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2006-11-27 08:17:00
Embassy Paris
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DE RUEHFR #7541/01 3310817
O 270817Z NOV 06
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 007541 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2016

REF: A. PARIS 7177

B. PARIS 846

C. HOTR P210908Z NOV 06

Classified By: Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton. Reasons 1.4b,d

1. (C) SUMMARY: Special Envoy for Sudan Natsios and
Ambassador Stapleton met on November 18 with French
Presidential Africa Counselor Bonnecorse and MFA/AF
A/S-Equivalent de Gliniasty Bonnecorse stressed French
concern at the regional fallout of the Darfur catastrophe.
The Sudanese program of ethnic cleansing in Darfur now
foreshadowed the forced migration of the non-Arab Black
populations into the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.
Bonnecorse confided that France was transferring additional
forces into the Central African Republic (CAR) to backstop an
imminent military campaign by FOMUC forces to retake
townships lost to rebels in northern CAR. Bonnecorse warned
that anti-Deby campaigns launched from Darfur risked toppling
the Chadian leader. He reproached the Addis Ababa
consultations for failing to provide for cross-border
security as part of the mandate of any AU-UN hybrid force.
Bonnecorse and Gliniasty warned that France could intervene
to help protect refugee camps only if afforded some form of
international legitimacy in terms of operating in concert
with international cross-border monitors. Concerning the
AU-UN hybrid force, Bonnecorse doubted its efficacy and
voiced some skepticism regarding financing via the UN scale
of assessments; France and U.S. should jointly demand broader
burden-sharing, notably by the Arab League, he said, and
should link UN financing to the concession of some kind of UN
chain of command. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Special Envoy for Sudan Andrew Natsios and
Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton met on November 18 with Michel
de Bonnecorse, Counselor to President Chirac for African
Affairs. Deputy Presidential Africa Counselor Jacques
Champagne de Labriolle and MFA AF A/S-Equivalent Jean de
Gliniasty also took part, together with AF/SE COS Andrew
Steinfeld and Embassy Paris Africa Watcher.

3. (C) Bonnecorse observed that France and the United
States shared common goals and a similar analysis of the
Darfur situation. He judged the outcome of the Addis Ababa
consultations on Darfur to be more or less satisfactory,
although he afterward criticized the conference's treatment
of border security (para 10 below). Bonnecorse stated that
he had two abiding preoccupations: 1) whether Darfur rebels
could reach a common position that would facilitate real
negotiations, and 2) the modalities for deployment of an
AU-UN hybrid force.

4. (C) Bonnecorse noted that his talking points called for
designation of a "democratic SLM leader;" he sneered at
invoking the epithet of "democratic" in the context of a
Darfur leader, but he stressed the self-evident need for the
emergence of authoritative leadership. Bonnecorse questioned

whether an AU-UN hybrid force would be effective. If
composed mainly of African troops, then, he quipped, it would
exhibit African efficiency. Bonnecorse said the AU-UN
hybrid was essentially a face-saving device for the West,
after the deadlock over UNSCR 1706 caused by GoS refusal to
accept UN rehatting of AMIS. France raised questions about
financing an AU-UN hybrid force by applying the UN scale of
assessments; such a hybrid force would be a novelty and an
innovative approach to funding was more appropriate.
Bonnecorse advocated burden-sharing by the Arab League.

Regional Fallout, Need for Containment on Darfur



5. (C) The regional fallout of the Darfur crisis loomed
large in French thinking, Bonnecorse stated. France, he
thought, could also provide maximum assistance in terms of
the regional crisis. French forces in Chad had a mandate to
defend against external threats to Chad; originally, these
were Libyan in character, but now the threats stemmed from
Sudan. Bonnecorse stated that France would protect Deby
insofar as he represented the internationally recognized
leadership of Chad and because he had a relative claim to
some sort of democratic investiture. Above all, France would
stand by Deby for want of any credible successor, as
Bonnecorse noted he had conveyed to former Deputy Secretary
Zoellick (Refs A, B).

6. (C) Deby's staying power was unclear, but, with sixteen

PARIS 00007541 002.2 OF 003

years at the helm, he had already beaten the national record
for Chadian leaders, Bonnecorse quipped. That said, France
recognizes that Deby's tribal group only accounts for 3
percent of Chad's population, with more than half of his own
tribe now in the opposition. There were now three or four
rebel groups, fielding some 10,000-12,000 armed rebels.
Bonnecorse anticipated successive waves of rebel attacks,
with Deby inevitably succumbing in the end. The Sudanese
were fanning the anti-Deby rebellion. However, most rebels
-- about two-thirds, he estimated -- were Chadian nationals,
and the French military had clear instructions not to fire on
Chadians. The French military would provide "moderate"
support to Deby, Bonnecorse declared, and would take action
to oppose external aggression, as appropriate, and to prevent
the fall of N'djamena.

7. (C) Deby was now acting in the mode of a warlord, rather
than a president, Bonnecorse asserted. Talk of fostering a
political dialogue with the opposition was, "frankly,
completely unrealistic," Bonnecorse said, referring to his
October 20 conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Chad Marc
Wall (Ref A). Among Deby's opponents, Mahamat Nouri was now
in pole position, his chief advantage being that he was not
Zaghawa but Goran, and also enjoyed the fealty of numerous
smaller groupings, including the Chadian ethnic group known
as "Arabs."

