US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA441

CHADIAN TACTICS ALARM AFRICAN UNION

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA441
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA441 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-03-22 13:48:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM 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.

221348Z Mar 05

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FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1189
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
DARFUR COLLECTIVE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000441 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, AF/SPG, DRL, INR, PRM, USAID/OTI; 
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS; GENEVA FOR CAMPBELL, 
ADDIS/NAIROBI/KAMPALA FOR REFCOORDS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2014 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PREF, PREL, CD, SU, Darfur Policy and Rebels 
SUBJECT: CHADIAN TACTICS ALARM AFRICAN UNION 
 
REF: NDJAMENA 405 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Kathleen FitzGibbon for reaso 
ns 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary: African Union officials are concerned that 
Chad's attempts to change the leadership of the Sudan 
Liberation Movement (SLM) will contribute to major delays in 
restarting the Abuja talks.  Ambassador Sam Ibok and Boubou 
Niang stopped in N'Djamena for consultations from March 18 to 
20 on their way to Abuja to discuss the status of the Abuja 
peace process.  It is increasingly clear that the Chadians, 
in collusion with the Sudanese Government, intend to buy off 
Sharif Harir, depose SLM leaders Abdelwahid and Mini Minawi, 
and destroy the  remnants of the National Movement for Reform 
and Development (NMRD) and possibly launch new attacks on the 
SLM.  End Summary. 
 
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DEEP CONCERNS OVER CHADIAN MANIPULATION 
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2.  (C)  During their consultations in N'Djamena, African 
Union officials compared notes with P/E officer on the 
ongoing Chadian Government and Sudan Liberation Movement 
(SLM) discussions.  The AU team met with the P/E officer, the 
Chad Mediation Team, and SLM leaders Adam Shogar and Dr. 
Sharif Harir prior to traveling to Abuja on March 19.  Ibok 
was shocked to arrive in N'Djamena to discover the Chadian 
"consultations" with SLM.  Ibok described General Mahamat Ali 
and Special Advisor for International Affairs Allam-mi Ahmat 
as evasive when he asked what the Chadians hoped to 
accomplish.  The Chadians did not give Ibok any specifics on 
their discussions with SLM nor with Sudanese Vice President 
Taha, who was in N'Djamena last week.  Adam Shogar and Sharif 
Harir also were not forthcoming in their meeting with Ibok 
and regarding whether not they had met with any Sudanese 
officials. 
 
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DOUBTS ABOUT RESTARTING ABUJA 
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3.  (C) According t_`n%9Qrship issues.  The Chadian consultations could sabotage 
attempts to allow the movement's to settle their own 
organizational problems and will weaken the movement's 
ability to negotiate.  Ibok said that Abdelwahid Nour and 
Mini Minawi need to get to Chad to put a stop to the attempts 
to co-opt Harir and place him at the head of SLM.  He advised 
that the U.S. should give Abdelwahid and Mini assurances for 
their security to travel to Chad to forestall disaster for 
the SLM and the peace process.  Ibok opined that Harir "would 
not be so bold" if Abdelwahid and Mini were in N'Djamena. 
Ibok said he will advise the Nigerian Foreign Minister about 
these developments. 
 
4.  (C) Ibok knew nothing about potential meetings in Rome 
which would involve rebel movement leaders, and requested 
additional information so that the AU can plan for the next 
round of talks.  He is worried that the talks could not 
resume before May given all of these developments because the 
AU promised the movements it would give at least two weeks of 
lead time prior to the next round.  If the Chadian plan 
succeeds, Ibok said that he does not think it would be worth 
the AU's efforts to restart the talks because the SLM would 
have co-opted leadership, unable to represent or deliver the 
SLM once an agreement is reached.  This would be disastrous 
for the process and will only embolden the GOS to continue 
with its hardline position. 
 
