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Sudan: Report on Pagan Amum`s US visit, Overt, Secret Talks with US Officials
Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online
Tuesday,
August 31, 2010


 
Pagan Amum, the Secretary-General of the Sudan People`s Liberation Movement (SPLM)


Report from Khartoum by Muhammad Sa`id Muhammad al-Hasan: “The Losers and Winners in the Separation of South Sudan (6). Pagan Amum Asks the Security Council To Recognize the New State, Calls for Establishing a US Base in South Sudan


The visit to the United States by Pagan Amum, the Secretary-General of the Sudan People`s Liberation Movement (SPLM), was eye-catching amid the fast-paced developments on the political scene in both North and South Sudan on the self-determination referendum for the South. He was asked in a press interview whether he had asked the United States and the Security Council to recognize the Southern State. He replied: “They are an integral partner in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Consequently we have gone to the Security Council and briefed them on progress in the CPA`s implementation. We have discussed many issues and the importance of the council`s pledges on pursuing the implementation of the CPA and consequently holding the referendum on schedule and recognizing the new State if the people of the South choose separation. The council is committed to all this.” But a report from Washington published at the end of June 2010 by a credible Sudanese newspaper revealed a series of meetings with decision-making circles in the American Administration, the US Defense Department and the US Treasury Department. The report said that a request has been made for weapons and military equipment for the Sudan People`s Liberation Army (SPLA) and for integration of the South within the American defense system. According to the report, Amum stressed the importance of there being an American base in Sudan. The report spoke about:


American Pledges


Pagan Amum asked Susan Rice to support holding the referendum on schedule and recognizing its result and the Southern State in the event that it is established. Rice promised to do her best with the American Administration to support the SPLM in implementing the agreement, and to participate in an effective way in holding the referendum and monitoring it and recognizing its results. Amum received promises of $60 million aid from the American Development Agency to finance the referendum. Rice assigned the American Charge d`Affaires in Juba Ava Rogers to inform the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) about the transfer of the amount. The US State Department made representations at the United Nations that led to a UN donation of $80 million.


Pagan met the British Ambassador in Washington to explain to him the reasons for his visit to the United States and the status of the peace agreement. He asked Britain to support the SPLM because of what he termed the crucial circumstances the CPA is passing through. He asked the ambassador to sponsor the referendum and recognize its outcome and the Southern State when it is established. But the British Ambassador listened to Pagan without adopting a specific position and limited himself to some traditional diplomatic expressions.


Amum subsequently met the ambassadors of the European Union in Washington and a number of Arab ambassadors to repeat his call for efforts to ensure the success of the referendum and support GoSS in the event that a State is established. The Ambassadors pledged to recognize the outcome of the referendum but without giving clear commitments on recognizing a new State in the South.


At a hearing attended by past and present representatives in Congress Amum made an address about the agreement and the situation in Sudan and Darfur. He asked Congress to help in solving Sudan`s problems. He talked about the security and food situation in the South and the conditions GoSS was facing in the economic and political domains. He dealt with the elections, humanitarian conditions, human rights, the position of the political forces on the elections and the political arrangements they hatched which further complicate the Sudanese problems. He concluded by asking Congress to help in solving these problems by exerting pressure on the (ruling) National Congress Party (NCP) in coordination with the international partners.


Informed sources said Amum held a number of secret meetings in Washington. He met Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate`s Intelligence Committee, in the presence of committee member Peter Hoextra. The meeting discussed the security challenges facing GoSS and disturbances in Darfur and how to deal with them. Amum asked for help in enabling the SPLM to control the crucial security conditions. Hoextra promised Amum to support the SPLM and the SPLA and train its commanders in collaboration with friendly countries. Amum objected to aid being channeled through neighboring States which he said were not to be trusted and were getting “brokerage” from aid for the South.


