|09CAIRO1787||2009-09-15 10:19:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Cairo|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 CAIRO 001787
1. (C) Key Points
-- Egyptian General Intelligence Services (EGIS) Chief Omar
Soliman told a senior African Command delegation that an
independent South Sudan would result in war and tribal
conflicts that would flood Egypt with refugees.
--Soliman suggested that either the U.S. and Egypt should
lobby for unity or the referendum should be postponed to
avoid the creation of a "failed state" in South Sudan.
Alternatively, Cairo is working to convince both Khartoum and
Juba that a two-thirds referendum majority should be required
for separation and all Southerners, including those in
Khartoum and the South Sudanese Diaspora, should be allowed
to participate in the referendum.
-- Soliman said Egyptian efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis
are aimed at improving Sudan-Chad relations, unifying Darfur
rebel groups, and addressing humanitarian concerns. Soliman
said a resolution to the crisis is "near."
-- On Somalia, Soliman said Egypt is working with Ethiopia
and the Arab League to support Shaykh Sharif and the TFG. The
Government of Egypt (GoE) is also engaging with Eritrea to
facilitate rapprochement between Shaykh Sharif and Shaykh
Aweys and to weaken the Al Shibaab. It also has plans to
assist with the reintegration of Puntland and Somaliland into
the country and address economic development issues to combat
piracy. End Summary.
2. (SBU) Egyptian General Intelligence Services (EGIS) Chief
Omar Soliman on September 7 told an Africa Command delegation
including Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense (DASD) and Vice Admiral (VADM) Robert
Moeller, Deputy Commander of U.S. African Command, that
Egypt's primary concerns in Africa are Sudan, particularly
CPA issues and Darfur, and Somalia.
Egyptian Plans for Encouraging the Unity of Sudan
3. (C) Soliman expressed concern that the South Sudanese
leadership and people will vote for independence in January
2011 and do not understand the "consequences of separation."
Soliman asserted an independent South Sudan would result in
war that would flood Egypt with refugees as occurred during
the previous North-South civil war. He also stated the South
would be mired in tribal conflict because southern tribes
would not accept "Dinka domination" and a border would be
seen as an attempt to divide the Misseriya tribe and limit
access to traditional grazing lands. Soliman maintained that
South Sudan is not viable because it lacks essential
infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals, cannot
provide for its own security, is so corrupt that it has
squandered USD 7 billion in oil revenues since the CPA was
implemented, and would need to pay a large percentage of
future oil revenues to Kenya to guarantee access to the port
4. (C) Soliman suggested three options for avoiding a "failed
state" in South Sudan. He said the referendum could be
postponed for 4-6 years until the "capacity for statehood"
could be developed. Second, Soliman stated that the CPA could
be amended to give South Sudan autonomy for 10 years and
afterwards it could decide for federation or independence.
Finally, he suggested that Egypt and the U.S. could push
Southern leaders to support a unified Sudan. Soliman said it
was the responsibility of Southern Sudanese leaders to
educate the populace on the pros and cons of separation. He
said if Southern leaders pushed for unity, the people of
South Sudan would listen. He asked the USG to educate
Southern leaders on the dangers of separation and encourage
them to advocate for unity. In the event the referendum does
take place in 2011, Cairo is working to convince both
Khartoum and Juba that a two-thirds majority should be
required for separation from Sudan and that all Southerners,
including those in Khartoum and the South Sudanese Diaspora,
be allowed to participate in the referendum.
5. (C) DASD Huddleston told Soliman that the USG supports CPA
implementation and the South's right to self-determination in
the referendum. Huddleston added that these goals also
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require northern assistance, especially on development. She
stated that S/E Gration is working with the NCP and SPLM to
resolve outstanding CPA issues such as the census, elections,
border demarcation, wealth sharing, and the modalities of the
referendum to guarantee a "stable Sudan." Huddleston added
that these goals require northern assistance, especially on
development. She said that the new policy will address the
USG's strategy for Darfur and North and South Sudan.
Huddleston anticipated that the framework for U.S. policy
will reflect a commitment to carrying out the CPA so that the
referendum might take place as planned. The USG understands
Egypt's concerns about independence but is committed to the
CPA and referendum process.
6. (C) VADM Moeller asked Soliman what incentives the GoE and
Government of Sudan (GoS) were offering to encourage unity.
