Kenyan troops patrol Kismayo

The United States did all it could to dissuade Kenya from attempting to establish a buffer state inside Somalia, to halt al Shabaab. In a series of meetings detailed in cables in the Wikileaks archive, Senior American diplomats told the Kenyans they could not support the project, which had luke-warm support from Uganda and Ethiopia. At the end of this summary are all the Wikileaks cables.

The aim of the Jubaland project – as detailed in the US embassy cables – was to halt the threat Kenya believed it faced from radical Islam, as propagated by the Somali movement, al-Shabaab. Kenya’s military was training and equipping a force of Somalis whose mission was to enter Somalia and drive al-Shabaab away from the Kenyan border. In 2009 and 2010 the Kenyan government did all it could to get the Americans to back the strategy. Kenyan Foreign Minister, Moses Wetangula, warned the American ambassador that prominent ethnic Somali politicians, including the Deputy Speaker were strong al-Shabaab supporters. The Kenyans wanted the force to seize the port of Kismayo, which provides al-Shabaab with much of its income. Prime Minister, Raila Oginga is reported to have argued that instability in Somalia is causing instability in Kenya. The Kenyan government could “no longer afford to sit on the sidelines,” he argued.

The Jubaland initiative, co-ordinated by the Prime Minister’s office, but jointly chaired with President Kibaki aimed to train 3,000 fighters, but in the event found that only 2,000 were available. The Kenyans estimated they would be up against between 1000 and 1,500 Islamist fighters in the Juba area. Attempts to persuade the Americans appear to have reached a climax during the African Union summit in Addis Ababa in February 2010. A high level delegation led by the Foreign Minister Wetangula met with the Assistant Secretary of State, Johnnie Carson. Acknowledging that the Jubaland plan was risky, the Kenyan foreign minister argued the aim was not to create a rival to Somalia’s Transitional government. The Kenyans promised they were not attempting to establish a Kenyan controlled fiefdom and gave an assurance that there would not be a single Kenyan boot on Somali soil. But despite Mr Wetangula reportedly “imploring” Mr Carson to consider assisting the plan, he made little headway. The American said he was worried the plan could backfire laid out his concerns. These ranged from the impact the incursion might have on the stability of the region to questioning the Kenyans about their plans if their forces were defeated. In the end Mr Carsons maintained deep reservations about the Jubaland initiative, but promised to “look into the feasibility of a US team going to Kenya to review the technical details of the Kenyan plan.”

Neither Uganda nor Ethiopia were won over. Uganda’s President Museveni described the Kenyan military as a career army and questioned their ability to sustain what he called “bush fighters.” Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told the Americans he was not enthusiastic about the Kenyan proposal, but had plans in place to limit any destabilisation of his country if the initiative did not succeed. There the Wikileaks cables end.

Since 2010 Kenya’s Jubaland project has continued despite American reservations. In March 2011 two forces, armed, trained and backed by the Kenyans crossed into Somalia. One was led by the former Somali Defence Minister, (Mohamed Abdi Mohammed) best known as ‘Gandhi’ and a force which had fallen out with al-Shabaab, the Raas-kambooni, (led by Sheikh Ahmed Madoobe.) They took the border town of Dobley on the 4th of April this year. Since then an Ethiopian backed force has taken an area of Somalia bordering on its territory in the Gedo region. This is as far as the plan to create a buffer state in southern Somalia has gone. The port of Kismayo is still in the hands of al-Shabaab and the aim of securing Kenya’s northern border remains a distant objective.

Below are the cables from Wikileaks showing how the USA tried to dissuade Kenya from intervening in Somalia.

[Note: footnotes have been added to the cables]

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E AND A/S CARSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/07/2019

TAGS: PGOV, MOPS, PTER, PMAR, SO

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – JUBA RESISTANCE MOVEMENT WANTS TO

COORDINATE WITH THE TFG

Classified By: Pol Counselor Bob Patterson for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1.  (C)  On July 7 we met with Transitional Federal

Government (TFG) parliamentarian and Juba Resistance Movement

(JRM) leader Mohammed Amin Osman. (Note:The JRM is a loose

alliance of local leaders in the Jubas who advocate for the

creation of a local Jubaland administration and claim to be

able to galvanize various subclan militia against the

al-Shabaab. End note.) Osman, a useful, long-time Somalia

Unit and USAID contact, briefed us on JRM\’s efforts to

organize a military force to challenge al-Shabaab and the Ras

Kamboni group. (Note:  The Ras Kamboni group, led by Hassan

al-Turki, is allied with Hisbul-Islam and working to

overthrow the TFG. End note.) Osman explained that

dissatisfaction with Muslim extremists was rising in Middle

and Lower Juba regions, prompting several clan militia

commanders to volunteer to fight al-Shabaab.  We will report

the commanders names and their clans when available.

2. (C) Osman said the JRM and TFG leaders, including Defense

Minister Ghandi, Finance Minister Sheikh Hassan, and late

Security Minister Omar Hashi have discussed military

coordination in the past, but those talks had broken down

over the TFG\’s efforts to appoint TFG administrations in the

Jubas and TFG interest in bringing Ras Kamboni commander

Ibrahim Shukri into the government. (Note:  The JRM political

agenda includes forming popularly chosen administrations. TFG

efforts to install administrators from Mogadishu, some of

whom have worked closely with Ethiopia in the past, were a

clear source of frustration for Osman.  He was skeptical

about working with Shukri, even though Shukri is reportedly

willing to defect from the Ras Kamboni group and challenge

al-Shabaab with his powerful Darood/Mohamed Zubeir militia.

The Mohamed Zubeir are currently the most militarily powerful

subclan in the region.  End Note).  Nonetheless, the JRM

believes cooperation with the TFG is necessary to defeat

al-Shabaab. He said he is asking the AU, the UN Political

Office for Somalia, the Kenyan government, the UK High

Commission and Post to press the TFG to coordinate with the

JRM.

3.  (C)  Oman told us JRM allied militias had successfully

sparred with al-Shabaab in recent months, costing al-Shabaab

influence in the regions\’ rural areas and causing al-Shabaab

to seek a truce.  Osman said JRM military commanders have

small 30-40-man standing militias but clan leaders can

deliver hundreds more when needed.

4.  (C)  Comment:  We will continue to gather information on

the JRM, its capabilities, goals, and its relations with the

TFG and other leaders willing to confront al-Shabaab in the

Jubas. End Comment.

SLUTZ

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E AND A/S CARSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/05/2019

TAGS: PGOV, MARR, PINR, PTER, SOCI, SO, ET

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – MANEUVERING TOWARD JUBALAND

Classified By: Somalia Unit Counselor Bob Patterson for reasons 1.4(b)

and (d).

1. (C) Summary. In early-mid July momentum for the formation

of a Jubaland State appeared to be increasing as political,

clan, and military players in the region began to shift

alliances and maneuver for political positions. Our contacts

tell us multiple Juba factions, to include would-be Ras

Kamboni defectors, are tentatively working together toward

the creation of a Jubaland State under the TFG, but tensions

remain over who would ultimately lead Jubaland. (Note: The

Ras Kamboni group, led by Hassan al-Turki has been working to

overthrow the TFG.) We are encouraging various Juba leaders

to continue political negotiations amongst themselves as well

as dialogue with the TFG.  End summary.

2. (C) Our contacts close to Ras Kamboni commander Aden

Madobe, tell us Darod/Ogaden TFG Minister of Defense Ghandi

recently told Madobe to \”mobilize the Ogaden\”. Madobe\’s

representatives have also had contact with the TFG Finance

Minister. [1](Note: The Darod/Ogaden is currently the most

powerful subclan in Lower Juba. The Darod/Marehan power base

remains Gedo region, or \”Middle Juba\”. The Darod/Majerteen

have increasingly become smaller players in the region after

former President Abudulli Yusuf\’s failed attempts to install

a Darod/Majerteen-dominated administration there. End note.)

Madobe in recent months has moved further away from Ras

Kamboni commander Hassan al-Turki and our contacts tell us

al-Turki and al-Shabaab forces clashed with Madobe\’s forces

in Afmadow in mid-July. According to our contacts, Madobe is

willing to work with other Ogaden leaders, including his

fellow Ras Kamboni commander, Ibrahim Shukri to defeat

al-Shabaab, marginalize al-Turki and work toward a Jubaland

linked to the TFG. Madobe reportedly called NGOs in the area

last week and said they could operate freely in the areas he

controls.

3. (C) Contacts close to Shukri tell us Shukri is willing to

work with Madobe to resist al-Shabaab and sideline al-Turki.

Shukri last month spoke to TFG Prime Minister Sharmarke and

our contacts tell us Shukri has formed alliances with some

Darod/Marehan leaders. Shukri is reportedly seeking wider

negotiations with Darod leaders due, in part, to pressure

from local elders. Our contacts indicate Shukri is willing to

negotiate with Juba Resistance Movement (JRM) Chairman

Mohammed Amin and other Darod leaders. Amin, during

conversations with PolOffs, has expressed uneasy willingness

to cooperate with Madobe and Shukri. A contact close to

Shukri opined it is important for Darod negotiations and

discussions with the TFG to move forward to contain Madobe

and Shukri\’s power.

4. (C) According to a son of the Ogaden Suldan, Darod leaders

in mid-July were having ongoing discussions in Nairobi about

the prospects for Jubaland. Other contacts told us 90 Darod

leaders, to include representatives from various Darod

sub-clans and some Darod MPs, met in Nairobi to discuss a

Jubaland administration. The attendees reportedly agreed to

the general principle of a Jubaland State under the TFG.

However, the question of Gedo region and the Marehan remained

a major point of tension. Several of our contacts tell us one

solution being broadly considered is a Jubaland State with

two regions, Middle Juba and Lower Juba. Middle Juba, in this

scenario, would be predominately Marehan and Lower Juba would

be primarily Ogaden and Majerteen. Our contacts, however,

indicate the Ogaden and Majerteen would insist on the

presidency of a united Jubaland. (Note: Darod/Marehan control

over Gedo is unlikely to appease long-time Marehan warlord

Barre Hirale who  has long held ambitions to control the

Lower Juba town of Kismayo. End note.)

5. (C) Comment: The growing pushback against al-Shabaab and

al-Turki is a positive development in the Juba regions. Our

contacts tell us al-Turki, sensing declining support among

his subclan, is moving closer to al-Shabaab, which in turn is

exacerbating tensions between al-Turki and Madobe. We are

encouraging political negotiations among Madobe, Shukri,

Amin, and other players in Lower Juba and encouraging them to

continue dialogue with the  TFG. However, many challenges

remain for a would-be Jubaland State. While Barre Hirale

would probably be unable to defeat a unified, Ogaden-led

Lower Jubaland, he would almost certainly fail to abandon his

claims on Kismayo and would most likely seek Ethiopian

NAIROBI 00001552  002 OF 002

assistance in confronting his Ogaden rivals. Furthermore,

Madobe and Shukri\’s possible willingness to work with the TFG

and negotiate with other leaders in the Jubas could shift as

quickly as the ever-shifting Somali political sands.

ABELL

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/29/2019

TAGS: PGOV, PTER, MOPS, MARR, PINR, SOCI, SO

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – LOWER JUBA FORCES STEPPING UP

ANTI-SHABAAB EFFORTS; JUBALAND STEERING COMMITTEE FORMS

REF: A. NAIROBI 1552

B. NAIROBI 1444

Classified By: Somalia Unit Counselor Bob Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b,

d).

1. (C) Summary. In late July anti-Shabaab forces in Lower

Juba were preparing for stepped up attacks against al-Shabaab

militia, most likely encouraged by support from regional

business leaders and an evolving Ogaden-clan led Jubaland

administration. These developments follow reports from

numerous contacts that Ras Kamboni commanders and Ogaden clan

heavyweights Ahmed Madobe and Ibrahim Shukri in early-mid

July had joined with other Juba leaders and were maneuvering

to defeat al-Shabaab, marginalize Ras Kamboni leader Hassan

al-Turki, and work toward the formation of a Jubaland state

(ref a). (Note: The Ras Kamboni group, under the leadership

of al-Turki, has been working to overthrow the TFG. Our

contacts tell us al-Turki, sensing declining support among

his Ogaden subclan, is moving closer to al-Shabaab.  End

Note.) While some TFG leaders appear supportive of

developments in Lower Juba, others are clearly more

skeptical. We are encouraging various Juba leaders to work

together to confront al-Shabaab and to continue dialogue with

the TFG. End summary.

2.  (C) Our contacts, to include TFG Minister of Defense

Ghandi, tell us skirmishes have  begun between Ras Kamboni

commanders and al-Shabaab forces in Lower Juba. Ras Kamboni

forces in recent days reportedly overpowered al-Shabaab

militia en route to Afmadow. Additionally, al-Shabaab

dismissed its deputy DC in Kismayo following intensified

disputes between Ras Kamboni and al-Shabaab leaders. Our

contacts among political, military, and financial players in

Lower Juba tell us stepped up fighting between anti-Shabaab

forces and al-Shabaab militia in Lower Juba will most likely

occur over the next week to ten days.

3. (S) The Darod/Ogaden Suldan and al-Turki\’s son-in-law told

us Darod leaders, following ongoing discussions regarding the

establishment of a Jubaland administration (ref a), on July

25th established a 27 person Steering Committee for the Lower

Juba region. (Note Al-Turki\’s son-in-law is a prominent

Ogaden businessman and appears to view al-Turki as a threat

to his interests. End Note.) Leaders from most Darod

subclans, supporters of Madobe and Shukri, and Juba

Resistance Movement (JRM) Chairman Mohamed Amin (ref b)

reportedly participated in the meeting. Our contacts tell us

deliberations over positions within the Steering Committee

are ongoing. During meetings with Somalia Unit PolOff in

Dubai on July 24 Chairman of Somalia Telcom Mohamed Sheikh, a

major Ogaden business figure and former financier of the

Council of Islamic Courts (CIC), expressed interest in using

his influence to encourage military and political leaders in

Lower Juba to link their efforts to the TFG. The next day

Mohamed Sheikh  told us he had begun communication with TFG

Ministers of Defense and Finance in an effort to garner TFG

support for Lower Juba developments. (Note: Somalia Telcom is

also often referred to as Olympic Telcom and is reportedly

the second largest telecom operation in Somalia. Mohamed

Sheikh is from the same clan as TFG Defense Minister Ghandi

and likely has business ties to TFG Finance Minister Sharif

Hassan. End Note.)

4. (C) TFG Minister of Defense Ghandi on July 28 told us

Madobe and Shukri had \”flipped\” and were willing to support

the TFG. However, other TFG officials have expressed greater

skepticism regarding Madobe\’s willingness to move far enough

away from al-Turki. During a UN forum in Nairobi on July 29,

TFG Minister of National Security Abdullahi Mohammed Ali said

the TFG is supportive of recent ground-level efforts in

Galgaduud, Hiraan, and Gedo, notably leaving out the Lower

Juba region.

5. (C) Comment. The growing pushback against al-Shabaab and

al-Turki is a positive development in Lower Juba. We are

encouraging Juba leaders to work together to confront

al-Shabaab and to continue dialogue with the TFG. However,

many challenges confront a would-be Jubaland state, to

include the question of Gedo (ref a). Additionally, Juba

leaders primarily appear to be seeking support from fellow

Ogaden TFG figures. Many within the TFG remain skeptical of

NAIROBI 00001648  002 OF 002

apparent Ras-Kamboni defectors Madobe and Shukri, who have a

track record of shifting alliances quickly.

SLUTZ

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2019

TAGS: MARR, PGOV, PTER, SOCI, SO

SUBJECT: SOMALIA:  MADOBE PREPARING JUBA OFFENSIVE; GEDO

ISSUE UNRESOLVED

REF: NAIROBI 1648

NAIROBI 00001710  001.3 OF 002

Classified By: Somalia Unit Counselor Bob Patterson for reasons 1.4(b,d

).

1. (C) Summary: Darod/Ogaden clan heavyweight Ahmed Madobe, [2]

in coordination with TFG officials, appears to be stepping up

efforts to take Kismayo and consolidate control of Lower

Juba. (Note: Hassan al-Turki is the nominal head of the Ras

Kamboni group, which has been working to overthrow the TFG.

In recent months Turki\’s top commanders Ibrahim Shukri and

Madobe have worked behind the scenes to marginalize al-Turki

and move against al-Shabaab. End Note.) Our contacts tell us

TFG Minister of Defense, the TFG Minister of Finance, and the

Prime Minister are aware of and support Madobe\’s plans.

Madobe has been appointed head of an evolving Lower Juba

entity, which is locally administered and has links to the

TFG. Shukri has been appointed head of internal affairs.  The

appointments of Madobe and Shukri grew out of  recent

meetings in Juba and Nairobi between their supporters and

predominantly Darod/Kabalah clan leaders and MPs (reftel).

Our contacts report that many Marehan figures in Gedo, to

include long-time warlord Barre Hirale, appear uninterested

in cooperating with Lower Juba to form a Jubaland entity

unless they are in charge.  End summary.

Madobe Prepares for \”War\” with Al-Shabaab

—————————————–

2. (C) A close ally of Ahmed Madobe on August 12 told us that

he had just returned from meeting Madobe at the Kenyan

border.  Madobe held a meeting in Dhoble on August 13, during

which he reportedly assured NGOs and humanitarian

organizations that they could operate in areas under his

control. After the meeting Madobe told our contact that he

intended to return to Kismayo and was preparing for war with

al-Shabaab.  Madobe said he recently traveled to Mogadishu to

encourage his allies to take part in a Kismayo offensive.  An

Ogaden business figure close to Madobe, Mohamed Sheikh, on

August 12 told us that Madobe said the focus should be on

Kismayo.  After Kismayo was under his control, consideration

would be given to Gedo Region.  Mohamed Shiekh told us that

Madobe does not intend to push beyond lower Juba.   Sheikh

had just been in Mogadishu, where he met with the TFG

Ministers of Defense and Finance and the Prime Minister, who

all supported Madobe\’s plans. Shukri told the Minister of

Defense that Madobe\’s plan was the kind of initiative that

\”he would fund.\”  In Mohamed Sheikh\’s view, Darod/Kabalah

subclans were behind the evolving Lower Juba administration

and would add currently inactive militia to the fight. (Note:

Mohamed Sheikh is the chairman of Somalia\’s second largest

telecom company. End note.)

3. (C) Our contacts tell us that Madobe has been appointed

head of an evolving Lower Juba entity, which is locally

administered and has links to the TFG while Ibrahim Shukri

has been appointed head of the entity\’s internal affairs.

Madobe\’s role is essentially military and Shukri\’s is

administrative.  The appointments grew out of  recent

meetings in Juba and Nairobi between the supporters of Madobe

and Shukri and predominantly-Darod/Kabalah clan leaders and

MPs. In mid-July a 27-person Steering Committee was formed

for Jubaland, but our contacts say that arguments continue

over who will occupy key positions (reftel). (Note: Madobe

appears to both head the Ras Kamboni organization and an

emerging Jubaland administration.  Al-Turki is described as

aging, marginalized within his Ogaden/Mohamed Zubeyr subclan,

and increasingly loyal to al-Shabaab.  Other contacts

involved in the mid-July meetings tell us there was support

for Madobe among the Darod/Kabalah leaders. End note.)

The Question of Gedo and the Marehan

————————————-

4. (C) Darod/Kabalah contacts on August 12 told us there is

disagreement between the Darod/Marehan clan in Gedo region

about joining Lower Juba representatives to form a Jubaland.

The most influential Marehan leaders in Gedo, to include

long-time warlord Barre Hirale, appear uninterested in

cooperating with Lower Juba to form a Jubaland unless they

are in charge.  Other Juba contacts report some Marehan

support the idea, but they are the less influential and not

NAIROBI 00001710  002.5 OF 002

well-armed members of the subclan. Many Darod leaders from

Juba and Gedo reportedly agree on the general principle of a

Jubaland state subordinate to the TFG, but remain divided

over who will control Jubaland and the port of Kismayo. One

option being considered is a Jubaland state with two regions,

Middle Juba and Lower Juba. Middle Juba, in this scenario,

would be predominantly Marehan and Lower Juba would be

primarily Ogaden and Majerteen. Our contacts, however,

indicate the Ogaden and Majerteen would insist on the

presidency of a united Jubaland. Mohamed Sheikh said it is

widely believed in Lower Juba that Ethiopia intends to

support the Marehan\’s claims on Kismayo because Addis Ababa

would be threatened by an Ogaden-led Lower Juba

administration. (Note: The Ogaden is currently the most

powerful subclan within the Darod/Kabalah in Lower Juba. The

Darod/Kabalah also contains the Majerteen subclan. The

Darod/Marehan power base remains Gedo region, or \”Middle

Juba.\” End note.)

Comment

——-

5. (C) The emerging alternative to an al-Turki-led al-Shabaab

in Lower Juba is a positive development. Madobe, Shukri, and

their allies represent the most powerful subclan in Lower

Juba. While there are certainly interests which are not

represented in Lower Juba by the emerging Jubaland

administration, there are probably not competing groups,

aside from al-Shabaab, in Lower Juba which would pose a

serious threat to Madobe and Shukri\’s forces. The

Darod/Marehan power base is in Gedo and it is unlikely

Marehan leaders would be able to move down the valley and

confront Madobe and Shukri\’s forces without significant

support from Ethiopia. While there appears to be increasing

momentum behind an evolving Lower Juba administration that

includes Madobe and Shukri, it appears clear that a Jubaland

that includes Gedo region is far from a reality. We believe

that the Marehan in Gedo will most likely view Ogaden

military action in Lower Juba as a threat if it moves beyond

Lower Juba\’s borders. Similarly, Marehan efforts to

militarily or politically lay claim to Kismayo will likely be

strongly resisted by Madobe, Shukri, and their predominantly

Darod/Ogaden allies. Finally, Madobe and Shukri\’s possible

willingness to work with the TFG and negotiate with other

leaders in the Jubas could shift as quickly as the

ever-shifting Somali political sands.

RANNEBERGER

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2019

TAGS: MARR, PGOV, MOPS, PINR, SOCI, SO

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – JUBA OFFENSIVE MOVING FORWARD; POWERFUL

INTERESTS PROBABLY WORKING TO UNDERCUT OGADEN CLAN

REF: A. A) NAIROBI 1648

B. B) NAIROBI 1552

C. C) IIR 6 854 0327 09

Classified By: Somalia Unit Counselor Bob Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b,

d).

1. (C) Summary A TFG-backed Juba offensive, aimed at pushing

al-Shabaab out of Kismayo, appears to be moving forward, but

competing Ethiopian and/or Marehan clan interests could

complicate matters. TFG Minister of Defense \”Gandi\” reports

that the TFG is in contact with local players in Juba,

including Ras Kamboni leaders Ahmed Madobe and Ibrahim

Shukri, in an effort to reconcile differences and obtain

their cooperation. \”Gandi\” said President Sharif fully

supports the plan, which remains closely held within the TFG.

The force in Lower Juba will consist of Darod/Kabalah clan

militia but will not include Darod/Marehan militia from the

Gedo region. Madobe appears willing to cooperate with the TFG

if Lower Juba\’s autonomy would be assured. \”Gandi\” told us

that the TFG is in negotiations with the Government of Kenya

over support for the plan. Several of our Lower Juba contacts

tell us they think some Marehan leaders are attempting to

confuse the Kenyans by telling them that the Marehan have

agreed to cooperate with those in Lower Juba in order to take

Kismayo. End summary.

\”Gandi\’s\” Plan

————–

2. (C) During an August 15 conversation with the Somalia

Unit, TFG Minister of Defense \”Gandi\” confirmed TFG

involvement in an evolving Darod/Kabalah/Obsame plan to take

Kismayo and consolidate control of Lower Juba (refs a,b).

\”Gandi\” said the TFG in March began to talk to local players

in Juba, to include Ras Kamboni leaders Ahmed Madobe and

Ibrahim Shukri, in an effort to reconcile differences and

obtain their cooperation. \”Gandi\” said that President Sharif

fully supports the plan, and that it remains closely held

within the TFG. \”Gandi\” said the offensive must take place

before mid-October in order to take advantage of current

weather conditions that complicate al-Shabaab\’s efforts to

re-supply through the port of Kismayo. The force in Lower

Juba will consist of Darod/Kabalah clan militia but will not

include Darod/Marehan militia from the Gedo region. Gandi

said Marehan involvement in the effort to take Kismayo would

be \”horrible\” and stated firmly \”the Marehan can not go to

Kismayo.\” Ogaden militia, in cooperation with Marehan militia

leaders, might go to Gedo to assist Marehan militia against

al-Shabaab in that region, but \”Gandi\” said this would be a

last resort because of the long-standing tensions between the

two Darod subclans. \”Gandi\” said Ethiopian-backed Marehan

proxy Barre Hirale and Darod/Kabalah/Harti/Majerteen warlord

General Morgan are not involved in the TFG\’s plan in Gedo or

Lower Juba. \”Gandi\” said he had full confidence in Shukri\’s

commitment to the TFG but described Madobe as a \”complex\” but

militarily necessary participant. \”Gandi\” said that the TFG

is in negotiations with the Kenyans regarding support for the

plan. He declared that \”the Kenyans are ready to help us,\”

but said the plan would move forward with or without Kenyan

support (ref c). \”Gandi\” hoped that AMISOM might be able to

provide artillery or aerial support to the offensive.

