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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06USUNNEWYORK835
2006-04-24 13:23:00
CONFIDENTIAL
USUN New York
Cable title:  

UNSC/SUDAN: PALLOR HANGS OVER MEMBERS' ASSESSMENT

Tags:   CD  NI  PGOV  PHUM  PREL  SU  UNSC  KPKO 
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VZCZCXRO2553
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHMOS RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHROV
DE RUCNDT #0835/01 1141323
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241323Z APR 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8788
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZO/OAU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 0333
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0813
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA PRIORITY 0670
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 1054
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0223
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA PRIORITY 0157
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0607
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0809
RUEHTRO/USLO TRIPOLI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0920
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 USUN NEW YORK 000835 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/2016
TAGS: CD NI PGOV PHUM PREL SU UNSC KPKO
SUBJECT: UNSC/SUDAN: PALLOR HANGS OVER MEMBERS' ASSESSMENT
OF ABUJA PROSPECTS

REF: 04/18/2006 BRUNO-DEPARTMENT E-MAIL

USUN NEW Y 00000835 001.2 OF 004


Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN R. BOLTON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B,D)



1. (C) SUMMARY AND COMMENT. At an April 18 open briefing to
the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), African Union
(AU) Special Envoy to the Abuja Peace Talks Salim Ahmed
Salim, with what seemed like a false sense of security and
optimism, proclaimed Darfur peace negotiations to be in the
'home stretch,' with a conclusion on the horizon for April


30. Most SC Members, however, did not share Salim's rosy
view, and expressed skepticism and pessimism about Abuja
prospects and the future of Darfur. Salim's rebuttal was
longer than his initial presentation, as if he needed to
convince not only SC Members of his perspective, but to
re-assure himself as well. In response to Ambassador
Bolton's questions about the Abuja parties' incentives for
reaching an agreement by April 30, especially in light of the
failed accords which had preceded this deadline, Salim
offered only the prospects of a respite from the constant
international scrutiny and pressure to which the Government
of National Unity is currently subjected and the decreased
chances of rebel movements' fragmentation. The issue of the
need for Sudanese consent of an eventual UN mission in Darfur
was repeatedly raised by the usual suspects (notably Russia
and Qatar), despite a growing refrain among other Members
about the need for expedited transition of the AU Mission in
Sudan (AMIS) to a UN operation. Based on the tenor of
today's meeting, it seemed that Sudanese intransigence on
AMIS transition, tensions on the Chadian border, stalling
over implementation of UNSCR 1591 (2005) sanctions provisions
and doubt over the sustainability of an Abuja accord have
taken their cumulative toll. END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

SALIM: ABUJA SITUATION IS 'RIPE FOR RESOLUTION'


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

--


2. (SBU) Per his statement contained in refmail, AU Special
Envoy to the Abuja Peace Talks Salim was unexpectedly upbeat
in his assessment of prospects for a peace accord, despite
what he acknowledged would be 'further frustrations' in the
slowly-evolving process. Salim paid tribute to the helpful
role of Sudanese Vice President Taha, who remained in Abuja
after Salim's departure for New York, in moving the peace
process forward where the Government of National Unity (GNU)
had previously shown itself inflexible, such as on the
principle of integration (NOTE. Recent reporting has
indicated Taha may not in fact be completely representative
of the Khartoum position, especially that of President
Bashir, but Salim made no allusion to this. END NOTE).
Salim was also impressed with First Vice President Salva
Kiir's success in providing confidence to the rebel movements
in Abuja to provide momentum to the talks. Salim was

optimistic that there would be a 'package' by the end of
April but noted four outstanding issues to be resolved:
first, assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs);
second, a formula for transfers from the Sudanese government
to States; third, seed money for the Darfur Reconstruction
and Development Fund; and fourth, compensation for the
victims of the Darfur conflict.



