US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA59

PRIME MINISTER FAKI GIVES SENATOR FEINGOLD A TOUR D'HORIZON

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA59
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA59 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-01-18 06:56:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM PREF CD SU Political Stability VIP Visits
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


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FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0770
INFO AMEMBASSY ABUJA 
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 
AMEMBASSY DAKAR 
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
SECDEF WASHDC
USEU BRUSSELS
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000059 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/C, AF/SPG, PRM, USAID/OTI; LONDON AND 
PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PREF, CD, SU, Political Stability, VIP Visits 
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER FAKI GIVES SENATOR FEINGOLD A TOUR 
D'HORIZON 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Kathleen FitzGibbon for reaso 
ns 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  Prime Minister Moussa Faki shared the views 
of the Chadian Government on a wide range of issues with 
Senator Russell Feingold on January 13.  Faki expressed his 
frustration that the situation in Darfur remains unresolved 
and his concerns about the plight of the local Chadian 
populations in the East.  The Prime Minister told Feingold 
that he believes that Chadians will support the 
Constitutional amendments, which include the removal of term 
limits.  Faki also said that stability is more important for 
Chad that alternating power.  Faki and Feingold touched on 
other issues, such as Iraq and locusts.  Both agreed that the 
U.S.-Chadian relationship is strong and could grow closer. 
End Summary. 
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
ON THE CHAD-U.S. RELATIONSHIP 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
2.  (C) Prime Minister Moussa Faki greeted Senator Feingold, 
who was accompanied by the Ambassador, Feingold's staffer 
Michelle Gavin, and other Embassy representatives.  Faki told 
Feingold that the United States has long cooperated with 
Chad, but that the relationship can get even better in the 
future.  He pointed out the U.S. oil investment in Chad and 
U.S. assistance to Chad on Darfur as examples of mutual 
benefit.  Faki said he had just come from eastern Chad where 
he visited Farchana Refugee Camp.  He told Feingold that the 
local Chadian populations are suffering.  The refugee influx, 
lack of rain, and desertification has taken a huge toll on 
the fragile environment, depleting firewood and water 
resources.  Faki explained that Chad is a mediator on Darfur 
and needs a rapid peace agreement. 
 
3.  (C) Faki told Feingold that Chad had been a democracy for 
fourteen years.  In that time two elections had been held. 
There are more than ten opposition parties, human rights 
groups operate, and the press is free.  He noted that the 
government is attempting to advance human rights and 
anti-corruption efforts in the country.  The legal 
instruments and government infrastructure is in place for the 
management of the oil revenues.  He noted that the Government 
is working with its international partners to rehabilitate 
the justice system, consolidate democracy, and fight 
corruption. 
 
4.  (C) Faki continued, saying that counter-terrorism 
cooperation must also continue because Chad falls within a 
&zone of turbulence8 and is surrounded by many neighbors 
with porous borders.  Feingold asked Faki about the current 
status of Chad,s relationship with Libya.  Faki said that 
Chadians expect their government to help stabilize their 
situations and the well-being of Chadians living along the 
Libyan border dictates that the GOC keep a good relationship 
its northern neighbor. 
 
- - - - - 
ON DARFUR 
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5.  (C) Feingold turned the conversation to Darfur and 
expressed his appreciation for the GOC,s efforts toward the 
Sudanese refugees.  Feingold asked if the Sudanese rebel 
movements have realistic agendas that will enable the 
situation to be resolved.  Faki said that he did not have an 
answer because the situation on the ground has not stabilized 
and he believes that many Darfurians fear the rebel 
movements.  He continued saying the Naivasha dynamic, in 
which the U.S. had leverage over the GOS and Garang, is 
needed to resolve Darfur.  Faki said that both the GOS and 
the Darfur rebel movements must be made to comply with their 
agreements.  Those members of the movements living in Europe 
 
 
and elsewhere can no longer relate to the plight of the 
people of Darfur and their suffering. 
 
