Home | News    Wednesday 30 September 2009

Sudanese intelligence seeking to recruit ex-US officials as lobbyists


September 29, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has been aggressively devising a strategy to lure former US officials into lobbying on the behalf of Khartoum to normalize ties, the Washington Post reported today.

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Robert McFarlane, former US former National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan (The National Press Club website)

The efforts have so far been successful in attracting Robert McFarlane, the former National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, the newspaper reported but in a manner that that would not require disclosure on his part.

McFarlane is considered one of the major actors in the notorious Iran-Contra affair and he pleaded guilty to withholding info from the Congress and was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $20,000 fine.

He was later pardoned in 1992 by former president George H. W. Bush.

McFarlane dismisses suggestions that he has done anything improper, saying he has adhered to U.S. restrictions while focusing on his work to unify feuding tribal leaders and help create jobs in Darfur.

McFarlane characterized Sudan as an intermediary in his negotiations with Qatar and said he has not received money or entered any agreement with the Khartoum regime.

“In the course of this work, I have of necessity had periodic contact with Sudanese officials,” he wrote. “However, I do not now, nor have I ever had a business or other affiliation with any part of the Government of Sudan”.

The complex arrangement also involved McFarlane’s former business partner Albino Aboug and Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Hassan Babiker who was identified by Sudan Tribune sources in the region as a Sudanese intelligence officer stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia reporting directly to former NISS director Salah Gosh.

The Arab Gulf State of Qatar was to pick the tab for a portion of Sudan’s pursuit by securing a contract for McFarlane Associates based in Arlington, Virginia worth $1.3 million as part of its peacemaking role in the eastern African region, the Washington post said.

Qatar is hosting peace talks between Darfur rebels and Khartoum in one of its high profile peacemaking initiatives.

An Arabic-language memo from Babiker on January 25 refers to the need to “provide the necessary money for the activities of the group,” according to a translation.

A week later, McFarlane sent an electronic copy of the proposed contract with Qatar to Babiker “for your consideration" before it was signed, the documents show.

McFarlane also drafted a letter from Qatar inviting himself to the contract signing, then sent the language to Babiker to pass on to Qatar for approval. The final contract was signed in Doha, Qatar’s capital, on Feb. 9 with Sudanese officials present, according to the records.

McFarlane nevertheless has been adamant on avoiding public links between himself and Sudan in light of the US sanctions and other regulations requiring disclosures for any US citizen acting on behalf of a foreign government.

The former US official has met with special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration and national security adviser James L. Jones to discuss the conflict in the largest country in Africa.

But White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said neither official approved of McFarlane’s consulting plans.

“Both General Jones and U.S. Special Envoy Gration have had conversations with Mr. McFarlane about the urgent need to improve the security situation in Sudan and the need for development in southern Sudan,” Vietor said.

“However, it is inaccurate to characterize those conversations as having been about Mr. McFarlane seeking, or General Jones or U.S. Special Envoy Gration providing, approval for Mr. McFarlane’s efforts” he added.

The Washington Post said that copies of internal e-mails and other documents portrayed a Sudanese government hoping to gain access to the new administration to persuade Obama aides to lift sanctions and remove Sudan from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The strategy to approach McFarlane was dubbed “Plan Tragacanth,” named for a natural gum indigenous to the Middle East.

The NISS officer in Addis Ababa played a pivotal role in the arrangements while stressing to his superiors the need to provide funds for McFarlane and others once an agreement was complete, while McFarlane pledged to “work together” toward “restoring a normal relationship between our two countries”.

Furthermore, Sudan asked McFarlane to recruit four other US officials including former Sudan envoys during George Bush’s administration, John Danforth and Richard Williamson.

However none of them agreed to the offers made. Sudan has allocated $100,00 a month to pay them.

Danforth said in an interview that he felt his involvement would create "confusion" among the parties while Williamson, said, "It didn’t make sense for me to get involved."

Robert B. Oakley, a former ambassador to Somalia and Zaire who served as Danforth’s deputy, said McFarlane told him he was “trying to broker some arrangements between the Sudanese government and the Obama administration”.

A memo dated January 14th seen by Sudan Tribune from Babiker to Gosh speaks of phone calls by Albino to secure the purchase of 250,000 sugar bags from Kenana sugar factory “at a reasonable price” to another former US official.

According to the document Albino told Babiker that the details would be ironed out in a meeting with the official’s son present in Dubai.

“He pointed out that [redacted] is currently present in the Hague for a mission related to the International Criminal Court that was pointed out previously [in another memo],” Babiker writes.

“I see it possible that one of the agency’s [NISS] companies to be tasked with this mission and its proceeds to be utilized in the operation currently underway because completing the contract will strengthen the resolve of this group in successfully completing the operation currently underway,”.

