wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA723
2006-03-14 04:45:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

AU APPROVES AMIS REHAT - NOW WHAT?

Tags:   KPKO  EAID  PREL  SU  AU 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO7589
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #0723/01 0730445
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140445Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9520
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHTRO/USLO TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0093
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ADDIS ABABA 000723 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/SPG, AF/RSA, AF/E, IO/UNP,
EUR/RPM, D (SMITH)
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPKO EAID PREL SU AU
SUBJECT: AU APPROVES AMIS REHAT - NOW WHAT?

REF: A. STATE 36548 (NOTAL)


B. ADDIS-AF/SPG EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS MARCH 9 AND
10 (NOTAL)

ADDIS ABAB 00000723 001.2 OF 004


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.



1. (SBU) Summary/Action Request: The March 10 African Union
(AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) ministerial supported
transition of the AU Mission in Darfur, Sudan (AMIS) to a UN
mission. The PSC extended AMIS' mandate until September 30,
2006, and set a deadline of April 30 to conclude the Abuja
political talks. The AU Commission was directed to work
closely with the UN on joint planning of the modalities of
the transition. While Sudan hopes to avoid a Chapter VII
mandate, the AU put the onus on the Sudanese parties to work
with the international community to reach an implementable
agreement in Abuja. Crucially, the final PSC decision does
not impose firm prerequisites for UN transition, or
restrictions on the UN's mandate, except to say that a
decision on mandate should be the product of consultation and
based on the evolving situation on the ground. Nor does it
forbid the AU Commission from seeking assistance from other
partners, such as NATO. The USG and other partners should
provide rapid assistance to bolster AMIS, which will also
require AU leadership's focus on establishing the Joint
Operations Center (JOC) with necessary partner support.
Africans will also expect partners to prepare African troops
for joining a UN mission, and close consultation as UN
mission mandate and composition develops. Post requests
Department guidance ahead of a foreseen meeting with AU Peace
and Security Commissioner Amb. Said Djinnit on next steps
(see paragraph 5). The full PSC decision was circulated to
AF/SPG and others via email. End summary/action request.



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


AMIS RE-HAT: CREATING SPACE FOR AN OUTCOME


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





2. (SBU) In the days leading up to the PSC, Addis-based
African ambassadors and AU Commission officials questioned
whether the PSC would be able to reach consensus on an AMIS
re-hat decision March 10. AU member states cited vehement
Sudanese government opposition to transition, desire to
maintain the African character of a mission in Darfur, and
lack of clarity on a UN mandate, as potential sticking
points. PSC members and other key stakeholders, such as
Egypt, appreciated clarifications provided reftel and through
AF/SPG telephone guidance to post.



3. (SBU) On March 9, AU Deputy Chairperson Patrick Mazimhaka
told Charge that Sudanese FM Lam Akol would announce to the
Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC, comprised of
African ambassadors to the AU) that Sudan no longer opposed a
transition to a UN mission, but wanted a peace agreement
first (i.e., before physical deployment, according to
Mazimhaka). Mazimhaka stated that the Commission intended to

use this opening to secure agreement on transition and
related planning March 10, while simultaneously setting out a
timeframe to conclude the political talks and
finalizing/enhancing AU deployment to Darfur. Separately,
Egyptian Assistant Minister for African Affairs Dr. Mohamed
Higazy told Charge that Sudan's statement to the PRC was a
significant development, but indicated member states had
still not reached consensus. According to Mazimhaka, AU
Commission Chairperson Konare deployed Peace and Security
Commissioner Djinnit to Brazzaville to inform AU Assembly
Chair Sassou-Nguesso that the Commission would push for a
heads of state-level PSC if the ministerial-level failed to
produce a clear outcome.



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


DECONSTRUCTING THE PSC DECISION


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





4. (SBU) Crucially, the final PSC decision does not impose
firm prerequisites for UN transition, nor does it forbid the
AU Commission from seeking assistance from other partners,
such as NATO. Background to key lines of the decision is
outlined below:

Transition (Para 2)


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



"Decides to support in principle the transition from AMIS to
a UN Operation, within the framework of the partnership
between the AU and the United Nations in the promotion of

ADDIS ABAB 00000723 002.2 OF 004


peace, security and stability in Africa."

-- According to AU member state and AU Commission
representatives, Sudan had argued that the PSC lacks the
legal authority to hand over AMIS to the UN. AU Director for
Peace and Security Geofrey Mugumya told Poloff that PSC
members all agreed to transition, but AU legal advisors added
the words "in principle" to the decision because only the
UNSC can authorize UN deployment. Mugumya said that partners
should focus on the spirit of the decision, which supports
transition and does not call for further PSC meetings to
approve handover.

