Monday, July 6, 2015

04 Khartoum 0252: Government and Darfur Rebels Accept Chad Plus Meeting

Also, see note below.

Note:  The reference to an "external player" mentioned in para 2 was to political appointees from USAID.  They were trying to prevent a Darfur negotiation from moving forward unless it was folded into the North-South peace process.  These USAID officials were pro-SPLM and very much opposed to the Khartoum regime.  They saw bringing the Darfur conflict into the wider negotiations with the government as a way to increase pressure on it and perhaps further dismember Sudan.  These USAID appointees came from the Christian fundamentalist NGO community supportive of the SPLM as Christian black Africans vs Islamic Arabs.  They originally sought to keep Darfur off our agenda because they saw it as a distraction to the "main show."

The following is from my journal entry for March 8.  The "perfect storm" I was hoping to avoid was the reaction from USAID Washington to our joint EU/US effort to get Darfur talks going without bringing in extra issues.

"I think missed a weekend somewhere. I had 15 minutes of free time in the office today and didn't know what to do with it. Started at 8:15 with the UK ambassador and wound up at 8pm after a two hour meeting with a senior official. Along the way, spent another 1½ hours with the French Ambassador. Got home to a dark house and microwaved one of the dishes James left for me. Of course, at least I have a cook and don't have to clean my own dishes.

I've been doing a bunch of stuff – to avoid a “perfect storm” – without DC reaction. Won't have any until tomorrow given time difference. Another consequence of not having a weekend."

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