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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08KHARTOUM1556
2008-10-21 10:38:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

NCP CONTINUES CHARM OFFENSIVE

Tags:   ASEC  PGOV  PREL  KPKO  UN  AU  SU 
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VZCZCXRO0327
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDU RUEHKUK RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1556/01 2951038
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211038Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2125
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001556 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRAZER, S/E WILLIAMSON, AND AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2018
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: NCP CONTINUES CHARM OFFENSIVE

Classified By: CDA Alberto M. Fernandez, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001556

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRAZER, S/E WILLIAMSON, AND AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2018
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: NCP CONTINUES CHARM OFFENSIVE

Classified By: CDA Alberto M. Fernandez, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) Summary: The NCP is willing to negotiate directly with
key rebels in advance of peace talks in Doha, expects that
UN/AU Chief Mediator Bassole will direct the talks, and will
sweeten the pot by releasing some Darfuri prisoners, but is
not quite ready to release the JEM rebels who attacked the
capital, NCP negotiator Yehia Bebiker told CDA Fernandez and
polchief October 20. Bebiker was extremely positive about
the talks in Kenana, expressing his belief that they had
created a "positive environment" that would allow for further
movement on negotiations to resolve the Darfur crisis.
Bebiker also shared information about the "Abyei Unity Fund"
and said he expected that in the future Sudan will have more
states rather then fewer, with a federal system of government
and regional authorities playing a greater role. End summary.



2. (SBU) As the newly-appointed head of the secretariat of
the Abyei Unity Fund, Bebiker spoke at length about his
vision for the fund. In implementing projects in Abyei to
comply with the Abyei Roadmap and the Abyei Protocol, Bebiker
said the NCP is willing to contribute to existing development
organizations in the Three Areas such as UNICEF in order to
avoid creating new administrative structures. Based on the
June 8 Abyei Road Map agreement between the NCP and SPLM,
Bebiker has been placed in charge of the day to day running
of the "Abyei Unity Fund" that will receive and allocate
money set aside for the Abyei region per the CPA Abyei
Protocol and the Abyei Roadmap. FVP Salva Kiir and VP Ali
Osman Taha are formally in charge of the fund, and there will
be six members of the board of directors (three each from the
SPLM and NCP) with Bebiker in charge of the Secretariat of
the fund. Bebiker said the money is currently being set
aside but has not yet been allocated to projects, which will
be identified soon in consultation with the Abyei Interim

Administration. CDA urged Bebiker not to duplicate what has
already been put in place by donors and the UN, to which
Bebiker replied that he intended to allocate money to
community development projects including those currently
administered by UNICEF. Bebiker said his goal is to avoid
duplication and ensure that no "additional and unnecessary"
administrative structures are created. Bebiker said he would
be working with the Interim Administration and local
governments on the identification of projects, but gave the
impression that he and the Board of Directors would have
final decision-making authority on allocation of funds for
the fund. Bebiker said that the money intended for the
Misseriya and Dinka communities (separate from and in
addition to the Abyei Unity Fund) would be allocated to the
South Kordofan state government and Abyei Interim
Administration, respectively.


3. (SBU) CDA asked Bebiker for his opinion on the creation of
additional states in places such as Southern Kordofan, given
the special interests of the Misseriya and the Nuba
communities, and given current discussions at the Sudan
People's Initiative about the possible creation of a Darfur
region. Bebiker replied that he thought the discussion of
tribalism and native administration at the SPI was somewhat
exaggerated - in his opinion the native administration has
become less relevant as more Sudanese move to towns and
become integrated in general Sudanese society. Moreover,
based on his experience negotiating the CPA, he predicted the
future would bring more states rather than fewer with an
expanded role for regional authorities. He pointed to the
example of the Fur demand for a fourth state in the center of
Darfur that would be primarily comprised of Fur. He did not
rule out a fifth state in the north to protect the interests
of the Zaghawa. Regarding the creation of one Darfur region
exerting authority over the Darfur states, he said the
structure for this was already in place with the creation of
the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority envisioned in the
DPA. CDA pointed out that this had not been funded nor
empowered, which Bebiker did not dispute, but merely replied
that the concept for the administrative structure already
exists. In terms of the general trend of states in Sudan,
Bebiker said he expected there would be continued growth in
the number of states. Bebiker recalled that at the CPA talks
in Naivasha, the SPLM had originally pushed for one unified
southern region, but eventually opted for the ten southern
states.


4. (C) Babiker praised the positive spirit that was coming
out of the Sudan Peoples' Initiative (SPI) talks held in

KHARTOUM 00001556 002 OF 002


Kenana. CDA agree that the spirit of Kenana was good but was
not sufficient. He noted that the Darfuri rebels were bound
to be deeply suspicious of the regime and of what they saw as
a long litany of broken agreements. There was a need for
tangible concessions up front. Babiker responded that
negotiations would lead to concessions, not the other way
around but that the regime was amenable to considering
releasing some "political prisoners" swept up in the wake of
the May 10 JEM attack on Omdurman, although it is not yet
willing to consider releasing JEM fighters who have been
sentenced to death for their participation. He agreed that
UN/AU Chief Mediator Bassole must play a key role in any
Darfur negotiating strategy in the coming months.


5. (C) Comment: Bebiker and the rest of the NCP appear
determined to give the impression that they are moving
forward on all fronts (Darfur and CPA) and prove to the
international community that they have the will and the
determination to resolve Sudan's ills. This is a common (and
often effective, at least in the short term) strategy by the
regime. Their engagement with the SPLM and some opposition
figures on the Sudan People's Initiative is a small but
positive step forward for the regime, but it remains a vague,
belated decision that was taken only in response to the
looming ICC indictment. This behavior proves that the regime
will begin to act to address problems when placed under
significant pressure, both external and internal. However,
if there is nothing delivered by the international community
in return, and President Bashir is indicted, there is likely
to be considerable regime disappointment and a possible
backlash, though it is not yet clear whether an indictment
would herald a change in course or merely a review of its
posture and options. We continue to believe the latter is
more likely but the NCP apparatus itself appears not to have
fully addressed its options as it maneuvers to avoid a
political quandary entirely of its own making.
FERNANDEZ