Rearranging the Sudan House


Amum met at the White House with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who is of Jewish origin, and Obama`s advisers David Axelord, Valerie Jarrett, and Peter Orszag, the director of the White House`s Office of Management and Budget. He asked them for help in the referendum and in urging the US leadership to adopt decisions and raise the capabilities of GoSS. The Senior White House official affirmed to Amum that they stood with the SPLM to enable it to attain its objectives. He stressed they would seek through all political and security channels to rearrange conditions in Sudan. He said that there will be a real partnership between the two sides to develop the New Sudan blueprint and make it a real guarantee for attaining the aspirations of the Sudanese people.l


After this Amum met, according to diplomatic sources, with the Israeli Ambassador in Wahington who told him that the SPLM deserves full support by the United States in achieving its demands, especially since American interests are linked to the SPLM. The most important of these interests was to restore the balance of power in Sudan. The Israeli Ambassador promised to ask President Obama to provide the required material and political resources for supporting the SPLM blueprint and exert pressure to hold the referendum on schedule and recognize its results. He promised to provide assistance to the SPLM and ensure that channels would stay open between the SPLM and Washington to remain informed on conditions in Sudan.


Amum`s most important meeting, according to the assessment of informed sources, were those which brought him together in two separate meetings with Assistant US Secretary of Defense Vicki Huddleston and AFRICOM Commander General William Ward. Amum briefed them on conditions in Sudan and the basic requirements of the SPLA and the special security forces and police. He explained the threats and dangers facing the SPLM and the SPLA and expectation that conditions would explode, something which requires providing advanced military and tactical capabilities and weapons to face the expected dangers. Amum told them that the SPLA was in dire need of urgent consolidation especially with the approach of the referendum date. He provided detailed information on the forces, divisions, and battalions in the SPLA, their present armaments and their requirements of weapons. He said youths all over Sudan were eager to join the SPLA. He proposed that the SPLM should receive the aid itself and deliver it to the SPLA. He presented a list of the weapons required and left the estimates and size of the aid up to the American leadership.


Amum talked in Washington about the battles which took place lately in Darfur, the position of the movements on peace, and their requirements of weapons. He called for strengthening these movements and supporting them through the SPLM to ensure safe passages for them.


The US Assistant Defense Secretary agreed to make efforts through relevant American channels to provide the SPLM requirements and assess the quantities that will be delivered to the SPLA on installments to ensure secrecy. Vicki asked James Clapper, the official in charge of intelligence at the Defense Department, to seek to meet the weapons requirements of the SPLM and the Darfur movements. Vicki told Amum that Clapper was a candidate to become the director of the US National Intelligence Agency and matters would become easier then. Amum asked to meet Clapper but the latter apologized.


The SPLM and US National Security


Amum stressed at his meeting with AFRICOM Commander General William Ward the importance of the existence of an American base in Sudan to monitor conditions related to combating terrorism in the Horn of Africa region as well as the wars and tensions in the Lakes area. Amum conveyed the desire of the SPLM leadership to host such an American base. He said they wanted to be part of the American defense system. He promised that the SPLM would provide a safe haven to the men of the American base as well as the political cover to monitor conditions in various parts of Africa.


For his part, the AFRICOM Commander considered that the SPLM contributes to the security of the United States by its desire to collect information on serious threats to the United States and to work within the framework of the intelligence partnership. He said that the American Consulate in Juba will have a special AFRICOM team to cover intelligence work and cooperate with the SPLM on exchanging and processing information. Amum promised the AFRICOM Commander to discuss the details with the SPLM political leadership after his return in order to agree on how to pursue the cooperation dossier with AFRICOM.


Amum was not able to meet the US Treasury Secretary and met instead with Stewart Levey, the Treasury Undersecretary for financial intelligence and terrorism. He asked for a meeting with CIA director Leon Panetta but Panetta apologized.


Pagan spoke about human rights violations and war crimes in Darfur during his meetings with US State Department officials Jeffrey Feltman, the US Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East; Steven Rapp, the State Department`s Roving Ambassador for War Crimes, and Harold Koh, the head of the American delegation to the ICC conference in Kampala. He affirmed that the SPLM backs the ICC and called for presenting those who committed crimes to justice. This was in contrast with the SPLM`s announced position as expressed by General Salva Kiir Mayardit who rejected the ICC`s accusations against Sudan.


Amum did not find sufficient US enthusiasm for supporting the ICC. Sources cited US State Department officials as saying that they were not members of the court but that they were seeking to boost the ability of local regimes to try war criminals and perpetrators of savage acts and human rights violations. They affirmed Washington`s support to international justice and said that backing could be given to efforts by governments that want to hold national trials. They stressed that the United States has continued to resist the ICC even though it believes in the necessity of dealing with civil society organizations.


