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07KHARTOUM1130 2007-07-22 06:02:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Khartoum
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1. (SBU) Summary: The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
intends to continue its regional consultations over the next few
weeks with the Darfurians with the goal of still holding a
conference in Southern Sudan in early August, as originally outlined
by its Darfur Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force is undeterred
by AU-UN plans to meet with the Darfurians in Arusha August 3-5.
They maintain that the SPLM initiative is focused on facilitating
unity among the Darfurians and that they have no desire to mediate a
political solution with Khartoum. There is a disconnect between the
communication the Task Force is having with AU-UN representatives in
Juba, who have been supportive of the SPLM, and divergent messages
being transmitted by AU-UN members in Khartoum. Post is encouraging
the SPLM to bridge this gap and address misperceptions about SPLM
intentions with the AU-UN leadership. The Task Force will urge the
SPLM Secretary General to do this in Khartoum as soon as possible.
USG assistance to the Task Force will be limited to provision of
office space and communications equipment, but no conference support
at this stage. Please see action request Para 7. End Summary.

2. (SBU) CG called on the SPLM Task Force members in Juba July 17
to apprise them of ongoing developments at the Second International
Meeting on Darfur in Tripoli and to assess SPLM plans for holding
their proposed August conference. Task Force Members Edward Lino
Abyei, James Kok Ruea, and Dr. Priscilla Nyannyang Joseph, told CG
unequivocally that the SPLM was continuing its consultations with
the Darfurian parties and intended to hold its conference in
Southern Sudan beginning August 6. They insisted that the AU-UN
efforts underway will not change their dates and that only the
Darfurians could get them to stand down on their plans since "it is
the Darfurians meeting." The Task Force is, however, switching the
sequence of their proposed discussions to include first only the
non-signatories, then a meeting of both signatories and
non-signatories, and finally a meeting with the civil society

3. (SBU) The Task Force members intend to travel in three separate
groups starting July 19, for consultations with the Darfurians in:
1) Asmara; 2) London and Paris (to see Abdul Wahid and others); and
3) Tripoli. The latter group hopes to go directly from Tripoli to
Darfur accompanied by the Darfurian leaders. They said this did not
happen last time the Task Force members were in Tripoli and they
were determined to go to Darfur this time.

4. (SBU) The Task Force explained that its initiative must continue
because the SPLM has an interest in seeing a political solution in
Darfur and could not be sidelined or brought under the AU-UN
program. They insisted, however, that they were not in competition
with the AU-UN and that their efforts were complementary to the
AU-UN Roadmap. The SPLM Task Force asserted that it accepts the
AU-UN lead on the Darfur Peace Process. Nevertheless, they said the
SPLM cannot be "submerged" under the AU-UN program, which purports
to be neutral, as the SPLM is a political party and is admittedly
"biased in favor of the marginalized" groups in Darfur.

5. (SBU)) CG again met with the Task Force on July 18 to share a
copy of the Tripoli Communiqu and to clarify what USG assistance to
the Task Force could go forward (reftels). The Task Force members,
including its Secretary Dr. Achier Deng Akol, reiterated their
intent to move forward with their plans for an August 6 conference.
In response to CG's inquiry on why they had not participated in the
Tripoli meeting, the Task Force members said neither the SPLM nor
the Task Force had been invited and admitted they had no one there
representing them. They acknowledged that while there is a
communication gap between the AU-UN and SPLM in Khartoum, they have
had what they described as constructive conversations with two
Senior UN Department of Political Affairs representatives in Juba,
Vladimir A. Zhagora, who has visited Juba, and Ambassador Pascal
Ngoga who is resident here. The Task Force blamed, without any
details, Khartoum/NCP elements for efforts to scuttle their
conference plans.

6. (SBU) CG encouraged the Task Force to address the communication
issues with the AU-UN, which they said they would do immediately by
urging SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum to meet with the AU-UN
representatives in Khartoum.

7. (SBU) Action Request: Post will work on finalizing the transfer
of the two containers for the Task Force office space and the
existing communication equipment package, but will not take any
action to facilitate travel to any SPLM conference at this point, as
instructed by AF/SPG (septel b). We request, however, Department
guidance on future USG support to the SPLM Darfur Initiative and our

KHARTOUM 00001130 002.2 OF 002

message to them on those efforts.