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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08ASMARA384 2008-08-05 11:34:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Asmara
Cable title:  

JEM IN ERTIREA

Tags:   PREL PINS ER SU 
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VZCZCXRO3825
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHAE #0384 2181134
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 051134Z AUG 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASMARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9823
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEPADJ/CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHRMDAB/COMUSNAVCENT
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ASMARA 000384 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/04/2018
TAGS: PREL PINS ER SU
SUBJECT: JEM IN ERTIREA



1. (C) SUMMARY: Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
maintains a liaison office in Asmara headed by Osman Wash,
JEM's Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs. A number of
JEM "former fighters" also reside in Eritrea. JEM is
reportedly seeking to persuade Eritrea to host a Sudanese
all-party conference aimed at forging a ruling grand
coalition. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) A "CHANCE" ENCOUNTER WITH JEM


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



On July 30, the director of the Peacebuilding Center for the
Horn of Africa, Dr. Taisier Ail, intercepted the ambassador
on the outside steps as he arrived for a routine call. Dr.
Ali explained that an earlier caller, who was still inside,
had expressed an interest in meeting the ambassaor. The
other visitor introduced himself as Osman Wash, JEM's
Secretary of Justice and Legal Affairs. In a polite
15-minute conversation, Wash said he serves as JEM's liaison
officer with Eritrea and travels back and forth between
Asmara and "the field." Osman Wash said JEM has a small
Asmara office staffed by less than a dozen personnel, in
addition to a larger number of "former fighters" living in
Eritrea. Wash looked about 40 years old, was dressed in an
ill-fitting coat and tie, and spoke passable English.



3. (C) JEM'S POLITICAL ROADMAP


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


Osman Wash provided the ambassador a document called "Darfur
JEM Proposal for an Interim Government After ICC Charges
Against Sudan President." The document states that Bashir's
ruling NCP party has seen its legitimacy eroded as a result
of the ICC indictment. To preserve the "unity" of Sudan it
proposes to implement the CPA and to call a "conference of
regions to address issues of national identity, unions of
regions of Sudan, system of governance, and a new
constitution." JEM proposes a multi-tiered federal system
based on seven regions, with Darfur being one of the seven.
Much of the central government's current power and authority
would be transferred to the regions under this proposal. The
document is dated July 15 and was issued by Ahmed Tougd
Lisan, Bureau for Political Affairs.



4. (C) ERITREA TO HOST AN ALL-PARTY CONFERENCE?


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

--

After Osman Wash departed, Taisier Ali confided to the
ambassador that Wash had asked him to approach the government
of Eritrea about hosting an "all-party conference" to create
a governing grand coalition. (Perhaps the "conference of
regions" mentioned above?) Dr. Ali said his gut reaction was
very negative, as this arrangement could help the hard-line
Islamists regain a share of power in Sudan. He was also
suspicious of Osman Wash's approach, adding, "JEM has their
own channels to the Eritreans, so why are they asking me to
propose this?"



5. (C) A SUDANESE REVOLVING DOOR


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



Taisier Ali quickly concluded the discussion, explaining,
"I've got another set of Darfuris cooling their heels in my
back room. They don't get along with JEM, so I had to keep
them apart." Dr. Ali, a Sudanese of Nubian background, is a
political exile. He walks with a slight limp due to spinal
column damage suffered under torture by Sudanese security
officials in Khartoum. He has received a $150,000 grant from
Embassy Asmara to help promote democracy and civil society in
eastern Sudan in support of the Eastern Sudan Peace
Agreement.
MCMULLEN