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JEM BACK IN TOWN 
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5.  (C) Ahmed Lissan Tugod, upon hearing of the ongoing 
GOC-SLM consultations or "coup d'etat", returned to N'Djamena 
on March 18.  In a meeting with AU officials and P/E officer 
on March 19, he described a joint plan by the Chadian and 
Sudanese Government to unseat Abdelwahid and Mini.  He warned 
SLM members and expressed concern that the Chadian strategy 
will succeed in further dividing SLM.  Tugod also told the AU 
to disregard the JEM communique that stated the group would 
not return to the negotiations until the war crimes tribunal 
 
took place.  Lissan explained that it was unrealistic.  JEM, 
however, wants to wait until the next U.N. Security Council 
meeting on Darfur before returning to the peace talks. 
Lissan also did not know anything about the potential Rome 
meeting. 
 
- - - - - - - - 
LATEST THEORIES 
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6.  (C) There is speculation that the GOS wants SLM leaders 
and supporters to move back from Eritrea, Chad, and other 
countries to Darfur, where the they eventually will be wiped 
out.  Chad represents the remaining part of a circle around 
the movements that needs to be closed off.  The Sudanese 
Government wants Chad to "close its door" to the movements. 
The Sudanese Government allegedly is promising to give the 
Zaghawa SLM leaders control of Darfur in an attempt to lure 
them back to Sudan.  NMRD and SLM members believe that a 
Sudanese Government and jandjaweed attack on SLM forces is 
imminent.  According to these sources, the Government of 
Sudan is planning an attack prior to returning to the peace 
talks in Abuja.  There have already been jandjaweed attacks 
in Chad near Beida that have claimed thousands of cattle and 
camels.  Last week, President Deby reportedly complained to 
President Bashir and then to visiting Vice-President Taha 
about these attacks on Zaghawas in Chad.  However, Chad's 
ability to resist Sudanese pressure remains weak.  If Chad 
does not play along with the GOS's initiatives, then Khartoum 
will "unleash" armed groups thought to belong to Chadian 
rebel movements.  Meanwhile, Chadian security forces are on 
high alert along the border as sightings of these groups are 
on the increase. 
 
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NMRD UNDER SIEGE 
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7.  (C) A recent jandjaweed attack on locations of the 
National Movement for Democracy and Reform (NMRD) severely 
injured NMRD's Chief of Staff Djibrine Abelkerim Bary. 
Djibrine is being treated in a hospital in Abeche.  Norain 
Minawi, NMRD's General Secretary, left N'Djamena for Abeche 
on March 21 to see Djibrine.  Minawi and Bahar Idriss, NMRD's 
press secretary, believe that the GOS is encircling and 
attacking NMRD positions to wipe it out.  Rumors are 
surfacing in N'Djamena that Norain Minawi is being replaced 
as General Secretary by Baradine Chaibo, brother of Chad's 
Director of the National Security Agency. 
 
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FATE OF COMMANDERS 
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8.  (C) P/E officer's attempts to visit the detained SLM 
commanders continue to be frustrated.  Several independent 
sources allege that one of the commanders, Ahmed Kubur, is 
being beaten.  Kubur, a Rizagat of Arab descent and a 
defector from Moussa Hilal's jandjaweed forces, had been 
working with SLM.  It is not clear whether the perpetrators 
are Chadian or Sudanese.  One of the five commanders at the 
government guesthouse, Mohammed Harin, was allowed to visit 
other SLM members on March 20, but did not speak freely and 
could not explain the whereabouts of the other commanders. 
 
9.  (C) Another ten SLM field commanders arrived in N'Djamena 
on March 21 and immediately met with Dr. Sharif Harir.  They 
include Juma Haggar, Djidu, and Ramadan.  They expect to be 
in N'Djamena only for two to three days. 
 
 
- - - - 
COMMENT 
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10.  (C) The members of SLM now in N'Djamena are under great 
pressure.  There appears to be little that Abdelwahid and 
Mini can do because it is too dangerous for them to come to 
Chad.  The AU's concerns that Chad's efforts to co-opt and 
divide SLM's leadership will delay the resumption of peace 
talks are valid.  The possibility that the SLM will come 
under direct attack by the Government of Sudan or the 
jandjaweed while many of its commanders are in N'Djamena 
cannot be ruled out at this point. 
 
 
11. (U) Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered. 
 
CASEBEER 
 
 
NNNN 

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