“Particularly that [redacted] is part of the group that is headed by Robert McFarlane and the issue at the end of the day is [merely] commercial and that he wants to make money out of and we could win him and connect him [to us] further if he accomplishes it [sugar contract]”.

Sudan Tribune has withheld the name of the official as it has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the document although it falls in line with what the Washington Post reported.

The Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen acknowledged links of McFarlane with Babiker whom he described as a government official” previously involved in high-profile border talks with southern Sudan, but denied that he is working for Khartoum.

“Any allusion to the possibility would be misguided,” Salah Al-Deen said, referring to McFarlane working for the National Congress Party. “It would be damaging to his reputation. And in the first place, it’s not right”.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 30 September 2009 09:37, by Dinka Boy

    I didn,t read the entire article just the first paragraph and stop when i saw Ronald Regean.
    The previous President of USA- the Regean killed SPLA indirectly when he supply weapons to North under Nimeri government. I am sorry that he decrease,so i will not say any thing aganist him.

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    • 30 September 2009 20:05, by Garang Arok

      Obama’s government caught between Islamic extremists and the indigeneous sudanese in the country.

      Take on your H- side mr.president and the the rest try their luck.

      Sudanese oil being used for buying U.S re-attention.

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    • 30 September 2009 23:51, by wanilado

      dinka boy of course you will not read such a dissapointing paragrph butn leave a,one gration where is the 7 billio us dollars given to your uncles as the oil money to divelop and manage the south needs? do not tell me about the factory of beer

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      • 1 October 2009 08:55, by Abu sala

        What does this money mean?...the loot them,, will finshed as long the we united and get off NCP out of the way.....more than tripples 7 billion is still in that land???..... why are we fighting for what is gone and leave what is coming head.... Mr. President (Kiir) has call for democrarcy let fight this common enemy and we take him to court later, as long as all the reciepts of his regime are kept safe...
        WE are in 21st century peoples!!! and not ninethneen anymore....
        let not talk about yestersday....
        you got a right to condemn such triblist Dinkas boy he is in ninethneen century according to his mine..... and let put hand together and teach them how to behave in 21st.... century.......Thanks.... Young money.....

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  • 30 September 2009 09:45, by oshay

    Well the US has been using Sudanese for decades to topple this government, atleast they’re doing it for good reasons. Regardless if any corruption comes about because of this, they must be held responsible.

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    • 30 September 2009 10:25, by Nubian


      Ya koz ma tikhtashi 3ala damak and stick to your camera ;)

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    • 30 September 2009 15:17, by Bush fire

      Bashir is a big devil looking for those who are money hungry like oshay who sold their dignities for money. Learn from the Bible Jeseus died because of betrayers who need money. For how long do you need to be an Arab slave.

      Shame on you. Don’t support whatever ruin southerners’ future.

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  • 30 September 2009 09:55, by Deng Wel Deng

    How,can Ncp party recruit lobbyists who was convicted for not disclosing sensentive information to the congress to help avert danger to the future of united states be working for future of sudan.

    This man according to the above message is just hunting for his own economics benefits.

    This is clear indication that the government in Khartoum is a government of criminals who would want to recruit other criminal to come and distort the justice system in Sudan.

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    • 30 September 2009 11:21, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      This article alone speaks volumes of wrongs the regime in Khartoum is doing to its people. They think by buying people to conceal their bad deeds in USA will help them conceal the truth. Nothing can alter the truth. I hope they are going to fail in their scheme of killing innocent children, mothers, and old people silently by burying the truth with the victims of their treachery.

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  • 30 September 2009 11:40, by Sudan virus

    This is the results/evidanec of the effort of Gration/Oboma Us administration on the Sudan policy supporting Bashirs government.

    Well if this is case,then SPLM-the only option is to declare unilateral independence for south even before 2011 referendum .

    To this extend i believe on what president Gaddafi said in UN recently healed meeting in US that "UN SECURITY COUNCIL IS INTERVENING AND NOT INTERVENING ON SOME WORLD ISSUES ESPECIALLY THE SMALL ONES".

    Surely,with racism,US politicians are burring Up US Oboma administration.

    All it does talking,talking ,then what happened-Iran succeed
    in its mission of producing nuclear weapons of massive destruction. In Sudan talking ,talking and talking the end will be........failure...Oboma.

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    • 30 September 2009 11:56, by Dengtaath

      America is clearly playing dirty role in all Sudan problems, America is interesting in Unity of Sudan and play down the Darfur problem.
      Shame on Obama

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      • 30 September 2009 12:23, by Sudan virus

        Obomas Us administration lacks experience.
        They need to read books written about Sudan-a conservative excessively ever big African country.

