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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA1472
2006-05-25 13:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

AU PLANNERS AND NATO DISCUSS DARFUR PEACE

Tags:   PREL  MOPS  KPKO  SU  AU 
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VZCZCXRO7723
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #1472/01 1451348
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251348Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0818
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 001472 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, EUR/RPM, AND IO/PSC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2016
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO SU AU
SUBJECT: AU PLANNERS AND NATO DISCUSS DARFUR PEACE
AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION


Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, A.I. JANET WILGUS. REASON: 1.4 (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY. A meeting between visiting DOD DASD Whelan,
African Union officials working on Darfur issues, the NATO
Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Planning, and Embassy
officials, highlighted challenges in implementing the May 5
Darfur Peace Agreement. The AU DITF POLAD called for
continued pressure on non-signatories, but recommended
against the imposition of sanctions; he also noted that
Presidents Obasanjo and Mbeki may be among heads of state
visiting Sudan to urge GOS compliance. According to the AU's
chief logistician for Darfur, the CONOPS for AMIS enhancement
is still being developed and will be presented to the AU
Peace and Security Council in mid-June for approval. AU
officials underscored the need for both logistic and
financial assistance from donor countries and partners; NATO
assistance to the AU had given NATO greater credibility in
Africa, especially given the historical burden of having
supported those opposing African independence movements in
the 1960s. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) On May 20, visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for African Affairs Theresa Whelan discussed the May
15 African Union Peace and Security Council's (PSC) decision
on Darfur with NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General (DASG)
for Planning Amb. Maurits Jochems (Netherlands), NATO POLAD
Hasan Aygun (Turkey) and AU Darfur Integrated Task Force (AU
DITF) officials: Political Advisor Dr. Solomon Gomez, Chief
of Administration Control and Management Center Commodore
Binega Mesfin, and Head of Civilian Police (CIVPOL) Karl
Mario Nobin. Charge, DCM, DATT, and emboffs also
participated.



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



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


PARTNERS SHOULD PRESSURE BUT NOT SANCTION NON-SIGNATORIES


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



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





3. (C) Rebel movements "not resident in Darfur" had recently
traveled to Western capitals, Dr. Gomez said, underscoring
the necessity of AU partner countries' (i.e., non-member
states) continuing pressure on both the SLM/A group of Abdul
Wahid al-Nur and the JEM of Khalil Ibrahim to sign the May 5
Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) prior to the May 31 deadline
established by the May 15 AU PSC communique (forwarded to
AF/SPG). Such pressure was as important as continued
financial assistance from donors, he said. Both the JEM and
SLM/A needed to know the DPA would not be renegotiated.
According to Gomez, the DPA thoroughly addressed land issues,
concerns about the 1956 border, and the possible
consolidation of 3 Darfur states into one; rather than
establish further preconditions for signing, parties could

consider continuing discussions as signatories. As AU Darfur
mediator Amb. Sam Ibok had observed (septel), the DPA was
weighted in favor of the people of Darfur, not its leaders;
Wahid's refusal to sign was due to his personal ambition to
become vice president, Gomez said.



4. (C) As the OAU's sanctions unit chief during South
Africa's apartheid era, Gomez asserted that sanctions would
not work, and should only be used as a last resort. "What
assets does Wahid have?" he asked rhetorically. A sanctions
regime without any enforcement mechanism, such as the arms
embargo imposed on the Democratic Republic of Congo, would
not be effective, he said.



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



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


AFRICAN HEADS OF STATE TO PUSH SUDAN TO IMPLEMENT DPA


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



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





5. (C) Mechanisms to ensure compliance with the DPA presented
a challenge, Gomez said. Attacks by Wahid and Minni
Minnawi's rival SLM/A factions on each other appeared to have
ceased, but could easily resume. As Sudan could not be
relied upon to implement the DPA by itself, it was necessary
for the Committee of Heads of State and Government, referred
to in both the March 10 and May 15 PSC decisions, to travel
to Sudan to push for implementation. (NOTE: In a May 22
meeting with U.S., UK, Canadian, EU, NATO, and UN
representatives, Gomez explained that the Committee of Heads
of State would represent five regions, and would likely
include Nigerian President Obasanjo and South African
President Mbeki but not Senegalese President Wade. "It is

ADDIS ABAB 00001472 002 OF 003


certain they will go" to Sudan, he said. END NOTE.)



6. (C) Mesfin observed that by urging both rebels and the
Janjaweit to disarm, the Joint Commission and Enhanced
Ceasefire Commission were the key bodies for DPA
implementation. However, he acknowledged that lack of any
punitive measures for ceasefire violations was "a reflection
of the weakness we have." AU Commission Chairperson Konare
could only convoke Sudan's ambassador, and then refer
violations to the PSC.



7. (SBU) Mesfin observed the difficulty of disarming
predominantly pastoralist IDPs, which would require placing
them in camps, and underscored that disarmament was not
within the AU's mandate. "We are not there to disarm
anyone," he said. The DPA called for the GOS to disarm the
Janjaweit, while rebels were to be reintegrated. Gomez added
that the GOS also needed to disarm additional groups it had
armed: "The GOS knows those it has disarmed, and it must
disarm them."