Madobe\’s Version of Events Reveals

Ogaden-Centric Agenda

———————————-

3. (C) On August 12 Somalia Unit PolOff met Abdi Ali Raghe, a

close contact and kinsman of Ahmed Madobe, who had just

returned from spending several days with Madobe in the Lower

Juba town of Dhobley. Raghe relayed to Poloff Madobe\’s

version of recent events. Approximately six months before

Madobe\’s late-March return to Lower Juba, Ras Kamboni leader

Hassan al-Turki orchestrated a power-sharing arrangement for

the Kismayo port between al-Shabaab and Ras Kamboni/Hisbul

Islam. (Note: Madobe was Governor of Kismayo under the

Council of Islamic Courts CIC) and was captured and

imprisoned by Ethiopian forces when the CIC fled Kismayo in

2006. He was released from jail after President Sharif

interceded on his behalf during his maiden visit to Addis

Ababa.  Madobe was appointed an MP in Somalia\’s expanded

Parliament in January 2009. He resigned as MP in April 2009

and remained in Lower Juba. End note.) Turki had placed

non-Ogaden al-Shabaab in primary leadership positions in

Kismayo, forcing Ogaden-clan Ras Kamboni leaders into deputy

positions.  This suggested to Madobe that Turki\’s primary

NAIROBI 00001732  002 OF 003

allegiance was to al-Shabaab.  The Kismayo port agreement

called for revenues to be divided, with 30% going to

al-Shabaab, 30% to a joint Ras Kamboni/al-Shabaab

administration, 30% to Ras Kamboni, and 10% to the Anole

group. (Note: The Anole group is a faction of Hisbul Islam

comprised of Darod/Kabalah/Harti militia. End Note.) Ras

Kamboni in the end, however, received only about 2% of the

revenues over the following months and, as a result, Ogaden

clansmen defected to al-Shabaab.

4. (C) When Madobe returned to Lower Juba in late-March he

was welcomed by Ogaden clan leaders.  At that time,

al-Shabaab began a campaign to persuade Turki that Madobe

could not be trusted. Al-Shabaab urged Turki not to let

Madobe join the Ras Kamboni leadership for three months,

arguing that he may have been influenced by Ethiopia while in

captivity.  For their part, Ogaden clan elders told Madobe he

must put clan interests before relations with al-Shabaab.

Madobe subsequently traveled to Kismayo to begin to mobilize

support among the subclans. In order to counter al-Shabaab\’s

accusations against him as he worked to mobilize Ogaden

support, Madobe resigned from the TFG. When al-Shabaab in

Kismayo began to take the \”converted\” Ras Kamboni militia to

Mogadishu to participate in the May offensive, Madobe\’s

Ogaden clan complained that al-Shabaab was using Ogaden

militia to ensure safe passage to Mogadishu, then was

abandoning them once there. Madobe believed their grievances

presented a good opportunity to convince his former militia

in Mogadishu to return to Lower Juba for an attack on

Kismayo. Madobe claimed that as many as 80% of his supporters

have returned to Lower Juba from Mogadishu. After a one month

meeting in Afmadow, Ras Kamboni restructured and appointed

Madobe its head and Shukri as head of internal affairs.

Madobe, Shukri and their allied militias claim to control

Afmadow (including Dhobley), Badadee, and west Jilib, and are

now in a position to defeat al-Shabaab in Kismayo, Jimaame,

and east Jilib.

5. (C) Madobe reportedly wants to push al-Shabaab out and win

leadership of an autonomous Lower Juba linked to the TFG.

According to Raghe, Madobe said he does not think the TFG

understands Madobe\’s decision to go to Mogadishu, even though

Madobe assured \”Gandi\” he did not go to Mogadishu to fight

the TFG. Raghe told us Madobe would accept a minister

position within the TFG, but would demand control of a

semi-autonomous Jubaland administration if he stayed in the

region after delivering Kismayo. Madobe said he does not want

to publicly announce his intention to join or support the

government too soon because it would give al-Shabaab

propaganda material, but told Raghe that Darod/Kabalah clan

militia will support his plan to do so once the port is taken

and the clan imperative met.

Evolving Jubaland Administration

Retains Cautious View Of Madobe

———————————–

6. (C) On August 12 Darod/Kabalah clan leaders who had been

working toward a would-be Jubaland administration met with

PolOff and added nuance to earlier statements about their

relationship with Madobe (refs a,b). They said their goal is

a regional administration, linked to the TFG. They were

willing to have Madobe at its head if he was successful in

taking Kismayo. (Note: In earlier comments the same contacts

indicated to us that Madobe had already been appointed leader

of the evolving Jubaland Administration. End note.) The

Darod/Kabalah leaders said the day Madobe captures Kismayo he

will have to announce that he is part of and/or supports the

TFG or he will loose clan support. Ogaden leaders reportedly

believe that Ogaden-led control of Kismayo will translate

into greater Ogaden representation in the TFG at the

ministerial level and that political negotiations regarding a

greater Jubaland to include Gedo should for now remain

unaddressed.

Growing Concern Over Ethiopian-Backed

Marehan Involvement

————————————–

7. (C) \”Gandi\” told us he is worried that Ethiopia is giving

ammunition and support to Barre Hirale\’s troops. He said he

views recent meetings in Nairobi between General Morgan,

Barre Hirale, Ali Gedi and others as dangerous. \”Gandi\” urged

us to explain to Ethiopia that the TFG, like Ethiopia, wishes

to counter and defeat al-Shabaab. \”Gandi\” worried that

Ethiopian meddling could undercut the Kismayo offensive.

NAIROBI 00001732  003 OF 003

8. (C) Several of our contacts in Lower Juba tell us they

think that some Marehan leaders are attempting to confuse the

Kenyans by telling them that the Marehan have agreed to

cooperate with the Lower Juba players in an effort to take

Kismayo. (Note: A Marehan push toward Kismayo would almost

certainly be strongly rejected by Madobe, Shukri, and the

Darod/Kabalah clan base of Lower Juba, sparking intra-Darod

warfare in the Jubas. End note.)

Comment

——-

9. (C) The Juba Offensive described by \”Gandi,\” despite

obvious differences in emphasis and motivation, appears to

have in common with Madobe\’s initiative an understanding that

any push into Kismayo should be predominantly Ogaden-led.

\”Gandi\’s\” plan and reports from Juba contacts close to Madobe

and Shukri have much in common with Kenya\’s plans to support

a Juba offensive (ref c). The Kenyan plan, however, contains

the added element of an Ethiopian-backed Ahlu Sunnah Wal

Jama\’a push into Baidoa that would be designed to draw

al-Shabaab out of Lower Juba and Gedo.  This would be

followed by a Marehan pushback against al-Shabaab in Gedo

(ref c). That part of the plan does not appear to be in

conflict with the Lower Juba initiative. However, it appears

increasingly likely that Ethiopia is backing Darod/Marehan

proxies as insurance against an Ogaden-led Lower Juba.

Against this backdrop, it seems likely that parties

representing Marehan and/or Ethiopian interests are

presenting the Kenyans, who we believe have a limited

understanding of clan dynamics in Juba, with misinformation

about the likelihood of Marehan/Ogaden cooperation in an

effort to take control of Kismayo.

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2019

TAGS: PGOV, MARR, MOPS, PINR, SOCI, EAID, SO

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – NEWLY-ENERGIZED TFG BUILDS BRIDGES IN

EFFORT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AL-SHABAAB WEAKNESS

REF: A. NAIROBI 1698

B. NAIROBI 1732

C. NAIROBI 1655

D. NAIROBI 1735

E. NAIROBI 1638

Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger; reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) Summary:  The Transitional Federal Government (TFG)

appears to be newly energized following President Sharif\’s

August 6 meeting with the Secretary (septel) and months of

drift in the wake of an extended al-Shabaab offensive in

Mogadishu that began May 7.  Recent developments:  an

apparent drop-off in funding for al-Shabaab, TFG success in

bringing at least some of the Abgal into its fold, more

productive TFG – Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a (ASWJ) cooperation, a

budding relationship with the Puntland leadership, increased

al-Shabaab and Hisbul Islam defections, coupled with gains on

regional battlefields could together create conditions for

the TFG to dramatically increase its sway in Somalia.  Any

one or all of these positive developments could easily be

reversed, however, which would leave the TFG isolated and

vulnerable, much as it was before its patient outreach

efforts to ASWJ, the Puntland Administration, the Abgal, and

others began to bear fruit. I believe that intensive,

well-targeted, real-time USG support for the TFG at this

critical potential turning point is necessary if the

government of Sheikh Sharif is to capitalize on this rare

constellation of positive developments.  Our general

recommendations follow in para 17.  Septel will provide more

detailed suggestions on steps we could take.  End summary.

2. (C) As reported ref a, an August 6 meeting with the

Secretary has energized TFG President Sharif. Since the

meeting, he has re-shuffled his Cabinet (ref d), prevailed on

his Prime Minister to cement ties with President \”Faroole\” in

Puntland, mended fences with his Abgal co-clan members (ref

b), and provided funding to northern Galgaduud ASWJ factions.

3. (C) This burst of activity is in stark contrast to the

lack of direction that followed the three months of on-again,

off-again battles with al-Shabaab in Mogadishu that began May

7. That seesaw fighting often saw ragtag TFG troops in full

flight, and only AMISOM standing between them and complete

al-Shabaab control of Mogadishu.  AMISOM\’s aggressive

intercession on behalf of the TFG during the last major round

of fighting appeared to have convinced al-Shabaab that it

could not remove the TFG as long as AMISOM remained in

Mogadishu. President Sharif has used the comparative lull

that followed to build bridges to potential allies and

re-configure his government.

Contacts with Puntland

———————-

4. (C) Although we had pressed the TFG to establish strong

ties with the Puntland Authority from the day Sheikh Sharif

became President, it had been reluctant to make the necessary

overtures.  Puntland President \”Faroole\’s\” often-stated

unhappiness with President Sharif\’s selection of Sharmarke as

Prime Minister, and the lack of consultations with \”Faroole\”

that preceded the appointment of Darod clan members to the

expanded Parliament in January were responsible for the TFG –

Puntland rift.  (Note:  Sharmarke and \”Faroole\” are of the

same major clan, and \”Faroole\” believed he at a minimum

should have been consulted before President Sharif made his

choice of Prime Minister.  The fact that President Sharif had

come to power at the expense of his Darod predecessor

Abdullahi Yusuf made consultation even more important in

\”Faroole\’s\” view.  End note.)

5. (C) On May 15, our intercession resulted in a TFG Prime

Minister Sharmarke and Puntland President \”Faroole\” dinner in

Nairobi.  That positive meeting never crystallized

cooperation between the TFG and the Puntland Administration,

however, and in the intervening months it appeared as if

Puntland might be charting a path toward greater autonomy,

like Somaliland.  Just in advance of the August 7 meeting

with the Secretary, and more concentratedly since, President

Sharif pressed a reluctant Prime Minister Sharmarke to travel

to Puntland. A flurry of telephone calls during the week of

August 10 seems to have set the stage for Sharmarke\’s August

17 departure for Galkayo.  (Note:  The PM is scheduled to

remain in Puntland until August 20.  Accompanying him is a

virtually all-Harti delegation that includes the Ministers of

Land and Air Transport, Industry, Post and

NAIROBI 00001771  002 OF 004

Telecommunications, Trade, Diaspora, and Constitutional

Affairs.  End note.)  The visit so far has resulted in an

invitation for President Sharif to visit Puntland from

President \”Faroole.\”  The TFG\’s hope is that contacts will

ultimately produce military, security, and other forms of

cooperation that will improve its chances against its enemies.

Bringing in the Abgal

———————

6. (C) President Sharif\’s more conservative Islamic

credentials and his determination to form a trans-clan

government had caused him to ignore his own clan, the Abgal,

both in assembling his Cabinet and in courting possible

allies for his government. (Note:  Sharif until the August 17

re-shuffle (ref d) was the only Abgal in his sprawling,

37-minister Cabinet.  End note.)  One by-product of Sharif\’s

refusal to work actively with the Abgal was the humiliating

loss of Mogadishu Abgal districts to al-Shabaab during

fighting that began May 7.  The Abgal districts of Medina,

Karaan, and Abdi Aziz fell, as local Abgal clan militias

refused to defend their turf on behalf of the TFG.

7. (C) At the urging of Ambassador to Kenya Mohammad Ali Nur

\”Americo,\” himself an Abgal, Sheikh Sharif has dramatically

increased outreach to his clan.  Since the beginning of

August, he has met key Abgal leaders at Villa Somalia, and on

August 7, the President presided at an all-afternoon session

with key Mudulood representatives in Nairobi.  (Note:  The

Mudulood comprise the Abgal, Isse, Wadalan, Hilife, and

Hawadle sub-clans. End note.)  Negotiations with the Abgal

have resulted in representatives of two key Abgal sub-clans

being brought into the government.  Abdirahman Omar Osman

\”Engineer Yarisow\” (Hawiye/Abgal/Wadubhan) has been slotted

for a newly-created Ministry of Treasury and Dahir Gelle

(Hawiye/Abgal/Waesle) steps in behind Farhan Ali Mohamud

(Hawiye/Habr Gedir/Duduble) as Minister of Information.

8. (C) Sheikh Sharif\’s outreach to the Abgal has quickly

borne fruit. We have been told by Abgal/Waesle contacts in

south Galgaduud that Waesle elder Sheikh Ahmed recruited a

significant number of clan militiamen who pushed al-Shabaab

out of the south Galgaduud town of Galcad on August 11 – 12.

The TFG chartered an aircraft to airlift 17 of the most

seriously wounded Waesle to a Mogadishu hospital in order to

reinforce government engagement.  The TFG is now working

strenuously to transport ammunition to the Waesle in order to

repulse an expected al-Shabaab counterattack.  We believe

that the ammunition will be airlifted to Galcad at TFG

expense on August 20.

Reaching Out To Juba

——————–

9. (C) Former TFG Minister of Defense \”Gandi\” in recent weeks

has stepped up efforts to implement a TFG-backed Juba

offensive, aimed at pushing al-Shabaab out of Kismayo and

creating links between an evolving Juba administration and

the TFG (ref b). \”Gandi\” reports that the TFG is in contact

with local players in Juba, including Ogaden clan

heavyweights Ahmed Madobe and Ibrahim Shukri, in an effort to

reconcile differences and obtain their cooperation. \”Gandi\”

said President Sharif and Prime Minister Sharmarke fully

support the plan, which remains closely held within the TFG.

10. (C) \”Gandi\’s\” efforts take place against the backdrop of

recent meetings in Juba and Nairobi between supporters of

Madobe and Shukri and predominantly-Darod/Kabalah clan

leaders and MPs. Their goal is a regional Jubaland

administration, linked to the TFG. Our contacts tell us a

27-person Steering Committee has been formed for Jubaland,

but arguments remain over who will fill key positions.

\”Gandi\” told us he has full confidence in Shukri\’s commitment

to the TFG but described Madobe as a \”complex\” but militarily

necessary participant. Darod/Kabalah leaders told us the day

Madobe captures Kismayo he will have to announce that he is

part of and/or supports the TFG or he will lose clan support.

Ogaden leaders reportedly believe that Ogaden-led control of

Kismayo will translate into greater Ogaden representation in

the TFG at the ministerial level and that political

negotiations regarding a greater Jubaland to include Gedo

should for now remain unaddressed. Although formidable

challenges remain for a would-be Jubaland administration,

such as whether or not Gedo region should be included, TFG

efforts to gain support of key players in Lower Juba and

willingness to consider support for the creation of a

NAIROBI 00001771  003 OF 004

Jubaland state are positive developments. (Note:The TFG

Charter and Djibouti process outcomes call for forward

movement on decentralization but the TFG had in the past

shown little willingness to link to regional administrations.

End note.)

TFG – ASWJ Cooperation

———————-

11. (C) The TFG has stepped gingerly into cooperation with

Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a (ASWJ).  Initially, it feared that

ASWJ\’s battlefield successes and political aspirations in the

central regions and ASWJ\’s suspicions of Sheikh Sharif\’s

alleged \”wahabiist\” leanings meant that ASWJ was determined

to supplant the TFG at the center of the Djibouti process.

ASWJ, which in initial conversations with USG officials and

the TFG was alleging that its victories over al-Shabaab

entitled it to the TFG presidency, did little to dispel TFG

fears.  ASWJ military setbacks and persistent overtures by

the TFG produced a June 21 signed TFG – ASWJ agreement which,

gradually, has produced real cooperation.

Success in Hiraan

—————–

12. (C) TFG Minister of National Security \”Sanbaloshi\”

(Hawadle) and other TFG officials since late July have

remained in close contact with leaders in Beledweyne and

elsewhere in the Hiraan region to ensure that the gains of

July 26 were not reversed. They have stepped up cooperation

with Ethiopian-backed ASWJ forces in the region (ref c).

(Note:  According to President Sharif, the TFG has provided

financial support to the tune of $100,000 to ASWJ-Hiraan.

End note.)  TFG-aligned forces on July 26 managed to take

control of Beledweyne town in Hiraan region. Police General

Mukhtar Hussein Afrah (Hawiye/Hawadle) led a successful push

into Beledweyne\’s western half on July 26, where Islamists

reportedly had held sway. On August 20, al-Shabaab-initiated

fighting for the control of Beletweyne resumed. We believe

that with the assistance of nearby ENDF troops, TFG-aligned

forces should retain control of the town. As of August 19

TFG-aligned forces from Beledweyne were closing on the town

of Bulaburde, where there was reportedly fierce fighting on

August 20. Another by-product of increased TFG assertiveness

in Hiraan region has been Hisbul Islam (HI) defections.

During the weekend of August 14, an estimated 53 armed HI

soldiers and three commanders defected to the TFG.  There

have also been defections in Mogadishu, many of them from

al-Shabaab.

Advances in Gedo

—————-

13. (C) The strategic town of Luq in Gedo region on August 19

fell to pro-TFG forces a few days after the border town of

Beled Hawa was taken by joint TFG-ASWJ forces in the region.

Our contacts tell us that five TFG MPs as well as Bay,

Bakool, and Gedo governors worked together with local

Rahanweyn and Marehan clan militia to push Hisbul Islam out

of Luq. On August 17 TFG troops from Dolow worked with

Rahanweyn and Marehan clan-based ASWJ forces to consolidate

control of Beled Hawa. While both Luq and Beled Hawa have

since been surrendered to Hisbul Islam, their brief seizure

by pro-TFG forces have shown that Hisbul Islam is vulnerable

in Gedo.

Renewed Engagement

With the Media

——————

14. (C) The TFG appears to have redoubled its efforts to

engage effectively with the media to promote TFG policy

goals. The Foreign Minister reacted quickly and

comprehensively to the August 13 killings of five Pakistani

nationals in Puntland.  On August 16, the newly-launched TFG

website covered a press conference at which a TFG spokesman

lauded ASWJ,s weekend victories in Galgadud region, a

positive step in promoting TFG – ASWJ cooperation.  These and

other examples mark a noticeably improved media outreach

effort by the TFG.  Not coincidentally, Post sent two media

advisors to Mogadishu from July 23 – August 3 to work with

TFG public affairs personnel and institutions.  The advisors

spent much of the time coaching the TFG,s personnel in

subjects like identifying priority issues for media attention

and coordinating public outreach among TFG entities.  TFG

officials, to include the President and Prime Minster, were

NAIROBI 00001771  004 OF 004

very supportive of the assessors and have indicated that they

are eager to maintain the momentum resulting from the visit

and U.S.-associated continued engagement. In the August 18

Cabinet re-shuffle, President Sharif removed his Minister of

Information, who he believed was under-performing.

Cabinet Re-shuffle

——————

15. (C) Although far from perfect (septel), a sweeping

cabinet re-shuffle (ref d) has re-shuffled ministers who have

been either off-message, ineffective, or AWOL during the

TFG\’s tenure.  Although some ministers who are equally liable

to charges of not actively advancing the TFG\’s agenda remain

in place, the shake-up could put them on notice that they

must perform if they are to keep their jobs.  Sheikh Sharif\’s

dramatic decision to re-shuffle the deck went against the

advice of some who believed that sweeping changes should not

be attempted when the government was under stress, and is

further evidence of the President\’s new determination to make

progress.

Parliament Shake-Up

——————-

16. (C) The TFG\’s determination to purge underperformers has

hit the Parliament as well.  On July 27, following a speech

by Sheikh Sharif, five AWOL MPs were expelled from Parliament

and a further forty-nine warned that they must return to

Mogadishu and participate in the plenaries or face a similar

fate (ref e). Among those expelled in the first tranche were

several persistent critics of the TFG.  Although the 54 MPs

cited are a minority of the estimated 125 MPs who are almost

permanently absent, the warnings and expulsions are evidence

of the TFG\’s intention to force MPs to take their

responsibilities seriously. (Note:  At present, there are 548

deputies in the transitional Parliament.  On the day of the

July 27 session, 301 of the estimated 350 MPs in Mogadishu

attended the plenary.  End note.)

Recommendations and Comment

—————————

17. (C) With its recent burst of activity, the TFG is

attempting with some success to capitalize on positive

developments in the regions. It still faces an uphill

struggle, which could be complicated by an announced Hisbul

Islam/al-Shabaab Ramadan offensive, but its prospects are

significantly better than they were just a few short weeks

ago. USG support, if provided rapidly and appropriately

calibrated to TFG needs, could greatly enhance the TFG\’s

chances. In order to aid the TFG\’s efforts to take advantage

of this opportunity, I recommend that PKO monies currently

available be spent, where possible, for civil affairs efforts

that could show the TFG delivering services to Somalis in

territories it controls. Where possible, the TFG\’s Price

Waterhouse Cooper mechanism should be used in effecting these

transactions.  Key TFG ministries should urgently be provided

with advisors, preferably from the Somali diaspora, in order

to help them rapidly build capacity and discharge their

functions.  We believe that robust youth employment programs

in areas controlled by the TFG would go a long way over the

short term in building good will and attracting potential

defectors.  Rapidly re-starting local administration

capacity-building programs is also essential. Micro-lending

or micro-grant programs in areas under TFG control could

further increase goodwill toward the government and aid local

economies.  A small grants or self-help-like program could

pay outsize dividends in Somalia\’s impoverished regions.  If

the TFG succeeds in establishing stable control over the

central regions, recognition of the government should be

considered.  Septel will provide more detailed

recommendations for consideration.

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DEPT FOR AF/E AND A/S CARSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/04/2019

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, PTER, SO, AE, QA

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – PRESIDENT SHARIF ON THE GULF,

AL-SHABAAB, AND US RELATIONS

Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4(b,d).

——-

Summary

——-

1.  (C) On September 2, Ambassador Ranneberger and the

Mission\’s Somalia Unit met with Transitional Federal

Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and

four TFG ministers in Nairobi. Sharif said on his visit to

Qatar and Dubai he made progress toward achieving his goal of

ensuring Qatar\’s neutrality on relations with certain

extremists.  The UAE government pledged to support the TFG

and Sharif asked for U.S. help in securing this assistance.

Sharif discussed distinct groups within al-Shabaab, including

some with links to al-Qaida and described his efforts to

neutralize the terrorist group by drawing away certain

individuals.  He said that al-Shabaab is losing strength as

most Somalis now question its legitimacy.  The TFG President

discussed outreach to the regions and the difficulties of

mounting a coordinated operation to route al-Shabaab

(developments in the Juba region will be reported septel).

Sharif reported that the Prime Minister\’s trip to Puntland

renewed engagement and the TFG is talking with Somaliland

about common security concerns.  Sharif said the cabinet

reshuffle yielded mixed results and intimated that he might

reduce the cabinet\’s size and recruit ministers with greater

capacity.  Sharif said that, following up on his meeting with

the Secretary, he hopes for a more robust U.S.-Somalia

partnership, including an additional tranche of funds to

support the security sector.  He told the Ambassador he plans

to lay out his priorities for U.S.-Somalia engagement in New

York and Washington at the end of September when he attends

the U.N. General Assembly. End Summary.

——————————-

Productive Visit to Gulf States

——————————-

2.  (C) The Ambassador met with Transitional Federal

Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in

Nairobi on September 2.  The TFG President was en route to

Mogadishu after visiting Qatar and Dubai.  President Sharif

appeared confident and was in excellent spirits.  Also in

attendance was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, newly appointed Minister of

Foreign Affairs Ahmed Jama Ali Jangeli, Minister of Land and

Air Transportation Mohamed Abdi Mohamed \”Gandi,\” and Somali

Ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Ali Nur.  The delegation returned

to Mogadishu the morning of September 3.