3. (SBU) Salim noted that agreement on security arrangements
would be a complex undertaking that had no 'quick fix'
solution but that was nonetheless experiencing slow progress.
The challenge, according to Salim, would be to bring along
the rebel movements, who were still distrustful of the GNU's
intentions and hesitant to commit to an enhanced ceasefire
agreement until they could envision the end goal of a
comprehensive Abuja peace agreement. Salim encouraged rebel
movement leaders to remain engaged, as partners (like SRSG
Pronk, SYG Annan and the 'UN family') had been. Salim made a
specific plea for the Council to help resolve problems
between Chad and Sudan, which, he observed, were having a
direct bearing on Abuja Talks.



4. (C) Salim spoke forcefully about the nature of the April
30 agreement being sought, emphasizing the meticulousness of

USUN NEW Y 00000835 002.2 OF 004


the AU mediation in formulating an agreement that would
conform to international standards but that would also have
elements on status of forces and disarmament, demobilization
and reintegration (DDR) incorporated in tandem with an
enhanced ceasefire agreement. He admitted that he had
previously underestimated the importance of the Darfur-Darfur
Dialogue and Consultation element in the Talks and that its
resolution was not as simple as he had anticipated, given the
divergent interpretations of it by the GNU and the rebel
movements. Salim viewed the AU-generated April 30 deadline
as 'realistic.'

MEMBERS NOT SO SURE


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




5. (C) With the major exception of the African SC Members,
notably Congolese PR Ikouebe, most SC Members expressed
skepticism and pessimism about Abuja prospects and the future
of Darfur. Ikouebe was pleased to hear Abuja negotiations
were in the 'home stretch' and shared Salim's 'cautious
optimism,' which he noted was a far cry from the frustrated
tone Salim had used in his January 13 briefing to the
Council. Ikouebe stressed the importance of enhancing AMIS'
capacities in advance of any Abuja agreement and a transition
to a UN operation. Ghanaian PR Effah-Apenteng concurred with
the need to strengthen AMIS before the conclusion of a peace
agreement and stressed the need to make the Abuja parties
abide by their obligations under such an agreement.
Tanzanian PR Mahiga (whose delegation was supporting Salim's
travel) was equally encouraged by Salim's optimism about
Abuja agreement and declared it was incumbent upon the
international community to ensure the negotiations succeeded.



6. (C) Other delegations, however, did not share Salim's rosy
view and raised numerous concerns. French PR de La Sabliere,
even before making his formal remarks, told Ambassador Bolton
he was 'shocked' to hear Salim say that everything was fine
in Abuja. UK Deputy PR Thomson was similarly surprised,
raising questions about the effects that destabilization
along the Chad border, GNU opposition to a UN technical
assessment mission, deteriorating humanitarian conditions and
diminishing SC impact had on the Abuja process. De La
Sabliere urged closer inspection of the 'quality' of any
agreement to come from Abuja, noting that problems in this
accord would translate into problems for the eventual UN
Darfur force. De La Sabliere was especially concerned about
the effect that Chad/Sudan instability was having in Abuja,
as well as the absence of complete rebel representation. He
also asked how long the Darfur-Darfur dialogue would require
for conclusion and wanted to know what impact GNU opposition
to AMIS transition would have on the peace process.



7. (C) Ambassador Bolton expressed hope that the Abuja
outcome would be positive, but noted that much remained to be
done to ensure this result. He asked Salim about parties'
incentives to come to agreement by April 30, when previous
agreements, such as the 2004 N'djamena Ceasefire Agreement,
had missed the mark. Beyond reaching consensus, parties
would be required to sustain any agreement, and Ambassador
Bolton solicited Salim's views on parties' potential for
success in doing this. In response, Salim offered only
respite from the constant international scrutiny and pressure
to which the Government of National Unity is currently
subjected and decreased chances of rebel movements'
fragmentation as such incentives.



