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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA756
2006-03-16 07:08:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

DARFUR PSC DECISION: KONARE EMPHASIZES AFRICAN

Tags:   PREL  KPKO  EAID  SU  AU 
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VZCZCXRO0456
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #0756/01 0750708
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160708Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9569
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 000756 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO EAID SU AU
SUBJECT: DARFUR PSC DECISION: KONARE EMPHASIZES AFRICAN
LEADERSHIP

REF: ADDIS ABABA 723

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.



1. (SBU) Summary: In a March 15 briefing for Addis-based
partner ambassadors, African Union (AU) Commission
Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare emphasized the importance of
African leadership in creating a democratic Sudan. Konare
called for partner support in pressing for a political
solution to the situation in Darfur, measures to address
tensions between Chad and Sudan, and reinforcement of AMIS as
the only means of bringing about sustainable peace in Sudan.
While Konare's comments smacked of conditionalities to a UN
transition, a senior AU official privately told Charge that
the Peace and Security Council (PSC) decided on March 10 to
support transition and did not lay out specific
prerequisites. USG and other partners' efforts to
re-energize the Abuja talks, and immediate delivery of
assistance to render AMIS more effective, remain productive,
as will continued close consultations with the AU and key
member states on the modalities of transition. End summary.



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


FOCUS ON AFRICAN RESPONSIBILITY


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





2. (SBU) Konare, accompanied by Deputy Chairperson Patrick
Mazimhaka, Peace and Security Commissioner Amb. Said Djinnit
and Political Affairs Commissioner Julia Dolly Joiner, told
partner ambassadors that a solution to Darfur is needed to
ensure progress on the continent. He said that it is
absolutely necessary to prepare the ground for the UN, and
expressed doubt that the UN would be prepared to undertake a
peace enforcement mission in Sudan.



3. (SBU) Konare characterized reaching a political settlement
in Abuja as necessary for ensuring the development of a
democratic Sudan. He called for highest level African and
partner efforts to bring about a breakthrough in the
political talks as soon as possible. Konare stressed the need
to pressure both the GNU and the rebels. The rebels must be
told there will be no other outcome but peace, he said.
Konare lamented the tendency in Africa to resort to armed
solutions to political grievances, but said that the AU
intends to hold Africans to a higher standard. The AU will
stand by the rebels in their fair pursuit of a democratic
Sudan, but rejects unrealistic demands and any attempt to
take over power by armed conflict. Konare called upon the
partners to support the AU's firm stance and avoid sending
mixed signals to the parties.



4. (SBU) Turning to the GNU, Konare said that some hard core
elements of the Sudanese government still want to resolve
problems through war. "They are preparing for a genocide"
since the obvious result of war operations in Darfur is
genocide, he stated. The GNU must be called upon to play the

democracy card instead, Konare said. Sudan must take
responsibility for ensuring unity and plurality, he noted.
The AU will demand that the GNU remove all impediments to
AMIS operations, stop bombings and overflights, and end
hostilities against humanitarian groups and international
organizations. Konare cited the GNU's failure to disarm the
janjaweed. He said that the rebel groups must declare their
positions and be given sufficient security guarantees by the
international community, but the GNU has to also do its part
to create confidence. Konare indicated that the AU would
call for a revised AMIS mandate to enable AMIS to patrol the
Chad-Sudan border to follow up on agreements brokered in
Tripoli.



5. (SBU) Konare said that improved relations between Chad and
Sudan, and progress on the political talks, will lead to a
better security situation on the ground in Darfur. He
expressed deep concern that, unless the parties can be
brought together through a political agreement, Darfur will
spell the end of unity in Sudan and create conflicts in
neighboring countries. Only African leadership can produce a
sustainable solution to Darfur, Konare emphasized. While the
AU will work with the UN to find conditions under which the
UN will deploy to Darfur, the AU's strong wish is to succeed
and to have political agreements in place before the UN
deploys.



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


TOOLS FOR ACTION


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ADDIS ABAB 00000756 002 OF 002




6. (SBU) Konare said that the international community must
have the courage to apply sanctions if the parties do not
cooperate. He renewed his call for a united and energized
approach to the political talks. Konare said that he would
call a meeting in the second half of May to judge progress on
the political talks, and to assess whether a new strategy is
required. He said that the AU will not wait until AMIS' six
month mandate is about to expire. Konare added that he will
chair a meeting in Khartoum on March 27, and that both the
Deputy Chairperson and Amb. Djinnit would attend.



7. (SBU) On AMIS, Konare applauded its quick deployment, but
noted the need to correct command and control deficiencies to
more effectivly protect civilians. AMIS must be able to
properly explain its mandate and also make sure its mandate
is implemented consistently, he said. Konare called upon the
international community to speedily render all necessary
support to strengthen AMIS and correct its weaknesses.



8. (SBU) Asked about the planned pledging conference for
Darfur, Konare said that the AU cannot wait for a pledging
conference and will immediately begin approaching countries
regarding support requirements. Djinnit reiterated the
appeal for funding predictability for AMIS, and noted that
putting AMIS on the right footing will facilitate transfer to
the UN.



9. (SBU) UN, U.S., and UK statements following Konare's
address emphasized the process of transition. The UN noted
that it bears overall responsibility for maintenance of peace
and security and said it will continue to work in close
partnership with the AU at this crossroads. Charge said that
we all want Abuja to succeed, and will work to support AMIS
in the interim, but transition is the best way to provide
stability in Sudan. The British Ambassador endorsed the need
to redouble efforts on the political talks and to provide
resources for AMIS during the transition period.



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


COMMENT


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





10. (SBU) Although Konare's emphasis during the March 15
meeting suggested that agreement in Abuja might be a
prerequisite for transition, his comments rather reflect his
firm belief that failure to broker a political agreement will
spell longer-term disaster for Sudan. Asked by Charge to
provide clarity following the meeting, Peace and Security
Commissioner Djinnit (protect), who has been more pragmatic
than Konare on the transition issue, simply said that making
a political agreement a prerequisite "was not what the PSC
decided." The AU wants to focus all efforts on the political
talks to create a best-case scenario for UN deployment and
pressure the parties to reach a deal, but Konare's remarks do
not change the PSC decision. Charge and the British
Ambassador plan a joint approach to Konare to ensure
transition does not slip, even as the international community
focuses on Abuja settlement and bolstering AMIS (which also
requires AU leadership in effecting command and control
improvements with partner assistance). Post will seek
guidance ahead of any such meeting.
HUDDLESTON