Restricting Arms Sales


The US Treasury Secretary assigned the Undersecretary for Intelligence and Terrorism, Stewart Levey, to meet Amum. Amum asked for measures to restrict arms sales (to Khartoum) in coordination with relevant personalities and firms. He called for exerting economic pressures on the regime by using Washington`s relations with countries that have interests with the NCP Government even though the SPLM accounts for 30% of that Government.


Amum called for unveiling the oil and petrochemical companies that are under the regime`s control. He said there were companies headquartered outside Sudan that have unclear connections with it and asked for help to identify them. He said that foreign firms and financial institutions should be prevented from dealing with the firms affiliated with the regime so that they do not bolster the regime to undertake illegal activities in the South and Darfur.


American officials were surprised by Amum`s demands. They told him that the United States was pursuing the necessary legal measures against those involved in the Darfur War and that w hat mattered for them was the implementation of the remainder of the peace agreement. They promised to adopt appropriate measures against any side that hampers the agreement.


American officials pledged to provide full support through agencies to the SPLM for the holding of the referendum and raising the ceiling of assistance and aid to GoSS. They said they would act with their international partners to support GoSS and ensure that the referendum is held on schedule, as well as deal with the economic challenges and the effects of the financial crisis on Goss and the SPLM which has caused a budgetary deficit and to do this through support and through creating work opportunities for youths. They asked Amum to intensify SPLM and GoSS efforts and to work with the private sector to improve the economic situation and the commercial environment in such a way as to give an impetus to economic growth in the South.


There have been no denials of the report or the meetings that took place despite their serious implications. The SPLM limited itself to saying that Amum visited the United States in his personal capacity.


(Description of Source: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online in Arabic -- Website of influential London-based pan-Arab Saudi daily; editorial line reflects Saudi official stance. URL: http://www.asharqalawsat.com/)


© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.


Sudan editorial says SPLM leaderships push southerners toward secession
BBC Monitoring Middle East
August 30, 2010


At a time when some of the SPLM [Sudan People`s Liberation Movement] leaderships alleged that the movement did not depart its vision of a united Sudan in new bases and that it supports all the efforts to make unity option attractive as was stated by SPLM prominent leader and Blue Nile Governor, Lt Gen. Malik Aqar in an interview conduced with him by one of the Arabic dailies; other leaders from the SPLM allege that the SPLM did not determine its stance over the unity or secession as was said by Yasir Arman last week.


Another sample of the SPLM elites is its Secretary-General, Pagan Amum who seeks recognition prior the creation of the new born state in the south through organizing demonstrations, preparing the flag and the national anthem to give the indication the south Sudan will definitely secede.


The latest mode is that the GoSS [Government of Southern Sudan] has drawn up plans to bring back 1.5 million displaced southerners from Sudan`s north in time to vote in the upcoming referendum.


The government`s proposals, seen this week by reporters, are titled “Coming Home to Choose.” They outline arrangements to bring the returnees home on trains, buses and boats travelling up the Nile River.


This call gives the indication that southerners are not in their home and that their home is only the south and not the north.


It is strange after all this that some SPLM leaders call for the north to recognize and agree with them on the four freedoms a matter that means that the southerners already have finished from mapping their new state and are now entering into future agreements to guarantee the four freedoms for its citizens.


There are also other talks within the SPLM elites about proposals and arrangement to issue dual nationality in case of secession and the emergence of new state in the south. The questions that pose itself is what is meant by (coming home and choosing)? If the north doesn`t deserve to be home for the southerners so why then asking for the four freedoms in a country which is not home for southerners?


We believe that the SPLM is pushing its citizens towards secession so it should be the sole party to shoulder the political, social, and security cost of that action.


The SPLM did not conduct accurate political calculation for what it is doing now, as it wants the whole cake by secession and at the same time to keep the north for southerners to enjoy their lives at a time when it expelled most of the northern merchants and businessmen from the south since the signing of the CPA.


Source: Sudan Vision website, Khartoum, in English 30 Aug 10


© 2010 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


 



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