3.  (C) Sharif told the Ambassador that his visit to Qatar

and UAE was \”productive\” and that he met with Qatari

leadership to secure their neutrality.  \”They want us to

engage in talks with al-Shabaab, but produced no coherent

proposals to that effect,\” Sharif said of Qatar.  The

President did not say if he and the Qataris had discussed an

outstanding Arab League pledge of funds.  He asserted that

Qatar is not fully aware of the situation in Somalia and the

negative role Hassan Dahir Aweys has played, but that after

the discussions, Qatar has a better appreciation.

4.  (C) Sharif said he would possibly engage in talks with

elements of al-Shabaab, but only within a broader context of

outreach to all Somalis.  The President insisted that any

negotiations must occur within Somalia, not outside the

country.  While Sharif doubted Qatar could \”deliver\” Aweys or

key members of al-Shabaab, he is planning to send a technical

team back to Qatar to assess the specific proposals they have

in mind.  Sharif said that one cannot always accomplish a

goal in the first or even second round of talks and seemed

hopeful that he could still gain Arab League support without

the strings of reconciliation with extremists.  Sharif also

clarified that he would not talk with terrorists or the worst

extremist elements of al-Shabaab.

5.  (C) Sharif emphasized the excellent meetings he held in

Dubai with representatives of the Somali diaspora and

business community.  He told the Ambassador that he had

productive meetings with UAE officials who confirmed their

support for the TFG.  The UAE government pledged its

assistance and Sharif said he believes the UAE will honor its

NAIROBI 00001860  002 OF 003

pledges.  He asked the Ambassador to ensure that the United

States use its close relationship with the UAE to follow up

on these pledges of support.  We noted our earlier efforts to

persuade delinquent Brussels pldging conference donors to

come through for the TFG, and promised to keep up the

pressure.

——————————–

Al-Shabaab: Fracturing the Group

By Targeting Distinct Elements

——————————–

6.  (C) In response to the Ambassador\’s question about

pulling support away from al-Shabaab, Sharif described a

definite distinction among its discrete groups.  Sharif said

that some within the most committed al-Shabaab have foreign

training and links with al-Qaida.  While this is the smallest

group within al-Shabaab, many are from Afghanistan and other

foreign countries.  In contrast, he said most of the native

Somali Shabaab supporters have been pulled in \”by emotion\” or

economic reasons – they have no other options to sustain

them.  He said there are others who genuinely question the

legitimacy of the government and have real concerns about the

direction the country is taking.  Sharif said these latter

groups are being targeted by the TFG to pull them from

al-Shabaab and that many are now questioning the legitimacy

of the extremist group.  Sharif said the ideological, \”real\”

al-Shabaab from abroad have foreign ideas and will never be

swayed by negotiations.  The TFG President said that others

could potentially be included in discussions and their needs

addressed.

——————-

Regional Engagement

——————-

7.  (C) President Sharif said that Prime Minister Omar

Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke,s visit to Puntland \”changed our

relationship with Puntland.\”  Sharif thanked the Ambassador

for U.S. efforts to encourage both sides to come together.

Sharif said he plans to visit the region personally after the

end of Ramadan.  The Ambassador replied that we will continue

pushing Puntland to improve its cooperation with the TFG.

Sharif told the Ambassador the TFG has also initiated

behind-the-scenes talks with Somaliland on security-related

issues.  He said the conflict with al-Shabaab requires a

coordinated effort with the understanding that no single

regional entity would be able to confront the onslaught of

al-Shabaab on its own.

8.  (C) The TFG strategy to confront al-Shabaab is to create

a coordinated, multi-region, cross-clan front against

al-Shabaab.  The President said peace-building efforts by

ministers from the regions were the TFG,s first step.  To

that end, the late Security Minister Omar Hashi was murdered

rallying the people of Hiran.  When the Ambassador asked

Sharif about developments in Jubaland, the TFG President

turned to Former Defense Minister, now Transport Minister

Mohamed \”Gandi\” to reply.  Gandi remains charged with

building reconciliation and engineering an anti-Shabaab

effort in Gedo and Lower Juba, per septel.  President Sharif

said the TFG is sending teams of TFG officials from Ethiopia

through both the Gedo and Galguduud regions to assess the

current condition of resources and heighten coordination on

the ground.  President Sharif said only simultaneous actions

in all regions will succeed against al-Shabaab.

——————–

Cabinet Shift Yields

Mixed Results

——————–

9.  (C) On the recent cabinet reshuffle, President Sharif

expressed slight frustration with the results.  He said that

he and PM Sharmarke made the move partially to preempt clans

from developing feelings of ownership over specific

portfolios, and to soothe certain clans\’ feelings of

dissatisfaction at being excluded from the cabinet (Note:

Sharif appointed two Abgal to ministries, likely as a sop to

that clan.)  However, he and the Prime Minister have found

that the various clans remain dissatisfied.  Sharif noted

that it is his job to help the Prime Minister in constituting

NAIROBI 00001860  003 OF 003

an effective cabinet.  He mused that since a larger cabinet

still evoked such clan unhappiness, he and the Prime Minister

might as well reduce the size of cabinet, keeping only the

most effective ministers.

———————–

Cementing the Bilateral

Relationship

———————–

10.  (C) President Sharif said he wants to arrive in New York

for the United General Assembly (UNGA) on/about September 21.

He said he hopes his meeting with the Secretary will yield

increased assistance from the United States, including funds

for the security services.  Sharif made a specific and strong

appeal for another urgent tranche of funds to help sustain

TFG troops and support security operations.  The Ambassador

assured Sharif that we were working to get the funds to him

expeditiously.  The Ambassador said that, in addition to

continued U.S. security sector support, together we should

intensify planning so that, as the TFG expands its authority,

the U.S. and TFG can work together to show results to the

Somali people.

11.  (C) While in the United States for UNGA, Sharif said he

wants to define more clearly the U.S.-Somalia relationship,

meeting with as many U.S. officials as possible, and possibly

going to Washington for meetings with the USG, Congress, and

others.  Sharif also mentioned that he would like to travel

to key areas of the U.S. to meet with the Somali diaspora.

He told us it is time to show the Somali people some tangible

results on the ground from our bilateral relationship.  The

United States\’ investment in Somalia now will yield Somali

gratitude and a strong relationship in the future, he

asserted.

12.  (C) Sharif emphasized that his presentation in New York

will focus on priority sectors: security, humanitarian, and

ministerial capacity building in order to provide services.

In addition, the TFG is cognizant of the need to focus on

transitional tasks over the coming two years – a challenge

given the security situation.  Sharif said that the

challenges are great as Somalia was literally re-building

from the ground up.  President Sharif agreed with us that his

UNGA delegation should be composed of his best people with

detailed plans of needs and objectives.

——-

Comment

——-

13.  (C) With a possibly weakened al-Shabaab, a lull in

fighting in Mogadishu, and fresh from a trip to the Gulf,

President Sharif was confident and upbeat.  He articulated

TFG priorities in a clear, coherent way.  In a positive sign,

Sharif demonstrated that he has delegated important tasks to

his ministers, especially outreach to the regions.  If Sharif

does indeed travel to Puntland, it could signal a new chapter

in their relationship.  The Ambassador encouraged the TFG

President to come to New York with a detailed plan of action.

In the interim, it is important that we provide an

additional tranche of financial support through the

PricewaterhouseCoopers accountability mechanism.

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E AND A/S CARSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2019

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, EAID, PTER, SO, KE

SUBJECT: SOMALIA – TFG PRESIDENT ON RECRUITMENT IN KENYA

AND POLITICAL OUTREACH

REF: A. NAIROBI 1244

B. NAIROBI 2169

C. NAIROBI 2141

D. NAIROBI 1795

Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

1.  (C) Summary:  TFG President Sheikh Sharif met with the

Ambassador and Somalia Unit as he ended his travels to Saudia

Arabia, the United States and Libya.  President Sharif told

us he recognized the need for a vigorous political strategy

to complement his security forces\’ efforts to seize the

initiative in Mogadishu and the regions.  He repeated an

oft-heard pledge to reach out especially to Ahlu Sunna Wal

Jamma.  We expressed concern about reports the TFG is

recruiting refugees from northeast Kenya, as part of a larger

TFG-Kenyan plan to challenge al-Shabaab in the Juba region.

The President promised to investigate and end the practice if

it is occurring.   The media spotlight on the recruitment may

sap Kenyan and TFG willingness to continue with the

recruitment.  End Summary.

2.  (SBU)  The Ambassador and emboffs met with Transitional

Federal Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh

Ahmed, Foreign Minister Ali Jama Jangeli, Finance Minister

Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden on October 16.  Sharif and his

delegation were returning from what he termed a \”great

opportunity\” to meet U.S. officials and the Somali diaspora

in Washington, New York, Minneapolis and Chicago.

3.  (C)  Turning immediately to the security situation,

Sharif said he sees this as a moment of opportunity and

clarity.  The Islamists are divided and feuding with each

other.  At the same time, it is clear the TFG security forces

need  leadership, training, equipment, facilities, including

courts, and salaries to meet the challenges facing them.  The

President said he wanted  to complement the security strategy

with political outreach, including to anti-Shabaab Islamic

group Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamma (ASWJ).  The government would

implement its June 2009 mutual support agreement with ASWJ,

he said (reftel A).

4.  (C) The Ambassador told President Sheikh Sharif we were

disturbed by reports young Somalis were being recruited from

northeast Kenya, including from the Dadaab refugee camp, to

join anti-Shabaab forces in Somalia\’s Juba region (reftels B,

C).  The Ambassador noted we were not supporting the Kenyan

\”Jubaland\” initiative.   Sharif said he was also concerned

about recruitment in Kenya.  Kenya-TFG planning for a Juba

offensive had never envisioned recruiting Somali refugees and

migrants from Kenya.  \”No one should be recruited from the

camps, and we will correct it if it happened,\” President

Sharif said.  Note: It is unlikely the TFG and Kenya will

find large numbers of credible forces inside Lower Juba that

are not already engaged in the fight for Kismayo. While

Ogadeni clan leader and Hizbul Islam commander Ahmed

Madobe,s efforts to purge al-Shabaab from Kismayo may not be

successful, we think a push to take Kismayo that does not

include Madobe,s Darod/Kabalah alliance would almost

certainly fail and could spark intra-Darod conflict, likely

to strengthen al-Shabaab. End Note.

5.  (C) President Sharif  stated that the original plan,

which called for Kenya to train TFG-appointed liaison

officers to help organize resistance to Shabaab in Juba, was

still a good one.  In order to right the effort, the

President said he would transfer responsibility for the plan

from Minister of Transport Mohamed Abdi \”Gandi\” to Minister

of Defense Abdullah Boss Ahmed.  President Sharif said that

he was not fully confident that  Madobe would join the

government if he succeeded in pushing Shabaab from Juba.  In

any case, Madobe was showing himself to be a warlord

bargaining for power, the president said.

6.  (C) President Sharif said his political agenda included

outreach to the regions and to the non-violent opposition.

On this issue, he said he hoped to  take up the Rwandan

president\’s recent offer to host influential Somalis for

discussions on how Rwanda had reconciled itself from the

genocide.  He also said he hoped to \”reorganize\” the

government, but didn\’t indicate when.  He pledged to continue

NAIROBI 00002203  002 OF 002

official visits to the semi-autonomous Puntland region, and

to implement an agreement signed between the TFG and Puntland

administration in September (ref D).

7.  (C) Comment:  We were struck by President Sharif\’s

unequivocal pledge to honor the TFG\’s June agreement with

ASWJ.  The TFG\’s previous promises to support ASWJ have gone

partially or wholly unfulfilled.  ASWJ\’s influence in the

regions continues to grow, and ASWJ leaders still ask us to

persuade the TFG to cooperate with them.  With regard to

Juba, the media attention on recruitment around Dadaab could

very well sap Kenya\’s willingness to continue hosting the

reportedly large numbers of Somali refugees/migrants while

they train for some now-undefined future action in Juba.

Coupled with Sharif\’s expression of doubt about Ahmed

Madobe\’s bona fides, it seems increasingly unlikely any TFG

recruits would be sent to aid Madobe, who is the most

significant challenger to al-Shabaab.  End Comment.

RANNEBERGER

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2019

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, EAID, EPET, SO, UG

SUBJECT: UGANDA: ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON\’S MEETING WITH

PRESIDENT MUSEVENI

REF: A. KAMPALA 01055

B. KAMPALA 00979

C. KAMPALA 01196

D. KAMPALA 01271

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Aaron Sampson for

reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1.(C) Summary: President Museveni urged the African Union

mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to go on the offensive, said the

Lord\’s Resistance Army (LRA) was \”finished\”, and expressed

support for revitalizing the Tripartite Plus process during a

meeting with Assistant Secretary Carson and other senior USG

officials on October 24.  Museveni acknowledged the crucial

importance of free, fair and peaceful presidential elections

in February 2011, and dismissed concerns about the partiality

of Uganda\’s Electoral Commission and the need for electoral

reform.  Museveni also discussed Uganda\’s relations with

Southern Sudan, promised to \”discourage\” the author of

legislation that would criminalize homosexuality from moving

forward with the bill, and assured the Assistant Secretary

that Uganda would use its impending oil revenues wisely.  End

Summary.

————————————

Somalia and AMISOM: Let\’s Get Moving

————————————

2. (SBU)  President Museveni met with Assistant Secretary

Carson, Ambassador Lanier, Africa Command Commander General

Ward, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Huddleston, and

USAID/Uganda Director Eckerson for two and a half hours on

October 24 in Entebbe.  Also present were Minister of Defense

Crispus Kiyonga, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa,

acting Minister of Finance Ruth Nankabirwa, Chief of Defense

Forces General Nyakairima Aronda, and MFA Permanent Secretary

Ambassador James Mugume.

3. (C) Assistant Secretary Carson delivered a letter from

President Obama expressing condolences for the September 17

attack on AMISOM headquarters in Mogadishu that killed

several Ugandan soldiers, praised Uganda as central to the

survival of Somalia\’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG),

and assured President Museveni of continued U.S. support for

Uganda\’s contribution to AMISOM.  Assistant Secretary Carson

said the U.S. is encouraging TFG President Sheikh Sharif to

make the TFG more inclusive, more focused on service

delivery, and better able to amplify its message to the

Somali people.  The U.S. is also pressing other countries to

provide troops and financial support to the TFG and AMISOM,

and is leaning on Qatar to curb assistance to Eritrea.

4. (C) President Museveni said Uganda remains fully committed

to the mission in Somalia, but that AMISOM\’s presence does

not equal a solution, and the status quo cannot continue

indefinitely.  He warned that prolonged paralysis will

undermine confidence in the TFG and said AMISOM should either

\”move forward or get out.\”  To this end, Museveni recommended

increased funding and equipment for both the TFG and AMISOM

to push extremists out of Mogadishu, Kismayo, Baidoa, and any

town with an airstrip or a seaport.  He said Uganda was ready

to provide additional forces to AMISOM, and expressed

confidence that with additional manpower AMISOM could push

extremists into the \”bush.\”  Museveni also said the TFG

should articulate an electoral time-line as a means of

boosting confidence in the government and providing a

political mechanism for resolving internal conflict.

5. (C) Museveni praised TFG President Sheikh Sharif –

observing that he is young, flexible, willing to engage in

dialogue without precondition, and is easier to work with

than his predecessor – but said Sheikh Sharif needs a

political movement to build an army around.  Museveni was

unaware of Kenyan plans to create a buffer zone in Jubaland,

and agreed that this is a non-starter with the potential to

further balkanize Somalia and upset Ethiopia.  The President

attributed the Jubaland idea to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi

and said Qadhafi would like to break up Somalia.

——————-

The LRA is Finished

——————-

6. (C) Assistant Secretary Carson praised Uganda\’s pursuit of

the LRA through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and

Central African Republic (CAR).  He encouraged Uganda to

accelerate development in northern Uganda, noting that the

other side of military action against the LRA is developing

KAMPALA 00001276  002 OF 003

the north to stave off the emergence of any successors to

Joseph Kony.  Proclaiming that the LRA is \”finished,\”

Museveni said the LRA cannot return to Uganda and that the

Ugandan military (UPDF) will soon finish the job if it is

allowed to continue operations in the DRC and CAR.  Museveni

assured Assistant Secretary Carson that northern Uganda will

recover and rebound from decades of war and instability.

—————

Tripartite Plus

—————

7. (C)  Assistant Secretary Carson commended Uganda\’s

continued rapprochement with neighboring Rwanda.  He

recommended revitalizing the Tripartite Plus process to bring

together leaders from DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and key

observer partners like the U.S. and the EU to discuss

regional stability, security, economic integration, and

development for the Great Lakes region.  He noted that

Special Advisor Wolpe is traveling to Uganda in November to

discuss Tripartite Plus and expressed hope that Wolpe would

be able to meet with Foreign Minister Kutesa.  Museveni said

Uganda and Rwanda have resolved previous differences over the

DRC, and agreed that revitalizing tripartite plus is a good

idea.  He said Uganda\’s relations with Rwanda and the DRC are

good, but that when they meet Uganda does not discuss

anything beyond its specific bilateral relationships with

these Great Lakes neighbors.  There is therefore a demand for

a reinvigorated Tripartite Plus process.

————–

2011 Elections

————–

8. (C) Turning to the February 2011 presidential elections,

Assistant Secretary Carson stressed the importance of free,

open, and transparent elections.  He urged President Museveni

to give the opposition political space and open the electoral

process to outside observers to ensure local and

international credibility.  Museveni claimed the opposition

already enjoys ample political space but, just like

\”terrorists in Somalia,\” has no agenda and therefore no

ability to attract support.  Referring to the closure of

radio stations and suspension of journalists following the

deadly September 10-12 riots in Kampala (ref. A), Museveni

said Uganda has 132 radio stations and seven television

stations, and that Ugandans are free to hold political

meetings at anytime and anywhere.  He said the only electoral

reform needed before 2011 is the computerization of the

national voter registry to eliminate double registrations

entered by the opposition.

9. (C)  Assistant Secretary Carson said that an impartial

Electoral Commission representative of the interests of the

nation is critical.  Museveni described the Electoral

Commission Chairman as \”very unpolitical\” and said only two

commission members were previously affiliated with political

parties and one of these belonged to the opposition.  He

allowed, however, that there is a proposal to add additional

members to the Commission. NOTE: Several members of Uganda\’s

partisan Electoral Commission have overt ties to the ruling

NRM party (ref. B).  Opposition parties are demanding a new

Electoral Commission as a prerequisite for participation in

the 2011 election (ref. C).  END NOTE.

—–

Sudan

—–

10. (C) Museveni asked the U.S. to pressure Khartoum to

implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and warned

that \”a lot of problems\” will result if the CPA fails.

Describing himself as a \”victim\” of Sudan, Museveni said

Sudan\’s \”nomadic\” search for new mediators is an avoidance

tactic and invited Special Envoy Gration to visit Uganda.  He

also recommended Gration liaise closely with the Chairman of

the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Assistant Secretary Carson promised to relay this information

to Gration.  He also briefed Museveni on our new Sudan

strategy paper and our commitment to the CPA.  Museveni said

Uganda is providing Southern Sudan with limited assistance,

to include some military and police training, but that

Southern Sudanese civil servants lack the capacity to

effectively run a state and require urgent administrative and

judicial training.

———————–

Anti-Homosexuality Bill

KAMPALA 00001276  003 OF 003

———————–

11. (SBU) Assistant Secretary Carson also raised the issue of

\”anti-homosexuality\” legislation recently tabled in

Parliament.  The draft bill, which is not sponsored by the

Ugandan government, criminalizes homosexuality with proposed

sentences ranging from imprisonment to, in some cases, death

(ref. D).  Recognizing that homosexuality is a difficult

topic for Ugandans, Assistant Secretary Carson said the issue

attracts a great deal of international attention and that

passing this legislation will result in condemnation for

Uganda.

12 (SBU) Apparently unaware of the proposed legislation,

Museveni said Uganda is \”not interested in a war with

homosexuals\” and asked who was responsible for drafting the

\”anti-homosexuality\” bill.  When informed of the author by

acting Finance Minister Nankabirwa, Museveni exclaimed: \”But

that\’s a member of our party! We shall discourage him. It

will divert us.\”  Museveni explained that Ugandans used to

ignore homosexuality, blamed the legislation on western

\”advocacy\” groups who call homosexuality a human right, and

asked how Uganda should respond to the homosexual recruitment

of young people.  Assistant Secretary Carson noted that

sexual exploitation of minors – whether hetero or homosexual

in nature – was morally reprehensible and should be

criminalized.  Museveni agreed that criminalizing

homosexuality between consenting adults \”is going too far\”

and said Uganda should instead focus on protecting children

from sexual exploitation.

————————–

Oil: Uganda is Not Nigeria

————————–

13. (C) After closing the meeting and presiding over the

ceremonial signing a $245 million USAID assistance package,

Museveni invited the entire delegation back into the

Presidency to discuss Uganda\’s newfound oil reserves.

Museveni said there is no chance of oil becoming a curse for

Uganda because Uganda will use impending oil revenues in five

carefully defined areas: (1) to develop durable renewable

energy sources such as hydroelectric power; (2) to

rehabilitate rail lines; (3) to support higher education; (4)

to spur high tech scientific research; and (5) to improve

Uganda\’s road network.

——-

Comment

——-

14. (C) Museveni was engaged and animated throughout the two

and a half hour discussion, particularly when it came to

military and economic matters.  He repeatedly said that

AMISOM needs to move forward, but stressed Uganda\’s

commitment to the mission and willingness to provide

increased assistance.  Museveni was surprisingly out of touch

on key political issues.  He was unaware of the highly

publicized \”anti-homosexuality\” bill, but provided positive

direction once apprised of the details by the acting Minister

of Finance and the Assistant Secretary.  His dismissal of

criticism of the Electoral Commission as much ado about

nothing is less reassuring, as is his continued insistence

that computerizing voter registries to remove ghost voters

allegedly introduced by the opposition is the only electoral

reform necessary for 2011.

LANIER

10080

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2019

TAGS: PREL, PTER, MASS, MCAP, SO, UG

SUBJECT: UGANDA: ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON\’S MEETING WITH

SOMALIA TFG PRESIDENT

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Aaron Sampson for

reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S)  Summary: Somalia\’s Transitional Federal Government

(TFG) President Sheikh Sharif said AMISOM must retaliate

against extremists or risk losing popular support in

Mogadishu, and asked the U.S. to pressure Egypt, the European

Union, and others to honor commitments to support the TFG.

He added that the TFG is trying to take advantage of

infighting between al Shabaab and Hizbul al Islam but is in

desperate need of financial support to strengthen its

political and military effectiveness.  President Sharif

discussed Kenyan plans to create a \”buffer zone\” in Jubaland,

and Assistant Secretary Carson cautioned him against the

recruitment of Somali soldiers from the Dadaab refugee camp

in northeast Kenya.  The Assistant Secretary said the U.S.

stands behind President Sharif and will continue to support

the TFG both directly and through Burundi and Uganda.  He

also promised to follow up on Egyptian and European Union

pledges of support for the TFG.  End Summary.

————

TFG Security

————

2. (S) TFG President Sheikh Sharif, Foreign Minister Ali Jama

Jangali, State Minister for Presidential Affairs Hassan

Moalin Mohamud Ali, and Somali Ambassador to Uganda Sayid

Ahmed Sheikh Dahir met with Assistant Secretary Carson,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Huddleston, and

Ambassador Lanier on October 24.  TFG leaders had traveled to

Kampala to attend the October 19-23 African Union Special

Summit for Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced

Persons (septel).  Referring to the deadly September 17

attack on AMISOM headquarters in Mogadishu and the October 22

attempt to target his aircraft as it departed Mogadishu for

Kampala, President Sharif said he does not believe that al

Shabaab has someone inside the TFG.  He noted that the runway

in Mogadishu is open, making it impossible to conceal

movements of his airplane.

——————————————

Taking Advantage of Extremists\’ Infighting

——————————————

3. (S) Sharif said fighting between al Shabaab and Hizbul al

Islam has given the TFG breathing room to rebuild the Somali

army, and that the TFG is taking advantage of this by sending

some officers for additional training.  The TFG is also

considering replacing some military commanders with more

effective officers.  Fighting between extremists has boosted

the TFG\’s image among the Somali people by showing that

extremists have no agenda beyond fighting, killing, and

slaughtering civilians, and has enabled the TFG to attract

new supporters.  The TFG is also making inroads within Hizbul

al Islam, which Sharif said is not as ideologically extreme

as al Shabaab.

——————————————

TFG Political Effectiveness: We Need Money

——————————————

4. (S) Assistant Secretary Carson encouraged President Sharif

to expand the inclusiveness of his government across clan,

sub-clan, and regional lines to bring in as many moderate and

thoughtful voices as possible.  Assistant Secretary Carson

also encouraged the TFG to continue to push its message of

peace, stability, moderation and the creation of a new

Somalia, and said the U.S. is moving forward with plans to

amplify the TFG\’s voice by supporting a TFG radio station in

Mogadishu.  He stressed the importance of delivering services

to the Somali people, and urged the President to look for

ways to provide services such as health care, schools, and

books in areas under TFG control.  The Assistant Secretary

said the U.S. stands ready to provide books, teaching

materials, and/or health clinic supplies.

