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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NDJAMENA441
2005-03-22 13:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

CHADIAN TACTICS ALARM AFRICAN UNION

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  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.

221348Z Mar 05

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FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1189
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
DARFUR COLLECTIVE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA
						C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000441 

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, AF/SPG, DRL, INR, PRM, USAID/OTI;
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS; GENEVA FOR CAMPBELL,
ADDIS/NAIROBI/KAMPALA FOR REFCOORDS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2014
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF PREL CD SU
SUBJECT: CHADIAN TACTICS ALARM AFRICAN UNION

REF: NDJAMENA 405

Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Kathleen FitzGibbon for reaso
ns 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: African Union officials are concerned that
Chad's attempts to change the leadership of the Sudan
Liberation Movement (SLM) will contribute to major delays in
restarting the Abuja talks. Ambassador Sam Ibok and Boubou
Niang stopped in N'Djamena for consultations from March 18 to
20 on their way to Abuja to discuss the status of the Abuja
peace process. It is increasingly clear that the Chadians,
in collusion with the Sudanese Government, intend to buy off
Sharif Harir, depose SLM leaders Abdelwahid and Mini Minawi,
and destroy the remnants of the National Movement for Reform
and Development (NMRD) and possibly launch new attacks on the
SLM. End Summary.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
DEEP CONCERNS OVER CHADIAN MANIPULATION
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2. (C) During their consultations in N'Djamena, African
Union officials compared notes with P/E officer on the
ongoing Chadian Government and Sudan Liberation Movement
(SLM) discussions. The AU team met with the P/E officer, the
Chad Mediation Team, and SLM leaders Adam Shogar and Dr.
Sharif Harir prior to traveling to Abuja on March 19. Ibok
was shocked to arrive in N'Djamena to discover the Chadian
"consultations" with SLM. Ibok described General Mahamat Ali
and Special Advisor for International Affairs Allam-mi Ahmat
as evasive when he asked what the Chadians hoped to
accomplish. The Chadians did not give Ibok any specifics on
their discussions with SLM nor with Sudanese Vice President
Taha, who was in N'Djamena last week. Adam Shogar and Sharif
Harir also were not forthcoming in their meeting with Ibok
and regarding whether not they had met with any Sudanese
officials.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
DOUBTS ABOUT RESTARTING ABUJA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



3. (C) According t_`n%9Qrship issues. The Chadian consultations could sabotage
attempts to allow the movement's to settle their own
organizational problems and will weaken the movement's
ability to negotiate. Ibok said that Abdelwahid Nour and
Mini Minawi need to get to Chad to put a stop to the attempts
to co-opt Harir and place him at the head of SLM. He advised
that the U.S. should give Abdelwahid and Mini assurances for
their security to travel to Chad to forestall disaster for
the SLM and the peace process. Ibok opined that Harir "would
not be so bold" if Abdelwahid and Mini were in N'Djamena.
Ibok said he will advise the Nigerian Foreign Minister about
these developments.



4. (C) Ibok knew nothing about potential meetings in Rome
which would involve rebel movement leaders, and requested
additional information so that the AU can plan for the next

round of talks. He is worried that the talks could not
resume before May given all of these developments because the
AU promised the movements it would give at least two weeks of
lead time prior to the next round. If the Chadian plan
succeeds, Ibok said that he does not think it would be worth
the AU's efforts to restart the talks because the SLM would
have co-opted leadership, unable to represent or deliver the
SLM once an agreement is reached. This would be disastrous
for the process and will only embolden the GOS to continue
with its hardline position.

- - - - - - - - -
JEM BACK IN TOWN
- - - - - - - - -



5. (C) Ahmed Lissan Tugod, upon hearing of the ongoing
GOC-SLM consultations or "coup d'etat", returned to N'Djamena
on March 18. In a meeting with AU officials and P/E officer
on March 19, he described a joint plan by the Chadian and
Sudanese Government to unseat Abdelwahid and Mini. He warned
SLM members and expressed concern that the Chadian strategy
will succeed in further dividing SLM. Tugod also told the AU
to disregard the JEM communique that stated the group would
not return to the negotiations until the war crimes tribunal

took place. Lissan explained that it was unrealistic. JEM,
however, wants to wait until the next U.N. Security Council
meeting on Darfur before returning to the peace talks.
Lissan also did not know anything about the potential Rome
meeting.

- - - - - - - -
LATEST THEORIES
- - - - - - - -



6. (C) There is speculation that the GOS wants SLM leaders
and supporters to move back from Eritrea, Chad, and other
countries to Darfur, where the they eventually will be wiped
out. Chad represents the remaining part of a circle around
the movements that needs to be closed off. The Sudanese
Government wants Chad to "close its door" to the movements.
The Sudanese Government allegedly is promising to give the
Zaghawa SLM leaders control of Darfur in an attempt to lure
them back to Sudan. NMRD and SLM members believe that a
Sudanese Government and jandjaweed attack on SLM forces is
imminent. According to these sources, the Government of
Sudan is planning an attack prior to returning to the peace
talks in Abuja. There have already been jandjaweed attacks
in Chad near Beida that have claimed thousands of cattle and
camels. Last week, President Deby reportedly complained to
President Bashir and then to visiting Vice-President Taha
about these attacks on Zaghawas in Chad. However, Chad's
ability to resist Sudanese pressure remains weak. If Chad
does not play along with the GOS's initiatives, then Khartoum
will "unleash" armed groups thought to belong to Chadian
rebel movements. Meanwhile, Chadian security forces are on
high alert along the border as sightings of these groups are
on the increase.

- - - - - - - - -
NMRD UNDER SIEGE
- - - - - - - - -



7. (C) A recent jandjaweed attack on locations of the
National Movement for Democracy and Reform (NMRD) severely
injured NMRD's Chief of Staff Djibrine Abelkerim Bary.
Djibrine is being treated in a hospital in Abeche. Norain
Minawi, NMRD's General Secretary, left N'Djamena for Abeche
on March 21 to see Djibrine. Minawi and Bahar Idriss, NMRD's
press secretary, believe that the GOS is encircling and
attacking NMRD positions to wipe it out. Rumors are
surfacing in N'Djamena that Norain Minawi is being replaced
as General Secretary by Baradine Chaibo, brother of Chad's
Director of the National Security Agency.

- - - - - - - - - -
FATE OF COMMANDERS
- - - - - - - - - -



8. (C) P/E officer's attempts to visit the detained SLM
commanders continue to be frustrated. Several independent
sources allege that one of the commanders, Ahmed Kubur, is
being beaten. Kubur, a Rizagat of Arab descent and a
defector from Moussa Hilal's jandjaweed forces, had been
working with SLM. It is not clear whether the perpetrators
are Chadian or Sudanese. One of the five commanders at the
government guesthouse, Mohammed Harin, was allowed to visit
other SLM members on March 20, but did not speak freely and
could not explain the whereabouts of the other commanders.



9. (C) Another ten SLM field commanders arrived in N'Djamena
on March 21 and immediately met with Dr. Sharif Harir. They
include Juma Haggar, Djidu, and Ramadan. They expect to be
in N'Djamena only for two to three days.


- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -



10. (C) The members of SLM now in N'Djamena are under great
pressure. There appears to be little that Abdelwahid and
Mini can do because it is too dangerous for them to come to
Chad. The AU's concerns that Chad's efforts to co-opt and
divide SLM's leadership will delay the resumption of peace
talks are valid. The possibility that the SLM will come
under direct attack by the Government of Sudan or the
jandjaweed while many of its commanders are in N'Djamena
cannot be ruled out at this point.




11. (U) Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered.

CASEBEER


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