Soliman admitted the GoS has done nothing to build
infrastructure in the south. He stated that in March, Egypt
sent equipment to clear Nile aquatic plants and building
material to South Sudan, but the shipments were stuck in Port
Sudan "due to U.S. economic sanctions." Soliman said many in
the GoS no longer care about making unity attractive because
they are convinced the South will vote for secession.
Therefore, Khartoum is reticent to spend money or facilitate
development in the South, which needs to encourage unity. He
said the GoS would change its approach if the USG were
willing to engage with Southern leaders to promote unity.
Darfur Resolution Near
7. (C) Soliman stated that a resolution to the Darfur crisis
was only a matter of time. He said Egyptian efforts were
ongoing to improve Sudan-Chad relations, unify Darfur rebel
groups, and address humanitarian concerns. Soliman told the
delegation that Sudanese President Bashir is ready to comply
with a solution on Darfur, and he said Egypt hosted a special
envoy from Chadian President Deby on September 2-3 for
discussions on Sudan. The GoE pushed Chad to abandon support
for JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim, whom Soliman described as a
"radical Islamist," and enter peace negotiations with the
GoS. Soliman said Egypt, Libya, and Qatar were enjoying
success in unifying the demands of Darfuri groups so they
could participate in negotiations with the GoS in Doha. He
praised the efforts of S/E Gration at helping to address the
humanitarian issue in Darfur and stated the "Europeans" need
to do more to return to Darfur and provide assistance.
Soliman said peace in Darfur is near, but cautioned that
minor tribal conflicts are bound to occur in the future.
The Egyptian Plan for Somalia
8. (C) Soliman told the delegation that Egypt had a three
track plan for Somalia. Egypt is working with Ethiopia and
the Arab League to support Shaykh Sharif and the TFG,
engaging with Eritrea to facilitate rapprochement and weaken
the opposition, and has plans to assist with the
reintegration Puntland and Somaliland into the country and
address economic development issues to combat piracy.
According to Soliman, Egypt is training Somali police in
Djibouti and will do the same for the Somali Armed Forces.
Cairo has asked the African Union (AU) to increase its forces
in Somalia and change the mandate from peacekeeping to
protection of civilians and government. Soliman stated that
Egypt has had initial discussion with Eritrea on Somalia.
Soliman and FM Aboul Gheit plan to go to Asmara after UNGA to
open a dialogue with Eritrea officials on how to bring Shaykh
Dahir Aweys into the TFG. Soliman said Aweys is jealous of
Shaykh Sharif, but could be lured with the Vice Presidency.
He stated that Aweys would then be able to use his religious
credentials to convince Al Shibaab to support the government.
Soliman also said the GoE had asked the Saudi and Emirati
governments to control funds transferred from their countries
to Somalia as a way to weaken the position of Al Shibaab.
9. (C) Soliman said the key to the Egyptian plan was
convincing Eritrean President Afwerki to support Somali
reconciliation. The GoE told the Eritrean FM on August 27
Afwerki's participation in the plan could improve his
reputation and may help in obtaining Western assistance to
implement the ICJ decision on the Eritrean-Ethiopian border
dispute. Soliman said without Afwerki's participation Somalia
would remain the site of a proxy war between Eritrea and
CAIRO 00001787 003 OF 003
Ethiopia. He told the delegation that FM Aboul Gheit informed
Ethiopian President Meles of the plan during the September 1
AU meetings in Libya. According to Soliman, Meles encouraged
Egypt to try the plan, but warned Afwerki cannot be trusted
to do what he says. DASD Huddleston suggested that Egypt keep
the USG apprised of its efforts to promote an end to the
conflict in Somalia, especially their conversations with
10. (C) Soliman stated that piracy cannot be resolved unless
the international community addresses the lack of development
and economic opportunities in Somalia. Development funds,
funneled through the TFG, will legitimize the government and
allow them to exercise the control need to give people a
chance at a better life. Otherwise, he said Somalia will be
the "new site" for Al Qaeda and radicalism. Soliman said
Puntland and Somaliland need to be reunified with the
"motherland." He stated both autonomous governments are
making money from piracy and have no interest in shutting
down the pirates.
11. DASD Huddleston and VADM Moeller cleared this cable.