5. (S) President Sharif said the TFG has made great strides

in spreading its message and is trying to decentralize

government to give local people greater and more direct

control.  To this end, the TFG plans to replace unqualified

local administrators with new \”decent\” officials capable of

leading local governments.  Sharif described local government

officials in Mogadishu as \”incapable of running a city.\”  He

said the TFG is also reaching out to Puntland, that his Prime

Minister recently visited Puntland, and that the TFG will

KAMPALA 00001280  002 OF 003

soon invite Puntland officials to Mogadishu in the hope of

working cooperatively.  Sharif acknowledged rumors of an

impending cabinet reshuffle, but said his main focus is

addressing the challenges of local administration and the

reorganization of security forces.  He said that Somali

forces need refresher training as his forces often act more

like militias due to prolonged service in combat zones.  A

battalion of 600 troops is currently training in Djibouti.

Another 700 troops are receiving training in Uganda.

6. (S) Describing the TFG as in \”great financial stress,\”

President Sharif said the TFG owes USD 700,000 in medical

bills in Nairobi, that TFG soldiers had not been paid for

four months, and that there is no money for the salaries of

Parliamentarians or some Ministers.  Foreign Affairs Minister

Jangali added that the TFG is counting on a European Union

promise of budget support.  He said the TFG needs about USD

9-10 million per month and that the EU is prepared to provide

USD 6 million.  The remainder will come from within Somalia,

although the security situation renders it difficult to raise

money domestically.  Jangali asked the U.S. to speak to the

EU about the proposed budget support, and said that the TFG

is missing immediate opportunities to obtain the support of

the Somali people, the international community, and other

African governments due to lack of funds.  Assistant

Secretary Carson said the U.S. would follow up with the EU

and its foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, through our

Mission in Brussels this week.

——————————————— –

TFG Military Effectiveness: We Need More Money

——————————————— –

7. (S)  President Sharif expressed confidence that with

additional equipment the Somali army would prevail over

poorly armed enemy forces.  He urged the international

community to support AMISOM and the TFG in tandem so that the

two forces could work together.  Sharif described the

difference in capabilities between AMISOM and the TFG as huge

and said that, in comparison, the TFG has but a fraction of

what AMISOM possesses.  He said the TFG wants to go on the

offensive in cities it controls but cannot due to lack of

capability.  He warned that the relatively equal strength

levels of the TFG and enemy forces only prolonged the

suffering of the Somali people and, if ignored, would

exacerbate the situation.

—————————-

Public Perceptions of AMISOM

—————————-

8. (S) President Sharif said the Somali public supports

AMISOM and acknowledged with gratitude that AMISOM forces

have suffered casualties to save Somalia.  He said

catastrophe would follow were AMISOM to suddenly withdraw.

He also warned that AMISOM and the international community

need to find a way for AMISOM to respond to enemy

provocation.  Sharif reported that the AU\’s Commissioner for

Peace and Security had told him that AMISOM\’s mandate allows

it to attack enemy enclaves, and that AMISOM troops have

recently begun retaliating – a move supported by the TFG.

Sharif said if AMISOM doesn\’t retaliate, the enemy will claim

that AMISOM cannot protect civilians.  He said the local

population would welcome an offensive by AMISOM.  President

Sharif also reported that both Burundi and Uganda are willing

to increase their assistance to AMISOM but need logistical

support to do so.

——————————————–

International Assistance: Promises, Promises

——————————————–

9. (S) Assistant Secretary Carson asked President Sharif if

the TFG has received assistance from Egypt, Saudi Arabia,

other Gulf or Middle Eastern states, or the Arab League.

Sharif said some governments have made promises but so far

nothing has materialized.  He asked the U.S. to pressure

other governments to live up to their commitments.  Foreign

Minister Jangali said Italy is one of the few countries that

has fulfilled its promise to the TFG.  Assistant Secretary

Carson said the U.S. has and will continue to pressure states

that have promised to support the TFG to honor these

commitments.  He promised to take up this issue with Egypt\’s

senior leadership and the Arab League while in Cairo this

week, and urged the TFG to continue to push partners to live

up to their commitments.

KAMPALA 00001280  003 OF 003

————————

Kenya, Egypt and Eritrea

————————

10. (S) President Sharif said he shared U.S. concerns about

Kenyan plans to create a buffer Jubaland force.  He described

the introduction of any forces outside of TFG control as an

unwelcome development. He also agreed that recruitment of

potential TFG soldiers should not occur within the UN\’s

Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya as this would

politicize refugee camps and undermine the UN\’s ability to

manage them.  Sharif said he has already spoken to the

relevant people to ensure no recruitment occurs within the

camp.

11. (S) Assistant Secretary Carson said he was going to Cairo

via Nairobi and asked Sharif if the Egyptians are playing a

useful role, or doing things that were unhelpful.  Sharif

said Egypt\’s support is crucial for the TFG and that it is

difficult for him to say definitively whether Egypt is

playing a constructive role.  He expressed concern about a

recent exchange of visitors between Egypt and Eritrea. He

said he spoke with the Egyptian Minister of Social Affairs

during the October 19-23 AU Summit in Kampala and expressed a

desire to visit Cairo to discuss these issues.  Sharif said

the TFG needs U.S. support vis-a-vis Egypt.

12. (S) President Sharif raised reports of the capture of two

Eritrean operatives along the Somali-Kenyan border.  He said

these individuals are now in Kenya and suggested taking

advantage of this development to promote sanctions against

Eritrea and convince those still sympathetic to Eritrea that

the Eritreans are indeed involved in \”dirty business\” in

Somalia.  Assistant Secretary Carson said the U.S. is aware

of just one Eritrean in Kenyan custody but said he would

raise this issue in Nairobi.

———————-

Continued U.S. Support

———————-

13. (S) Assistant Secretary Carson assured President Sharif

that the U.S. stands behind the TFG.  He said the U.S. will

continue to provide support both directly and through Uganda

and Burundi.  The Assistant Secretary also said the U.S.

would follow up with Egypt, the Arab League, and the EU

regarding specific promises of support, and will continue to

pressure states to honor their commitments to the TFG.

LANIER

10081

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2019

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ET

SUBJECT: ETHIOPIAN PM CONSIDERING PRO-ACTIVE OPTIONS ON

ERITREA, SUPPORTS KENYA\’S JUBALAND INITIATIVE

ADDIS ABAB 00002817  001.4 OF 004

Classified By: CDA Roger Meece for reasons 1.4 b/d.

1. (C) SUMMARY.  Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles told visiting

AF/DAS Wycoff and CDA on November 19 that he wanted to give

the USG a \”heads up\” that Ethiopia was considering actively

supporting armed Eritrean opposition groups if the

international community fails to take action to isolate

Asmara.  Wycoff questioned providing such support, noting the

USG,s interest in regional stability. On Somalia, Meles said

the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has recently informed Kenya

of its support in principle for Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative

and has agreed to share relevant intelligence.  On Ethiopia\’s

forthcoming elections, Meles pledged that the rule-of-law

would be the bedrock that both assures free and fair

elections and deals with any groups that seek to undermined

the process.  He complained that Diaspora money has too much

influence in determining the relative strengths of opposition

parties, although he added that implementation of a law

restricting foreign funding of NGOs would allow for

exceptions on a case-by-case basis.  When asked, he justified

the continued imprisonment of opposition leader Bertukan

Midekessa as necessary to demonstrate that Ethiopia has no

\”twilight zone\” between the legal and the illegal.  After

expressing understanding for the ramifications of further

inaction, Meles said he would look into apparent GoE-imposed

obstacles to delivery of U.S. military equipment and supplies

as well as re-examine the GoE,s stance on Leahy vetting

requirements.

2. (C) SUMMARY CONTINUED.  Wycoff agreed that Eritrea has

shown no signs of changing its behavior but suggested that

the broadening discussion of sanctions, including Ambassador

Rice\’s personal involvement at USUN, has caught the attention

of Eritrean President Isaias.  Wycoff added that the USG has

worked to undercut support for Eritrea, including his own

visits to Gulf countries to enlist their support in such

activities as well as their active support for Somalia\’s

Transitional Federal Government (TFG).  He said the U.S. is

opposed to Kenya\’s so-called Jubaland initiative, given the

complexities of Somalia. Our concern is that efforts to

implement such an initiative would backfire causing even

greater instability.  On the elections, he said the USG

recognizes the signing of a preamble to an electoral code of

Conduct as a valuable step and would be looking now to the

orderly registration of political parties and individual

candidates.  He also advocated that all parties, including

the government, should work to create an environment that was

conducive to the participation in the elections process by

all other parties.  He said the U.S. views the role of civil

society as crucial to democracy and that it was natural for

the USG to promote the role of non-governmental organizations

in Ethiopia.  The Charge noted that DAS Wycoff,s visit was

intended as a signal of USG intent to follow up substantively

on the November 5 bilateral talks in Washington to intensify

U.S.-Ethiopia relations on several fronts.  He also told

Meles of his forthcoming departure from Post.  Wycoff held an

on-the-record press conference with domestic and

international press, where he highlighted the comprehensive

nature of the bilateral agenda and USG concerns about the

reduction of political space and the importance of a free and

fair elections process in Ethiopia.  END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) Visiting AF/DAS Karl Wycoff and CDA Meece met with

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for 90 minutes on

November 19.  Meles was joined by Chief of Cabinet Birhanu

Adelu.  The USG was also represented by pol/econ counselor

and deputy counselor.

Ethiopia Looking at More Pro-Active Options on Eritrea

——————————————— ———

4. (C) Prime Minister Meles raised Eritrean misbehavior

several times.  He said Ethiopia is convinced that Eritrea

realizes it cannot destabilize Ethiopia before the latter\’s

May 2010 elections and so has decided to target its

destabilization efforts for the period just after the

elections.  (NOTE:  The 2005 Ethiopian elections themselves

were relatively calm, but post-election tensions stemming

from vote-counting disputes triggered violence and widespread

government reprisals. END NOTE.)  He said Ethiopia\’s response

to Asmara\’s efforts to destabilize Ethiopia, Somalia and,

more recently, Djibouti and Yemen has been almost exclusively

passive but added that he wanted to give us a \”heads up that

we are looking at options.\” He said, \”We would be happy to

stand down if developments outside the area obviate the need

to become more pro-active.\”

5. (C) Making clear what international community actions

ADDIS ABAB 00002817  002.4 OF 004

would persuade Ethiopia to stand down, Meles expressed

particular disappointment that the United Nations Security

Council (UNSC) has not taken action to impose a sanctions

regime on Eritrea.  He urged the U.S. to redouble sanctions

efforts and especially to reconsider targeting remittances as

what he called a \”key instrument\” for pressuring Asmara.

Citing as examples his own Amcit, ethnic-Eritrean cousins, he

said, \”If the U.S. were to insist that paying taxes to Asmara

is a felony, it would be easier for them to resist the tax.

The Diaspora could say, \’We can\’t pay you.\’\”

6. (C) DAS Wycoff questioned providing support to Eritrean

anti-government armed groups, noting the USG,s interest in

regional stability.  Wycoff agreed there is no evidence that

Eritrea has showed improvement in its behavior, although he

added that President Isaias had recently undertaken something

of a charm offensive targeted at European diplomats, a

possible indication that he may be considering options.

Wycoff assured Meles that the U.S. remains committed to

achieving a UNSC sanctions regime against Asmara and

continues to broaden the discussion beyond the P3 and Uganda

with a hard push by USUN.  He said the USG was also expanding

efforts to undercut support for Asmara, noting for example he

been sent on a trip to Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities

both to promote efforts to undercut flows of support to

Asmara but also to seek concrete support for Somalia\’s TFG.

He said he has observed that some EU member states, formerly

more supportive of Eritrea, have come to accept that Eritrea

is playing a seriously negative role in the region and that

the UK now believes that Eritrea has become a significant

threat to its own domestic security.

7. (C) Pressed by Wycoff to describe the \”pro-active\”

measures being considered, Meles said one option would be to

directly support opposition groups that are capable of

sending \”armed propaganda units\” into Eritrea   Meles said

that the groups with the most capability to operate inside

Eritrea are those \”that you don\’t like from the lowlands,

like the Keru\” who he said would be \”much better able to

survive in Eritrea.\”  (NOTE.  The Keru are a primarily Muslim

ethnic group most of whose members live in Eritrea, although

a minority live in Ethiopia.  END NOTE.)

Somalia: Ethiopia Offers Kenya Support on Jubaland Policy

——————————————— ————

8. (C) PM Meles revealed that the GoE recently held meetings

with Kenyan officials regarding Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative

involving the training in Kenya of ethic Somalis to return to

Somalia\’s south in order to fight Al-Shabab.  He said that he

understood that A/S Carson had pressed Kenya to brief

Ethiopia on this Kenyan initiative after it had been broached

with the USG.  Meles stated his thanks to the A/S for his

role in ensuring that Ethiopia was consulted on this

sensitive issue.  He said the GoE had offered support in

principle for the initiative and had offered to share

relevant information, especially in connection with the

vetting of ethnic Ogaden recruits.  Wycoff stated

unequivocally that the USG thought this initiative was a bad

one and that it held more risk of worsening Somalia,s

stability than helping. Wycoff also noted that Kenya had

little experience in executing such initiatives.  Meles

agreed with Wycoff\’s concern that Kenya has no history of

successfully implementing this kind of program and has shown

no evidence of the political will necessary to sustain the

initiative, especially in the complex constellation of clans

found in southern Somalia.  Wycoff said the USG finds it more

likely that the initiative would backfire and has expressed

this concern at multiple levels of the Kenyan government.

Meles said he shares this concern and added another — Kenya

seems to have the money to launch the initiative but not to

sustain it, a concern he said he had felt it prudent not to

express to the Kenyans.  Nevertheless, he is impressed that

Kenya has done a good deal of groundwork to prepare the

initiative and said frankly that Ethiopia wants to ensure

that the Ogaden National Liberation Front does not benefit

from the training, an eventuality he feels Ethiopian

involvement could help obviate.

9. (C) DAS Wycoff made clear that the U.S. does not consider

Kenya\’s initiative to be productive at this point and intends

to stay away from it.  He urged Meles to consider that the

TFG has achieved some tenuous viability because it is to a

large extent home-grown rather than imposed from outside

Somalia.  Meles countered that the TFG must move forward or

it will sooner or later move backwards.  He said many

observers are alleging that TFG President Sharif is a Wahhabi

Muslim, but he has decided Sharif deserves the benefit of the

ADDIS ABAB 00002817  003.3 OF 004

doubt.  Less personally, he believes the Kenyan initiative

presents a pragmatic opportunity to support the TFG and he

intends to embrace it because the alternatives to the TFG —

Al-Shabab, Hisb al-Islam, etc. — are much worse.  As a

bottom line, he said he believes the Kenyan program could

weaken extremists in Somalia.

10. (C) Meles said the TFG\’s primary problem is lack of cash

in that the $400 million pledged by donors in Brussels and

elsewhere is being used to finance NGOs in the region instead

of paying TFG troops.  He complained that neither the Saudis

nor the Gulf States are giving money.  He said the U.S. alone

is directly financing the TFG and is keeping it afloat.  Some

internationals, he continued, want to start the Djibouti

Process over again —  a sentiment he understands given the

waste of resources committed by the previous TFG president

but dismisses as counterproductive today.  He said the TFG is

developing a budget and that IGAD intends to help raise the

funds needed.  He urged the U.S. to push other donors to make

direct contributions as we have done.  Wycoff noted that the

USG has also pressed the TFG to develop a budget, transparent

budget process, and focus on developing a capability to

govern, including providing services.

11. (C) Wycoff acknowledged that Ethiopia will have a role to

play in Somalia, including in facilitating a TFG-Al Sunna Wal

Jamma alliance (ASWJ), but urged Meles to play its role with

discretion in order to avoid Ethiopian involvement serving as

a recruiting tool for Al-Shabab.  Wycoff added that the U.S.

is also urging the TFG to form a strategic alliance with

ASWJ.

Rule of Law to Deal with Those Who Would \”Discredit the

Process\”

—————————————-

12. (C) Wycoff acknowledged that U.S. and Ethiopian officials

had held \”fulsome discussions\” in Washington on November 5-6

and characterized his visit as a clear signal that the USG

would follow up aggressively across the full range of

bilateral issues.  He said he would be meeting with key

actors in the Ethiopian electoral process — including the

National Election Board of Ethiopia, the minister of

communication, and opposition party leaders — and would urge

them all to facilitate full engagement in the process.

Wycoff noted that it was incumbent on all parties to create

an atmosphere that was conducive to participation in the

elections by all other parties.  Wycoff praised the signing

by four major political parties, including Meles\’ ruling

EPRDF, of a preamble to an electoral code of conduct as a

positive step, adding that the U.S. would be very attentive

during the imminent \”crunch time\” for the legal registration

of political parties and individual candidates.  He told

Meles the U.S. views the role of civil society as very

important to the democratization process and expressed

concern about recent Ethiopian legislation that would limit

the capacity of Ethiopian civil society groups that receive

foreign funding to engage in political advocacy and conflict

mitigation.

13. (C) Meles straightforwardly defended the legislation,

saying Ethiopia also welcomes the role of civil society but

suggesting that Ethiopia defines it a bit differently than

does the U.S.  He said civil society groups should be

domestic and should be funded domestically, from the members

of the groups themselves and other Ethiopian citizens.  He

added, however, that once the ongoing re-registration process

concludes for domestically funded groups, waivers from the

new law\’s funding restrictions will be considered for other

groups on a case-by-case basis.  Wycoff replied that the U.S.

would be watching this registration process closely and urged

Meles to consider a flow of money between the American people

and the people of African nations, including Ethiopia, to be

a natural consequence of the role of civil society and

relations between our peoples.

14. (C) Meles pointedly criticized the Ethiopian Diaspora,

especially its U.S. members, for launching \”a massive

campaign to ostracize opposition parties who take part in the

process.\”  Obviously referring to the continuous involvement

in the code of conduct talks of the opposition \”All Ethiopian

Unity Party,\” Meles said, \”One party changing its view

doesn\’t mean there aren\’t tougher nuts to crack.\”  He said,

\”We will assume that all political parties participating in

the elections are doing so legally, but the rule-of-law will

apply and those parties looking only to discredit the process

will be addressed.\”

ADDIS ABAB 00002817  004.2 OF 004

15. (C) Wycoff raised the continued imprisonment of

opposition leader Bertukan Midekessa, and Meles replied at

length. Recounting the familiar history that Bertukan had

joined in a group request for pardon after convictions

stemming from the violent aftermath of the 2005 elections,

Meles characterized her later disavowing of the pardon

request as an attempt \”to prove there is room in Ethiopia to

operate in a twilight zone between the legal and the illegal,

and we had to prove her wrong.\”  He said he had \”expressed

frustration\” with European Union representatives recently

because, in his view, they insist on reacting in just the way

Bertukan wants rather than persuading her that she need not

be in prison.

Meles Open to Expediting Military Supplies,

Less Helpful on Leahy Vetting

——————————————–

16. (C) Wycoff announced that AFRICOM Commanding General Ward

and DASD Huddleston would soon be arriving in Ethiopia in

follow-up to the November 5 talks and suggested that the U.S.

would like to dispense with two problems, apparently of a

procedural or technical nature, before those visits.  Wycoff

explained the nonwaivable Leahy Vetting requirements that

must be met before the U.S. can provide training or equipment

to foreign militaries, assured Meles there is no U.S. attempt

to direct equipment to particular individuals or units, and

said there nevertheless seems to be a reluctance on the part

of the GoE to allow that vetting.  Charge Meece explained

that shipments of military equipment were backlogged in

Djibouti because the names of Ethiopian National Defense

Force (ENDF) officers to whom the equipment would be

delivered had not been submitted to the USG for Leahy

vetting.  Meece described the second problem as another

backlog in Djibouti, this time involving a cement shipment,

destined for a DOD project in the Ethiopian town of Arba

Minch, that is languishing for lack of Ethiopian paperwork.

17. (C) Meles said he would investigate the Leahy vetting

obstruction, but added that the problem is likely that

Ethiopia sees the DOD/ENDF cooperation as institutional

rather than personal and may be further compounded by the

fact that the equipment is likely not assigned by the ENDF to

particular units.  He asked whether the equipment could be

transferred to a second unit, after being delivered to a

first, at ENDF discretion.  Wycoff replied that vetting

requirements, once met, might not preclude such transfers but

would have to be addressed on the basis of each specific

case.  He was aware of cases where such equipment transfers

had been approved in other countries.

18. (C) On the Arba Minch issue, Meles said, \”We\’ll see if we

can find a shortcut.\”  (Note: On November 20, Meles advisor

Birhanuto called CDA to suggest that the embassy submit a

note verbal on the matter directly to the minister of

finance, bypassing the ministry of foreign affairs, and said

that the problem should then be solved. End Note.)

19. (C) CDA Meece ended the meeting by assuring Meles that

the U.S. hopes to intensify relations with Ethiopia on

several fronts relating to defense, elections, intelligence,

and more.  He also announced his own forthcoming departure

from Post. Wycoff noted that the gap in having a permanent

Ambassador in Addis was purely a matter of assigning the best

possible person to the job and should not be perceived as a

political signal of any kind.

20. (SBU) Wycoff held an on-the-record press conference with

domestic and international press, where he highlighted the

comprehensive nature of the bilateral agenda and USG concerns

about the reduction of political space and the importance of

a free and fair elections process in Ethiopia.

21. (SBU) DAS Wycoff cleared on this message.

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STATE FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/10

TAGS: PREL, MARR, PGOV, PTER, KE, SO, ET, DJ

SUBJECT: SOMALIA: ETHIOPIAN FOREIGN MINISTER STRONGLY BACKS TFG AT

IGAD MINISTERIAL

CLASSIFIED BY: James C. Swan, Ambassador, U.S. Department of State,

Executive Office; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary:  Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum strongly backed

the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in both remarks

made at the December 7 – 8 Djibouti IGAD ministerial, and in a

December 7 meeting with AF Deputy Assistant Secretary Wycoff.

Seyoum urged strong USG leadership on Somalia.  He criticized

France for temporizing on sanctions against Eritrea.  The Ethiopian

Foreign Minister enthusiastically welcomed the TFG\’s 2010 budget,

especially its strategy for funding about twenty percent of it from

its comparatively meager revenues.  The GoE, Seyoum said, had

delivered a \”tough\” message to Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a, telling it

that there would be no Ethiopian support if it did not cooperate

with the TFG.  German-sponsored TFG police training was underway.

Seyoum said that the GoE would train its tranche of 800 TFG police

in counterinsurgency tactics.  End summary.

——————————————— ———————-

Seyoum Scores French Wobbling on Eritrea Sanctions

——————————————— ———————-

2. (C) Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin opened a long, very

positive meeting on the margins of the December 7 – 8 Djibouti IGAD

ministerial with AF Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff by

stressing the need for USG leadership on Somalia.  He criticized

what he characterized as France\’s willingness to \”appease

al-Shabaab\” in an effort to free its remaining hostage in Mogadishu

by refusing to support sanctions against Eritrea.  Eritrean

President Isaias, Seyoum said, was a master at exploiting such

opportunities to stay afloat, and it had to stop.  Wycoff noted

that the U.S. would continue to push for the strongest possible

UNSC resolution.

——————————————— ———————-

———————————–

FM Says IGAD Will Form Ministerial Committee to Solicit Funds for

the TFG

——————————————— ———————-

———————————-

3. (C) While acknowledging that \”no country can throw its money

into a black hole,\” Seyoum urged strong international community

financial support for the TFG.  The government is weak, he said. It

needed not just benchmarks, but help in reaching those benchmarks.

Wycoff noted that the U.S. was working with its partners to try to

strengthen the capacity of the TFG and stressed that transparency

and accountability were key to garnering donor support and

beginning the process of developing capacity to govern.

4. (C) The FORMIN said that IGAD planned to do what it could to

help the TFG.  Seyoum and his colleagues in IGAD had discussed the

creation of a \”small ministerial committee\” that would \”sensitize

selected capitals\” to the TFG\’s needs.  Seyoum had been heartened

by the TFG\’s 2010 budget, which had been presented by TFG Deputy

Prime Minister Sharif Hassan at the December 7 session of the IGAD

ministerial.  He maintained that the TFG\’s intent to finance twenty

percent of its annual budget from its meager port and airport

revenues was a gesture of good faith, and he thought that perhaps

supplemental funds could be provided by members of the League of

Arab States.

