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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA140
2006-01-17 12:12:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

DARFUR: AU PSC ACCEPTS TRANSITION OF AMIS TO THE

Tags:   PREL  KPKO  MARR  SU  AU 
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VZCZCXRO3141
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #0140/01 0171212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171212Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8644
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 000140 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/SPG, AF/RSA, AF/E.
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO MARR SU AU
SUBJECT: DARFUR: AU PSC ACCEPTS TRANSITION OF AMIS TO THE
UN IN PRINCIPLE

REF: A. STATE 1351


B. ADDIS ABABA 48

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.



1. (SBU) Summary: On January 12, the African Union (AU)
Peace and Security Council (PSC) extended the mandate of the
AU Mission in Darfur, Sudan (AMIS) until March 31, 2006 and
accepted "in principle" the transition of AMIS to a UN
operation. The PSC will meet again in Addis at the foreign
ministers level in March 2006 to make a final decision on the
transition. In the interim, the AU Commission will engage in
consultations with the UN and other partners on the
modalities of transition. The AU will expect to work closely
with the USG to ensure transition modalities are mutually
acceptable, that the mission retains an African character,
and that AMIS receives necessary funding in the interim.
Demonstrating concrete action to that effect will contribute
to a positive and definitive PSC decision in March, as well
as facilitate continued close cooperation with the AU to
enhance African peacekeeping capabilities. The AU's Darfur
Integrated Task Force (DITF) is working with partners to
implement December assessment mission recommendations to
improve AMIS capability. The AU also wants continued partner
pressure on the Sudanese parties to achieve a political
settlement. End summary.



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



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


AU ACCEPTS TRANSITION, WANTS TO ENGAGE ON MODALITIES


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



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





2. (SBU) The AU Commission's report to the PSC reflected
points made in the December joint assessment mission report
and in coordinated partner demarches to the AU and member
states in January. The Commission's report noted that an
international presence must be sustained in Darfur for some
time, that AMIS would remain for six to nine months pending a
transition to the UN, that AMIS had been successful in laying
the groundwork for a political settlement though stabilizing
the situation in Darfur, and that, although partner funding
is not without limit, partners committed to sustaining AMIS
in the interim period before a transition. Peace and
Security Director Geofrey Mugumya told Poloff January 11
that, while most PSC members accepted the need for
transition, Northern countries were opposed. The PSC
communique paragraph on transition reflects compromise
language circulated the morning following the PSC meeting.
PSC member states authorized an extension of AMIS only until
March 31, 2006, due to the lack of predictable funding beyond
that point.



3. (SBU) On January 11, AU Commissioner for Peace and
Security Amb. Said Djinnit told Poloff that he is personally
convinced of the need for a transition to the UN, and wants

to focus on building AU capacity to fulfill a policy of
"non-indifference" when it comes to African conflicts. He
expressed firm belief that, in contrast to ad-hoc missions
like AMIS, the African Standby Force (ASF) process is geared
to provide the AU with the necessary tools to conduct peace
support operations. Djinnit said that it is important the AU
retain the lead on the Darfur political talks, and that the
AU wants to work with the USG and other partners to
reinvigorate the process.



4. (SBU) Director for Peace and Security Mugumya told Poloff
later on January 11 that the AU expects close consultations
with the USG further to commitments to maintain the African
character of a military mission in Darfur (Note: Mugumya was
referring to Ref A "selling points" regarding U.S. pursuit of
re-hatting as many AMIS troops as practicable, securing an
African Force Commander for a UN mission, and providing
training and equipment for African troops. AU Peace and
Security Council (PSC) members attending a January 11 lunch
sponsored by Ambassador expressed interest in working with
partners on the mandate for a UN mission to ensure that
re-hatting brings added value. These PSC members and other
African Ambassadors also appeared intrigued by the
possibility of retaining an African character to the mission
in Darfur. Djinnit and AU Commission Chairperson Konare's
Bureau Director Mamadou Lamine Diallo both state the need for
partners to ensure AMIS can fill its funding gap.