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


CONOPS FOR ENHANCED AMIS STILL IN PROGRESS


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





8. (SBU) Discussing next steps following the May 15 PSC
decision, Gomez and Mesfin said the AU was still developing a
new concept of operations (CONOPS) for an enhanced African
Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which would be considered by
another PSC meeting in mid-June; a pledging conference for
AMIS would follow one week later. Gomez asserted that
transition from an AU-led to a UN-led peacekeeping operation
was still possible by October; Mesfin disagreed, observing
that the September 30 deadline for UN transition was "too
tight." The last AMIS battalion would arrive in Darfur only
one month prior to AMIS's termination, Mesfin said. "So
where's our strength?" he asked. AMIS enhancement would
require five additional battalions from as yet unidentified
troop contributing countries, Mesfin said. However, prior to
transition, the "UN should take some of the burden," he said,
assuming greater responsibility for providing resources,
manpower, and management for AMIS.



9. (SBU) A revised CONOPS should restructure AMIS to make its
protection force more proactive, so that it protects
civilians and implements the DPA, rather than just protect
military observers (MILOBs), Mesfin said. Additional changes
included reducing AMIS's eight sectors to three, establishing
15 additional camps (not only to accommodate the five
additional battalions, but also to disperse the AMIS force),
and establishing a reserve battalion.



10. (SBU) Nobin underscored the need to harmonize CIVPOL
operations with that of the AMIS military forces. An amended
CONOPS would realign CIVPOL sectors with those of the
military, placing CIVPOL officers with each of the military's
13 battalions. The success of CIVPOL operations would depend
on the military's ability to establish concentric buffer
zones (manned by AMIS military forces) and demilitarized
zones (patrolled by liaison officers) around IDP camps, he
said. Moreover, GOS police, who had executive powers, were
needed within the camps themselves, he added, to disarm IDPs.
Some 65 IDP camps were registered, but nearly double that
number (108) were unregistered, Nobin said. Registered camps
would likely grow in size, he said, as their enhanced
security would draw IDPs from less secure unregistered camps.




11. (C) Agreeing with DASD Whelan's observation that
verification was key, Mesfin added that AMIS capabilities and
air or ground transport assets needed to be enhanced to
provide AMIS with greater mobility. Attack helicopters,
possibly from Egypt, South Africa, or Nigeria, would be most
useful, Mesfin said. Asked whether the GOS would accept such
helicopters, Gomez noted that the GOS agreed to armored
personnel carriers (APCs) only after AMIS argued they were
needed to protect against attacks by rebels, rather than by
the GOS.



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



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


DONOR COMMITMENT NEEDED TO ENSURE SUCCESS OF AMIS


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



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



ADDIS ABAB 00001472 003 OF 003





12. (SBU) As successful implementation of the DPA required a
secure environment, donor commitment to fund AMIS enhancement
was critical, Mesfin said. Ongoing challenges included
having only one week of food in stock, as well as the AU's
non-payment of AMIS troops and military observers for two
months. Three months after the previous pledging conference
for AMIS, only 20 per cent of the funds needed had been
pledged; six months later, only 50 per cent had been pledged.
Arguing that AMIS "must have assurances," Mesfin recommended
the establishment of a donors' trust fund, hailed the
provision of assistance in kind (urging the United States to
continue supporting contracts with PAE), and said that EU
funds to pay AMIS troops could not be conditional on the
receipt of financial reports from the AU. Noting pressure to
place AMIS troops along the Chad-Sudan border, Gomez
recommended pushing Libya to fund their deployment.



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


NATO'S ROLE: ENHANCING AU CAPABILITIES


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





13. (SBU) Citing NATO's backing of Portugal against African
independence movements in the 1960s, Gomez said NATO had
since "proven its neutrality" through its assistance to the
AU on both AMIS and the African Standby Force. NATO could
further assist with developing the capabilities of regional
organizations, such as EASBRIG or ECOWAS, he said. Commodore
Mesfin was more reticent: NATO should define its own role in
Africa and then approach the AU. "It is difficult for the AU
to ally itself with a regional military organization," Mesfin
said. Gomez countered that AU PSC members were aware of
NATO's role in supporting AMIS; the enhancement of AU
capabilities was the central goal, with no restriction on the
origin of such assistance, he said.



14. (U) DASD Whelan noted that the NATO-AU relationship could
focus on longer-term goals, such as developing the African
Standby Force, or on meeting the AU's immediate needs, such
as logistics for peace support operations.



15. (U) NATO DASG Jochems observed that in discussions on
establishing NATO's charter, the United States had pushed for
NATO to avoid Africa and other post-colonial areas. NATO
could provide a useful mechanism for coordination with its 26
member states, some of which were already very active in
supporting the AU in Sudan (such as Canada and the United
States), Jochems said. Noting that NATO's first major peace
support operations were conducted on behalf of Muslims,
Jochems said there was a contradiction between explaining
NATO's role while keeping a low profile.



16. (C) COMMENT: Coming just days after the May 15 AU PSC
decision that, inter alia, urged "the Chairperson of the
Commission to consult urgently with potential troop
contributing countries, as well as with AU Partners to secure
the required support," this meeting with several key AU
planners highlighted NATO and USG interest in engaging
closely with the AU on enhancing operations in Sudan and
preparing for a transition to a UN peacekeeping operation.
The varying comments by some of the AU's chief planners of
operations in Sudan underscore that assistance from NATO and
other partners is welcome, but continues to be politically
sensitive. END COMMENT.



17. (U) DASD Whelan did not have the opportunity to clear
this cable prior to departing Addis Ababa.
HUDDLESTON