5. (C) DAS Wycoff reviewed examples of USG leadership in working

towards Somalia\’s stability, including support for the Djibouti

Peace Process (DPP), AMISOM and the TFG.  He noted that USG support

for the TFG in the security area, included budget support,

ammunition, and support to training of TFG combatants. He also

noted that it was equally important to focus on the DPP and the

effort to broaden the base of support for the TFG and find a

DJIBOUTI 00001389  002 OF 003

political approach that would stabilize Somalia. He noted for

instance that the USG was pushing the TFG to do better on the

public diplomacy and outreach front to the Somali people and had

provided material support to this effort.  He reiterated that the

USG had been a strong and consistent proponent of transparency and

accountability for the TFG, noting that this was important in its

own right but also key to promoting donor support to the TFG.

Implementation of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) financial

mechanism was crucial in this regard. Wycoff noted USG engagement

in this area and our efforts to promote use of the PWC mechanism,

Wycoff also reiterated his belief that it was important that

Ethiopia keep as low a profile as possible in Somalia.

——————————————— ———————-

———–

Ethiopia Alleges It Pushes ASWJ Cooperation with the TFG

——————————————— ———————-

———–

6. (C)  Wycoff reiterated USG support for the DPP and the need for

the international community to support and promote Somali-led

efforts to accomplish political reconciliation and focus on the

political aspects of stabilizing Somalia in parallel with the

security track of building TFG military capability. The Ethiopian

Foreign Minister reviewed for DAS Wycoff the latest GoE dealings

with Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a (ASWJ).  ASWJ, he said had pushed

recently for an \”arms-length\” relationship with the TFG and had

openly hoped that the TFG \”would go away.\”  The Ethiopian

government, Seyoum said, then told ASWJ that it would not

cooperate, if ASWJ did not cooperate with the TFG.  ASWJ would

receive GoE support only if it cooperated fully with the TFG and,

eventually, joined the government.  Seyoum believed that those in

the ASWJ diaspora were \”attempting to manipulate ASWJ on the

ground.\”  Seyoum believed that a decision to back the TFG would be

taken by ASWJ at the one-year anniversary commemoration of its

decision to fight al-Shabaab.  If there is an agreement to back the

TFG, the GoE, Seyoum said, would proceed with plans to train 400

ASWJ fighters in Ethiopia.

——————————————— —————

German-Sponsored Police Training Underway

——————————————— —————

7. (C) According to Seyoum, the German-sponsored training of 800

TFG police was underway in northeastern Ethiopia.  He believed that

recruits would be sent to the same site from Somalia\’s Hiraan

Region, as well.  The training will be low-key, Seyoum said, and

would last approximately six months, although the recruits could

return earlier, if necessary.  In addition to standard police

training, the recruits would receive counterinsurgency training in

order to prepare them for the environment they would encounter in

Somalia.  These and similar training efforts were the most that the

GoE was willing to do at this point.  There would be no further

armed incursions, and Seyoum could not imagine a set of

circumstances that would \”bring us in\” to Somalia. Wycoff urged

that this training be done to UN standards so that UNDP could

provide salary and other support after the return to Mogadishu,

which was crucial to continued functioning this force in Somalia\’s

difficult environment.  Seyoum confirmed that Ethipian intended to

keep a low provide in Somalia.

——————————————— ———————-

—-

Ethiopia Skeptical about Kenya\’s Lower Juba Initiative

——————————————— ———————-

—-

DJIBOUTI 00001389  003 OF 003

8. (C) Wycoff raised the question of Kenya\’s plans for a \”Jubaland

initiative\” and reiterated U.S. opposition to this effort.  Seyoum

agreed that the Kenyan government\’s plans to prepare a force for an

invasion of Lower Juba would \”complicate\” matters there.  The GOK,

he said, continued to believe it could create a buffer zone.

Trained troops, Seyoum noted, were a double-edged sword; they could

always be turned against Kenya.  Seyoum worried that the Kenyan

effort might backfire.  In mid-November, he had cautioned Kenyan

President Kibaki to be careful.  DAS Wycoff told Seyoum that

Assistant Secretary Carson had told the highest levels of the GOK

that the USG opposed the Kenyan initiative and that we would

continue to press this position.

——————————————— —————-

Djibouti – Eritrea Tension On Ethiopia\’s Radar

——————————————— —————

9. (C) DAS Wycoff noted that the U.S worked to promote stability in

the HOA and opposed cross border activities that would lead to

instability. Seyoum told DAS Wycoff that Ethiopia was watching the

Djibouti – Eritrea border dispute closely.  Djibouti was a

\”lifeline\” for Ethiopia, he said, and there are limits to what

Isaias will be allowed to do.  Seyoum worried that Eritrea was

preparing Afar pastoralists for use in an effort to de-stabilize

Djibouti.  While Ethiopia did not want war, he said, it could not

afford to see its supply route from the port of Djibouti disrupted.

Wycoff repeated U.S. opposition to nefarious cross-border

activities.

————–

Comment

————–

10. (C) Seyoum was as bullish about the TFG, but less critical of

the international community than Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula

had been in his meeting with DAS Wycoff (septel).  The GoE\’s

initial skepticism about this TFG seems to have evaporated

completely.  Earlier efforts to search for a potential alternative

among the ASWJ factions seem to have yielded little for Ethiopia

and, with no obvious alternative on the horizon, the GoE seems to

have decided that the TFG can be made to work if it, and the rest

of the international community, get strongly behind it.

12. (U) DAS Wycoff cleared this message.

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STATE FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/10

TAGS: PREL, MARR, PGOV, PTER, KE, SO, ET, DJ

SUBJECT: SOMALIA: KENYAN FOREIGN MINISTER PUSHES LOWER JUBA

INITIATIVE

CLASSIFIED BY: James C. Swan, Ambassador, U.S. Department of State,

Executive Office; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary:  During a December 8 meeting on the margins of the

Djibouti IGAD ministerial visiting AF Deputy Assistant Secretary

Wycoff  and Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Wetangula agreed to

continue to work together to promote stability and political

reconciliation in Somalia. DAS Wycoff told Wetangula that the USG

continued to strongly oppose the Kenyan \”Jubaland\” initiative as a

bad idea that would more likely add to Somalia\’s instability than

to help stabilize the country.   Wetangula defended GOK plans to

pursue its Jubaland (southern Somalia) initiative, implied that it

was in evolving concept, and offered to facilitate better USG

understanding of Kenya\’s plans. He also urged, as he had in

interventions at the ministerial, international community support

for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG).  Wycoff

agreed and highlighted the importance of supporting the Djibouti

Peace Process (DPP) and efforts to promote political

reconciliation.  When the subject was raised, Wetangula excluded

further expansion of the teeming Dadaab refugee camp in

northeastern Kenya, which he said had received 12,000 refugees in

November.  The Foreign Minister took a hard line on Eritrea.  He

told DAS Wycoff that he had rebuffed efforts by the visiting

Eritrean Foreign Minister to solicit support for a new Somalia

reconciliation process.  The Kenyan government had expelled

Eritrean diplomats that Wetangula thought had played a role in the

mid-September suicide bombing attack on AMISOM in Mogadishu.

Wycoff reviewed USG efforts to engage, both positively and

negatively, with Eritrea, and effect a change in its behavior.  End

summary.

——————————————— ——————-

Jubaland Initiative:  FM Urges USG Participation

——————————————— ——————-

2. (C) Visiting AF Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff opened a

December 8 meeting with Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula on

the margins of the Djibouti IGAD ministerial by recounting USG

support for the DPP and the TFG. He also forcibly underscored USG

concerns about reports that the GOK was recruiting and training an

ethnic Somali force as part of a \”Jubaland\” initiative.  DAS Wycoff

told Wetangula that concerns which Assistant Secretary Carson had

expressed to Wetangula and other members of the Kenyan leadership

remained, and he urged Wetangula to re-consider the Kenyan

initiative.

3. (C) Wetangula defended the initiative by noting that it was an

evolving concept and that Kenya had carefully coordinated every

aspect of it with the TFG.  He acknowledged that \”some excited

Kenyan military officers\” had \”bungled the earlier phases\” of the

planned operation, but that planning was back on track.  The GOK

hoped that the \”strong Jubaland,\” which would result from a

successful, Kenyan-backed effort to defeat al-Shabaab in southern

Somalia, would \”cage in the Hawiye.\”  The plan, he said, \”seemed

feasible to the TFG.\”  The plan had been difficult to implement,

Wetangula said.  Prominent, ethnically Somali Kenyan politicians,

including Kenya\’s Deputy Speaker, were strong al-Shabaab supporters

who saw any effort to weaken al-Shabaab as an \”Ethiopian plot.\”

Wetangula alleged that the ethnically-Somali politicians had worked

behind the scenes to recruit al-Shabaab sympathizers from the

Dadaab refugee camp in order both to spy on and undermine the

planned Kenyan initiative.  When Wycoff reemphasized USG

opposition, Wetangula offered to facilitate contact in Nairobi that

would give the USG an understanding of Kenyan planning and that

might reassure the U.S. side that the plan made sense. Wycoff

accepted the offer of further information but noted that USG

concerns remained.

4. (C) Wetangula predicted success for the initiative.  Al-Shabaab

was weak, he insisted, recalling that Ethiopian troops had marched

into Mogadishu in December 2006 \”like a hot knife through butter.\”

USG criticism should be accompanied by other ideas, he said, noting

that \”I sincerely believe that good ideas should give way to better

ideas.\”  In any event, Wetangula thought that the GOK could \”no

longer afford to sit on the sidelines.\”  The prospect of a serious

terrorist attack in Nairobi was increasing every day.  Wycoff noted

DJIBOUTI 00001391  002 OF 003

the importance of implementing the DPP and making progress on the

political reconciliation front at the same time that we worked to

improve the TFG\’s security forces.

——————————————— –

TFG Needs More External Support

———————————————

5. (C) At various points in the conversation, Wetangula strongly

supported the TFG but argued, as he had publicly at the December 7

session of the IGAD ministerial, that it was handicapped by

insufficient international community support.  He urged that the

USG provide the TFG with \”two or three armored vehicles\” so that

its leadership can safely engage with Somalis around Mogadishu.  He

also thought that helicopters would be useful in intimidating

al-Shabaab.  Picking up on an assertion which had been frequently

made at the IGAD ministerial, Wetangula alleged that only a tiny

fraction of the Brussels pledges to the TFG had been realized.  The

GOK had given the TFG money from time-to-time, but it \”was not

rich.\”  Only the West could provide the support needed by the

Somali government. He urged that the USG take the lead in

galvanizing the international community. Wycoff recounted USG

efforts both to provide direct support to the TFG, but also to

encourage its friends and allies to provide material and budget

support.  HE also highlighted USG efforts to promote political

reconciliation and negotiations in support of the DPP.  Wycoff also

pointed out that the U.S. was the primary provider of support to

AMISOM.

——————————————— ———————-

—————————–

Dadaab:  No Possibility That Additional Refugee Camp Could be

Opened

——————————————— ———————-

—————————–

6. (C) In response to a question from DAS Wycoff, Wetangula

emphatically rejected the possibility of opening a fourth refugee

camp at Dadaab, in northeastern Kenya.  He asserted that continuing

instability in Somalia had further increased refugee flows:  Twelve

thousand refugees had crossed the border in November alone.  He

urged that some of the refugees in Dadaab be transferred to the

Kakuma refugee camp, farther from the Somali border.  About 12,000

refugees had been moved a few months ago, he said, and the Kenyan

military could be used to facilitate further such transfers.  It

would be easier to control and monitor Somali activities at Kakuma,

which was further from the border and \”away from the action.\”

Wetangula told DAS Wycoff that he also believed at one time that

the Dadaab camp could be expanded, but extended discussions at

Kenyan Security Council meetings had since convinced him otherwise.

——————————————— ———————-

—————

Wetangula Alleges Continuing Eritrean Involvement in Somalia

——————————————— ———————-

—————

7. (C) Wetangula recalled for DAS Wycoff recent Kenyan difficulties

with Eritrea.  The Eritrean Foreign Minister had just treated him

to \”the usual assertions\” that Eritrea was misunderstood by the

international community.  On September 17, three Eritrean diplomats

had transited Kenya en route to Mogadishu, then back to Kenya.  The

visits had taken place \”with the full complicity and knowledge\” of

the Eritrean Embassy in Nairobi.  The Kenyan authorities had

deported two of the three diplomats, Wetangula said.  He was

DJIBOUTI 00001391  003 OF 003

convinced that their travel was linked to the mid-September suicide

bombing attacks on AMISOM in Mogadishu.

8. (C) Wetangula sidestepped DAS Wycoff\’s suggestion that the

Eritrean diplomats\’ activities be publicized by the GOK.  He would

continue to talk with EU countries so that they understood the

full, negative role Eritrea plays in the region.

9. (C) Wetangula also asserted that Eritrea continued to lobby

Tanzania and others for the launch of a reconciliation conference

to which Hisbul Islam\’s Hassan Dahir Aweys and others would be

invited.  He planned to pressure his Tanzanian counterpart to

reject the idea.  DAS Wycoff told Wetangula that the USG had

already urged Dar es Salaam to distance itself from the idea and to

focus its support on the DPP and the TFG.

——————————————— ———————-

———-

Kenya Willing to Expel or Freeze Assets of Somali Spoilers

——————————————— ———————-

———-

10. (C) In addition to Eritrea, Nairobi was home to Somalis and

others who were backing al-Shabaab.  Wetangula repeated GOK

willingness to expel \”troublemakers\” from Kenya and/or to freeze

their assets if evidence about their activities were brought to his

attention.  When pressed on the importance of the TFG operating in

a transparent and accountable manner, Wetangula agreed that

previous TFGs had been perceived as corrupt and noted that former

TFG Prime Minister Gedi had invested much of his ill-gotten gains

in Nairobi.

————–

Comment

————–

11. (C) During the December 7 – 8 IGAD ministerial, Wetangula

joined his IGAD counterparts in repeatedly backing the TFG and in

alleging that it was lack of international community support, not

TFG inertia, which was responsible for the lack of progress to

date.  Wetangula endorsed the TFG\’s 2010 budget, which was

presented by TFG Deputy Prime Minister Sharif Hassan during the

ministerial.  He and the other ministers present termed it a great

improvement over the complete lack of financial transparency, or

worse, which had been characteristic of the TFGs of Prime Ministers

Nur \”Adde\” and Gedi.  The IGAD ministers\’ unanimous, strong support

for the TFG seemed to visibly boost the TFG Foreign Minister and

Deputy Prime Minister, who were present, and contrasted

significantly with the criticism of Somalia\’s government that had

been the norm at preceding ministerials.

12. (U) DAS Wycoff cleared this message.

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TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ET

SUBJECT: ETHIOPIAN FM ON TFG AND ERITREA DURING WYCOFF VISIT

REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 2817

B. ADDIS ABABA 2877

C. ADDIS ABABA 2878

D. ADDIS ABABA 2880

E. ADDIS ABABA 2903

Classified By: Classified by CDA TMushingi for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Seyoum Mesfin highlighted to visiting AF/DAS Wycoff the

severe financial crisis facing the TFG, reiterating comments

made by PM Meles.  He also noted that Somalia Transitional

Federal Government (TFG) President Sheik Sharif had said

during a recent visit that he would step down if it would

help to stabilize Somalia, implying that the Sharif was

extremely frustrated at his inability to garner needed

domestic and international support.  On Eritrea, Seyoum

stated that President Isais would not change, but that

Ethiopia would not try to dissuade Europe or other nations,

including the United States from trying to engage the

Eritrean leader.  Seyoum reported that Ethiopia planned to

attend the Sanaa Forum and to voice concern over Iran\’s

possible role in supporting Huthi insurgents in Yemen\’s

northwestern province.  Turning to democracy and governance

issues, Seyoum stated that an opposition victory in the 2010

election would be a success for the ruling party because it

had created the institutions to allow such a transfer of

power to take place.  Wycoff advocated for an fair elections

process and the creation of an open political environment

that enabled participation in the elections by all parties.

CDA also proposed that a USG-GOE working level group be

formed in Addis to focus on economic reform, investment, and

trade issues.  Wycoff and CDA reminded the GoE of the

upcoming high-level military visits and followed up on Leahy

vetting and military supply issues raised with Prime Minister

Meles (Reftel A).  End Summary.

2.  (SBU) Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Seyoum Mesfin

met with visiting AF/DAS Karl Wycoff and CDA Meece on

November 19 for 90 minutes.  Seyoum was joined by his Chief

of Cabinet Mulugeta Zewdie, Americas Desk officer Tebeje

Berhe Shook and Assistant Spokesman Wahide Belay.  The USG

was also represented Pol/Econ Deputy Counselor and Poloff.

TFG\’s Sharif Would Step Down to Stabilize Somalia

——————————————— ——

3.  (C) In discussing the Somalia Transitional Federal

Government\’s (TFG) empty coffers, and largely mirroring the

comments Prime Minister Meles had made to DAS and CDA earlier

in the day (Reftel A), FM Seyoum said the TFG had not paid

the salaries of cabinet members or Parliamentarians for five

months, and that many legislators were living outside the

country as a result.  He stated that Sheik Sharif had said

during a recent visit to Addis that he would be ready to step

down if it would help to stabilize Somalia.  Seyoum added

that when current TFG leaders were in the opposition, at

least the League of Arab States supported them, but now that

they are in the government, there is no financial support

coming in from the Arab States.  Wycoff reviewed U.S. efforts

to garner support from partners, including European and Arab

states, especially Gulf countries.  On Kenya\’s \”Jubaland

Initiative\” and the recent visit by officials from Kenya\’s

Ministries of Security and Defense, Seyoum echoed points

raised by Prime Minister Meles (Reftel), and reiterated that

Ethiopia and Kenya had agreed to a coordination mechanism for

intelligence sharing and technical assistance.  Wycoff

highlighted the U.S., strong opposition to this initiative

and to any cross border operations or interference that could

feed the risk of instability in the Horn.

4.  (C) Wycoff noted that the USG had provided unparalleled

assistance to TFG President Sheik Sharif in terms of

diplomatic and direct budget support, training of combatants,

and provision of ammunition, when it was critically needed.

He emphasized that Somalia,s TFG is nested in the Djibouti

Peace Process and that the USG would continue to support that

process and encourage others to do so as well.  At the same

time, he said the TFG must show accountability and

transparency in both its receipts and expenditures or else

donors will be unwilling to provide support and the

possibilities for good governance, key to the TFG,s

viability, will be severely reduced.  He noted that the U.S.

has provided $500,000 for the Price Waterhouse Coopers

mechanism, but does not yet have the first report back.

ADDIS ABAB 00002905  002 OF 003

Seyoum:  Eritrea\’s Isaiah will Not Change

—————————————–

5.  (C) Turning to Eritrea, Seyoum responded to DAS Wycoff\’s

mention of a recent Eritrean \”charm offensive\” (probably in

response to the increased pressure being felt from the UNSC

sanctions deliberations) for a visiting EC delegation to

Asmara by saying \”President Isaias will not change.  We know

him well.  He is the State, the people, and the country.\”

Seyoum said that Ethiopia would not discourage the Europeans

or others from trying to engage the Eritrean leader.  He

noted that the Obama Administration was one of the first to

attempt to do so.  Seyoum reiterated the point made by Meles

(Reftel A) that Eritrean citizens are being held hostage by

Isais in having to pay a tax to the Eritrean government, and

appealed for the sanction regime being considered by the UN

to target the tax.  He said that the draft sanction

resolution presented by the Africa group to the U.N. Security

Council is toothless and that such a diluted resolution would

be meaningless to Isais and that \”he would laugh.\” Wycoff

noted the U.S., intentions to achieve the strongest possible

resolution.

Iran\’s Support for Huthi

Insurgents in Yemen

————————-

6.  (C) Seyoum raised Yemen and its issues with Huthi

insurgents in the northwestern area of Yemen, mentioning

Iran\’s possible role in supporting the insurgents.  He said

he would be leading a delegation to the Sanaa Forum and

planned to express solidarity with Yemen, as well as send a

clear message to Iran.  Seyoum admitted the message might not

mention Iran specifically, but asked that the USG pay

particular attention to this issue.

Opposition Win Would Be Success for Incumbent

——————————————— —

7.  (C) DAS Wycoff raised the importance to the USG of human

rights, democratization, and good governance in Ethiopia and

urged that the government help to create conditions that

enabled participation for all political parties in the 2010

parliamentary elections.  He noted the importance of working

out mutually acceptable ways to move forward with voter

registration, political campaigns, civic education, and media

access for all parties.  Seyoum responded that

democratization is an uphill struggle and that the ruling

party will continue to try to encourage opposition parties to

join the process.  He stated that if the opposition were to

win the election, he would consider it a success, because the

ruling party is the one that has \”built the process and

created the ballot and the institution to allow such a

transfer of power to take place.\”  He stressed that the

government cannot afford violence.

Proposed Trade and Investment Working Group

———————————————

8.  (C) CDA, in a follow-up to the Nov. 5 bilateral meetings

in Washington, proposed forming a USG-GOE working group in

Addis to focus on economic reform, trade, and investment

between the two countries.  CDA reiterated the USG\’s desire

that this group remain at a working level in order to promote

idea sharing and brainstorming.

9.  (C) CDA related his impending departure, and explained it

was a result of legal restrictions due to his retired status.

Seyoum noted that the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United

States Samuel would also be departing post, and would most

likely be replaced by a second temporary CDA.

Follow-Up on Leahy Vetting and Military Supplies

——————————————— ——

10.  (C) DAS Wycoff announced that AFRICOM Commanding General

Ward and DASD Huddleston would visiting, as part of the

follow-up to the November 5 talks.  Reiterating the issues

raised in the earlier meeting with PM Meles (Reftel A),

Wycoff explained the nonwaivable Leahy Vetting requirements

that must be met before the U.S. can provide training or

equipment to foreign militaries.  He explained that shipments

of military equipment were backlogged in Djibouti because the

names of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) officers to

whom the equipment would be delivered had not been submitted

to the USG for Leahy vetting.  CDA Meece described the second

problem as another backlog in Djibouti, this time involving a

ADDIS ABAB 00002905  003 OF 003

cement shipment, destined for a DOD project in the Ethiopian

town of Arba Minch, that is languishing for lack of Ethiopian

paperwork.  Seyoum asked if there had been a Note Verbal on

this issue.  He said he would personally contact the Ministry

of Finance and the Prime Minister\’s office to sort the issue

out.  (Note: Subsequent to the meeting post sent the

requested Note Verbal to the Ministry of Finance and the

issue was positively resolved.)

11.  (U) DAS Wycoff cleared this message.

10082

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1114

INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE

SOMALIA COLLECTIVE

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STATE FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/10

TAGS: PREL, MARR, PGOV, PTER, KE, SO, ET, DJ

SUBJECT: SOMALIA: ETHIOPIAN FOREIGN MINISTER STRONGLY BACKS TFG AT

IGAD MINISTERIAL

CLASSIFIED BY: James C. Swan, Ambassador, U.S. Department of State,

Executive Office; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary:  Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum strongly backed

the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in both remarks

made at the December 7 – 8 Djibouti IGAD ministerial, and in a

December 7 meeting with AF Deputy Assistant Secretary Wycoff.

Seyoum urged strong USG leadership on Somalia.  He criticized

France for temporizing on sanctions against Eritrea.  The Ethiopian

Foreign Minister enthusiastically welcomed the TFG\’s 2010 budget,

especially its strategy for funding about twenty percent of it from

its comparatively meager revenues.  The GoE, Seyoum said, had

delivered a \”tough\” message to Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a, telling it

that there would be no Ethiopian support if it did not cooperate

with the TFG.  German-sponsored TFG police training was underway.

Seyoum said that the GoE would train its tranche of 800 TFG police

in counterinsurgency tactics.  End summary.

——————————————— ———————-

Seyoum Scores French Wobbling on Eritrea Sanctions

——————————————— ———————-

2. (C) Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin opened a long, very

positive meeting on the margins of the December 7 – 8 Djibouti IGAD

ministerial with AF Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff by

stressing the need for USG leadership on Somalia.  He criticized

what he characterized as France\’s willingness to \”appease

al-Shabaab\” in an effort to free its remaining hostage in Mogadishu

by refusing to support sanctions against Eritrea.  Eritrean

President Isaias, Seyoum said, was a master at exploiting such

opportunities to stay afloat, and it had to stop.  Wycoff noted

that the U.S. would continue to push for the strongest possible

UNSC resolution.

——————————————— ———————-

———————————–

FM Says IGAD Will Form Ministerial Committee to Solicit Funds for

the TFG

——————————————— ———————-

———————————-

3. (C) While acknowledging that \”no country can throw its money

into a black hole,\” Seyoum urged strong international community

financial support for the TFG.  The government is weak, he said. It

needed not just benchmarks, but help in reaching those benchmarks.

Wycoff noted that the U.S. was working with its partners to try to

strengthen the capacity of the TFG and stressed that transparency

and accountability were key to garnering donor support and

beginning the process of developing capacity to govern.

