|06BRUSSELS4210||2006-12-22 11:42:00||CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN||Embassy Brussels|
1. (C) Sudan Special Envoy Natsios conducted a Darfur
roundtable on December 15, 2006 with experts from the
Belgian MFA led by Director for African Affairs Trouveroy
(the former Belgian Ambassador to Sudan) and Director of
International Organization Affairs (both A/S-equivalent)
Frankinet. The Special Envoy used the meeting to brief the
Belgians on his just concluded trip to Sudan, and on
developments concerning Darfur likely to occur at the UNSC
in late December and early January. He indicated also
that, based on his discussions with President Bush, the USG
was determined to bring about pressure on the Bashir
regime, should Bashir continue to obstruct Kofi Annan,s
plan for PKO, or continue to commit atrocities against
non-combatants in Darfur. Belgium joins the UNSC in January
2. (C) The Belgian side noted several Darfur-related
developments that have occurred recently within an EU and a
regional context. Trouveroy indicated that the EU's
Special Envoy for Darfur, Pekka Haavisto, would be leaving
his post in
February (as would Aldo Ajello, the long-serving Special
Envoy for the
Great Lakes). In a discussion of AMIS, the Belgians said
the Rwandans had considered adding an additional battalion,
but were extremely reluctant to do so absent more
information on funding. The EU (read Development
Commissioner Michel) was loath to pay more -- the
Commission preferred for individual member states to offer
more money directly.
3. (C) The Belgian side agreed fully with Special Envoy
Natsios' comment on the difficulty of devising an effective
sanctions regime. Securing Chinese acquiescence would
probably prove especially difficult, Frankinet argued,
adding that it would not be impossible. She noted that the
Chinese had been surprisingly helpful at the last Addis
Ababa conference on Darfur. The continuing dispute over
the Iranian nuclear program was a further complication.
The Belgians expressed interest in Special Envoy Natsios'
suggestion that sanctions might be targeted at particular
individuals in the regime.
4. (C) At the meeting's conclusion, Trouveroy indicated
that the Belgians were growing increasingly concerned about
the Darfur conflict's spillover effect on Central Africa.
The recent fighting in the CAR had sounded a loud alarm.
Continuing conflict could prove destabilizing not only in
Eastern Congo, but also in Tanzania. Given this fear, the
Belgians supported the need to send a strong message to
Khartoum as soon as possible. Korologos