags:   KDEM  KPKO  PHUM  PREL  KAWC  SU  CD 
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181717Z Feb 05

ACTION SWCI-00  

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  INL-00   
      USNW-00  DODE-00  PERC-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  
      VC-00    H-00     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     CAC-00   
      VCE-00   M-00     NEA-00   DCP-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-00   
      OIG-00   PA-00    GIWI-00  PRS-00   P-00     CFPP-00  FMPC-00  
      SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  SCRS-00  DSCC-00  
      PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00     /000W
                  ------------------BAE599  181721Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0995
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
DARFUR COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA
						C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000260 

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI PROSPER; LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA
WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2015
TAGS: KDEM KPKO PHUM PREL KAWC SU CD
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT DEBY DOUBTS AFRICAN UNION'S CAPACITY ON
SUDAN TRIBUNAL

REF: A. STATE 21439


B. LIBREVILLE 121

Classified By: Ambassador Marc M. Wall for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)



1. (C) Summary. The African Union (AU) is not up to the
task of establishing a tribunal on Darfur, but the decision
on how to proceed should reflect whatever AU consensus is
reached, President Deby told the Ambassador February 18. In
the meeting held to convey the Secretary's letter to him on
the subject, Deby also insisted that those responsible for
atrocities be held accountable. Earlier on February 16,
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Prosper pressed the
U.S. position in discussions with Gabon's President Bongo and
AU officials on the margins of the meeting of African leaders
on Darfur. End Summary.



2. (C) The Ambassador met Chad's President Idriss Deby
February 18 to discuss the U.S. proposal for a UN/AU
"Tribunal for Sudan." Deby's Special Advisor Alam-mi and P/E
officer participated in the meeting. The Ambassador had
requested the meeting the day before for the purpose of
delivering the Secretary's letter carried to N'Djamena by
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Pierre Prosper.
Prosper did not have an opportunity to present the letter to
Deby while in N'Djamena February 16 on the margins of the
meeting of several AU heads of state on Darfur. Prosper had
earlier raised the proposal with Deby during discussions at a
CEMAC heads of state meeting in Libreville on February 11
(ref B).



3. (C) The Ambassador underlined U.S. concern to ensure
accountability for crimes committed in Darfur, outlined the
U.S. proposal for the UN/AU tribunal, and presented Deby the
Secretary's letter along with the Sudan Tribunal Concept

SIPDIS
paper (ref A). After reading the French translation, Deby
said Chad is committed to bringing to justice those
responsible for committing crimes in Darfur. He spoke of
massive violations against human rights taking place in
Darfur. He stressed the urgency of taking action to try the
offenders while attention of the international community is
still focused on the issue.



4. (C) Deby described two schools of thought within the AU
on how to move forward, i.e., working through the
International Criminal Court (ICC) or through African
institutions. He said Chad's position sided with the ICC
option. He questioned several times the AU's capacity to do
the job. He doubted the financial resources or legal
expertise are available in Africa. He had reservations about
the performance of the International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda in Tanzania. He was concerned that an AU tribunal
would have to deal with crimes committed in Cote d'Ivoire,
the Great Lakes, and other African countries, leaving it too
stretched to handle cases in Sudan. Deby also stressed that
Africa's position on where to prosecute the crimes would be
taken by the AU collectively, not by countries individually.



5. (C) The Ambassador responded that the U.S. approach had
the advantage of making use of the existing mechanism in
Tanzania. It would also serve to reinforce the AU's capacity
to deal with such cases. He noted U.S. interest in
supporting a exercise carried out in Arusha and the obstacles
we would face in doing so through the ICC. He pointed to
ICC's lack of competence in prosecuting cases that occurred
before mid-2002.



6. (C) Deby acknowledged these points and promised to
provide a more precise response. He welcomed the suggestion
to continue discussions with Foreign Minister Yamassoum and
Foreign Policy Advisor Alam-mi. He reiterated that Africa's
position would be a collective AU decision. He believed that
AU Chairperson Konare's upcoming visit to New York would be
an opportunity to discuss the matter.



7. (C) During his stop in N'Djamena January 16, Ambassador
Prosper had the opportunity to meet with Gabon's President
Bongo to discuss the U.S. proposal. Bongo expressed his
support as well as a willingness to raise the issue with
Konare and other African leaders. Ambassador Prosper also
outlined U.S. views with Sam Ibok, AU Special Representative
for Darfur. Ibok took careful note of the presentation and
promised to convey the points to Konare in Addis Ababa.



8. (C) Comment. Deby's insistence on ensuring
accountability is a welcome sign that he has at least crossed
the first hurdle in considering a tribunal on Sudan. Given

his complicated relations with Khartoum and some of the
parties implicated in the conflict in Darfur, his support for
establishing a tribunal in any form was not a foregone
conclusion. He does not appear dug in on the option of using
the ICC. We expect he would go along with any AU consensus,
though not necessarily going out of his way to shape it. End
Comment.



9. (U) Khartoum and Tripoli minimize considered.
WALL


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