4. (C) The FORMIN said that IGAD planned to do what it could to

help the TFG.  Seyoum and his colleagues in IGAD had discussed the

creation of a \”small ministerial committee\” that would \”sensitize

selected capitals\” to the TFG\’s needs.  Seyoum had been heartened

by the TFG\’s 2010 budget, which had been presented by TFG Deputy

Prime Minister Sharif Hassan at the December 7 session of the IGAD

ministerial.  He maintained that the TFG\’s intent to finance twenty

percent of its annual budget from its meager port and airport

revenues was a gesture of good faith, and he thought that perhaps

supplemental funds could be provided by members of the League of

Arab States.

5. (C) DAS Wycoff reviewed examples of USG leadership in working

towards Somalia\’s stability, including support for the Djibouti

Peace Process (DPP), AMISOM and the TFG.  He noted that USG support

for the TFG in the security area, included budget support,

ammunition, and support to training of TFG combatants. He also

noted that it was equally important to focus on the DPP and the

effort to broaden the base of support for the TFG and find a

DJIBOUTI 00001389  002 OF 003

political approach that would stabilize Somalia. He noted for

instance that the USG was pushing the TFG to do better on the

public diplomacy and outreach front to the Somali people and had

provided material support to this effort.  He reiterated that the

USG had been a strong and consistent proponent of transparency and

accountability for the TFG, noting that this was important in its

own right but also key to promoting donor support to the TFG.

Implementation of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) financial

mechanism was crucial in this regard. Wycoff noted USG engagement

in this area and our efforts to promote use of the PWC mechanism,

Wycoff also reiterated his belief that it was important that

Ethiopia keep as low a profile as possible in Somalia.

——————————————— ———————-

———–

Ethiopia Alleges It Pushes ASWJ Cooperation with the TFG

——————————————— ———————-

———–

6. (C)  Wycoff reiterated USG support for the DPP and the need for

the international community to support and promote Somali-led

efforts to accomplish political reconciliation and focus on the

political aspects of stabilizing Somalia in parallel with the

security track of building TFG military capability. The Ethiopian

Foreign Minister reviewed for DAS Wycoff the latest GoE dealings

with Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a (ASWJ).  ASWJ, he said had pushed

recently for an \”arms-length\” relationship with the TFG and had

openly hoped that the TFG \”would go away.\”  The Ethiopian

government, Seyoum said, then told ASWJ that it would not

cooperate, if ASWJ did not cooperate with the TFG.  ASWJ would

receive GoE support only if it cooperated fully with the TFG and,

eventually, joined the government.  Seyoum believed that those in

the ASWJ diaspora were \”attempting to manipulate ASWJ on the

ground.\”  Seyoum believed that a decision to back the TFG would be

taken by ASWJ at the one-year anniversary commemoration of its

decision to fight al-Shabaab.  If there is an agreement to back the

TFG, the GoE, Seyoum said, would proceed with plans to train 400

ASWJ fighters in Ethiopia.

——————————————— —————

German-Sponsored Police Training Underway

——————————————— —————

7. (C) According to Seyoum, the German-sponsored training of 800

TFG police was underway in northeastern Ethiopia.  He believed that

recruits would be sent to the same site from Somalia\’s Hiraan

Region, as well.  The training will be low-key, Seyoum said, and

would last approximately six months, although the recruits could

return earlier, if necessary.  In addition to standard police

training, the recruits would receive counterinsurgency training in

order to prepare them for the environment they would encounter in

Somalia.  These and similar training efforts were the most that the

GoE was willing to do at this point.  There would be no further

armed incursions, and Seyoum could not imagine a set of

circumstances that would \”bring us in\” to Somalia. Wycoff urged

that this training be done to UN standards so that UNDP could

provide salary and other support after the return to Mogadishu,

which was crucial to continued functioning this force in Somalia\’s

difficult environment.  Seyoum confirmed that Ethipian intended to

keep a low provide in Somalia.

——————————————— ———————-

—-

Ethiopia Skeptical about Kenya\’s Lower Juba Initiative

——————————————— ———————-

—-

DJIBOUTI 00001389  003 OF 003

8. (C) Wycoff raised the question of Kenya\’s plans for a \”Jubaland

initiative\” and reiterated U.S. opposition to this effort.  Seyoum

agreed that the Kenyan government\’s plans to prepare a force for an

invasion of Lower Juba would \”complicate\” matters there.  The GOK,

he said, continued to believe it could create a buffer zone.

Trained troops, Seyoum noted, were a double-edged sword; they could

always be turned against Kenya.  Seyoum worried that the Kenyan

effort might backfire.  In mid-November, he had cautioned Kenyan

President Kibaki to be careful.  DAS Wycoff told Seyoum that

Assistant Secretary Carson had told the highest levels of the GOK

that the USG opposed the Kenyan initiative and that we would

continue to press this position.

——————————————— —————-

Djibouti – Eritrea Tension On Ethiopia\’s Radar

——————————————— —————

9. (C) DAS Wycoff noted that the U.S worked to promote stability in

the HOA and opposed cross border activities that would lead to

instability. Seyoum told DAS Wycoff that Ethiopia was watching the

Djibouti – Eritrea border dispute closely.  Djibouti was a

\”lifeline\” for Ethiopia, he said, and there are limits to what

Isaias will be allowed to do.  Seyoum worried that Eritrea was

preparing Afar pastoralists for use in an effort to de-stabilize

Djibouti.  While Ethiopia did not want war, he said, it could not

afford to see its supply route from the port of Djibouti disrupted.

Wycoff repeated U.S. opposition to nefarious cross-border

activities.

————–

Comment

————–

10. (C) Seyoum was as bullish about the TFG, but less critical of

the international community than Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula

had been in his meeting with DAS Wycoff (septel).  The GoE\’s

initial skepticism about this TFG seems to have evaporated

completely.  Earlier efforts to search for a potential alternative

among the ASWJ factions seem to have yielded little for Ethiopia

and, with no obvious alternative on the horizon, the GoE seems to

have decided that the TFG can be made to work if it, and the rest

of the international community, get strongly behind it.

12. (U) DAS Wycoff cleared this message.

SWAN

10082

R 101331Z DEC 09

FM AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1117

INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/10

TAGS: PREL, MARR, PGOV, PTER, KE, SO, ET, DJ

SUBJECT: SOMALIA: KENYAN FOREIGN MINISTER PUSHES LOWER JUBA

INITIATIVE

CLASSIFIED BY: James C. Swan, Ambassador, U.S. Department of State,

Executive Office; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary:  During a December 8 meeting on the margins of the

Djibouti IGAD ministerial visiting AF Deputy Assistant Secretary

Wycoff  and Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Wetangula agreed to

continue to work together to promote stability and political

reconciliation in Somalia. DAS Wycoff told Wetangula that the USG

continued to strongly oppose the Kenyan \”Jubaland\” initiative as a

bad idea that would more likely add to Somalia\’s instability than

to help stabilize the country.   Wetangula defended GOK plans to

pursue its Jubaland (southern Somalia) initiative, implied that it

was in evolving concept, and offered to facilitate better USG

understanding of Kenya\’s plans. He also urged, as he had in

interventions at the ministerial, international community support

for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG).  Wycoff

agreed and highlighted the importance of supporting the Djibouti

Peace Process (DPP) and efforts to promote political

reconciliation.  When the subject was raised, Wetangula excluded

further expansion of the teeming Dadaab refugee camp in

northeastern Kenya, which he said had received 12,000 refugees in

November.  The Foreign Minister took a hard line on Eritrea.  He

told DAS Wycoff that he had rebuffed efforts by the visiting

Eritrean Foreign Minister to solicit support for a new Somalia

reconciliation process.  The Kenyan government had expelled

Eritrean diplomats that Wetangula thought had played a role in the

mid-September suicide bombing attack on AMISOM in Mogadishu.

Wycoff reviewed USG efforts to engage, both positively and

negatively, with Eritrea, and effect a change in its behavior.  End

summary.

——————————————— ——————-

Jubaland Initiative:  FM Urges USG Participation

——————————————— ——————-

2. (C) Visiting AF Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff opened a

December 8 meeting with Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula on

the margins of the Djibouti IGAD ministerial by recounting USG

support for the DPP and the TFG. He also forcibly underscored USG

concerns about reports that the GOK was recruiting and training an

ethnic Somali force as part of a \”Jubaland\” initiative.  DAS Wycoff

told Wetangula that concerns which Assistant Secretary Carson had

expressed to Wetangula and other members of the Kenyan leadership

remained, and he urged Wetangula to re-consider the Kenyan

initiative.

3. (C) Wetangula defended the initiative by noting that it was an

evolving concept and that Kenya had carefully coordinated every

aspect of it with the TFG.  He acknowledged that \”some excited

Kenyan military officers\” had \”bungled the earlier phases\” of the

planned operation, but that planning was back on track.  The GOK

hoped that the \”strong Jubaland,\” which would result from a

successful, Kenyan-backed effort to defeat al-Shabaab in southern

Somalia, would \”cage in the Hawiye.\”  The plan, he said, \”seemed

feasible to the TFG.\”  The plan had been difficult to implement,

Wetangula said.  Prominent, ethnically Somali Kenyan politicians,

including Kenya\’s Deputy Speaker, were strong al-Shabaab supporters

who saw any effort to weaken al-Shabaab as an \”Ethiopian plot.\”

Wetangula alleged that the ethnically-Somali politicians had worked

behind the scenes to recruit al-Shabaab sympathizers from the

Dadaab refugee camp in order both to spy on and undermine the

planned Kenyan initiative.  When Wycoff reemphasized USG

opposition, Wetangula offered to facilitate contact in Nairobi that

would give the USG an understanding of Kenyan planning and that

might reassure the U.S. side that the plan made sense. Wycoff

accepted the offer of further information but noted that USG

concerns remained.

4. (C) Wetangula predicted success for the initiative.  Al-Shabaab

was weak, he insisted, recalling that Ethiopian troops had marched

into Mogadishu in December 2006 \”like a hot knife through butter.\”

USG criticism should be accompanied by other ideas, he said, noting

that \”I sincerely believe that good ideas should give way to better

ideas.\”  In any event, Wetangula thought that the GOK could \”no

longer afford to sit on the sidelines.\”  The prospect of a serious

terrorist attack in Nairobi was increasing every day.  Wycoff noted

DJIBOUTI 00001391  002 OF 003

the importance of implementing the DPP and making progress on the

political reconciliation front at the same time that we worked to

improve the TFG\’s security forces.

——————————————— –

TFG Needs More External Support

———————————————

5. (C) At various points in the conversation, Wetangula strongly

supported the TFG but argued, as he had publicly at the December 7

session of the IGAD ministerial, that it was handicapped by

insufficient international community support.  He urged that the

USG provide the TFG with \”two or three armored vehicles\” so that

its leadership can safely engage with Somalis around Mogadishu.  He

also thought that helicopters would be useful in intimidating

al-Shabaab.  Picking up on an assertion which had been frequently

made at the IGAD ministerial, Wetangula alleged that only a tiny

fraction of the Brussels pledges to the TFG had been realized.  The

GOK had given the TFG money from time-to-time, but it \”was not

rich.\”  Only the West could provide the support needed by the

Somali government. He urged that the USG take the lead in

galvanizing the international community. Wycoff recounted USG

efforts both to provide direct support to the TFG, but also to

encourage its friends and allies to provide material and budget

support.  HE also highlighted USG efforts to promote political

reconciliation and negotiations in support of the DPP.  Wycoff also

pointed out that the U.S. was the primary provider of support to

AMISOM.

——————————————— ———————-

—————————–

Dadaab:  No Possibility That Additional Refugee Camp Could be

Opened

——————————————— ———————-

—————————–

6. (C) In response to a question from DAS Wycoff, Wetangula

emphatically rejected the possibility of opening a fourth refugee

camp at Dadaab, in northeastern Kenya.  He asserted that continuing

instability in Somalia had further increased refugee flows:  Twelve

thousand refugees had crossed the border in November alone.  He

urged that some of the refugees in Dadaab be transferred to the

Kakuma refugee camp, farther from the Somali border.  About 12,000

refugees had been moved a few months ago, he said, and the Kenyan

military could be used to facilitate further such transfers.  It

would be easier to control and monitor Somali activities at Kakuma,

which was further from the border and \”away from the action.\”

Wetangula told DAS Wycoff that he also believed at one time that

the Dadaab camp could be expanded, but extended discussions at

Kenyan Security Council meetings had since convinced him otherwise.

——————————————— ———————-

—————

Wetangula Alleges Continuing Eritrean Involvement in Somalia

——————————————— ———————-

—————

7. (C) Wetangula recalled for DAS Wycoff recent Kenyan difficulties

with Eritrea.  The Eritrean Foreign Minister had just treated him

to \”the usual assertions\” that Eritrea was misunderstood by the

international community.  On September 17, three Eritrean diplomats

had transited Kenya en route to Mogadishu, then back to Kenya.  The

visits had taken place \”with the full complicity and knowledge\” of

the Eritrean Embassy in Nairobi.  The Kenyan authorities had

deported two of the three diplomats, Wetangula said.  He was

DJIBOUTI 00001391  003 OF 003

convinced that their travel was linked to the mid-September suicide

bombing attacks on AMISOM in Mogadishu.

8. (C) Wetangula sidestepped DAS Wycoff\’s suggestion that the

Eritrean diplomats\’ activities be publicized by the GOK.  He would

continue to talk with EU countries so that they understood the

full, negative role Eritrea plays in the region.

9. (C) Wetangula also asserted that Eritrea continued to lobby

Tanzania and others for the launch of a reconciliation conference

to which Hisbul Islam\’s Hassan Dahir Aweys and others would be

invited.  He planned to pressure his Tanzanian counterpart to

reject the idea.  DAS Wycoff told Wetangula that the USG had

already urged Dar es Salaam to distance itself from the idea and to

focus its support on the DPP and the TFG.

——————————————— ———————-

———-

Kenya Willing to Expel or Freeze Assets of Somali Spoilers

——————————————— ———————-

———-

10. (C) In addition to Eritrea, Nairobi was home to Somalis and

others who were backing al-Shabaab.  Wetangula repeated GOK

willingness to expel \”troublemakers\” from Kenya and/or to freeze

their assets if evidence about their activities were brought to his

attention.  When pressed on the importance of the TFG operating in

a transparent and accountable manner, Wetangula agreed that

previous TFGs had been perceived as corrupt and noted that former

TFG Prime Minister Gedi had invested much of his ill-gotten gains

in Nairobi.

————–

Comment

————–

11. (C) During the December 7 – 8 IGAD ministerial, Wetangula

joined his IGAD counterparts in repeatedly backing the TFG and in

alleging that it was lack of international community support, not

TFG inertia, which was responsible for the lack of progress to

date.  Wetangula endorsed the TFG\’s 2010 budget, which was

presented by TFG Deputy Prime Minister Sharif Hassan during the

ministerial.  He and the other ministers present termed it a great

improvement over the complete lack of financial transparency, or

worse, which had been characteristic of the TFGs of Prime Ministers

Nur \”Adde\” and Gedi.  The IGAD ministers\’ unanimous, strong support

for the TFG seemed to visibly boost the TFG Foreign Minister and

Deputy Prime Minister, who were present, and contrasted

significantly with the criticism of Somalia\’s government that had

been the norm at preceding ministerials.

12. (U) DAS Wycoff cleared this message.

SWAN

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FM AMEMBASSY LONDON

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NOFORN

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E

NAIROBI FOR SOMALIA UNIT

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/PSC (JEAN CLARK)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/15/2020

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, KTFN, KPKO, SO, UK

SUBJECT: SOMALIA: UK SET TO PUT RESOURCES TO NEW POLICY

REF: 09 LONDON 2435

Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville, reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1. (C/NF) Summary.  Foreign office officials anticipate

receiving ministerial approval on January 18 for a new

resource package for Somalia, which will include GBP 9

million (USD 14.4 million) in new assistance funds and

authorization for creation of a \”shadow embassy\” for Somalia

based in Nairobi.  The UK plans to increase its dialogue and

development assistance with Somaliland and Puntland and also

hopes to establish a means of allowing regular visits

throughout Somalia.  The UK \”absolutely supports\” sanctions

against al-Shabaab, but wants to make sure it is done right.

The emerging preference in the Foreign Office appears to be

for a humanitarian carve-out through the Somalia Sanction

Monitoring Group\’s mandate, which is up for renewal in March.

On Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative, the Foreign Office remains

pessimistic and would like to consider a joint U.S.-UK

demarche to the Kenyans.  At the end January, an Ahlu Sunnah

Wal Jama\’a (ASWJ) delegation will visit London to meet with

Somali Diaspora groups, and the Foreign Office will meet

them.  Planning is underway for the EU training mission,

which would train 1,000 individuals in two tranches in Uganda

over 12 months.  Potiential obstacles, however, remain:

salaries, command-and-control issues, and logistics.  The UK

sees selecting a replacement for UN Special Representative

Ould Abdullah as critical; it will be important to have

someone who is a good manager and who can corral the

international community and donors\’ efforts.  If approved,

the UK\’s new resources for Somalia will represent a

significant shift in the UK\’s Somalia policy, especially in a

resource-scarce environment, where funding for many of the

UK\’s programs around the world is being reduced.  End summary.

2. (C/NF) The UK Cabinet Sub-Committee on Africa will

consider for final approval on January 18 a new resource

package for the UK\’s new policy focus on Somalia (reftel),

Foreign Office Somalia Unit head Gill Atkinson told Poloff on

January 14.  Given previous statements of support, Atkinson

anticipates ministers will approve the proposed package.  If

approved, the UK\’s new resources for Somalia will represent a

significant shift in the UK\’s Somalia policy, especially in a

resource-scarce environment, where funding for many of the

UK\’s programs around the world is being reduced.

The New Support Package – Money and People

——————————————

3. (C/NF) The new package will include GBP 9 million (USD

14.4 million) of conflict prevention funding, which Atkinson

anticipates will be used to support AMISOM, the Transitional

Federal Government (TFG), the Somaliland and Puntland

authorities, and other development initiatives.  Ministers

will also consider creation of a \”shadow embassy\” for

Somalia, to be based in Nairobi.  The office will be headed

by a counselor-level UK diplomat and will possibly include

one to two reporting officers, a development assistance

officer from the Department of International Development

(DFID), and a military attache for the Ministry of Defense

(MOD).  Additionally, ministers will consider approval of a

proposal that will allow for regular visits to Somalia.

Atkinson noted that the UK Government is still working to

find internal funding for the visits, given that the security

detail requirements will be very expensive.

Jubaland

——–

4. (C/NF) Atkinson said that the Foreign Office can see the

potential attraction for the Kenyans to pursue their Jubaland

initiative, but that the UK does not think it will be

successful.  The UK is interested to know if the USG sees

merit in jointly demarching the Kenyans about not pursuing

it.  If the Kenyans insist, Atkinson suggested that a

proposal be made to the Kenyans for a long-term

reconciliation process that would result in

military/para-military activities only if needed and in the

context of reconciliation talks.  Atkinson said that Baroness

Kinnock, during her on-going visit to Kenya, plans to speak

with both TFG President Sheikh Sharif and the Kenyans about

the Jubaland initiative, mainly to assess where they have

gotten to in their thinking before taking a decision on the

UK position about it.  Additionally, the British Embassy in

Ethiopia is making similar inquires with the Ethiopia

LONDON 00000089  002 OF 003

authorities.

Somaliland and Puntland – Supporting Stability

——————————————— –

5. (C/NF) Practically speaking, Atkinson said that the UK

Government had not increased its dialogue with the

authorities in Somaliland and Puntland.  She said they hope

to after ministers have approved the new resources.

Additionally, they plan to start development assistance

cooperation with both regional authorities.  Atkinson said

the UK wants to \”support stability\” where it is in Somalia.

Meeting with Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama\’a (ASWJ)

——————————————

6. (C/NF) An ASWJ delegation will be visiting London at the

end of January for engagement with the Somali Diaspora in the

UK, and Atkinson said the Foreign Office plans to take the

opportunity to meet with the delegation.  The main objectives

of the meeting will be to discuss the ASWJ\’s relationship

with the TFG, to learn more about the situation on the

ground, and to hear more about ASWJ\’s forward planning.

Sanctions

———

7. (C/NF) Atkinson said the UK \”absolutely supports\”

sanctions against al-Shabaab, but wants to make sure it gets

done right.  DFID is currently undertaking an assessment of

how humanitarian aid is delivered in other places in the

world with similar legal constraints.  She explained that

while the UK may be able to live with the \”gray legal space\”

related to delivery of humanitarian aid in al-Shabaab held

areas, it is likely that the UK\’s preference will be for a

humanitarian carve-out.  She further said that given the time

constraints on agreeing the AMISOM mandate by the end of the

month, the UK sees the Somalia Sanctions Monitor Group

mandate, which is up for renewal in March, as the appropriate

vehicle for the humanitarian carve-out language, not the

AMISOM mandate (which would conflate sanctions and

peacekeeping issues).  She said that the UK has no problem

with going ahead with introduction of the al-Shabaab list

before the March mandate renewal.  The Foreign Office

Sanctions Teams subsequently confirmed that the UK

\”definitely\” wants to list al-Shabaab as an organization and

suggested that the monitoring group mandate could be brought

forward for renewal to accommodate the humanitarian carve

out.

EU and Training

—————

8. (C/NF) Atkinson said that planning for the EU training

mission is well under way, with the Spanish-led assessment

trip having occurred in mid-December.  While the plans are

still being finalized, it is likely that a small-scale, light

touch mission with training by other African troops will be

proposed.  The training will take place in Uganda in two

tranches of 1,000 individuals over 12 months.  She predicted

that the potential pitfalls will be around salaries,

command-and-control issues, and logistics.  EU High

Representative for Foreign and Defense Policy Cathy Ashton is

interested in seeing the Common Security and Defense Policy

(CSDP) mission come to fruition, as it will be the first

post-Lisbon treaty force generation and training mission.

According to Atkinson, the UK Government has made a concerted

effort to see Ashton engaged on Somalia, as the EU is already

dedicated so many resources to efforts there.  (NOTE: In a

separate discussion with the Foreign Office EU Correspondent,

he suggested that Ashton needed more information on the

proposed operation.  END NOTE.) She said there has been some

consideration of appointing an EU Special Representative, but

that no decisions have been made.

UN Appointments

—————

9. (C/NF) On the UN, Atkinson said the replacement of Special

Representative ould Abdullah will be critical; it will be

important to get someone who is a good manager who can deal

corral the international community and donors\’ efforts.  The

preference is for an African and/or Muslim.  She also

asserted that the UK would like to push the UN to have a more

joined-up approach that would see the various UN family

LONDON 00000089  003 OF 003

agencies based in Nairobi working together better.

Visit London\’s Classified Website:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Unit ed_Kingdom

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SUBJECT: UNDER SECRETARY OTERO\’S MEETING WITH ETHIOPIAN

PRIME MINISTER MELES ZENAWI – JANUARY 31, 2010

Classified By: Under Secretary Maria Otero for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

1. (SBU) January 31, 2010; 4:15 p.m.; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2. (SBU) Participants:

U.S.

Under Secretary Otero

Assistant Secretary Carson

NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Michelle Gavin

PolOff Skye Justice (notetaker)

Ethiopia

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Special Assistant Gebretensae Gebremichael

Summary

——-

3. (C) Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told Under Secretary for

Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero his government

placed no restrictions on its citizens\’ democratic and civil

rights, only the right of foreign entities to fund them.

Foreign funding of civil society organizations (CSOs) is

antithetical to democratization, he said, as it makes civil

society leaders accountable to foreign entities rather than

their own members, turning the concept of democratic

accountability on its head.  Democracy in Ethiopia must

develop organically, and Ethiopians must organize and fund

themselves and defend their own rights.  Meles assured U/S

Otero that Ethiopia\’s upcoming elections will be free, fair,

transparent, and peaceful, and elaborated steps his

government has taken to ensure this.  While opposition groups

may resort to violence in an attempt to discredit the

election, the GoE will enforce the recently enacted Electoral

Code of Conduct and its existing election laws without regard

to party affiliation.  Meles said he has warned opposition

leaders that the international community will not be able to

save them should they violate Ethiopian law, but rather if

they do so they will face the same fate as opposition leader

Birtukan Midekssa, who will \”vegetate in jail forever.\”  The

U.S. delegation noted that Ethiopia\’s forthcoming elections

would be closely watched in the U.S., and urged Meles to

exercise wise judgment and leadership, give the opposition

more political space, and consider the release of Birtukan

Midekssa.

4. (C) Meles said the GoE is not enthusiastic about Kenya\’s

Jubaland initiative, but is sharing intelligence with Kenya

and hoping for success.  In the event the initiative is not

successful, the GoE has plans in place to limit the

destabilizing impacts on Ethiopia.  On climate change, Meles

said the GoE fully supports the Copenhagen accord, but is

disappointed with signs the U.S. may not support his proposed

panel to monitor international financial contributions under

the accord.  Meles made no substantive comment on inquiries

regarding the liberalization of banking and

telecommunications in Ethiopia.  End summary.