-- PSC Chair for March, Ethiopian FM Seyoum Mesfin, stated at
the press briefing following the March 10 decision that the
PSC decided on transition, but details and modalities would
be worked out among the AU, UN and other actors. (Note:
Amb. Djinnit sat next to Seyoum at the briefing, but made no
statement. End note).

Timeframe (Para 3)


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



"Decides to extend the mandate of AMIS until 30 September
2006..."

-- The PSC Chair clarified during the press briefing that
this date for AMIS mandate expiration could be examined based
on developments on the ground and with the transition
mechanism. He did not rule out the possibility of the UN
taking over before or after that date.

-- Deputy Chairperson Mazimhaka indicated March 9 that the AU
Commission did not want to extend AMIS for too long, in order
to maintain pressure on the parties to settle the political
talks.

Peace Agreement (Paras 4 and 6)


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



"Decides that...every effort should be made to (a) ensure
early conclusion of a peace agreement..."

-- The AU Commission has long stated preference for a
political settlement before handover of AMIS in order to
preserve credibility of the AU's stance of
"non-indifference," although the AU was clear that political
settlement is not a prerequisite. According to Mazimhaka,
Sudan wants a political settlement before transition in the
hopes of avoiding a Chapter VII (peace enforcement) mandate
under the UN Charter.

-- The PSC decision language contains measures to re-energize
the political talks, such as imposing a deadline of April 30
for settlement, stressing the need for highest-level
engagement by African leaders and other stakeholders, and
recommending the establishment of a Committee of Heads of
State and Government for that purpose.

-- Paragraph six of the PSC decision notes that a successful
outcome of the Abuja Peace Talks will be a key factor in any
UNSC decision on the nature of a peacekeeping operation in
Darfur. (Note: The decision falls short of requiring a
political settlement for transition. End note).

AMIS Posture (Para 4)


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



"Decides that...every effort should be made to... (b)
improve the security, humanitarian and human rights situation
on the ground... (and) requests the Commission to immediately
take all necessary steps for the consistent, flexible, broad
and robust interpretation of the mandate...in order to ensure
a more forceful protection of the civilian population."

-- Ahead of the PSC decision, the AU Commission and some AU
member states feared that AMIS transition would remove the
parties' incentive to cooperate with AMIS. The PSC
recognizes that implementation of the AU-led joint assessment
mission recommendations, particularly relating to operational
and tactical planning, command and control, joint operations,
management, training, use of personnel and civil-military
coordination, will go a long way in bolstering AMIS. (Note:
The PSC does not specifically call upon the AU to accept any
particular assistance, but, importantly, it does not
proscribe NATO or other organization assistance. End note).

ADDIS ABAB 00000723 003.2 OF 004



-- The PSC demanded that the Government of Sudan refrain from
conducting hostile military flights and expeditiously
implement its stated commitment to neutralize and disarm the
janjaweed, as well as to declare those militias over whom it
has influence. The PSC also demanded that the rebel groups
provide AMIS with information on their locations, ensure the
security of commercial activities, and withdraw forces from
contentious areas.

UN Mandate, Preparations (Paras 5 and 6)


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



"...Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to
continue his consultations with the United Nations, the
Government of Sudan and other stakeholders on the modalities
of the transition. Council further requests the Chairperson
of the Commission to work closely with the United Nations
Secretary-General on joint planning towards that end..."

SIPDIS

-- While many sub-Saharan AU member states had called for a
UN mission to have a stronger mandate than AMIS (i.e. do not
replace AMIS for the sake of it), Maghreb AU member states
remain opposed to a Chapter VII mandate. All member states
want to see the "African character" of international presence
in Darfur maintained. The UN had complained of lack of AU
Commission engagement, following the January 12 PSC decision
calling upon the AU to coordinate with the UN to inform a
final decision in March.

-- The PSC decision calls for transition to be informed by
the (stated) preparedness of the Government of Sudan to
accept deployment of a UN operation in Darfur. The PSC
stressed that events such as a successful outcome of the
political talks, and significant improvement of the situation
on the ground, be key factors in any decision on the mandate
and size of a UN operation. The PSC called for continuous
consultations between the AU and UN before any UNSC decision
regarding the UN mission. (Note: UN logistics expert Peter
McGhie will move from the Addis-based UN Assistance Cell to
the AU, to New York, to help manage transition requirements,
including the Darfur survey mission. According to UN
officials, AU SR Kingibe will also join the UN transition
effort at a later stage. End note).