French to Help Repulse CAR Rebels


8. (C) Bonnecorse warned that a next step in the Sudanese
plan for ethnic cleansing would be to expel or provoke the
migration of the non-Arabic, black Darfur population into the
Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad. Sudanese had
infiltrated northern CAR from Darfur with a mission to pave
the way for the flight of the black Darfur population. The
FACA, the CAR military, was virtually non-existent, unable to
offer any resistance. CAR President Bozize had requested
French military assistance and France would now engage in
support of FOMUC forces. The French would form the backbone
of a military intervention in Northern CAR, Bonnecorse said,
but they needed the cover of an African flag, hence the FOMUC
mission (Ref C). Bonnecorse confided that France would act
imminently, "next week," in order to take back Birao and
other townships recently seized by rebels in Northern CAR.
France was transferring additional military forces to CAR, he
said. The French aim was to shock the CAR rebels and cause
them to rethink their agenda.

Addressing Cross-Border Violence from Sudan


9. (C) SE Natsios asked Bonnecorse to what extent he
attributed border violence to the GoS proper. Bonnecorse
replied that Sudan provided safe haven for the preparation
and launching of attacks against Deby. Sudan provided
logistic support, notably petrol but also weaponry and
equipment. President Bashir, however, was not necessarily
implicated, Bonnecorse suggested. That said, without some
form of Sudanese complicity, the conflict targeting Deby
would never have gained such momentum. Libya was also
contributing to the problem, delivering military hardware
destined ostensibly for Chad, but with more than two-thirds
actually diverted into Darfur.

10. (C) Bonnecorse regretted that the Addis Ababa
consultations on Darfur had failed to devote sufficient
attention to international deployment along the
Darfur-Chad-CAR frontier. Bozize had made an explicit
request. Deby, for his part, would accept an international
presence if France and the U.S. jointly made the request.
Securing the borders with Darfur would require between
3,000-4,000 troops deployed at 3 or 4 key positions,
Bonnecorse said.

11. (C) MFA AF A/S-Equivalent de Gliniasty, who had also
attended the Addis Ababa consultations, voiced disappointment
that the U.S. and UK, in his view, had only paid lip-service
to the cross-border dimension of the Darfur problem, thereby
forcing Gliniasty to take on Sudan all alone on the matter.
By contrast, representatives from the EU, South Africa, Libya
and Egypt had been more supportive. At the least, France
needed some reference, however ambiguous, to a cross-border

12. (C) SE Natsios replied that the U.S. wanted to

PARIS 00007541 003 OF 003

reinforce SYG Annan's hand during the remainder of his UN
tenure. Annan in Addis Ababa had wanted to focus primarily
on Darfur, not the cross-border situation, which he intended
to address instead through the dispatch of two assessment
missions to the region. SE Natsios emphasized to Gliniasty
that the USG did indeed recognize the cross-border dimension
of the Darfur catastrophe and equally wanted to avert chaos
in Chad. The goal in Addis Ababa, he reminded Gliniasty, was
to break the deadlock on deployment of peacekeepers to
Darfur. Gliniasty countered that SCR 1706 had carved out
space for cross-border deployment, as part and parcel of the
Darfur mission. Bonnecorse commented that without help in
preventing cross-border attacks, there was a real risk of
Deby's imminent collapse, which he noted dryly would be a
great Christmas present for Bashir. It was imperative,
Bonnecorse reiterated, to institute "a policy of containment"
for the violence originating from Sudan.

Threat to Refugee Camps


13. (C) SE Natsios noted evidence of a resurgence in Sudan
of Arab supremacists, who could move to shut down IDP and
refugee camps. These hardliners, who were affiliated with a
movement known as the Arab Gathering, were layered throughout
the Sudanese administration. Their vocabulary included
phrases like extermination with reference to the Darfur black
populace. SE Natsios warned, if U.S. intelligence proved
valid, the refugee camps in Chad could be targets for
large-scale attacks. How would France respond? Would France
intervene to defend the camps?

Conditions for French Intervention


14. (C) In the event of attacks against the refugee camps
in Chad, Bonnecorse said France would aim to reinforce an
intervention by others, whether African or AU-UN hybrid
forces. For that reason, the mandate for the AU-UN hybrid
force had to be broad enough to encompass action related to
cross-border violence. Gliniasty chimed in to emphasize that
only international monitoring could establish the legitimacy
necessary for international intervention. Bonnecorse echoed
the need for juridical foundations for a response. He
regretted there had been no mention of the 10 February 2006
Tripoli Agreement in the Addis Ababa declaration, because
Tripoli had set forth the parameters of an international
African monitoring force on the Darfur border. Without the
cover of an internationally sanctioned cross-border force,
however insubstantial, the French reaction capability was
undercut by a good 90 percent, Gliniasty opined.

15. (C) Returning to the question of finances for an AU-UN
force, Bonnecorse and Gliniasty said the price of UN
financing had to be incorporation of a UN chain of command.
Gliniasty said he had told FM Lam Akol to ask Bashir if he
could accept inclusion of a UN strategic cell if there were
an AU command structure. Lam Akol indicated consent,
Gliniasty said. SE Natsios warned Lam Akol lacked the
authority to commit Bashir. SE Natsios was supportive of the
French concern about the command structure, but remarked that
the U.S. did not wish to get in the way of SYG Annan's
current initiative.

16. (C) EMBASSY COMMENT: This is the first time that the
French have explicitly conditioned a French role in
protection of refugee camps in Chad on an internationally
sanctioned cross-border force or inclusion of border
monitoring in the mandate of a Darfur force. The actual
deployment of international cross-border elements counts less
than the cover such would provide for French intervention.
Presumably, even a skeletal FOMUC-type presence would suffice
so long as it were operating under an international mandate
that could guarantee so-called legitimacy for a French
military response. END COMMMENT.

17. (U) AF/SE COS Steinfeld has approved this message.

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