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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA703
2006-03-10 07:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

AMIS RE-HAT: SOUTH AFRICAN PERMREP SUGGESTS

Tags:   KPKO  NATO  PREL  SF  SU  AU 
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VZCZCXRO4472
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #0703/01 0690708
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 100708Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9482
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 2750
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 02 ADDIS ABABA 000703 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, D, IO/PSC
PARIS: PLEASE PASS TO AMB. RANNEBERGER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2016
TAGS: KPKO NATO PREL SF SU AU
SUBJECT: AMIS RE-HAT: SOUTH AFRICAN PERMREP SUGGESTS
DECISION MAY OCCUR AFTER MARCH 10

REF: A. STATE 036548


B. PRETORIA 977 (NOTAL)

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



1. (C) SUMMARY. South Africa's ambassador and permanent
representative to the AU Baso Sangqu notes that the January
10 Peace and Security Council meeting endorsed the transition
of AMIS to a UN operation "in principle." As a member of
both the AU and the UN, and as a troop-contributing country,
South Africa sees "no inherent contradiction" between the two
organizations, but recognizes that consultations are required
to address outstanding "modalities." Amb. Sangqu said South
Africa appreciates the role the United States is playing in
Sudan, but asked that the USG consider whether it could "open
the door" for further engagement and consultations. Amb.
Sangqu's remarks echo those of other PSC members that suggest
that a decision on AMIS transition to a UN operation may not
be finalized by March 10. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) Charge, accompanied by deputy pol/econ counselor,
presented ref A points on March 9 to South African PermRep to
the African Union Amb. Baso Sangqu and First Secretary for
Peace and Security Fefe Dwabayo. Charge highlighted the need
for a clear decision to be made on the future of the AU
Mission in Sudan (AMIS) at the March 10 AU Peace and Security
Council (PSC) meeting, as AMIS had been originally envisioned
as a rapid reaction force, not a long-term peace-keeping
operation. It was important for transition to occur
expediently, before the situation in Darfur deteriorated
further; while the USG recognized the accomplishments of
AMIS, a more experienced peace-keeping operation with a
stronger mandate was needed. Such a force could even assist
the GNU address false accusations of culpability for attacks.
While Sudan had expressed reservations about UN and NATO
forces, both were already playing a role in Sudan, e.g.,
providing training and airlift. Charge noted that the USG
sought to ensure that the mission retain its African
character, and did not oppose having the mission be led by an
African force commander. Defining an "end state" for AMIS
would also enhance the ability of the United States to fund
AMIS, she added.



3. (C) South Africa was approaching the March 10 PSC meeting
with "a high sense of responsibility," Amb. Sangqu said.
Foreign Minister Zuma would lead South Africa's delegation,
as President Mbeki was in Portugal. Amb. Sangqu said he had
met on the previous day with Ethiopian MFA Africa Affairs
Director Amb. Konjit, and earlier in the day with Sudan's
charge. The January 12 PSC had discussed strengths and
weaknesses of AMIS outlined by the Joint Assessment team, and
had asked the AU to contact the UN to work out the
appropriate "modalities" for transition. There was consensus
that transition would require nine months, but further

discussions were needed to work out such modalities, Sangqu
said. No decision had been made yet on whether a
strengthened mission should be mandated under Chapter VI or
VII (peace-keeping vs. peace enforcement) of the UN Charter,
he said. The AU Permanent Representatives Committee had
wisely recommended the such decisions be made at the
ministerial level, he said.



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


"NO INHERENT CONTRADICTION" BETWEEN AU AND UN


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





4. (C) As a member of both the AU and the UN, South Africa
saw "no inherent contradiction" between the two
organizations, but believed that the (African) "character of
the force must be maintained." Citing the example of AMIB's
transition to ONUB in Burundi, Sangqu said that South Africa
did not view the UN taking over from AMIS as a "failure for
Africa," but recognized the need to manage the political
nature of such a transition. He noted that a UN team had met
with AU Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinnit and
representatives of troop-contributing countries (including
South Africa). A UN delegation had also traveled to South
Africa, making it "clear that the UN wants to move in this
direction." Noting that he had been involved in drafting the
communique issued at the January 12 PSC, which had expressed
support "in principle" for a transition from AMIS to a UN
operation, Amb. Sangqu underscored the importance of properly

ADDIS ABAB 00000703 002 OF 002


"formulating" any decision issued by the PSC.



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



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


APPEAL FOR USG TO "OPEN DOOR" FOR FURTHER CONSULTATIONS


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



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





5. (C) South Africa recognized the importance of donor views,
especially since "major resources" for AMIS came from outside
Africa. On the other hand, one needed to contribute to a
positive solution, not advocate "hard-core positions." "The
long and short of it is that it is very difficult to say what
will be the outcome of the meeting," Amb. Sangqu said. While
South Africa appreciated the role the United States had
played in raising the international profile of the situation
in Sudan, the United States needed to "open the door for
further engagement" and recognize "realities on the ground,"
Amb. Sangqu said. He explained that South Africa was "not
necessarily tied" to March 10 "as an end date," and that
additional consultations for one to two weeks may be
required. He stressed the importance of including Sudan as a
partner, rather than an opponent, in the process: "We would
not wish to leave out Sudan in a solution, so it may take
time." Timeliness depended on how fast the AU could resolve
such issues, he said. Sangqu questioned what the United
States would do if no clear decision were reached on March


10. Charge responded that as the USG was committed to
finding a solution and to protecting the people of Darfur, it
sought an expedient decision.



6. (C) Noting that the Abuja peace talks had "not yielded
satisfactory results," Amb. Sangqu said that Sudan's charge
had earlier raised the GNU's concern that the Abuja talks not
be jeopardized. According to Sudan, he said, rebels had
taken a "lackluster stance," awaiting the arrival of a new
international force.



7. (C) In a separate meeting on March 9 with Charge, UK DCM
observed that the UK had identified South Africa as a key
player in the AMIS re-hat decision and that London had been
advised to contact South African FM Zuma.
WILGUS