        How come US officials now be recruited by a country on the list of those who bomb New York? This is a total mess up.

        If this is how things are going on in the world,then i will soon opt to support dictators because diplomats are working against the innocents.

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  • 30 September 2009 13:09, by Otong

    To South Sudan Nation,

    It has became very clear that Mr. Gration has been bribed by government of Sudan (NCP/NIF) therefore our leaders should destine themselves from this American.

    Furthermore, he has supported the NCP for 75% on the referendum vote, and Darfur war. Should we trust him and his administration? And he is clearly is not going to put pressure on NCP to negotiate in good faiths. We are capable of deciding the further of our nation with out corrupted government of Obama.


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    • 30 September 2009 15:49, by DASODIKO

      Oh what a fulfillment of the assumption, I have said it long ago that this Arab Islamist group are very dirty to the extend that the soup manufacturing company will not clean them. Then, it’s true as we were told that this people before they come to power they consulted the devil first.
      Even America the superpower for them looked very trivial one even though they are seeking to recruit the Americans to serve the Jihadist cause.
      So America what more do you want Khartoum Government would do to let you think about them; Americas and they have killed them in Khartoum, all atrocities and they are committing them in South Sudan and Darfur. So what more they can do to punish them instead of rewarding them as you Envoy for Sudan Gration have said it.

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  • 30 September 2009 16:47, by Ahmed Binouf

    Thanks for publishing Sudantribune,
    This is an exact result of the destruction of the Sudanese leaders in the North America, three years ago when the regime in Khartoum started recruiting lobbyist to start cleaning their mess and buy more time, and continue to kill people wherever they find them, Southern or Westerns, Eastern or Northern because they love blood as just Dracula’s do. Then, the shy Sudanese opposition in the area felt the seriousness of the regime move at the time and started an effort to block them, through the last three years, the regime in Khartoum declared the “Jihad” against the Sudanese Community in DC Metropolitan area, believing that these area is one of most effective areas that these bunch of refugees and asylum seekers should have no way to control and or to even have a voice.
    So, now after the regime have full control of the area with the help of its security people in the area, the control of the Sudanese Community Organization and the schools or other activities, they felt the need to “Think Big” as American do, and wanted to control the Congress and may be the Whitehouse itself as long as they have money and an agreement with the Southern people to back them up as needed in these kind of adventures.
    Now, I just realize the big mistake that I have made by voting for Obama, I’ll never do that again, that for sure.
    Good Day

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  • 30 September 2009 16:52, by Lual Garang De Lual

    First and Foremost, let’s quest for peace and security of our land South Sudan to overcome destitution, marginalization, deprivation, oppression and injustices that had been committed to us by our enemies. The purpose of this article is neither promulgation nor fabrication of the attacks that happened at Wernyol (Lith Payam) and Duk Padiet Payam but rather a respond to the provocative press release by individual interested in indulging their noses into the blood of innocent civilians. Being a South Sudanese son who sees things at different angles I would make an encounter to the press release of the so called Lou Nuer Youth Association (LNYA) or let call it a political wing of the Lou Nuer militia. The Association has exceeded the mandate of associations’ engagement enshrined in the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan between politics, social and cultural values. Dear brothers and Sisters who issued the communicaque without formal condemnation, you seem to lack integrity and humanity not to mention Nuer cultural values and rules of neighborhood, mind you that borders of Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor will remain the same despise the attempt to sabotage neighborhood living. You only see through optiz classification lenses which take side and never trade the variables to balance the argument before making public appearance and announcement.

    Let other Southerners be our judges. As things unfolded at Wernyol (Lith Payam) on the 28th August 2009 and at Duk Padiet Payam on 20th September 2009, the people of the area wonder according to the magnitude and gravity of the attacks the Lou Nuer militias imposed on the local inhabitants of Dinka Bor, (excuse me!, I learnt that you were disputing the militia name) but how can gangs of organized force with a leader be called (gangsters, Lou Nuer or make your suggestion).
    At dawn the attackers attacked Wernyol (Lith Payam) Headquarters with heavy machine guns like Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), AKM 47 machine guns and other heavy weaponry to mentioned but a few. The casualties incurred were severe and cruel in nature due to the fact that Nuer cultures never entertain the killing of children and women. The magnitude of that attack will impact in the years to come on the local population, 42 people were killed in the attack, 7 were soldiers stationed at Payam barrack, 7 children, 7 women and the rest were young men and elderly including the Rev. Canon Joseph Mabior Garang, an Emissary of Twice East Diocese.

