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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA2420
2006-09-06 17:55:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

DARFUR: AU MINISTERIAL MUST DECIDE FUTURE OF AMIS

Tags:   PREL  MOPS  KPKO  AU  SU 
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VZCZCXRO2786
OO RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2420/01 2491755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061755Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2331
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0419
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0380
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 002420 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO AND AF/SPG
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
CJTF-HOA FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO AU SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR: AU MINISTERIAL MUST DECIDE FUTURE OF AMIS

REF: BANJUL 411 (NOTAL)



1. (SBU) SUMMARY. African Union Peace and Security
Commissioner Said Djinnit reported to international partners
that in September 4 discussions with the AU, Sudan disavowed
press reports that say it seeks the immediate expulsion of
the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), but confirmed its rejection
of a UN peacekeeping operation and the recently adopted UNSCR


1706. The AU faces a dilemma: announcing it will remain
indefinitely in Darfur lessens the pressure for the GOS to
accept a UN transition, but announcing a withdrawal in the
absence of any alternative peace support operation could
spell a humanitarian disaster for thousands in Darfur. While
urging AU planners and technical experts to make contingency
plans for withdrawal, Commissioner Djinnit urged further
engagement with China, Russia, and the League of Arab States
to exert additional pressure on Sudan. No decision on the
future of AMIS will be made prior to a September 18
ministerial-level AU Peace and Security Council meeting, to
be held on the margins of the UNGA in New York.
Acknowledging a deterioration in the political, security, and
humanitarian situation in Darfur, Commissioner Djinnit also
noted that the AU lacks the capacity to conduct a sustained
peacekeeping operation, and reaffirmed the AU's belief that
the "best way forward" remains transition to a UN operation.
END SUMMARY.



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

-
DESPITE SUDAN, AU STILL SEEKS TRANSITION TO UN


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

-



2. (SBU) On September 6, African Union Peace and Security
Commissioner Ambassador Said Djinnit briefed AU partners on
the AU's response to September 4 statements attributed to the
Government of Sudan seeking the immediate expulsion of the AU
Mission in Sudan. Djinnit noted that in an earlier meeting
with AU Commission Chairperson Konare, Sudan's President
Bashir voiced strong opposition to AMIS transition to an UN
operation. The GOS also "reacted quite strongly" to the UN
and AMIS during the previous week's UNSC consultations in New
York, Djinnit said. To discuss Sudan's position, the AU
convened a meeting of its Peace and Security Council (PSC) on
September 4. Acting foreign minister Mohamed Karti also
summoned AU Special Representative for Sudan Ambassador Baba
Gana Kingibe on September 4, to reiterate that the GOS wanted
the AU to continue its mission in Darfur, that one should
discard media reports suggesting otherwise, but that the GOS
rejected both a transition to the UN as well as UNSCR 1706.
The GOS had given the AU one week to clarify the future
mandate of AMIS, Djinnit said.



3. (SBU) The AU faced a Catch-22, Djinnit said, as the more

it was inclined to remain in Darfur, the less pressure it
could exert on the GOS. The AU could not declare that it
would remain indefinitely in Sudan, as that would provide the
GOS with no incentive for UN transition. A core issue for the
African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) would be to
determine what options existed, Djinnit said. Citing
concerns by some unnamed PSC members and troop contributing
countries, and the UN's 1994 withdrawal of peacekeepers in
Somalia, Djinnit said one could not exclude the possibility
of withdrawal. Noting that safe and orderly withdrawal not
only of AMIS peacekeepers but also of jointly owned (i.e., by
the AU and by partners) equipment would require days if not
weeks or months, Djinnit said military planners from the AU
Darfur Integrated Task Force would meet with technical
experts from partners and troop contributing countries to
discuss contingency planning in the event that AMIS must
withdraw by September 30. In addition to withdrawal, Djinnit
said other options included remaining for a short period
beyond September 30 (from 15 days to 2 months) to provide
additional time for consultations with the GOS, or to leave a
substantially weaker peace support mission in place. The AU
could, for example, announce that it would remain in Darfur
until October; if no progress were made by then, the AU could
begin measures to dismantle and withdraw.



4. (SBU) Djinnit reiterated the AU's commitment to peace in
Darfur and its continued desire to seek a transition to a UN

ADDIS ABAB 00002420 002 OF 003


peacekeeping operation, as expressed earlier in numerous PSC
communiques. He said the AU's position remained that AMIS
would terminate on September 30 and that "the best way
forward" was a UN transition, particularly as the AU was
still developing its capacity and resources to conduct
peacekeeping operations. The AU faced a significant dilemma,
he added, as the June 27 ministerial-level PSC on Darfur
(reftel) at the AU Summit had deferred consideration of a
draft revised concept of operations for AMIS that called for
increasing AMIS's capacities and logistics, and had decided
to approve new tasks for AMIS but not additional resources
for their implementation. As the AU had briefed the UNSC,
the AU recognized Sudan's opposition to UN transition, but
had assumed that efforts would be made to later Sudan's
decision. Unfortunately, Djinnit said, such efforts had
failed.



