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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09LONDON517 2009-02-26 15:13:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy London
Cable title:  

SUDAN/DARFUR: AF ACTING A/S CARTER MEETS WITH FUR

Tags:   PREL PHUM EAID PINR SU UK 
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1. (C) Summary. AF Acting A/S Carter met with London-based
Fur leader Ahmed Diraige to discuss how to widen the Darfur
peace discussions started in Doha to encompass other
movements including Fur representation in order to take
advantage of the opportunity the recent JEM-GNU agreement
provided. Diraige said the international community, possibly
the USG, should communicate to Fur movements that no one
group can solve the crisis in Darfur and offer Fur leaders an
invitation to a conference to consolidate their positions.
Those who refuse to attend, he said, should be isolated and
left out of the process. Diraige said Abdul Wahid and Abdul
Shafi did not "have the mentality for peace" but offered no
suggestion on how to prevent them from becoming spoilers to
peace processes in which they choose not to participate.
Diraige said Fur leaders in Darfur will meet on February 27
to determine what to do about Abdul Wahid's non-engagement in
the peace process. Diraige also said he and other Fur
leaders had been invited to Washington by a university (NFI)
to discuss a unified Fur position, but he did not say that he
had committed to attend. The fact that Diraige did not
accept Carter's separate invitation for a Fur meeting in
Washington seems to indicate that Diraige knows that the Fur
are not ready to form a consolidated position. End summary.



2. (C) AF Acting Assistant Secretary Phillip Carter met
London-based Fur Leader Ahmed Diraige in London on February


26. Carter said the agreement concluded in Doha between the
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Government of
National Unity of Sudan (GNU) represented an opportunity and
was a first step in what needed to be a broader discussion.
Carter said that no agreement for peace in Darfur will be
sustainable without participation by the Fur people and noted
that Paris-based Fur leader Abdul Wahid al Nour refused to
engage. Recognizing that JEM only represents a small percent
of the population in Darfur and drawing on lessons learned
from the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), Carter said that the
USG wants to bring the Fur into a broader discussion in Doha
and solicited Diraige's advice on how to do that. Carter
explained that the USG would like to consult in Washington
with a group of Fur leaders who can speak as a collective
with a collaborative versus a competitive stance.



3. (C) Beginning with a summary of his 1986 political
dissertation on a new political structure for Sudan and the
Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance's (SFDA) manifesto, Diraige
explained that the National Congress Party (NCP) regime is
not a "normal government" because it tries to "socially
engineer the people (of Sudan) to be Arab and Muslim."
Diraige said he had recently explained to London-based JEM
representatives in advance of their travel to Doha that
Darfur's problems were two-fold. First, it had been
marginalized, similar to South Sudan. Second, Darfur now has
3.5 million IDPs and countless refugees in other countries.
Diraige said that he had tried to speak directly with Abdul
Wahid, but that Abdul Wahid had refused. Describing the
armed movements' leaders as "uneducated" and not "having the
mentality for political discussions," Diraige said that Abdul
Wahid "should be discarded" because he does not engage while
the people suffer, and the SLA's Abdul Shafi does not have
the people's interests in mind.



4. (C) Offering his way forward, Diraige argued that the
international community should communicate to Fur movements
that no one group can solve the crisis in Darfur and offer
Fur leaders an invitation to a conference to consolidate
their positions. Those who refuse to attend, he said, should
be isolated and left out of the process. He said that the
2007 Sitre meeting in Libya had been a good start for that
process, but then argued, slightly contrary to his idea that
those who do not engage should be isolated, that the problem
in Libya was that Abdul Wahid and Abdul Shafi refused to
participate. There was "no need for partial agreements, like
Minni Manawi's (DPA)," and any "serious talks" would have to
involve all of the movements. Diraige offered no suggestion
on how to deal with Abdul Wahid or Abdul Shafi if they become
spoilers in the process. He said that the international
community should put more pressure on them to engage.
Diraige noted that UN/AU Chief Negotiator Bassole had not
been in touch with him.



5. (C) Diraige said that Fur leaders in Darfur will meet on
February 27 to determine what to do about Abdul Wahid's
non-engagement and told Carter he would be in touch about
what decision the Fur take. Diraige also said he and other
Fur leaders had been invited to Washington by a university to
discuss a unified position. He said he did not have the
details with him, forgetting the name of the university and
the exact dates, but said that he would pass Carter the

LONDON 00000517 002 OF 002


details. Diraige did not say that he committed to attending
the Washington event. Embassy Poloff is following up with
Diraige to find out the details and will pass them to AF/FO
and AF/SPG.

Comment


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





6. (C) Diraige's argument that Fur leaders, like Abdul Wahid,
who do not engage in the peace process should be isolated
seems like an attempt to maneuver and consolidate his own
position as the Fur leader with whom the international
community should engage. The fact that he did not accept
Carter's invitation for a Fur meeting in Washington seems to
indicate that Diraige knows that the Fur are not ready to
form a consolidated position.



7. (U) Acting A/S Carter did not have an opportunity to clear
this cable before his departure.



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