Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09USUNNEWYORK329
2009-03-27 22:33:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
USUN New York
Cable title:  

CHIEF DARFUR MEDIATOR BASSOLE PUSHES UNSC FOR ICC

Tags:  PGOV PREL KPKO SU AF 
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VZCZCXRO2702
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0329/01 0862233
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 272233Z MAR 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6220
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000329 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SU AF
SUBJECT: CHIEF DARFUR MEDIATOR BASSOLE PUSHES UNSC FOR ICC
DEFERRAL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000329

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SU AF
SUBJECT: CHIEF DARFUR MEDIATOR BASSOLE PUSHES UNSC FOR ICC
DEFERRAL


1. (SBU) Summary: Joint UN/AU Chief Mediator Djbril Bassole
made his first appearance before the Security Council on
March 26. Bassole focused on three factors affecting
mediation efforts: the tense relationship between Chad and
Sudan; the splintering of Darfuri armed movements; and the
International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of President
Bashir on March 4. Council members reaffirmed their support
for Bassole's efforts and the peace process. Bassole himself
and some members argued for deferral of the ICC prosecution
of Bashir, stating that the indictment had negatively
impacted the peace process (Uganda, Russia, Burkina Faso,
China and Libya). Other members restated their positions
that Article 16 deferral is not warranted at this time
(United States, United Kingdom, Croatia, and Costa Rica).
Libyan PR Shalgham briefed the press in his capacity as
Council President, expressing support for Bassole to
implement his mandate and for the Government of Qatar's
efforts to bring together the Government of Sudan and rebel
groups. The Presidency also urged parties to actively engage
in negotiations and encouraged Libya and regional countries
to continue efforts to normalize Chad/Sudan relations. End
Summary.

Bassole Briefs Council
--------------


2. (SBU) Joint UN/AU Chief Mediator Bassole began his March
26 briefing by identifying three factors that he said
complicate mediation efforts: deterioration of Chad-Sudan
relations; splintering of Darfuri armed movements; and the
ICC indictment of Bashir. Bassole said that the February
2008 attack by Chadian rebels on N'Djamena and the May 2008
attack on Omdurman by Darfuri rebels had destroyed confidence
between Chad and Sudan. He said that the diplomatic efforts
of Libya, Senegal and other African countries to improve
Chad-Sudan relations had been helpful and should be supported
by the international community. Bassole also said that some
rebel movements are aware that they need to band together to
conduct peace negotiations with the Government of Sudan
(GOS). He called on members of the Security Council to
exercise their influence to encourage rebel movements to
resolve their differences and engage constructively in
negotiations.


3. (SBU) Bassole noted that, as a result of the ICC

indictment, rebel movements now vigorously contest Bashir's
legitimacy and refuse to engage in dialogue, adopting a
wait-and-see approach. He pointed to the decision by the
Justice and Equality Movement to suspend its participation in
the Doha process and said that the indictment had
significantly slowed the political process. Bassole
suggested that the Security Council examine the concerns
expressed by the African Union concerning the peace process.
He briefly discussed the February 17 goodwill agreement
between the Government of National Unity and the Justice and
Equality Movement as a first step towards an inclusive
dialogue. He said that the GOS expulsion of NGOs violated
this agreement.

ICC Indictment
--------------


4. (SBU) Given the remarks by Bassole that the Council
should take into account AU concerns regarding the peace
process -- an implicit reference to AU support for Article 16
deferral -- Ambassador DiCarlo stressed that the issue cannot
be characterized as the ICC indictment versus the peace
process and that all parties must continue to engage in peace
negotiations. She also said that the GOS had taken a drastic
step post-indictment by expelling NGOs, and that deferral at
this time is not warranted. DiCarlo questioned whether a
one-year deferral would accomplish anything.


5. (SBU) The UK reinforced this message, saying that the
Council must resist the temptation to see peace or justice as
mutually exclusive. The UK noted that the dilemma arose
because Bashir refused to cooperate with the ICC and that the
very high test for Article 16 deferral had not been met.
Costa Rica also explicitly supported DiCarlo's statement and
said that suspension for one year of the ICC prosecution
would not assist the peace process. Croatia emphasized that
the peace process should not be influenced by the ICC
indictment. Uganda, Burkina Faso, Russia, China and Vietnam
repeated their well-known arguments that the Council should
defer prosecution of Bashir in order to support the peace
process. China called for a "comprehensive" Security Council
session to consider all aspects of the Darfur problem, which
China listed as: the peace process, UNAMID deployment,
humanitarian crisis, economic reconstruction, and
impunity/justice.

USUN NEW Y 00000329 002 OF 002



Regional Actors
--------------


6. (SBU) Libya made a detailed statement concerning the
regional nature of the Darfur conflict and said that
normalization of relations between Chad and Sudan was
essential. Libya said it would continue its efforts to
improve this relationship. Libya argued that rebels have
little motive to resolve Darfur's problems through the peace
prcess when the necessities of life are provided them gratis
by NGOs. Austria asked Bassole whether an international
conference bringing together regional players to discuss
Sudan would be helpful to his mediation efforts. (Note:
Egypt has offered to host such a meeting. End Note.) Japan
said that the upcoming Arab League Summit in Doha on March 28
- 29 would provide an opportunity for Arab countries to
signal their commitment to the Darfur peace process. Libya
responded that issues concerning Palestine and Gaza would be
discussed at the Summit, and claimed that public opinion
stands behind Bashir. Libya indicated that the Arab public
thinks that if Bashir is being prosecuted, so should Israelis.



7. (SBU) Libya called on France to pressure Sudan Liberation
Movement leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur, who resides in Paris, to
engage in Darfur peace negotiations. France responded that
it had not been Chad, France or the ICC that had initiated
the war in Darfur, and that efforts had been made to
encourage Wahid's participation in peace talks.

Bassole's Final Comments
--------------


8. (SBU) Bassole expressed gratitude for the Council's
unanimous support for the mediation. Bassole noted that he
feels uncomfortable addressing the ICC issue because as a
mediator, he must be impartial. Bassole stated that he holds
international institutions in high respect, but noted that
his duty as a mediator was to restore trust between the
parties. Bassole said that Bashir's indictment undermines
the negotiation process. He noted that rebels do not trust
Bashir and that rebel perceptions of divisions within the
international community create upheaval and disorder.
Bassole encouraged the Council to clearly speak about issues
on which everyone agrees, such as encouraging all parties to
engage in negotiations. Bassole also urged the Council to
avoid creating an impression that one party is favored over
another. Bassole also noted that if the Council could send a
signal to revitalize the Doha talks, this would be helpful.


9. (SBU) Bassole outlined his ideas for the way forward by
noting that he would like to conduct consultations that would
result in a Framework Agreement. Optimistically, if all goes
well, Bassole said that in three months he could set a date
for final negotiations. Regarding Austria's question about
the helpfulness of a conference with regional actors
concerning Sudan, Bassole noted that for now, this would not
be helpful.

Press Statement
--------------


10. (SBU) Turkey raised the issue of the Presidency orally
briefing media to express support for Bassole's efforts and
encourage continuation of the Doha talks. The Council agreed
to the following five elements: expressing support for
Bassole's mediation efforts; stressing the importance of
continuing the peace process; urging the parties to engage
actively in negotiations; expressing support for the Doha
process; and encouraging the good offices of Libya and
regional countries to normalize relations between Chad and
Sudan.
Wolff