US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA261

DEBY HOSTS HEADS OF STATE MEETING ON DARFUR

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA261
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA261 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-02-19 11:47:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM PREF KAWC 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 0997
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
DARFUR COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000261 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, AF/SPG, INR, PRM, USAID/OTI; 
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS; GENEVA FOR CAMPBELL, 
ADDIS/NAIROBI/KAMPALA FOR REFCOORDS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PREF, KAWC, CD, SU, Darfur Policy and Rebels 
SUBJECT: DEBY HOSTS HEADS OF STATE MEETING ON DARFUR 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Kathleen FitzGibbon for reaso 
ns 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary.  Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir agreed 
to stop aerial activity over Darfur and implement a 
unilateral ceasefire during the N'Djamena Summit on Darfur 
held on February 16.  Bashir also told the heads of state of 
Chad, Gabon, Congo, representatives of Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, 
the African Union, and United Nations that he would withdraw 
Sudanese military troops from positions occupied after 
December 8 and begin the demobilization and disarmament of 
the jandjaweed.  In a meeting February 18, Chadian President 
Deby told the Ambassador that if there is not enough progress 
on the ground in Darfur, Khartoum would not be allowed to 
host the annual African Union summit in July.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (U)  On February 16, Chadian President Idriss Deby hosted 
a heads of state summit on Darfur to jump-start the Darfur 
peace process.  The meeting was attended by: President Omar 
Bongo of Gabon, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, Omar Al-Bashir 
of Sudan, Libya's Secretary of African Union Affairs Ali 
Abdelsalam Triki,  Egypt's Minister for Relations with 
Parliament Mohfid Shehab, Nigeria's Minister for African 
Affairs Lawan Gana Guba.  Alpha Konare, Chair of the AU 
Commission and former Senegalese President and current 
Secretary General of the Francophonie, and Jan Pronk, Special 
 
SIPDIS 
Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan, 
attended the meeting.  President Olusegun Obasanjo did not 
attend because he was "sick", according to Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs protocol officers.  No others were allowed in 
the room. 
 
- - - - - - - - - - - 
PRESIDENTIAL READ-OUT 
- - - - - - - - - - - 
 
3.  (C)  President Deby told Ambassador Wall on February 18 
that the heads of state presented Al-Bashir with "the truth" 
about what they see happening in Darfur and that he 
understood all of their concerns.  Bashir, according to Deby, 
agreed to stop aerial activity over Darfur, implement a 
unilateral cease-fire, withdraw Sudanese military troops from 
positions occupied after December 8, and accepted the 
Government's responsibility to demobilize and disarm the 
jandjaweed.  Deby described the discussions as long and 
precise. 
4.  (C) Deby said that meeting was necessary to establish a 
real cease-fire on the ground.  A map of the parties' 
positions is necessary in order to design a plan to separate 
their forces.  The heads of state recommended sending a 
verification team expeditiously to Darfur to determine those 
positions.  Deby said that Chad will continue to work with 
the African Union toward a political agreement in Abuja. 
 
5.  (C)  Deby seemed to accept Bashir's latest commitment to 
respect the cease-fire, pull back Sudanese forces, and disarm 
the jandjaweed.  He told the Ambassador that without 
demonstrable progress on the ground, Khartoum will not be 
allowed to host the African Union summit in July. 
 
- - - - - - 
COMMUNIQUE 
- - - - - - 
 
6.  (U)  The communique from the meeting refers only vaguely 
to Bashir's "commitments" without spelling them out.  The 
communique urges the Sudanese parties respect the N'Djamena 
Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement, the Abuja Protocols on the 
Improvement of the Humanitarian Situation and the Enhancement 
of the Security Situation in Darfur, and any other 
commitments they have made.  In addition, the heads of state 
urged the Chair of the Joint Commission to send a team to 
verify the positions of the parties on the ground to work out 
a plan for the separation of forces.  The international 
community is called upon to strengthen the African Union's 
mission in Sudan. 
 
7.  (C)  Several elements of the communique were presented by 
the Governments of Sudan and Libya, according to 
representatives of the U.N. staff who attended the meeting. 
First, the international community is called upon to support 
ongoing African efforts to resolve the crisis and to refrain 
 
the deployment of any non-African forces in Darfur.  Second, 
a "peace framework" should be prepared and submitted to the 
parties at the next round of talks.  This agreement "should 
open the way for the holding of a large conference of all the 
children of Darfur".  Third, the communique mentions the 
resumption of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur, but 
the Libyans reportedly wanted the wording "in Abuja" dropped. 
 
8.  (C)   The thrust of Libya's intervention was to gain 
support for preventing U.S., NATO, or European Union forces 
from being deployed to Darfur.  Also, U.N. and A.U. personnel 
told P/E officer that the Libyans are still trying to get the 
venue of the peace talks moved from Abuja.  According to a 
member of Jan Pronk's team, some of the communique language 
was hastily added and that it is "harmless".  Nonetheless, 
Sudan and Libya are likely to point to the communique as 
evidence of agreement on these issues as well as on the idea 
of an all-Darfur conference when it suits them. 
 
- - - - - - - 
ATMOSPHERICS 
- - - - - - - 
 
9.  (C) The summit pushed Chad's protocol resources to the 
breaking-point.  There was complete confusion over the 
meeting's timing and its participants.  The diplomatic corps 
was trotted out to the airport tarmac to greet arriving heads 
of state and then taken to the Foreign Ministry to wait for 
five hours while the heads of state concluded their meeting 
without any explanations.  Outside the venue, dozens of 
armored humvees took over the parking lot.  Ambassadors Wall, 
Prosper, and Yates, P/E officer and Proper's special 
assistant attended the reading of the communique.  Even Deby 
himself commented on the poor protocol arrangements at the 
ceremony.  Nonetheless, the Chadians appear relieved to have 
pulled the meeting off and once again demonstrated leadership 
on Darfur. 
 
- - - - 
COMMENT 
- - - - 
 
10.  (C) Deby hopes that this is the beginning of the 
cease-fire on the ground in Darfur, but remains cautious.  He 
believes that Bashir clearly understood the message of the 
other heads of state.  It may be that Deby and the African 
Union are calculating that the possibility that Khartoum will 
host the annual July summit may result in compliance on the 
ground.  Deby and the assembled heads of state collectively 
placed pressure on Bashir to respect the ceasefire.  However, 
without the presence of President Obasanjo, the group 
probably lacks sufficient clout to make a difference without 
continued outside pressure and the use of other carrots and 
sticks to enforce the Government of Sudan's compliance with 
the ceasefire.  As for the reference to an all-Darfur 
conference, this is an old idea and one that the Sudanese 
Government supports as long as it can manipulate the 
attendees. 
 
11.  (U) Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered. 
WALL 
 
 
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