Foreign Funding of CSOs Antithetical to Democratization

——————————————— ———-

5. (C) Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told U/S Otero the

development of a strong democracy and civil society is the

only way Ethiopia can ensure peace and unity among an

ethnically and religiously divided population.  He noted that

the Government of Ethiopia\’s (GoE) commitment to democracy is

directly related to stability, adding that for Ethiopia,

\”democratization is a matter of survival.\”  Responding to U/S

Otero\’s concern that Ethiopia\’s recently-enacted CSO law

threatened the role of civil society, Meles said while the

GoE welcomes foreign funding of charities, those Ethiopians

who want to engage in political activity should organize and

fund themselves.  The leaders of CSOs that receive foreign

funding are not accountable to their organizations, he said,

but rather to the sources of their funding, turning the

concept of democratic accountability on its head.  Meles

asserted that Ethiopians were not too poor to organize

themselves and establish their own democratic traditions,

recalling that within his lifetime illiterate peasants and

poor students had overthrown an ancient imperial dynasty.

6. (C) Meles said his country\’s inability to develop a strong

democracy was not due to insufficient understanding of

democratic principles, but rather because Ethiopians had not

ADDIS ABAB 00000163  002 OF 003

internalized those principles.  Ethiopia should follow the

example of the U.S. and European countries, he said, where

democracy developed organically and citizens had a stake in

its establishment.  When people are committed to democracy

and forced to make sacrifices for it, Meles said, \”they won\’t

let any leader take it away from them.\”  But \”when they are

spoon-fed democracy, they will give it up when their source

of funding and encouragement is removed.\”  Referencing his

own struggle against the Derg regime, Meles said he and his

compatriots received no foreign funding, but were willing to

sacrifice and die for their cause, and Ethiopians today must

take ownership of their democratic development, be willing to

sacrifice for it, and defend their own rights.

7. (C) Meles drew a clear distinction between Ethiopians\’

democratic and civil rights on the one hand, and the right of

foreign entities to fund those rights on the other.  There is

no restriction on Ethiopians\’ rights, he asserted, merely on

foreign funding, adding that the U.S. has similar laws.  U/S

Otero countered that while the U.S. does not allow foreign

funding of political campaigns, there is no restriction on

foreign funding of NGOs.  Ms. Gavin noted the examples of

foreign support for the abolitionist movement in the U.S. and

for the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa as positive

examples of foreign engagement of civil society, and

expressed that aside from the issue of foreign funding, the

ability of local organizations to legally register, operate,

and contribute to democratic discourse was of tantamount

importance.

GoE Will Hold Free and Fair Elections, Despite Opposition

——————————————— ————

8. (C) Meles assured U/S Otero that Ethiopia\’s upcoming

electoral process will be free, fair, transparent, and

peaceful.  The GoE has learned from the violence that

followed the 2005 elections, he said, and taken action to

ensure that violence is not repeated.  Meles said the

recently signed Electoral Code of Conduct (CoC) was not done

for the benefit of political parties, but for the Ethiopian

people.  The people will ultimately judge political actors,

he said, and they must have parameters agreed to by the

parties by which they will judge those actors.  After the CoC

was passed, Meles noted, the ruling Ethiopian People\’s

Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) gathered over 1,300 of

its senior leaders to discuss party strategy and train all

leaders on the CoC.  The EPRDF knows violations of the CoC by

its members will hurt the party and provide a rallying cry

for the opposition.  This message will flow down to all EPRDF

members, he said, so that they know what is expected of them,

and know both the courts and the party will hold them

accountable to the CoC.

9. (C) Meles told U/S Otero he feared a repeat of the 2005

violence, and that many opposition members were not

interested in peaceful elections, but would rather discredit

the electoral process.  As such, the EPRDF cannot give them

any excuse to resort to violence.  Meles noted that in

addition to opposition political parties, the GoE had

intelligence that the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogaden

National Liberation Front (ONLF), and Eritrean President

Isaias Afwerki were all directly or indirectly involved in

plots to discredit the elections.  The EPRDF, he said, would

\”let them be\” to show the population that even though their

opponents\’ goal is not peace, the EPRDF will abide by the

law.

10. (C) Meles recalled that in 2005, he had told opposition

leaders in the presence of the diplomatic corps that they

should not believe foreign allies would protect them if they

violated the laws of Ethiopia.  Opposition leaders were right

to believe the diplomatic corps would try to protect them, he

said, as evidenced by the statement they issued demanding the

release of opposition politicians upon their arrest in 2005.

Today, Meles said, foreign embassies are inadvertently

conveying the same message, that they will protest the

jailing of opposition leaders and potentially take action

against Ethiopia to secure their release.  However, the GoE

has made clear to both opposition and EPRDF leaders that

nothing can protect them except the laws and constitution of

Ethiopia, and the GoE will clamp down on anyone who violates

those laws.  \”We will crush them with our full force,\” Meles

said, and \”they will vegetate like Birtukan (Midekssa) in

jail forever.\”

ADDIS ABAB 00000163  003 OF 003

11. (C) In an extended discussion in response to Meles\’

comments, U/S Otero, A/S Carson, and Ms. Gavin noted that

Ethiopia\’s forthcoming elections would be closely watched in

the U.S. and that the GoE\’s treatment of the opposition would

be subject to public criticism by the Ethiopian diaspora and

U.S. political figures.  The U.S. delegation urged Meles to

exercise wise judgment and leadership, give the opposition

more political space, and consider the release of Birtukan

Midekssa.  A/S Carson stressed the importance of putting

Ethiopia\’s democracy on an upward and positive trajectory,

and not letting it atrophy or slide backward, using the

suffrage and civil rights movements in the U.S. as an

illustration of challenges the U.S. has faced as it improved

its own democratic system.  (Note:  Three quarters of the

nearly two-hour meeting focused on democracy.  End note.)

Ethiopia Not Enthusiastic About Jubaland Initiative

——————————————— ——

12. (C) Meles said he had been briefed extensively regarding

Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative.  Because Ethiopia had previously

intervened in Somalia without seeking Kenyan approval, he

said, the GoE would not presume to analyze the Kenyans\’

chances for success in their own intervention.  The GoE is

sharing intelligence with Kenya, but Meles expressed a lack

of confidence in Kenya\’s capacity to pull off a tactical

success, which he feared could have negative regional

impacts.  The GoE is therefore working to minimize the

likelihood of a spillover effect in Ethiopia\’s Somali

Regional State.  Noting that Ethiopia might have

underestimated Kenya, Meles said, \”We are not enthusiastic,

but we are hoping for success.\”

GoE Prepared to Move Forward from Copenhagen

——————————————–

13. (C) U/S Otero urged Meles to sign the Copenhagen accord

on climate change and explained that it is a point of

departure for further discussion and movement forward on the

topic.  She noted that while the agreement has its

limitations, it has the international community moving in the

right direction.  Meles responded that the GoE supported the

accord in Copenhagen and would support it at the AU Summit.

However, he expressed his disappointment that despite

President Obama\’s personal assurance to him that finances

committed in Copenhagen would be made available, he had

received word from contacts at the UN that the U.S. was not

supportive of Ethiopia\’s proposal for a panel to monitor

financial pledges regarding climate change.  Ms. Gavin

assured the Prime Minister that she would look into his

concerns.

No Promises on Liberalizing Telecoms, Banking

———————————————

14. (C) U/S Otero and A/S Carson encouraged Meles to hasten

steps to liberalize the telecommunications and banking

industries in Ethiopia, and highlighted both the micro- and

macroeconomic benefits of liberalization.  Meles offered no

substantive response to A/S Carson\’s query whether any

progress had been made toward liberalizing or otherwise

improving telecommunications, joking that Americans\’ concept

of time was much faster than Ethiopians\’.  In response to U/S

Otero\’s recognition of the important role of private banks in

microfinance projects that directly benefit the poor, and

assurance that private and state-owned banks could thrive

side-by-side, Meles said he would be happy to discuss the

issue in the future.

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TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MARR, MOPS, PTER, SOCI, KE, SO

SUBJECT: ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON\’S JANUARY 30, 2010,

MEETING WITH KENYAN FOREIGN MINISTER WETANGULA

Classified By: Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson f

or reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) Summary:  A high-level Kenyan delegation headed by

Foreign Minister Wetangula used a long January 30 meeting on

the margins of the AU Summit to lobby Assistant Secretary for

African Affairs Johnnie Carson\’s support for the GOK\’s

long-incubating Lower Juba initiative.  Wetangula, the

Minister of Defense, the Director of the National Security

and Intelligence Services, and the military\’s chief-of-staff

each in turn highlighted the dangers to Kenya emanating from

Somalia and advertised an incursion into Somalia by the

roughly two thousand Somali forces currently being trained by

the GOK as the best solution.  The Kenyan delegation assured

A/S Carson that both Somalia\’s Transitional Federal

Government (TFG) and the Government of Ethiopia supported

Kenya\’s efforts and insisted that A/S Carson\’s longstanding

concerns about the Kenyan plan had all been addressed.

2. (C) Summary and comment continued: A/S Carson tactfully,

but categorically refused the Kenyan delegation\’s attempts to

enlist USG support for their effort.  He worried that the

Lower Juba initiative could be very expensive, that it could

catalyze clan and sub-clan rivalries, that success could

create a rival to the TFG, that the GOK could be unwittingly

providing training to future or current ONLF members, and

that the GOK was not prepared to handle the domestic

repercussions should their effort fail. The January 30

meeting marked Wetangula\’s third attempt to enlist A/S

Carson\’s support and was only the latest in a long-running

campaign by the Kenyan government to win USG agreement to its

initiative.  The persistence with which the GOK is courting

the USG suggests, if nothing else, that they have finally

awakened to the implications for Kenya of long-term

instability in Somalia and are attempting belatedly to

address the problem.  End comment and summary.

Wetangula Previews GOK\’s Domestic

Achievements Before Discussing the

Lower Juba Initiative

———————————-

3. (C) GOK Foreign Minister Wetangula kicked off a long

January 30 meeting with Assistant Secretary for African

Affairs Johnnie Carson by highlighting Kenya\’s comparative

stability and reporting progress that the GOK has made on its

domestic reform agenda.  Wetangula noted that a draft

constitution had been submitted to the committee of experts

and guessed that Parliament would be called back from recess

in order to examine the draft.

4. (C) The constitution would introduce a \”U.S.-type\”

presidential system and would reserve 47 seats in Parliament

for women and 12 seats for members of \”vulnerable groups.\”

Under the draft, cabinet members would not be permitted to

serve as members of Parliament, an upper house of 47 seats

would be created, a five-year election cycle would be

instituted, and there would be judicial reform.  Wetangula

recalled that A/S Carson had criticized the GOK\’s tendency to

confuse \”process with progress,\” but insisted that the reform

now underway in Kenya was genuine.

Domestic Progress Threatened by

Continuing Problems in Somalia

——————————-

5. (C) Wetangula contrasted the progress being made on the

domestic agenda with the threat posed to Kenya by continuing

instability in Somalia.  He alleged that six – ten thousand

refugees enter Kenya from Somalia each month, pointed to the

over-extended Dadaab refugee camps in northeast Kenya, that

the GOK had intercepted ten attempts to smuggle in

bomb-making materials in the past year, recalled the domestic

unrest triggered by the recent visit of a controversial

Jamaican muslim cleric to Kenya, and forecast repercussions

from Kenya\’s good-faith efforts to meet its obligations under

the memorandum of understanding on piracy as extremely

worrisome.

TFG, Government of Ethiopia

Support Kenyan Initiative

—————————

6. (C) Wetangula alleged that the Somalia Transitional

Federal Government (TFG) had proposed the Jubaland initiative

to Kenya and that the Government of Ethiopia, after some

ADDIS ABAB 00000166  002 OF 003

initial questions, had endorsed it as well. The Kenyan effort

was being coordinated by a team based in Prime Minister

Odinga\’s office, Wetangula said, but the Prime Minister and

President Kibaki co-chair the effort in order to make it

truly bi-partisan.  That team had recently met with Prime

Minister Meles for over two hours, Wetangula said, and had

successfully addressed all of the GOE Prime Minister\’s

concerns.

7. (C) While he acknowledged that the TFG had limited

capacity, Wetangula argued that strategic concerns meant that

Kenya had to support it.  He briefly reviewed evidence of

Kenyan terrorist trails that led to Somalia, including the

Somali Dane who had been expelled from Kenya at the time of

the Secretary\’s visit in August, then attacked the Danish

cartoonist in December 2009.

A/S Carson\’s Questions About

Kenyan Plan

—————————-

8. (C) A/S Carson reviewed the history of excellent U.S. –

Kenya cooperation and praised the GOK\’s efforts to discharge

its international obligations.  The USG shared the GOK\’s

concerns about Somalia and strongly supported the TFG and the

Djibouti peace process. The U.S. was the largest contributor

to AMISOM and was attempting to induce TCCs to contribute

troops to the AU\’s effort.

9. (C) Noting that he had carefully weighed the pros and cons

of the Kenyan proposal, A/S Carson worried that the

initiative could backfire, warning that we did not want to

create situations we cannot control, then highlighted his

concerns:

— the undertaking could be more complicated and much more

expensive than the Kenyans forecast.

— an incursion could trigger clan and sub-clan rivalries

that could worsen matters in Lower Juba.

— if successful, a Lower Juba entity could emerge as a rival

to the TFG.

— it was possible that the GOK could be unwittingly

providing training to present or future members of the ONLF.

— did the GOK have a plan should their troops be defeated?

— was the GOK willing to persevere if their was a negative

outcome?

— what would be the domestic repercussions of a defeat?

— what would be the GOK\’s response if the TFG or the GOE had

a change of heart?

He concluded by suggesting that there shold be more

conventional and convenient ways to accomplish the same end.

Could, for example, the trained Somalis help Kenya to re-take

Kismayo?

10. (C) NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Michelle

Gavin praised the GOK\’s willingness not to be passive and to

think through the challenge, rather than allowing pressures

to build.  She expressed USG willingness to think through

other strategies with the GOK.

Kenyan Delegation Responds to

USG Skepticism

—————————–

11. (C) In response to A/S Carson\’s questions, Wetangula

insisted that the GOK had simulated the campaign and was

satisfied that all potential stumbling blocks had been

addressed.  Minister of Defense Haji highlighted the

financial importance of Kismayo port in Lower Juba to

al-Shabaab, the unpopularity of al-Shabaab, and the inability

of the TFG to combat al-Shabaab in Lower Juba as reasons for

backing the initiative.  Creating a Kenyan-controlled fiefdom

in Lower Juba was not part of the Kenyan plan.  The GOK faced

a very serious security threat, which had to be addressed.

12. (C) Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff General

Kianga in turn argued that an attack into Lower Juba would

relieve pressure on the TFG in Mogadishu.  Resources spent on

the initiative, he said, would do more to improve the TFG\’s

fortunes than money sent to Mogadishu.  As to the domestic

reaction, Kianga believed that the GOK would be accused by

its population of irresponsibility if it ignored the threat

posed by al-Shabaab.

13. (C) National Security and Intelligence Service Director

ADDIS ABAB 00000166  003 OF 003

Major-General Gichangi reasoned that it would take time for

the international community and AMISOM to build a capable TFG

security force, but al-Shabaab\’s increasing links with

al-Qaeda argued for action now.  Gichangi alleged links

between Pakistan, Yemen, and al-Shabaab in Somalia and noted

that cost to the USG should Somalia become another source of

international terrorism.

14. (C) Gichangi believed that the GOK had done its clan

homework.  It was engaged at the grassroots in the Juba area.

It had sponsored a \”major Ogaden clan\” meeting, and a

similar conclave was scheduled with the Marehan the following

week.

15. (C) Wetangula acknowledged that the Kenyan undertaking

was risky.  He argued that it would not, however, create a

rival to the TFG, as it was a TFG initiative and there would

not be a single Kenyan boot on the ground in Somalia.

Frequent consultations with the GOE had allayed fears that

work with the Ogaden would inadvertently create problems for

Meles\’s government.  Wetangula alleged that the Kenyan effort

was not just military.  The GOK was training administrators,

teachers, and nurses, and wanted to ensure that a capable

administration was in place should the initiative succeed.

The GOK would persevere regardless, as it \”had no choice.\”

\”This is a constitutional responsibility,\” Wetangula said.

16. (C) The GOK was not inviting the USG to get involved,

Wetangula concluded, but to support the Kenyan effort. \”The

threat is there,\” Wetangula said, \”We can see it, we can feel

it.\”

17. (C) A/S Carson praised the delegations \”powerful,

thoughtful\” arguments and agreed that the GOK and the USG

share common concerns.  The USG was grappling with the

threats posed to the region by developments in Somalia but,

A/S Carson concluded, \”I would be wrong if I suggested

encouragement\” to you.  He promised to consult further in

Washington, however.  Wetangula concluded by \”imploring\” A/S

Carson to consider assistance.  \”I may not have been as

convincing as I should have been,\” he said, but \”the threat

is real.\”  After a strong plea by Wetangula A/S Carson said

he would look into the feasability of a U.S. Team going to

Kanya to review the technical details of the Kenyan plan.

However, A/S Carson said he still maintained deep

reservations about the success of Kenya\’s efforts.

Comment

——-

18. (C) The January 30 meeting marked Wetangula\’s third

attempt to win A/S Carson\’s support for the Jubaland

initiative.  To do so, he brought a very high-level team to

Addis Ababa, and each of the team members made passionate, if

not always persuasive, arguments for supporting the Kenyan

effort.  The persistence of the Kenyan campaign to win

backing for their undertaking suggests, if nothing else, that

they have finally become aware that years of increasing

instability in next-door Somalia have serious implications

for their own country\’s future, and that the problem must

somehow be addressed. The GOK\’s proposed solution continues

to raise more questions than it answers, but the desire of

the GOK to do something about Somalia seems genuine.

Participants

————

19. (U) USG:

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson

NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Michelle Gavin

Ambassador to the African Union Michael Battle

Charge d\’Affaires, Embassy Addis Ababa, John Yates

Counselor for Somalia Affairs, Embassy Nairobi, Bob Patterson

(notetaker)

DCM, U.S. Mission to the African Union, Joel Maybury

Government of Kenya:

Minister of Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula

Minister of Defense Yusuf Haji

Director, NSIS, Major-General Michael Gichangi

Chief of Kenyan General Staff, General Jeremiah Kianga

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SUBJECT: UNDER SECRETARY FOR DEMOCRACY AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS

MARIA OTERO\’S JANUARY 31, 2010, MEETING WITH THE TFG

PRESIDENT

Classified By: Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson f

or reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) Summary:  Under Secretary for Democracy and Global

Affairs Maria Otero and Assistant Secretary for African

Affairs Johnnie Carson, in a January 31 meeting with

Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif

on the margins of the AU Summit underscored continued USG

support but urged Sharif to broaden his government\’s base,

deliver services to the Somali people, and work with AMISOM

to bolster the TFG\’s position on the ground. President Sharif

thanked the USG for its support and, while admitting that

2009 had been a difficult debut year for his government,

noted that the TFG had survived and had even recorded some

modest achievements.  Among them, he said, was the re-opening

of the Central Bank of Somalia, expanded broadcasting by

Radio Mogadishu, progress on reform of the armed forces, and,

most recently, a contract to mint a new Somali currency.

2. (C) Summary continued:  Sharif indicated that the TFG had

intensified its efforts at outreach. The Minister for

National Security was currently in Galkayo in an effort to

mobilize troops and create a base for upcoming operations.

The Ministers of Telecommunications and Finance were managing

the TFG\’s ongoing efforts to reach out to Ahlu Sunnah Wal

Jama\’a (ASWJ). Sharif predicted that efforts to reform TFG

security forces in Mogadishu, TFG outreach to ASWJ, and

troops trained by Kenya and Ethiopia would coalesce into a

comprehensive effort to push al-Shabaab out of south central

Somalia.  Needed, Sharif said, were ammunition, weapons,

medical supplies, and communication equipment.

3. (C) Summary continued:  In response to a question from A/S

Carson, Sharif indicated qualified support for Kenya\’s

\”Jubaland initiative.\”  He had told the Kenyans that the TFG

did not want to see an effort that would divide Somalia into

two parts or \”create more problems that it solves.\”  Sharif

had been told that the estimated two thousand ethnic Somali

troops were being well-trained by Kenya and that more than

the Marehan and Ogaden clans were represented.  End summary.

A/S Carson Underlines USG Support, but Urges TFG Action

——————————————— ———-

4. (C) Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria

Otero and Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie

Carson opened a January 31 meeting with TFG President Sheikh

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on the margins of the AU Summit in Addis

Ababa by reiterating strong USG support for both the TFG and

the AMISOM units that protect the TFG in Mogadishu.  A/S

Carson also passed USG condolences on the deaths of three TFG

ministers and of numerous faculty and students of Banadir

University in the December 3, 2009, Mogadishu suicide bombing.

5. (C) While noting that he knew the TFG was already engaged

in regional outreach efforts, A/S Carson urged that the

government more quickly broaden its base, especially with

ASWJ. He urged Sharif to pressure members of Parliament to

expand the reach of the TFG in their home regions.  A/S

Carson applauded the TFG\’s success in expanding and improving

broadcasting by Radio Mogadishu and urged the TFG to continue

to enhance its media efforts. The government also had to

deliver services, A/S Carson noted.  The funding of health

clinics and of schools was needed in order to build public

support.  The USG, A/S Carson noted later in the

conversation, was prepared to put \”dollars in your hands for

service delivery, especially for education and health.\”  \”A

government that provides services to its people is respected

and has its peoples\’ support,\” A/S Carson said.

Rallying International Support for the TFG

——————————————

6. (C) A/S Carson indicated that the USG would continue to

support efforts to train TFG troops. He asked Sharif to push

the Europeans to make good on their 2009 Brussels

International Contact Group meeting pledges and reported that

the USG was urging the Arab League to meet its commitments as

well.

7. (C) A/S Carson told Sharif that he had had a good session

with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn

Pascoe during the AU Summit about how to help the AU meet

AMISOM\’s eight thousand troop ceiling.

ADDIS ABAB 00000167  002 OF 003

Much Learned and Some Modest Successes

During TFG\’s First Year in Office

————————————-

8. (C) Sharif thanked the USG for its support and told A/S

Carson that the USG shared credit for his government\’s modest

successes in 2009.  His first year in office had been

\”difficult,\” but the government had learned much and the

stage was set for a more successful second year in office.

Among the TFG\’s successes was that it had survived in the

face of terrorism, lawlessness, inertia, greed, and foreign

meddling.

9. (C) Sharif highlighted other successes: there had been

modest, but positive changes in the TFG\’s leadership; TFG

forces had been trained in neighboring countries, Radio

Mogadishu was making steady progress in the propaganda war;

the Central Bank of Somalia was open and functioning; the

Somali people were convinced that al-Shabaab was not working

in the best interests of the government; and Sudan\’s

agreement to fund the printing of a new Somali shilling would

ultimately allow the TFG to gain control of its currency. In

cooperation with local businessmen, the TFG had made modest

improvements at the Mogadishu port, the Mogadishu airport,

and was in the process of physically buttressing the

parliament building.

10. (C) Sharif reassured A/S Carson that the TFG had a

vigorous strategy for the regions.  The TFG\’s Minister of

National Security was currently in Galkayo (Mudug region) in

order to mobilize Somalis and build a base for upcoming

operations against al-Shabaab.  TFG military officers were

near el-Bur (Galgaduud region), where they were working with

ASWJ.  The Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister and the

Minister of Telecommunications were responsible for the TFG\’s

efforts with ASWJ and they were having some success.

11. (C) Sharif said that USG support was needed for the TFG\’s

planned military campaign.  An AMISOM-backed TFG offensive in

Mogadishu would be complemented by ASWJ-led efforts in Hiraan

and Galgaduud regions, as well as the entry into battle of

troops currently being trained by Kenya.  The TFG needed

ammunition, weapons, medical supplies, and communications

equipment in order to launch its offensive, Sharif said.  All

regions had been contacted and were mobilizing elders and

women\’s groups. In addition to weapons and ammunition, local

militias needed food and pocket money.  There was a severe

shortage of transport for the troops, as well as of medicine.

Sharif said that he was thinking of visiting the U.S. \”after

the military operations have succeeded.\”

Qualified \”Yes\” on Kenya\’s

Lower Juba Initiative

————————–

12. (C) Sharif offered a qualified \”yes\” when asked if he

supported the GOK\’s Lower Juba initiative.  He had told the

GOK that the TFG did not want to see Somalia further divided.

That would create more problems than it would solve, he

added.  The GOK had reassured the TFG that it also did not

want to see Somalia divided and that it intended to use the

troops now being trained in Kenya for a national not a

regional mission.

13. (C) Sharif believed that the ethnic Somali troops

currently in Isiolo, Kenya, were receiving good training but

did not have all of the equipment they needed. Sharif thought

that perhaps the USG could assist the Kenyan effort. He

concluded by noting that the enemy the TFG faced was global

and that defeating it should not be on the shoulders of the

TFG alone.

