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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07KHARTOUM2004 2007-12-14 08:49:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

LOOKING TOWARD U.S. TRIP, MINAWI OUTLINES SLM'S

Tags:   PGOV PREL PINR SU LY 
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1. (S/NF) The SLM has two priorities, according to chairman
Minni Minawi: 1) Supporting its fighters in Darfur to
maintain their loyalty and 2) Stabilizing the political
party. Minawi hopes to focus on addressing the grievances of
the SLM's military wing during a trip to Washington and
return to Sudan with a tangible expression of support. He
will also seek financial backing from Libya. While outlining
his vision of cooperation with the SPLM to prepare for the
2009 elections, Minawi is frank about the implosion of the
SLM's political wing. However, he does not have a long-term
plan for addressing these internal political challenges. A
lack of resources is the primary catalyst for the movement's
decline, but the SLM also lacks sound political analysis and
strategy. We continue to press the SPLM and the SLM to
coordinate, but our expectations must be tempered by the
lessons of history as the SPLM has not demonstrated a
sustained interest in cooperation with its much weaker
partner. Please see action request para. 9. End summary.



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Two Priorities: Fighters, Party Stabilization


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2. (C) The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) has two
priorities, SLM Chairman and Senior Assistant to the
President Minni Minawi told Poloff on December 11: 1) Support
its fighters in Darfur to maintain their loyalty and 2)
Stabilizing the political party. As tensions within the SLM
undermine Minawi's leadership and split the movement, Minawi
intimated that both issues were intertwined. Without greater
financial resources, SLM military units will continue to
defect, the SLM will be unable to provide benefits to its
constituents, and internal cohesion will deteriorate--making
it impossible for Minawi to build a credible political party
that can participate in the national debate.



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


High Expectations for Washington Trip


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





3. (S/NF) Minawi said that AF A/S Frazer had invited him to
Washington in early 2008 during a December 6 phone call.
Ecstatic about the trip, he proposed bringing 15 SLM members
on his delegation, including chief commander Jumaa Hagar and
several field commanders. Minawi said that it is important
that he return to Sudan with a tangible example of U.S.
support for the SLM--particularly for the armed wing, which,
lacking basic food and medical care, is increasingly
restless. Minawi claimed that First Vice President Salva
Kiir had told him that, during his November meeting with
President Bush, the President had suggested that the U.S.
will consider financing the Sudan People's Liberation
Movement (SPLM) to provide food to the SLM, as it had done in
the spring of 2007 (Note: we have no independent confirmation
of this claim).



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


...and for Tripoli


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





4. (C) The SLM will also seek financial aid from Libya,
according to Minawi. In a recent phone conversation with
Libyan intelligence czar Abdullah Sanousi, who Minawi
characterized as the "friend of all armed groups," Sanousi
was receptive to Minawi's request to visit Libya after the
Eid Al Adha holiday. Minawi acknowledged that, during a
November trip to Khartoum, African Affairs Secretary Ali
Treiki had rejected the SLM position on the UN/AU peace
process and had supported the Arab League donor process for
Darfur that circumvents the Transitional Darfur Regional
Authority (TDRA). However, Minawi contended that Treiki and
Sanousi were from different "wings" of the Libyan Government
and remained optimistic that he could obtain some support
from Tripoli through Sanousi's intervention. He requested
further information from Washington on the timing of his U.S.
trip so that he could schedule the Libya visit.



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



KHARTOUM 00002004 002.2 OF 003


A Vision for 2009...


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





5. (C) While concerned about the state of the SLM's military
wing, Minawi articulated his vision of cooperation with the
SPLM to prepare for the 2009 elections. Darfur is "too
confused between the groups" to discuss elections there, said
Minawi, but he asserted that the SLM remains popular among
Darfurians in other parts of Sudan, particularly Gezira,
Gedaref, and Blue Nile. "Eighty-five percent of Blue Nile is
with the SLM or the SPLM," he explained. In a recent
meeting, Minawi had urged Kiir and the SPLM to end discussion
of Southern secession and instead work with the SLM "to kick
out the NCP" from Khartoum. Minawi also suggested that the
SLM could cooperate with the Eastern Front, another region
where he!cl!imed the SLM ir popwlar among rmsIde~v Darbuziaj3>-
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