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



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


RUSSIA, CHINA, ARAB LEAGUE -- ALL URGED TO PRESSURE SUDAN


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



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





5. (SBU) Noting that AU Commission Chairperson had done his
utmost to push Bashir, Djinnit urged partners to engage
Russia, China, the Arab League, and possibly France to have
them place greater pressure on the GOS. He noted that the AU
Commission had recently met with the visiting Russian foreign
minister, who had agreed to engage the GOS; the AU would soon
approach China. The AU would consult with UNMIS and others
in Khartoum later in the day, Djinnit said. Another tactic
may be for world leaders to approach President Bashir
collectively, he said; there was also room for African
leaders to act, he added.



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



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


AU MINISTERIAL TO DECIDE WHETHER AMIS WILL WITHDRAW


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



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





6. (SBU) Media reports suggesting that the AU had failed and
would immediately withdraw AMIS were misleading, Djinnit
said. Withdrawal was an option, he said, but the future of
AMIS would not be determined until a ministerial-level
meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) was
convened September 18 in New York. Such a meeting on the
margins of UNGA would facilitate further consultations with
key African leaders, if needed, he said. While input from
troop-contributing countries was important, the key
decision-makers would be PSC ministers, Djinnit said. An
earlier ministerial-level PSC was not possible, he added, as
the AU needed to prepare the necessary report to the PSC but
faced the Ethiopian New Year holiday (September 11), and many
African ministers would be traveling to Havana for the
September 10-11 Non-Aligned Movement meeting hosted by Cuba.



7. (SBU) Djinnit acknowledged that security and the
humanitarian situation were deteriorating in some areas of
Darfur, and that implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement
(DPA) had "started on a weak note" with participation of only
two of four parties. Fulfilling additional tasks required
5-6 additional battalions, but none had been approved,
Djinnit said, compelling the AU to do more with less. Noting
that the DPA was ambiguous on the matter, he said that at the
request of the GOS and SLM/A Minni Minawi, DPA
non-signatories had been notified that they could no longer
participate in the Ceasefire Commission. The GOS was not
willing to entertain any discussion on allowing
non-signatories to the DPA to participate, he said. As a
result, AMIS was falsely perceived to be taking sides against
non-signatories, and had been subject to several attacks. On
the other hand, examples of progress included: the
establishment in Khartoum of a DPA Implementation Team,
development of a public information strategy, and ongoing
efforts to identify a chairman and preparatory committee
members for a Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation.



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

---
AU CANNOT SUSTAIN MISSION USING AD HOC FINANCING


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

---



8. (SBU) Djinnit took issue with the EC permrep's assertion

ADDIS ABAB 00002420 003 OF 003


that AU now had sufficient funding to extend AMIS. While
recent cash contributions (30 mn Euros from the EC, 13.5 mn
pounds from the UK, and 20 mn Euros from the Netherlands)
could enable AMIS to continue beyond October, such ad hoc
funding was precarious, Djinnit said, and could not serve as
the basis for the AU sustaining a peace support operation.
For the same reason, Djinnit added, staying in place with
funding from the League of Arab States was not viable: while
the League's secretary-general had informed the AU of the
League's decision to support AMIS, no contributions had been
received from Arab states other than a single pledge from
Qatar. On the other hand, he said, the system of assessed
contributions allowed by the UN was more sustainable.



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


PARTNER VIEWS


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





9. (SBU) Canadian ambassador noted that Sudan's continued
opposition to UN deployment meant the situation in Darfur had
reverted to 2003, and that withdrawal from Darfur, in the
absence of any alternative peace support operation, would
harm the AU's credibility. He also expressed concern about
the disposition of 105 Canadian armored personnel carriers
(APCs), fearing their seizure by the GOS. EC permrep
underscored the need for a peaceful, non-military solution,
as well as the need for concerted pressure on the GOS prior
to September 18.



10. (SBU) Charge questioned how the AU's oft-cited principle
of "non-indifference," vice the OAU's principle of
non-interference, would influence the decision on whether to
withdraw AMIS. In response, Djinnit said the AU had not
developed sufficient capacity to implement the principle
fully; the AU continued to build its institutions. He hailed
the successful role being played by the 15-member AU Peace
and Security Council, noting that in contrast, under the OAU,
no decision were made without the consent of the government
concerned.



11. (SBU) US, Canada, and EU heads of mission also
underscored the necessity of the AU Commission taking a more
aggressive public diplomacy stance to counter media reports
that suggested that the AU had given up and would withdraw.
Ambassador Djinnit agreed to convene a press conference,
noting that the AU had been at the forefront of attempting to
seek a solution for Darfur.



12. (SBU) COMMENT: Chinese and Russian representatives did
not attend Ambassador Djinnit's briefing, which had been
requested by the AU partners' group on Darfur, chaired by the
European Commission and comprising the US, Canada, NATO, the
UN, and Western European donors. Separately, the AU
Commission announced that the Darfur Peace Agreement Joint
Commission meeting originally scheduled for September 7 in
Addis Ababa has been postponed indefinitely. Scant reference
was made to UNSCR 1706 and its provision of a Chapter VII
peace enforcement mandate. Further engagement with China,
Russia, and the League of Arab States, appear to be the only
remaining options outlined by AU leadership. END COMMENT.
WILGUS