Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09KHARTOUM1445
2009-12-23 11:49:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY UNILATERALLY PASSES NCP BACKED

Tags:  PGOV PREL KDEM KPKO 
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VZCZCXRO3990
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1445/01 3571149
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231149Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4934
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001445 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM KPKO
SUBJECT: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY UNILATERALLY PASSES NCP BACKED
NATIONAL SECURITY LAW

REF: A. KHARTOUM 1097

B. KHARTOUM 1425

Classified By: A/CDA Mark L. Asquino for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001445

SIPDIS

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM KPKO
SUBJECT: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY UNILATERALLY PASSES NCP BACKED
NATIONAL SECURITY LAW

REF: A. KHARTOUM 1097

B. KHARTOUM 1425

Classified By: A/CDA Mark L. Asquino for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) SUMMARY: On December 20, the National Assembly passed
the National Security Law in a National Congress Party (NCP)
"mechanical majority" vote without the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement's (SPLM) or opposition party support.
The SPLM and other opposition parties strongly objected to
the law and called it unconstitutional. They demanded that it
be "frozen" before they would resume dialogue with the NCP.
The NCP agreed to extend the National Assembly session until
the end of the year; however, opposition parties said they
questioned whether such an extension would yield any positive
results. END SUMMARY.

-------------- -
NCP UNILATERALLY PASSES NATIONAL SECURITY LAW
-------------- -


2. (SBU) On December 20, the National Assembly passed the
National Security Law through a National Congress Party (NCP)
"mechanical majority" vote without SPLM or opposition party
support. The SPLM did not participate in the vote, and the
opposition parties in the Assembly, including the National
Democratic Alliance, Eastern Front, Beja Congress, and Darfur
Peace walked-out of the Assembly. The version of the
National Security Law that passed contained no SPLM requested
amendments, particularly ones relating to the removal of the
National Intelligence and Security Service's (NISS) arrest,
detainment, search and seizure powers. Other SPLM-requested
changes were also not included, including modification to the
authorized length of detainment, next-of-kin notification and
legal access. The approved law varies little from the current
law in place, and provides very few reforms. The law is due
to be signed by the Presidency in the next few days.


3. (C) The SPLM and other opposition parties strongly
objected to the law. During a December 22 meeting with the
Acting-Charge, the SPLM and northern opposition leaders,
including Mariam Al-Sadig Al-Mahdi from the Umma Party,
maintained that passage of the law would have dire

consequences for free and fair elections in April. Dr. Amin
Mekki Medani, a representative of the National Democratic
Alliance (NDA),who is also a well-known human rights
activist, argued that the law was unconstitutional.
Al-Mahdi stated that all opposition dialogue with the NCP had
stopped due to the law's passage, and would not begin again
until the law was "frozen" by the Presidency.

-------------- --------------
OPPOSITION DEMANDS OUTSTANDING LAWS BE PASSED FOR ELECTION
-------------- --------------


4. (C) Despite the NCP's publicly-stated position that it
would not support extension of the National Assembly session
scheduled to end on December 23, the NCP announced on
December 23 that the Assembly would, in fact, be extended
until December 31, and then permanently adjourn until new
members were chosen in the April election. SPLM and
opposition party requests to extend the session seem to have
prevailed. However, when asked about a possible extension of
the session, SPLM and opposition party leaders (NDA,
Communist, DUP, SLM/MM, Justice,) including Mariam Al-Sadig
Al-Mahdi, told A/CDA and poloffs on December 22 that they
were pessimistic that much would be accomplished during such
an extended session. In this meeting, SPLM and opposition
party representatives said the National Security Law that had
passed two days earlier would be used by the NCP to harass
the opposition and stifle freedom-of-speech and assembly
during the run-up to the elections. In addition, they
maintained that free and fair elections would not be possible
unless the laws cited in the Juba Declaration (reftel A) were
passed. The latter include the criminal code, criminal
procedures, immunities, trade union, personal status, press
and publications and the states public order laws.


5. (C) COMMENT: During recent poloff discussions with
diplomatic missions and United Nations staff, the consensus
has long been that the National Security Law would be passed
with the NCP using its mechanical majority in the National
Assembly. and without the NCP's attempting to reach further
compromise with the SPLM on the law's content. Even with the
inclusion of provisions favored by the SPLM on limiting
length of detention, and providing notification to next-of

KHARTOUM 00001445 002 OF 002


kin etc., it is unlikely the SPLM would have instructed its
members to vote for the law (reftel B). As noted above,
members of the opposition, such as the DUP's Medani, view the
law itself as unconstitutional and believe nothing short of
its being "frozen" is acceptable. The National Security Law
that passed on December 20 will, in all likelihood, be used
in a partisan manner by the NCP, as the SPLM and opposition
parties fear, to undermine free and fair elections. However,
during the December 22 meeting, the SPLM and opposition
representatives, although extremely unhappy with the law, did
not see the latter's passage as justification for boycotting
the elections. Umma's Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi said that the
opposition parties will meet in January to discuss a united
posture toward the elections, and will also consider
strategies for fielding candidates, including for the
presidency. END COMMENT


ASQUINO