-- Importantly, the PSC did not stipulate the nature of the
UN mandate, except to say that it should be the product of
close consultation and informed by the situation on the
ground. The PSC decision more firmly calls upon the AU
Commission to coordinate with the UN.

Other Items of Note


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



-- The PSC endorsed the February 2006 Tripoli Declaration and
Agreement and urged the governments of Chad and Sudan to
implement it. It requested the Commission to submit
proposals on how AMIS could best assist implementation,
including through necessary adjustment to AMIS' current
mandate.

-- The PSC welcomed the convening of a pledging conference in
Brussels to sustain and bolster AMIS in the transition period.

-- The PSC urged the Government of Sudan, the rebel
movements, and the Commission to abide by UNSC 1593 and
cooperate with the Office of the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC).

-- The PSC authorized the Commission to convene an emergency
Joint Commission meeting in Addis Ababa to "take necessary
and appropriate measures against any party that is found
responsible for the escalation of violence in Darfur."



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

-
COMMENT: GOOD RESULT, INTENSE FOLLOW-UP NEEDED


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

-



5. (SBU) Comment/action request. The March 10 PSC decision
provided a basis for the international community to plan a UN
transition while simultaneously pressing for a political
settlement and bolstering AMIS. Before the decision,
Addis-based partner representatives had already begun to
focus on the immediate task of ensuring AMIS does not falter
in a transition period. Recognizing that much of what it
takes to improve AMIS relies more on AU leadership than

ADDIS ABAB 00000723 004.2 OF 004


tangible assets partners can provide, heads of mission have
requested a meeting with Amb. Djinnit in the near future to
get his urgent backing for several initiatives. Post
requests Department guidance in advance of the meeting with
Amb. Djinnit, but offers suggestions of focus below.

JOC
---

-- AU-led joint assessment missions have stressed the
importance of rendering AMIS a truly joint mission with more
solid command and control. The Joint Operations Center (JOC)
is the key to this initiative, but has suffered delays due to
disagreements on its structure. Many lower-level items
required to bolster AMIS depend foremost on JOC
operationalization. Partners need leadership from Amb.
Djinnit to enable JOC setup and his authorization of partner
technical assistance. (Note: Expanded NATO assistance for
AMIS is still a sensitive topic, but may be pushed forward on
a limited scale if framed in terms of training, with NATO
experts providing on-the-job assistance for command and
control functions. End note).

Deputy Head of Mission


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



-- Partners assess that lack of a permanent and forceful
Deputy Head of Mission (DHM) has a negative impact on
consistent implementation of AMIS concept of operations and
rules of engagement (i.e. a single vision for the mission).
Amb. Djinnit should commit to deploying a qualified,
permanent DHM as soon as possible.

Technical Committee


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



-- The technical committee set up by the AU's Darfur
Integrated Task Force (DITF) has developed a timeline for
implementation of recommendations made by the December 2005
joint assessment mission. This timeline should be
prioritized, and AU leadership must give the necessary
support to achieve reforms. For example, Canadian experts
stand ready to train AU staff on information collection,
analysis, production and dissemination, but are still waiting
for African counterparts.

AMIS Media Strategy


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



-- AU media experts responsible for AMIS public diplomacy
activities met March 9 with PAO, poloff and Canadian poloff
to discuss how to manage AMIS media strategy during a
transition and to render AMIS media outreach more proactive
(septel). Partners should emphasize the importance of
immediately implementing improvements to AMIS public
outreach, and inform Amb. Djinnit of which partners will
provide AMIS with necessary equipment and technical
assistance.

Tangibles


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



-- Partners should come to the meeting with Djinnit prepared
to share information on what they are prepared to do to
bolster AMIS, as well as to ensure that AMIS troops are
capable of being re-hatted. Details on financial pledges
could wait until the Brussels pledging conference, though the
AU must be reassured that the USG and others will deliver on
key enablers for AMIS as well as ensure AMIS can meet its
cash requirements with more predictability.

Continuing Dialogue


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



-- Both the AU Commission and its member states will expect
close consultation as UNSC deliberations regarding UN
deployment progress. The AU will also expect continued
high-level key partner focus on securing a political
settlement.



6. (U) Tripoli: MINIMIZE considered.
HUDDLESTON