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Viewing cable 09CAIRO1525, NCP AND SPLM CAIRO OFFICE HEADS DISCUSS U.S. AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO1525 2009-08-09 06:06 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #1525/01 2210608
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 090608Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3351
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1341
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001525 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA, AF/SPG 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2019 
TAGS: PREL SU EG
SUBJECT: NCP AND SPLM CAIRO OFFICE HEADS DISCUSS U.S. AND 
EGYPTIAN ROLES IN SUDAN 
 
REF: CAIRO 1306 
 
Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Donald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Key Points: -- The heads of the Cairo offices of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Sudanese National Congress Party (NCP) said the Government of Egypt (GoE) can play an important role in CPA implementation and in uniting Darfuri militia groups because Cairo has good relations with both Khartoum and Juba and Egypt values the unity of Sudan. -- The SPLM and NCP heads believe a U.S. role is needed to overcome difficulties and ensure implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA). The SPLM leader claimed the NCP is only seeking U.S. approval and is not interested in CPA implementation. -- Sudanese President Bashir's July 18 speech in Cairo was attended by 1,500 Sudanese. The SPLM leaders did not attend the speech, but the NCP contended the attendance reflected that Sudanese in Egypt support Bashir. -- The NCP and SPLM are divided over recent agreements signed in Cairo between the Sudanese Umma Party and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Umma Party and SLA-Unity. The NCP leader rejected the agreements saying they are counter to peace, while the SPLM leader supports the search to find "common ground," and told us that discussions are ongoing between Umma and SPLM on an agreement. -- Both parties are working with Sudanese expatriates and refugees to prepare for April 2010 elections in Sudan.

2.(C) Comment: The SPLM and NCP offices in Cairo are actively cultivating a good relationship with the GoE and reaching out to provide services to the local Sudanese population, estimated by Sudanese advocacy groups to be between 2-4 million. The SPLM office also coordinates with the leaders of Darfuri militia groups and northern Sudanese opposition parties. The SPLM office appears to be much more committed to the April 2010 elections than the Government of South Sudan's (GOSS) liaison office. End Comment. ------------------------------- Egypt Plays a Key Role in Sudan -------------------------------

3.(C) Nasr Al Din Kosheib, Head of the SPLM's Cairo office said on July 30 the Government of Egypt (GoE) plays an important role in Sudan because it has good relations with both Khartoum and Juba. He said the GoE's interest lies in working for the unity of Sudan. He added that "Egypt is more committed to unity than the NCP." Kosheib praised Egyptian development efforts in southern Sudan, which include building multiple electricity plants, a branch of Alexandria University, and a hospital in Juba. He also stated Egypt offers 300 annual scholarships for southern Sudanese to attend Egyptian universities, which means more southern Sudanese graduate from Egyptian universities every year than northern Sudanese universities. Kamal Al Din Ali, the head of the NCP office in Cairo told us on July told us the GoE has a key role to play in helping with CPA implementation. He asserted that Egypt's efforts are driven by fear that if southern Sudan secedes, the Nile waters situation will become more complex. Ali said that the GoE also fears that secession could start a war, which would bring more refugees to Egypt. Egypt's large aid presence in southern Sudan is meant to avert separation.

4.(C) Both Kosheib and Ali support the Egyptian effort to unite the political demands of Darfuri groups as a necessary step toward peace. However, NCP head Ali doubted that Egyptian efforts would succeed because the "Darfuri groups unwillingness to unify their demands prevents peace negotiations." SPLM's Kosheib met with the leaders of six Darfuri factions that participated in the Cairo talks. He stated the Cairo talks helped the groups garner media attention and realize they have common goals. However, Kosheib noted that the only three of the groups, Abu Garda's United Resistance Front, SLA-Unity, and the United Revolutionary Forces Front (URFF), have "power and assets on the ground." He said that SPLM hopes to do something similar with Darfuri groups in Juba. --------------------------------------- U.S. Role Needed for CPA Implementation ---------------------------------------

5.(C) SPLM's Kosheib said the USG-sponsored CPA conference in June was an "excellent step" and showed that the U.S. was willing to resolve the issue of CPA implementation. However, he stated the NCP objective for the conference was to "normalize relations with the USG, not implement the CPA." Kosheib encouraged "international" pressure on the NCP to implement the CPA for the "benefit of all Sudanese." He said that the international nature was important so the U.S. would not be perceived as the sole "guardian" of southern Sudan.

6.(C) NCP's Ali said a U.S. role is needed to overcome the difficulties in CPA implementation such as the lack of trust between the NCP and SPLM, acceptance of the census, and preparation for the upcoming elections. He stated the USG should "stop protecting the SPLM" and pressure it to push forward with CPA implementation because "the SPLM is responsible for delaying resolution of the difficult issues." He said that the NCP is also looking to the U.S. to "normalize relations" in order to give the NCP "credibility" to resolve the issues in Sudan. ------------------------------- President Bashir's Cairo speech -------------------------------

7.(C) Ali was in charge of preparations for the Sudanese President Bashir Cairo speech, which was given on July 18 at the Cairo International Conference Center. He said the speech was attended by 1,500 Sudanese and dispelled the notion that Sudanese in Cairo do not support President Bashir. Ali stated the event was also a sign of the good relations between Sudan and Egypt, which Bashir highlighted during his talk. Kosheib said that he and other SPLM officials received invitations to Bashir's speech. However, they did not attend because the speech was designed to garner electoral support and support against the ICC and "SPLM does not agree with the NCP on these points." ------------------------------------- Umma Party Outreach to Darfuri Groups -------------------------------------

8.(C) Kosheib said SPLM supports recent Cairo Agreements between the Sudanese Umma Party agreements with JEM and SLA-Unity, notwithstanding some reservations on certain articles (reftel). He discussed the agreements with former Sudanese PM and Umma Party chief Imam Al Sadiq Al Mahdi. Kosheib stated that the SPLM sees the search to find "common ground" as one of the key components leading to peace in Sudan. He said that Al Mahdi plans to visit Juba in the near future to discuss a similar agreement with SPLM officials. In contrast, Ali stated the NCP rejects the Cairo Agreements. He told us that the Umma Party's assertion that the Khartoum government is illegitimate and its support for the ICC arrest warrant "will not bring peace." Ali referred to JEM as an organization that "relies on violence and arms, not the political process," to achieve its goals. He said these groups should focus on developing their positions in upcoming elections instead of signing agreements. ----------------------- Preparing for Elections -----------------------

9.(C) In June, SPLM started a program to educate Sudanese living in Egypt on the process for the 2010 Sudanese Presidential election, according to Kosheib. He said the program teaches Sudanese residents about their constitutional right and duty to vote, election monitoring, and the SPLM platform. In addition, Cairo University professors helped to train 35 Sudanese to be election monitors. He hopes to send these individuals back to Sudan to monitor the April 2010 elections. Ali said that the NCP Cairo office is looking forward to elections by encouraging Sudanese in Egypt to register and participate in process. The NCP passed a political parties law and wants international monitors to oversee "fair elections" so there is not a repeat of situations in Iran, Zimbabwe, or Kenya. Ali stated that Sudan is "fragile" and any election violence could lead to the disintegration of the country. SCOBEY