6. (C) In response to Feingold,s question as to the GOC,s 
relationship with the rebel movements, Faki said that the GOC 
was the first country to offer a venue for negotiations.  The 
first talks were held in Abeche and then N,Djamena.  Faki 
continued saying that peace talks have since been moved 
elsewhere and there are those that accuse the GOC of helping 
the National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD). 
Chad is doing what it can to see the crisis end, Faki said. 
Faki agreed with Feingold that the impact of the refugees in 
Chad is negative.  As long as the border area of Darfur is 
not under Chadian or Sudanese Government control, livestock 
theft and crime will continue to undermine Chadian security. 
The region is awash with arms, Faki complained. 
 
7. (C) Feingold asked about the Chadian and Sudanese 
Government relations.  Faki said that &you cannot choose 
your neighbors8 and that Chad maintains good relations with 
all of them, including Sudan. 
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - 
ON U.S. INTEREST, IRAQ 
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8. (C) Faki told Feingold that the U.S. is well-liked in 
Chad, but that it seems the U.S. is losing interest.  He 
described fondly his experience learning English from the 
Peace Corps and the presence that USAID once had in Chad. 
After US AID,s departure, according to Faki, it is Esso's 
presence that serves as a symbol of U.S. interest, but Esso 
is only active in the oil producing area.  The rest of Chad 
does not have any U.S. presence. 
 
9. (C) Feingold asked Faki about Chad,s views on the U.S. 
intervention in Iraq.  Faki initially answered that Chad 
supports U.S. counter-terrorism goals.  When pressed, 
however, he told Feingold that Chad would have preferred a 
United Nations-led intervention. 
 
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ON DEMOCRACY AND A THIRD TERM FOR DEBY 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
10. (C) Feingold asked Faki about the status of the 
Constitutional amendments.  Faki explained that the 
registration for the public referendum began on January 10. 
The revisions are being undertaken according to the 
Constitution itself.  The amendments include abolishing the 
Senate, which will be replaced by a Social and Economic 
Council, and limitations on the number of presidential terms. 
 Feingold told Faki that he was, as a Senator, troubled by 
abolishment of the Senate, but that he was more concerned 
with the removal of presidential term limits.  Faki explained 
that the referendum was the second step in the amendment 
process.  Feingold asked if the amendments would pass and 
Faki replied that yes they would because a solid majority of 
Chadians supported them. 
 
11. (C) Feingold said that he believes the example set by 
President Alpha Konare of Mali, who left office after two 
terms, was a good one to allow the country to progress 
democratically.  Feingold told Faki, that with all due 
respect, it is important to have a process of change in place 
to strengthen democracy.  Feingold noted that former U.S. 
President Bill Clinton loved being President and that there 
probably is not a day that goes by when Clinton does not wake 
up wishing that he still was in office.  Clinton was a great 
President, but it is still important that he stepped down at 
the end of his second term, Feingold observed. 
 
12. (C) Faki replied that the stability of the country is 
more important than the number of presidential mandates.  He 
 
 
argued that Mali and the United States are stable countries. 
Chad has endured thirty years of civil war just five years 
after independence.  When Chad achieves stability, Faki 
claimed, then presidential term limits would be useful. 
 
- - - - - - 
ON LOCUSTS 
- - - - - - 
 
11. (C) Feingold expressed interest in the locust situation. 
Faki said that Chad is a Sahelian country with climatic 
problems and drought.  The locust situation turned out not to 
be too bad for Chad.  There are, however, a few areas facing 
famine in northern Chad and near Lake Chad due to the locusts 
and lack of rain.  The GOC would like food to be 
pre-positioned in certain places in Chad to respond to a 
potential famine.  The refugees in eastern Chad are being 
fed, but Chadians on the brink of famine are not. 
 
- - - - 
COMMENT 
- - - - 
 
12. (C) Senator Feingold,s meeting with Faki covered a 
number of key issues of policy interest, but his message on 
the importance of term presidential term limitations for the 
development of democracy hit a nerve.  Faki,s response was a 
reiteration of an oft-heard theme and the ruling party,s 
likely campaign slogan for the approval of the amendments: 
the equating of Deby,s continuation in power with a 
continuation of stability in Chad. 
 
13. (U) Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered. 
WALL 
 
 
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