    On the 20th September 2009, the same militiamen attacked Duk Padiet Payam headquarters and inflicted heavy casualties on both local and the army killing 74 people including 29 soldiers 45 civilians. Who can in this world justified the actions of such people though your mother is thought to have been involved in the operation. For me, I swear that even if my mother was with these attackers, I can’t defend her by using press release unrealistically without studying the variables involved.
    This level of atrocities is uncalled for, barbaric, uncivilized, inhumane, devastating, unspeakable, unrealistic and unjustifiable and deserves condemnation among the South Sudanese community in general and in particular the people of Jonglei state. (Either being Anyuak, Murle, Jieh, kashibo, Ngalam, Dinka Bor and Nuer in all forms i.e. Lou, Gawaar and Jikany). I am really disgusted to see our people killing themselves while the group that seem not to be involved is confusing the situation by issuing an unbalance press release which encourage the perpetuators to continue with their atrocities. I am not a lawyer but to my best knowledge the press release of the Lou Nuer Youth Association amounted to seduction if not conspiracy to treason. Let the legal implications remains with Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development lead Attorney otherwise my suggestion is to withdraw the license given to such Association.
    On the contrary, I wanted to shade light at some of the contents in their press release which seem to be adamant claims while not. Unpredictably the Association was guessing about what to put across the ears of Southerners who may not be aware with the situation on the ground. They blamed the governor of Jonglei state for the chaos within the state. Lou Nuer Youth Association seems not to be aware with the formation of the Jonglei State government, in fact the Minister of Local government, H.E. Mr. Hussein mar Nyuot who doubles as Deputy Governor is a Lou Nuer son. He is the man in charge of security in the state. He is the equivalent of Interior Minister to counter security threats across the state. If in fact there were such allegations of money being looted, Wild Life Officers killed and Lt. Colonel killed within the seat of the Jonglei state government then Hussein Mar Nyuot is to be blamed for the insecurity not the Governor. My dear brothers and sisters, your claimed lacks salinity in them because the case of Lt. Colonel killed in Bor town is under investigation to date and the wife of the decease alleged that he went out with four men related to him. In the following morning, the body of the victim was discovered dump near someone resident (name withheld because investigation is underway). These relatives disappeared and the investigation is stuck until these guys come to testified the incident involving the decease which went out with them, they never came back home and the body was discovered in the morning. There, the question remains hanging on who killed the decease.

    What I knew is the blame game but would not deter the state government to pursue its policies. You seem to be enjoying the momentum of justifying the attacks on innocent children, women and elderly as that means “Supremacy” to you, but time will tell because it is said that “He who kills by sword is also likely kill by sword,” you must clearly know that even if there no human being on this world to standby the innocent peoples’ way, God will be in their way.
    “If you bent down to see someone buttocks mind you that you left your buttocks for someone to see” Let not laugh at ourselves as we develop crisis ourselves and latter blame God for the chaos.
    Last but not the least, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole World blind” said MAHATMA GANDHI.I warn all the Southerners that actions that betrayed our cause to co-existence and freedom are acts of devil plus its supporters who are eager to sabotage our destiny as South Sudanese.
    Revenge is a killer disease that needs to be fought with all means and forms of community resources to deform it till eternity. "Life’s rewards go to those who let their actions rise above their excuses."


    Lual Garang De-Lual
    A South Sudanese citizen
    Email: lual_maduk@yahoo.com

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  • 30 September 2009 17:33, by Time1

    Salva kirr mayardit you have to focus more on building south sudan institutions in to strong viable and relaible organs, the security system, the intelligence service, the police service, the crime investigation units, the juditiary systems, the armed forces of south sudan. salva really have to put more and more effort in building this very important and key institutions for the survival and stability of any country, so far there has been progress but it has not reach the required standards. if we have to survive and trive as a strong stable country slava has to stop beating around the bush and persue agressively the development and advancement of this sectors into very strong well equipt well trained institutions, this will lead to the stability and progress that people want in south or sudan in general. blaming others and also pointing fingers while you are sleeping will not help south sudan, this world today has no place for lazy, weak, disorganized, unknowlegeable, uneducated, ill arm and ill trained people, only the strong the well organised the well trained the well armed the well educated and the brave will survive, this world is cruel, being very nice will nnot exactly give you whatyou want.

    mr president and advisors mack this words carefully and stop sleeping.

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  • 30 September 2009 21:47, by alidrisy

    Yes without doubt!! it’s very clear that Mr. Gration has been bribed by NCP Scumbags through infamous broker Mcfarlane , the report indicate that there is a meeting taken between Gration and Mcfarlane for Completion of the transaction ( dirty deal), so that he show us his sideline with Khartoum regime on the issue of Darfur, for this reason we call American administration to replace Gration by some one who more honest and trust man.

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  • 1 October 2009 01:34, by Time1

    i would agree with ambassador Oakley, frankly mr mcFarlane is just "Wheeler-dealer" ahahaaa

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