8. (C) Russia and China acknowledged that progress in Abuja
Talks, achieved through support to the AU, was the key to
Darfur peace, with Chinese PR Wang insisting that lack of
rebel unity was the major stumbling block to peace. Chinese
and Russian positions on related aspects of Darfur came
through clearly in these interventions: Wang said that only
when a comprehensive peace agreement was reached in Abuja
could the UN take over for AMIS in Darfur and stressed
enhanced support to the AU. Russian DPR Dolgov asked if
April 30 were too ambitious a deadline for an agreement,
suggesting that additional time could be needed, which would

USUN NEW Y 00000835 003.2 OF 004


further impede progress on AMIS transition in the Council.

SANCTIONS


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




9. (C) Prior to Salim's briefing, Ambassador Bolton raised
privately with Salim the USG position on accelerating
movement on measures under UNSCR 1591 (2005) to avoid a
'dereliction' of SC responsibility in condoning bad behavior
by spoilers of the peace process. Salim, however, dodged the
bullet (joking that he hoped the decision would be made when
he had departed New York) and was ambiguous in his response,
saying, as he later did to the broader Council, that while he
supported sanctions as a tool to help the situation on the
ground, it would ultimately be up to 'the wisdom of the
Council' to decide on the appropriate time to apply such
measures. That statement was greeted by audible chuckles
around the Council table. Salim acknowledged the advantages
of sanctions as sending a powerful message that would
maintain the Council's credibility, as well as the
disadvantages, which would be to risk hardening the positions
of those negotiating in Abuja.



10. (C) Peruvian PR de Rivero, UK DPR Thomson and French PR
de La Sabliere all spoke to the need for targeted sanctions
as a way to maintain Council credibility in the eyes of Abuja
negotiators and to lend clarity to the SC's and AU's
processes. Russian Deputy PR Dolgov, however, warned the
Council against taking any steps that could jeopardize the
negotiating process; e.g., targeted sanctions. The Qatari
representative advised that the Council had more effective
options at its disposal besides sanctions, citing a possible
Council visit. Chinese PR Wang made no specific comment but
agreed (as did other Members) in subsequent consultations to
discuss the four names in a previously scheduled April 19
Sudan Sanctions Committee meeting and to convene informal SC
consultations on the subject on the same day.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST AMIS TRANSITION PERSIST


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




11. (C) Salim aligned himself with what he called the 'clear'
and 'unambiguous' March 10 communique of the AU Peace and
Security Council (PSC), adding if the SC wanted to take
action on Darfur, then it should. He said the decision on
what type of action would be up to the Council. Salim
acknowledged that while some of the GNU's opposition to AMIS
transition was 'credible,' some of it was 'irresponsible but
nonetheless the fact remained that the Council must persuade
the GNU to accept the UN presence in Darfur. He emphasized
that the 'preponderant' African position was that a UN force
would come after AMIS.



12. (C) Delegations that called for an expeditious transition
of the AU Darfur force (including Greece, Peru, the UK,
Argentina, Denmark and Slovakia) inquired about what could be
done to sway the opinion of the GNU in this direction, to
which Salim advised engaging with both the GNU and the rebel
movements, which were especially problematic when divided.
Qatar raised the possibility of inciting public opinion were
the Council to force its hand on re-hatting, and Russia
insisted that no UN peacekeepers could be deployed without
GNU consent and cooperation. Japanese PR Oshima said that
while the Council must consider modalities of transition, the
'minimum requirement' for such transition would be Abuja
progress and that dispatching the UN's technical assessment
team would require GNU consent.

CHAD IS FURTHER COMPLICATION


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




13. (C) Salim drew a direct link between the situation in
Chad and the situation in Darfur, urging the Council to do
its utmost to normalize relations between N'djamena and
Khartoum, as the problem between the countries was bigger
than just Chad's withdrawal as an Abuja mediator (NOTE. Salim
dismissed the possibility of substituting Eritrea as a
mediator in place of Chad, but commented on the key role
Libya played in this capacity. END NOTE). Delegations were

USUN NEW Y 00000835 004.2 OF 004


extremely concerned about the humanitarian impact of
escalating tensions on the border and their effect on the
Abuja process. Russia called for Council endorsement of the
Tripoli Agreement.
BOLTON