INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: President Bashir Comments On Darfur

Published: Mon 17 Jul 2006 01:33 PM
VZCZCXRO0695
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1685 1981333
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171333Z JUL 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3735
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001685
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPKO UN AU SU
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT BASHIR COMMENTS ON DARFUR
1. Following are excerpts from an interview with Sudanese President
Bashir on July 15, 2006, as published by the local Arabic newspaper,
Al Rai Al Aam.
(Begin text)
Q: A major breakthrough has been achieved following your meeting
with UN Secretary General in Banjul by extending the presence of the
AU forces in Darfur for another six months. What are your options
if UN insisted on deployment of international forces in Darfur?
A: My meeting with the UN Secretary General came to crown meetings
with his assistants who visited the Sudan, the last of these visits
was by the UN Security Council. All these meetings paved the way
for the meeting with the UN Secretary General to find the way out
for the Darfur issue. Of course we demanded extension of the period
of these forces in Darfur.
Q: What was the vision of the UN Secretary General?
A: He believed that even if AU forces were financed, UN cannot
deploy forces before six months. It is our conviction that within
the six months, we can implement the DPA. If the DPA has been
properly implemented, this will spare us the need for UN forces and
even for the AU forces.
Q: Do you have other options?
A: As far as we are concerned, the peace agreement has availed us
of very excellent option, that of forming integrated units
comprising 4000 troops that will be absorbed into the armed forces
and in addition to other 4000 to be absorbed in the Police forces.
These integrated forces will be taken into confidence of the
citizens whether they are on the opposition or from the government
side.
There are two categories of forces rejecting the peace agreement.
One of these is Abdel Wahid group that has announced its commitment
to ceasefire. So long as it is committed to that there will be no
serious security problem. In other words there will not be
comprehensive security in the region of eastern Jebel Marra nor will
there be military operations. The second group has stayed outside
this agreement and ceasefire protocol and has now called itself the
redemption front. It has transferred its operation to Hamra El
Shiekh. We as armed forces and armed movements are capable of
wiping out that group. We shall bring peace to Darfur after six
months and we will not need even AU forces.
Q: After meeting Abdulrahman Mossa, what impression did he leave on
you?
A: My first conviction was that he has come looking for peace and
that he would work with the government to achieve that. If all
other Darfurian leaders come with the same spirit, I believe that
within two or three weeks people will see quite a different
situation in Darfur. However malicious people and rumormongers who
share the same agenda will continue talking about deterioration of
security in Darfur although people there talk about the positive
developments in this connection.
Q: In one of your recent statements you pointed out that
negotiation of the Darfur file has ended. That was considered by
some opposition armed movements as declaration of war. How do you
look at that now and what did you really mean?
A: We believe that an agreement has been signed in Abuja. Those
who refuse to sign are the ones who declared war. When war is
declared, we are forced to reciprocate because the state is the sole
party responsible for security.
Q: Do you have detailed information on the French draft resolution
on Darfur which will be submitted to UNSC?
A: We don't have the details of that draft resolution. However it
will be the same line that was adopted by the USA, Britain and
France. Irrespective of the resolution to be issued by the UNSC we
will not accept the transformation of AU forces into UN ones and
this is a final decision. Regrettably, even if our partners did not
back us, they will not impose on us another position because we have
already agreed with them on a definite one.
(End text)
2. Comment: President Bashir's view that the DPA can be
implemented within six months is wildly unrealistic, especially in
light of the current deteriorating security climate and AU failures
to date. This is in addition to ongoing GNU manipulation of its
commitments to disarm verifiably the Janjaweed, which is sure to
sabotage any nascent trust between the parties. With these latest
statements, President Bashir has stayed on message, consistently
voicing his strident opposition to a UN transition in Darfur.
STEINFELD
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