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


NEXT STEPS


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





5. (SBU) DITF Head Amb. Ki Doulaye told the partners liaison

ADDIS ABAB 00000140 002 OF 003


group (which meets twice-weekly with the AU to discuss Darfur
support) on January 16 that the AU is open to discussion on
the way forward for AMIS. According to Amb. Ki, AU
Commission Chairperson Konare intends to begin discussions
with UNSYG Annan on the margins of the January 23-24 AU
Summit in Khartoum. The UN Assistance Cell to the AU in
Addis Ababa is already beginning a checklist of logistical
issues that must be settled to facilitate a transition from
AMIS to a UN operation, and UN representatives note that the
UN must soon conduct a comprehensive Technical Evaluation in
Darfur before heading to Addis to discuss equipment
disposition, contract status and other issues. Also
according to UN representatives, UNSYG Annan intends to
convene a donor conference on AMIS to facilitate a greater UN
and other partner role in assisting AMIS throughout the
interim period. The UN expects that PAE services will remain
in place for some period of time after transition. The DITF
has created a technical committee to develop a roadmap to
implement December assessment mission recommendations to
improve AMIS capability. The AU welcomes partner input in
this process, which could also serve as a mechanism for
enhancing NATO's support role to AMIS.



6. (SBU) Comment: With the PSC's January 12 decision to
accept, in principle, a transition from AMIS to a UN
operation, and PSC authorization to the AU Commission to
negotiate modalities with the UN and other partners, the AU
will look to the USG to consult closely on next steps and to
muster financial and technical support necessary to sustain
AMIS in the interim, in addition to continuing to build AU
peacekeeping capacity. Post recommends that the USG engage
the AU early-on to reassure the Commission and member states
that steps are being taken to ensure that AMIS receives
funding necessary to sustain the mission until the UN is
prepared to take over. The U.S. should also work in close
consultation with the AU as mandate and modalities for a UN
mission are being developed. Part of the USG effort will
entail ensuring AMIS troops are at an appropriate standard to
facilitate blue-hatting. Firm signals that AMIS funding will
be sustained for an interim period, that some African
character to the Darfur military mission will be retained,
and that partners can deliver on training and equipping both
AMIS and African troops in a UN mission will help contribute
to a definitive and positive PSC decision in March, as well
as to a continued productive relationship with the AU to
build African peacekeeping capacity. End comment.



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


COMMUNIQUE


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





8. (U) Begin text.

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union
(AU), at its 45th meeting, held on 12 January 2006, adopted
the following decision on the situation in Darfur:

Council,



1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the
Commission on the situation in Darfur (PSC/PR/2/(XLV)) and
the pertinent observations contained therein;



2. Expresses satisfaction at the very significant progress
made in the deployment of the African Mission in the Sudan
(AMIS), as well as the fact that, in spite of serious
financial, logistical and other constraints facing the
Mission, AMIS has contributed significantly to the protection
of the civilian population and the improvement of the
security and humanitarian situation in Darfur;



3. Stresses the importance of the ongoing Inter-Sudanese
Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur, in Abuja, Nigeria, and
the need for their speedy conclusion. In this respect,
Council expresses concern at the very slow progress made so
far in the 7th Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the
Conflict in Darfur and urges the parties to demonstrate more
flexibility so as to allow compromise on the issues involved.
Council stresses the need for continued and increased
pressure by African leaders and other stakeholders on the
Sudanese parties, to bring them to honour their commitments
and negotiate in good faith with a view to ending violence in
Darfur and concluding a comprehensive peace agreement;



4. Stresses that, with the progress made in the initial
stabilization phase of Darfur and the ongoing efforts to
conclude a comprehensive peace agreement, steps should be

ADDIS ABAB 00000140 003 OF 003


taken to sustain the peace support operation in Darfur in
2006 and beyond, bearing in mind the requirements for an
increased integration of the different aspects of the peace
efforts;



5. Expresses its support, in principle, to a transition from
AMIS to a UN operation, within the framework of the
partnership between the AU and the United Nations in the
promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, and
decides to convene a meeting of the Peace and Security
Council at ministerial level, in Addis Ababa, before the end
of March 2006, to review the situation and make a final
decision on the issue of the transition towards a UN
operation in Darfur and its modalities. In this respect,
Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to
initiate appropriate consultations with the United Nations
and other stakeholders, with a view to providing the proposed
meeting of the Peace and Security Council at ministerial
level with all relevant additional information, including on
the modalities for a transition towards a UN operation and
the financial aspects of the ongoing operation in Darfur;



6. Decides, in the interim, to extend the mandate of AMIS
until 31 March 2006;



7. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.



8. (U) End text.


HUDDLESTON