US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA162

PRESIDENT DEBY APPEALS FOR HELP

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA162
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA162 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-02-04 19:07:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREF PREL CD SU Darfur Policy and Rebels
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 PRIORITY 0896
INFO DARFUR COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY ABUJA 
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 
AMEMBASSY ASMARA 
AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY DAKAR 
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 
AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 
AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000162 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR COURVILLE 
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2014 
TAGS: PREF, PREL, CD, SU, Darfur Policy and Rebels 
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT DEBY APPEALS FOR HELP 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Marc M. Wall for reasons 1.4 (b and d) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Darfur threatens to become a regional 
catastrophe and Chad proposes hosting a high-level meeting of 
the Joint Commission on the Humanitarian Cease-Fire in a new 
attempt to head it off, President Deby told us February 4. 
In the meeting he requested with the Ambassador, he appealed 
for more forceful international involvement in Darfur as well 
as for expanded counter-terrorist assistance.  We urge 
Washington to send a senior representative to the February 15 
meeting.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (U)  The Ambassador was asked February 4 to meet with 
President Idriss Deby later that morning in the Presidential 
offices.  Deby, looking fit and determined after his recent 
travels to Paris, Taipei, and Abuja, received the Ambassador 
in his personal office.  Only Special Advisor to the 
Presidency Allam-mi joined the President.  We understand 
French Ambassador Berceau had met with Deby immediately 
before.  These appointments took place at the same time as 
Foreign Minister Yamassoum briefed other members of the 
diplomatic corps on plans to invite African heads of states 
and other senior representatives to the Joint Commission on 
the Humanitarian Cease-Fire for Darfur on February 15 in 
N'Djamena (see septel). 
 
------------------- 
"We Need Your Help" 
------------------- 
 
3.  (C)  Deby led off with an account of the weaknesses of 
Chad's security services.  He said Chad lacks the capacity to 
patrol its long borders or protect its vast territory against 
terrorist incursions.  He referred to several individuals who 
had been identified in Chad with links to Al Qaeda and who 
also had connections to Saudi Arabia or Libya.  He also noted 
the Chadian prisoner captured in Afghanistan still held in 
Guantanamo.  He said Chad is at least as exposed to terrorist 
activity as Niger and Mali.  He welcomed U.S. training of the 
Chadian soldiers under the Pan Sahel Initiative, but stressed 
that the numbers involved were far too few to meet Chad's 
enormous needs. 
 
4.  (C)  Turning to the problem of Darfur, Deby warmed up in 
describing his alarm over the continuing conflict there.  The 
problem is getting worse, he argued.  None of the parties are 
respecting the cease-fire.  The fighting is creating an 
explosive situation.  Chad is getting hit, and other 
countries in the region will suffer increasingly too if the 
threat is not contained.  In fact, he claimed, Chad risks 
becoming another Darfur.  It had welcomed the Sudanese 
refugees, but they simply could not stay in eastern Chad for 
years to come.  If the problem persists, the whole region 
could descend into turmoil like the area surrounding Africa's 
Great Lakes, he said. 
 
5.  (C)  Becoming even more insistent, Deby said it is 
absolutely essential that the cease-fire be respected.  Also, 
the jandjaweed militias must be disarmed, and the 
humanitarian relief operations must be protected.  He 
described plans to host a high-level meeting of the Joint 
Commission on the Humanitarian Cease-Fire for Darfur on 
February 15.  President Obasanjo and Africa Union Chairperson 
Konare are among those who plan to attend (see septel).  But 
he also observed that efforts so far have failed. 
Representatives were wandering like nomads from N'Djamena to 
Addis Ababa, Abuja and other capitals in vain attempts to 
solve the crisis.  The international community must step in 
 
more forcefully, It had to force the parties to respect the 
cease-fire, he argued. 
 
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"We Hear You" 
------------- 
 
6.  (C)  The Ambassador responded by noting how much respect 
he had discerned during his recent consultations in 
Washington for what Chad is doing on Darfur and with the 
Sudanese refugees.  He noted the high regard he had found 
there as well as for Chad's cooperation on counter-terrorism 
and its plan for managing its new oil revenues.  He welcomed 
the collaboration between Chad's and U.S. intelligence 
services.  He agreed that a company of soldiers is not 
sufficient to meet Chad's counter-terrorist needs.  He 
outlined plans for a significant expansion in defense-related 
cooperation through programs over the coming year leading up 
to the proposed Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorist Initiative. 
 
7.  (C)  On Darfur, the Ambassador stressed that the United 
States shares concerns about the continuing violence there. 
He noted that five Congressional delegations have visited in 
the last six months, drawn in part by concerns over the 
humanitarian tragedy in Darfur and its impact on Chad.  He 
said Washington is looking hard at new measures to address 
the problem.  He referred to the statement by State 
Department spokesman Richard Boucher February 1 following 
release of the report by United Nations commission of inquiry 
on Darfur.  The Ambassador mentioned specifically: 1) U.S. 
support for a tribunal based in Arusha to assure 
accountability; 2) U.S. proposals for a U.N. peacekeeping 
mission to support the African Union in Darfur; and 3) 
consultations in the Security Council on proposals to 
intensify pressure, including by implementing oil sanctions 
or other targeted sanctions.  He said the United States is 
ready to work with Chad and others on ways to resolve the 
problem. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Hopes for an All-Parties Conference 
----------------------------------- 
 
8.  (C)  On the way out of the meeting, Special Advisor 
Allam-mi discussed ideas for a peace conference bringing 
together all parties in the conflict.  He said the SLM and 
JEM do not necessarily represent all Darfurians.  He 
questioned the JEM's agenda or even whether it really 
represents anyone in Darfur.  Is it serious about negotiating 
peace or is its aim the overthrow of the regime in Khartoum, 
he asked.  If the latter, he observed, it cannot be 
considered a serious negotiating partner.  He believed other 
representatives should be brought to the table, including 
those speaking directly for the refugees themselves.  He 
dismissed Libya's recent attempts at hosting a conference on 
Darfur.  He said that effort was limited to tribal leaders. 
His plan is much more comprehensive, he noted.  He saw the 
process that led to the Naivasha agreements as a model for 
what is needed on Darfur. 
 
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Comment 
------- 
 
9.  (C)  Deby's comments echo those he made last week in a 
speech at the African Union's meeting in Abuja.  He is 
exasperated by the failure of peace efforts to date; alarmed 
by what he fears could become a regional catastrophe; and 
 
desperate for a solution.  We have little confidence that the 
proposed high-level meeting of the Joint Cease-Fire 
Commission in N'Djamena on February 15 will lead to any 
breakthroughs.  But we believe it deserves to be taken 
seriously.  We believe Washington should send an 
appropriately senior representative. 
 
10  (U)  Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered. 
WALL 
 
 
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