14. (C) A/S Carson hoped that the planned TFG offensive would

be successful.  He said that he would confer with the

Ugandans about providing additional material resources.  He

urged the TFG to suggest ideas for community support and

service delivery to USAID. USAID Acting Assistant

Administrator for Africa Earl Gast seconded AID\’s willingness

to work with the government in providing community services

and briefly previewed an upcoming contract with IOM that

could support the TFG\’s efforts.

Comment

——-

ADDIS ABAB 00000167  003 OF 003

15. (C) As he has in other, recent meetings, Sharif appeared

self-possessed and confident. His qualified willingness to

support the long-incubated Kenyan Lower Juba initiative at

this meeting was at variance with the skepticism he had

expressed to Somalia Unit in Nairobi about two weeks ago

(septel). At that time, he suggested that the troops in

training at Isiolo did not have broad-based clan

representation and speculated that it might be better to

bring them to Mogadishu and integrate them into existing TFG

security forces.  He also in that meeting seemed more

skeptical of the GOK\’s ability to manage a cross-border

offensive.

Participants

————

16. (U)  USG:

Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otiero

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson

NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Michhelle Gavin

Ambassador to the African Union Michael Battle

Charge d\’affaires, Embassy Addis Ababa John Yates

USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa Gast

Counselor for Somalia Affairs, Embassy Nairobi Patterson

(notetaker)

Somalia Transitional Federal Government:

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

Deputy Prime Minister Sharif Hassan

Minister of Telecommunications Abdirizak Osman \”Jirile\”

President\’s Chief-of-Staff, Abdulkareem Jama (interpreter)

Member of Parliament Amina Mursal

YATES

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT AND AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/08

TAGS: MCAP, MARR, PGOV, PREL, PTER, KE, SO

SUBJECT: S/CT AMBASSADOR DANIEL BENJAMIN AND GOK OFFICIALS DISCUSS

SOMALIA, REGIONAL SECURITY AND BILATERAL COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION

REF: 09 NAIROBI 2203; 09 DJIBOUTI 1391; 10 ADDIS ABABA 0166

CLASSIFIED BY: Samuel A. Madsen, POL EARSI; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

Summary

————

1.  (C)  During a one-day visit to Kenya Ambassador-at-Large for

Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin discussed threats from Somalia,

Islamic extremism inside Kenya,  border security and Kenya\’s

efforts to aid the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

Amb Benjamin met with George Saitoti, Minister of Interior and

Provincial Administration, and commanders of the Kenyan police and

intelligence services, as well as Brigadier Phillip Kameru Director

of Military Intelligence (DMI).  All of the Kenyan officials

emphasized the threat that Kenya faces from Somalia and from

domestic radicalization, praised United States/Kenya

counterterrorism cooperation, and requested additional resources to

confront extremism and criminal activity.  End Summary.

2.  (SBU) Amb Benjamin met with George Saitoti, Minister of

Interior and Provincial Administration, January 29.  Saitoti was

joined by Mathew Iteere, Commissioner of Police, Commandant K.

Mbugua, Administration Police (AP), MG Michael Gichangi, Director

General of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), and

Nicholas Kamwende, Chief of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).

The delegation met separately with Brigadier Phillip Kameru,

Director for Military Intelligence (DMI).  Accompanying Amb

Benjamin to these meetings were Lee Brudvig, Nairobi Deputy Chief

of Mission, Mark Thompson, S/CT Deputy Coordinator for

Counterterrorism (Operations) , COL Rich Clarke, Joint Special

Operations Command, MAJ Craig Miller, Liaison to S/CT, and Samuel

Madsen, East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative Coordinator.

Matt Thompson, Defense Intelligence Agency Resident Analyst, also

accompanied the group to the meeting with the DMI.

Somalia Concerns

———————–

3.  (C) Minister Saitoti noted that Kenya has seen Somalia as a

problem since 1991.  The Government of Kenya (GOK) has tried to

help Somalia from time-to-time since then and fully supports the

TFG now.  The activities of al-Shabaab inside Somalia are a major

concern for the GOK, particularly given Al Shabaab\’s links to

al-Qaida, foreign fighters and other radicals.  An additional

concern is the 5000 to 6000 Somali refugees crossing into Kenya

each month, adding to the more than 360,000 who are already there.

The GOK is particularly worried that at least some of those

entering Kenya are extremists rather than refugees.

4.  (C) In a related note, Saitoti said the GOK views the recent

case of the Jamaican extremist Abdullah al-Faisal, who entered

Kenya illegally from Tanzania, as destabilizing public harmony.  He

claimed that radicals, including al-Shabaab, were behind violent

demonstrations in protest of al-Fisal\’s arrest.

5.  (C) Saitoti also noted that Somali piracy has hurt Kenya.  He

claimed proceeds from ransoms paid to Somali pirate syndicates are

being used to purchase expensive commercial and residential

properties in Kenya at inflated prices, thus affecting the Kenyan

economy by distorting the real estate market.  In addition,

quantities of small arms and light weapons from Somalia are

entering the black market in Kenya.  Saitoti appealed for greater

USG tactical and technical assistance for the Kenyan police, noting

that the ATPU is limited in size and capabilities and \”can\’t be

everywhere.\”

NAIROBI 00000147  002 OF 005

6.  (C) Siatoti added that the GOK sees Somalia as a security

problem not just for Kenya but for the entire region.  He referred

to the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es

Salaam and the 2002 attacks on the Israeli owned hotel and airliner

in Mombasa as examples of the terrorist threat coming from Somalia.

The presence of al-Qaida operatives and foreign fighters in Somalia

are causing increased concern.  Saitoti lamented that international

peacekeepers left Somalia in the mid 1990s, thus losing the

opportunity to \”resolve the situation\” years ago.  He added that

the instability in and threats from Somalia are likely to get worse

if the problem is not resolved now. While the TFG is weak, Saitoti

said he believes they could do better with more help.  However, the

international community has not adequately supported the TFG.

Unless the TFG receives increased international support al-Shabaab

is likely to defeat it eventually.  Saitoti noted that the GOK has

proposed ways to assist the TFG, most recently with the Jubaland

Initiative (see reftels), which is intended to train and equip a

force of Somalis to drive al-Shabaab fighters from areas near the

Kenyan border (further discussed below).

Confronting Extremism Inside Kenya

——————————————— —

7.  (C) Turning to Kenya\’s own concerns regarding religious

extremism, Saitoti stated that al-Shabaab\’s control over most of

southern Somalia reinforces the perception of TFG weakness and

allows al-Shabaab to spread its ideology freely.  He noted that

Kenyan youth are susceptible to al-Shabaab propaganda if that

message is not countered.  While most Kenyan Muslims and ethnic

Somali Kenyans are loyal citizens and reject extremism, Saitoti

declared there is still a need to show that extremist ideology is

false and wrong, particularly to the youth.

8.  (C) Saitoti noted that Kenya faces serious economic

difficulties stemming from violence following the December 2007

presidential elections.  Foreign investment and Kenya\’s vital

tourism industry both suffered large declines following the unrest

and recovery has been slow.  The economic downturn has led to high

unemployment among youth in all communities.  He believes youth are

easily misled by promises of opportunity from extremists.  Saitoti

claimed the GOK is implementing youth programs to create jobs.  He

did not offer details of specific programs but stated that these

efforts need USG assistance, either directly or through NGOs.  He

observed that there is a particular need for micro financing

initiatives to empower youth and reduce the appeal of radical

ideologies.

NSIS Director Alarmed over Civil Society

——————————————— ——–

9.  (C) Maj. Gen. Michael Gichangi, Director General of the

National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), noted that the GOK

is concerned by the global rise of radicalization, and fears this

could spread to Kenyans, particularly the growing youth population.

He stated that over the last seven years Kenya has developed a much

more open civil society.  He expressed concern, however, that this

greater openness can be exploited by radicals and U.S. efforts to

support an open civil society can potentially \”create space\” for

extremists.

10.  (C) Gichangi said the financial aid provided by the United

States and others to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating

in Kenya needs to be carefully monitored and directed in order to

prevent radicals from using these NGOs as covers for extremist

activities.  He encouraged the United States to target carefully

its assistance to Kenyan civil society, suggesting that the USG

\”partner\” with the GOK in directing aid to civil society in order

to insure it does not go to radicals.  He asked that the Embassy

share information with the GOK regarding which NGOs are currently

NAIROBI 00000147  003 OF 005

receiving assistance and specifically mentioned the Muslim Human

Rights Forum as an NGO he believes to be affiliated with Islamic

extremists.  Saitoti endorsed MG Gichangi\’s remarks, noting that

terrorist front organizations operate around the world and the

United States and other donor nations must avoid empowering them.

Law Enforcement and Border Control

——————————————— —-

11.  (C) Commissioner of Police Iteere noted that the border area

is made up of an ethnic Somali culture divided by the border.  He

praised the aid provided through the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Assistance

(ATA) program but said he needs more, particularly additional

resources such as equipment and vehicles to empower the ATPU.  He

also said there is a need for increased resources for border

security, noting that the crossing point where Jamaican extremist

Faisal entered Kenya is not monitored around the clock and lacks

computer based systems for tracking entries and exits.  Iteere also

pointed out that Kenya has supported the trial and imprisonment of

Somali pirates but these efforts pose a burden on the GOK.

12.  (C) Administration Police (AP) Commandant Mbugua seconded

Iteere\’s appreciation for USG capacity-building assistance,

particularly the recent donation of patrol boats and the efforts by

the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border

Protection to help train a new AP border patrol unit.  He noted,

however, that the AP\’s border agents still lack basic equipment,

particularly vehicles and aircraft for border monitoring.  Mbugua

stated that the international community and USG need to appreciate

that in confronting the problems of Somalia Kenya is dealing with

an international issue.  The GOK has done what it can with existing

resources but requires more.

13.  (C) Saitoti recommended that the United States and Kenya work

together to develop a joint strategy to address Somalia issues.  He

concluded by stating that the GOK is committed to political and

security reforms.  The violence that followed the 2007 elections

damaged Kenya\’s tradition of peace and acted as a wake-up call

regarding the need for reform.  He said the GOK is committed to the

fundamental reforms now underway, including the new constitution

that has been drafted and is now undergoing the review process.

The Threat from Somalia and al-Shabaab\’s Motivation

——————————————— ———————-

—-

14. (C) Phillip Kameru, Director for Military Intelligence (DMI),

characterized Somalia as Kenya\’s primary foreign threat and noted

that the Kenyan military is working to improve security along the

border.  Kameru claimed that the medical school bombing in

Mogadishu had reduced al-Shabaab\’s stature within Somalia, but top

leaders remain firmly committed to their course.  There has been

some al-Shabaab recruitment inside Kenya, including at the Dadaab

refugee camp, particularly for local Somali clan militias.  Most of

these recruits sign up with al-Shabaab for the pay as opposed to

ideological reasons.  Al-Shabaab senior leaders obtain much of

their funds from the port of Kismayo.  Al-Shabaab also skims money

and supplies from humanitarian assistance and charges tolls for

trucks carrying humanitarian aid and commercial cargo in areas

under their control.

15.  (C) Maritime infiltration of suspected extremists from Somalia

has declined since mid-2009, largely due to increased patrolling by

the Kenyan Navy and Maritime Police Unit.  Some infiltrators still

utilize existing smuggling routes.  Many of these involve sailing

far out to sea then running straight into Kenyan ports, versus the

traditional infiltration routes through coastal areas.

NAIROBI 00000147  004 OF 005

16.  (C) Kameru claimed there are signs of increasing

radicalization among rank-and-file al-Shabaab members, largely as a

result of proselytizing by Whabbists.  While many al-Shabaab

fighters are still motivated by money, Kameru believes an

increasing number are fighting for ideological reasons.  Al-Shabaab

is also working to indoctrinate the populace in areas under its

control.

17.  (C) Kameru added that the DMI sees significant numbers of

Tanzanians, Ugandans and Kenyans among the foreigners fighting

alongside al-Shabaab.  Many are Muslim converts who have been

radicalized.  He also claimed to have seen evidence of non-Muslim

Nigerians working with al-Shabaab, although possibly not as

fighters.  He said al-Shabaab members receive basic military

training from Somali al-Shabaab members and foreigners, but

specialized and advanced training is largely provided by the

foreign fighters.

The Jubaland Initiative

——————————

18.  (C) Kameru extensively discussed the Kenyan government\’s

Jubaland Initiative, under which the Kenyan military is training

and equipping a force of Somalis whose mission will be to enter

Somalia and drive al-Shabaab militias away from the areas along the

Kenyan border.  He began by stating that al-Shabaab views the

Kenyan government as a threat that it needs to deal with.  He added

that the DMI expects al-Shabaab to begin cross border incursions

into Kenya and he claimed to have received reports indicating

al-Shabaab has plans to use improvised explosive devices and

landmines against security personnel and civilian traffic inside

Kenya.   Kameru said there are other reports of al-Shabaab

stockpiling weapons in border regions.

19. (C) Kameru said Kenya wants to develop a buffer zone inside

Somalia to prevent al-Shabaab infiltration and incursions.  He

claimed that the TFG agrees with the initiative because it wants to

reduce al-Shabaab pressure from the Juba region.  In addition, many

in the region reject al-Shabaab\’s ideology and would like to see

them driven out.

20. (C) Kameru noted that the initiative cannot succeed as just a

military operation.  A viable political process must be established

as follow-on to the military operations, he said.  The force will

need the support of the local population in order to prevent a

prolonged guerrilla campaign.  He also stated that, while Kenyan

military trainers are training the force in conventional military

tactics and operations, veteran Somali and TFG personnel are also

providing instruction in unconventional military tactics employed

by al-Shabaab.

21.  (C) Kameru stated that the original Jubaland Initiative called

for 3000 trained fighters but only 2000 are now available. These

include 600 police and trained civil administrators to provide

security and government services following the operation.  He added

that the DMI estimates al-Shabaab to have about 1000 to 1500

fighters in the Juba area and approximately 6000 nationwide.

According to Kameru, the GOK is also concerned about reports

indicating that al-Shabaab is activating old training camps in the

Juba region.  If true this would allow al-Shabaab to mobilize and

train large numbers of additional fighters.

22.  (C) Saitoti noted that he was aware of USG skepticism

regarding the Jubaland Initiative.  He insisted, however, that

Kenya intends to press forward.  He defended the program by

pointing out that Kenya shares a long, poorly defined border with

Somalia and sees a trend toward increasing numbers of Somali

NAIROBI 00000147  005 OF 005

refugees crossing into Kenya.  The GOK is seriously concerned by

the possibility that Somali militants may be crossing the border

hidden among the refugees.  He noted that the GOK is willing to

consider alternative USG proposals to the Jubaland Initiative.

23.  (C) COMMENT: Amb Benjamin\’s interlocutors universally

emphasized that they view al-Shabaab and Somalia as their primary

external security threat and that external threat is interconnected

with the growing menace posed by domestic Islamic extremism. Post

shares these concerns and views Kenya as a vital partner in

regional counterterrorism efforts.  However, post believes efforts

intended to counter extremism in Kenya must take place within a

framework of fundamental political, judicial and security sector

reform.

24.  (U) Amb Benjamin did not clear this cable.

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SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/10

TAGS: PREL, PTER, SO, SU, YM, DJ, ET, KE

SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI: FOREIGN MINISTER UPDATE ON SOMALIA

CLASSIFIED BY: J. Swan, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY.  During a February 10 meeting with visiting

Director of the National Defense University\’s Africa Center for

Strategic Studies (ACSS) Ambassador William Bellamy, Djiboutian

Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf assessed the current

situation in Somalia with pragmatism, concern, and a hint of

impatience.  Despite ongoing international, regional, and

Djiboutian support and advice to the Transitional Federal

Government (TFG), Youssouf said, extremist activity was still on

the rise in Somalia, and directly threatened Djiboutian security

and economic interests.  He cautioned that if Kenya decided to move

forward with its planned Jubaland initiative, Somalis would be

quick to use such \”interference\” as an excuse to foment unrest in

Nairobi.  Djiboutian President Guelleh speaks with TFG President

Sharif nearly every day, Youssouf said, and counsels him to focus

on increasing security in Mogadishu, providing services to the

population, and ramping up public diplomacy efforts to counter

al-Shabaab\’s all-too-effective messaging.  Briefly touching on

Sudan, Youssouf said that the Kenyans had asked for an

Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) summit on the

Comprehensive Peace Agreement to be convened in two to three weeks\’

time, but said he had no further details.  END SUMMARY.

—————————–

SOMALIA AND KENYA

—————————–

2. (C) Current levels of diplomatic and military assistance to the

TFG had not been enough to staunch rising extremist activity in

Somalia, Youssouf said.  In addition to the direct threat to

Djibouti\’s economic installations and internal security, extremism

was increasingly endangering Yemen–and now Al Qaeda in the Arabian

Peninsula has threatened international shipping through the

Bab-el-Mandeb strait.  Ambassador Bellamy noted Kenyans\’ growing

sense of urgency on countering extremist threats emanating from

Somalia.  Youssouf said that the GOK\’s cooperation in combating

piracy had \”boomeranged\” back, with ethnic Somalis demonstrating in

Nairobi.  Eldoret Airport has become a major point of entry for

goods smuggled from Somalia into Kenya, and could mask movement of

extremist-linked contraband, he added.  Youssouf likened his

reaction to Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative to his fears about

Ethiopia\’s imminent involvement in Somalia in 2006.  This kind of

\”interference\” can only have negative repercussions for Kenya

itself, he cautioned.  Extremists would quickly turn such

intervention into an excuse for undermining Kenya\’s internal

security.  On a positive note, Youssouf praised regional

coordination on Somalia policy.  With the notable exception of

Eritrea, Somalia\’s Horn of Africa neighbors were much more focused

and coordinated on Somalia questions than they had been in some

years.

——————————————— ———————-

DJIBOUTI TO SHARIF: FOCUS ON THE POPULATION

——————————————— ———————-

3. (C) President Guelleh, Youssouf said, continued to speak by

telephone with TFG President Sheik Sharif nearly every day.

Guelleh was advising Sharif to focus primarily on security,

services for the population, and public outreach.  The TFG needed

to control Mogadishu first, Youssouf stressed, moving beyond Villa

Somalia into other neighborhoods while an AMISOM cordon prevented

al-Shabaab from reinforcing.  While dialogue remained important,

the TFG should negotiate from a position of strength, balancing the

carrot and the stick.  Youssouf agreed with Ambassador Bellamy that

the TFG had to create momentum in the security arena, and then use

it to begin providing services to the population.  He criticized a

recent TFG budget for devoting some 50 percent of resources to

security and another 20-30 percent to salaries, rather than

channeling more to basic services.

4 (C) \”Sustainable security of the government itself will stem from

the security of the population,\” Youssouf stressed.  He agreed that

DJIBOUTI 00000165  002 OF 002

there was a danger the TFG could concentrate too much on surviving,

requesting additional troops for its own protection rather to help

start governing.  President Sharif was a good leader, Youssouf

assessed, but right now Somalia might need more aggressive

decision-making.  President Guelleh had already counseled President

Sharif to focus on governance instead of on keeping peace between

the clans.  If Sharif could end his term by finishing the

constitution and securing 80 percent of Mogadishu, it would be a

good accomplishment.  If Sharif just tries to mediate between the

clans, Youssouf warned, he could end up achieving

nothing–following in the footsteps of several of his predecessors.

Youssouf said that the TFG was still not doing nearly enough mass

outreach.  In the wake of the December 3 Shamo Hotel attack, for

example, the TFG had broadcast only mourning recitations from the

Koran on its radio stations, missing out on a prime opportunity to

communicate to the population how extremist attacks hurt ordinary

Somalis.

——————————————— —

UPCOMING IGAD SUMMIT ON CPA?

——————————————— —

5. (C) In an aside on Sudan, Youssouf said that Kenya had recently

asked that an IGAD summit be convened in some two or three weeks to

discuss the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).  Youssouf said

that Djibouti had not yet received an invitation to the event with

specific dates.  The December 2009 IGAD Ministerial meeting in

Djibouti had called for Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin

and Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa to travel to Khartoum and

Juba on an IGAD mission to consult the CPA signatories, but

Youssouf said that this trip had not occurred.

—————

COMMENT

—————-

6. (C) Along with the ongoing Djibouti-Eritrea border dispute,

Somalia remains the GODJ\’s central security concern.  Beyond its

hosting of the Djibouti Process, the GODJ clearly remains committed

to supporting the TFG.  In addition to helping train TFG recruits

and planning an AMISOM troop contribution, the GODJ also consults

regularly with the TFG leadership on its strategy.  Like other GODJ

officials, Foreign Minister Youssouf has invested deeply in the

TFG\’s success.  Yet as an ethnic Afar, his equities in Somalia are

largely professional rather than personal, and he sometimes betrays

exasperation over intractable Somali inter-clan struggles.  END

COMMENT.

7. (U) Ambassador Swan and POL/ECONOff Hunter (notetaker) also

participated in this meeting.  ACSS Director Ambassador Bellamy did

not have an opportunity to clear this cable before departing post.

SWAN

Raw – Jubaland 3

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NSC FOR MGAVIN

LONDON FOR PLORD

PARIS FOR WBAIN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2020

TAGS: MARR, PGOV, PREL, AU-1

SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT: MUSEVENI\’S MUSINGS ON AFRICAN

CONFLICTS, FAMILY VALUES

Classified By: Ambassador Michael Battle for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

This message is from USAU Ambassador Michael A. Battle.

1. (U) January 31, 2010; 5:00 p.m.; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2. (U) Participants:

U.S.

Under Secretary Maria Otero

Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson

NSC Senior Africa Advisor Michelle Gavin

Special Envoy Scott Gration

Special Advisor Howard Wolpe

Deputy Special Advisor Jim Yellin

USAU Ambassador Michael Battle

USAU Military Advisor Ellington (notetaker)

Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni

Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa

3. (C) Summary. In a free-ranging conversation on the margins

of the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ugandan

President Museveni told the American delegation that while

the situation in Sudan is worrisome, it is not without hope.

He advised that issues like border demarcation and wealth

distribution be addressed immediately, given the likelihood

of the South becoming independent, and offered regional

assistance in building southern capacity in governance and

development.  On Kenya\’s Jubaland Initiative in Southern

Somalia, Museveni questioned Kenya\’s bush-fighting

credentials and the ideological commitment of its Somali

proxies.  He advised the West to pay and develop Transitional

Federal Government (TFG) fighters rather than the much more

expensive and less effective options of funding international

peacekeepers and counterpiracy operations.  He pledged

continued regional oversight of Burundi\’s peace process as it

approaches elections this year, and promised that no Ugandan

would be executed for homosexual behavior.  End Summary.

Sudan: \”I want to see that general . . .\”

—————————————–

4. (C) In a meeting with the USG delegation, Uganda President

Yoweri Museveni discussed a range of regional developments.

On Sudan, he characterized Uganda as a \”lonely frontline

state,\” having been abandoned in its support of the Sudan

People\’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) by Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Museveni thanked General Gration for touching base with him

on Sudan, and welcomed Gration\’s proposed visit to Uganda.

5. (C) Museveni reported that Government of South Sudan

(GOSS) President Salva Kiir is \”worried.\” Museveni indicated

that southern independence was highly likely and advised that

contentious issues like border demarcation and wealth

distribution must be addressed immediately.  Museveni

welcomed Gration\’s pledge that the USG will respect and

support the South\’s decision on independence.  Whether or not

the referendum results in southern independence, Museveni

said that South Sudan must develop economically.  The

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should play

a vital role in South Sudan\’s development, he said, just as

IGAD had birthed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement at

Naivasha. Museveni agreed that South Sudan lacks technical

capacity, but suggested that Uganda and other neighbors have

qualified and underemployed technocrats and bureaucrats who

could help South Sudan govern and develop.  Already, Uganda

has many teachers working in South Sudan, said Museveni.

Somalia: Kenya\’s Jubaland Initiative

————————————

6. (U) A/S Carson thanked Museveni for the sacrifices Uganda

continues to make in support of the African Union Mission in

Somalia (AMISOM), acknowledging that the TFG\’s success is due

in large part to Uganda\’s protection.  Carson applauded

Uganda\’s training initiative for TFG troops and committed to

support the deployment of its fourth battalion.

ADDIS ABAB 00000280  002 OF 003

\”Freedom fighters, not employees\”

———————————

7. (C) Responding to Carson\’s question about Kenya\’s proposed

Jubaland Initiative, Museveni acknowledged the operational

value of seizing Kismayo and, more broadly, denying

al-Shabaab\’s access to sea and airports. However, Museveni

questioned the capacity of the Kenyans to manage such an

offensive, as well as the ideological commitment of the

Somali proxy forces.  Fighting, said Museveni, is foremost

ideological, especially in a stateless conflict.  The Armed

Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo face a similar

challenge, said Museveni.  Their problem is that they are not

fighting for a cause.  Would Somali fighters participating in

the Jubaland Initiative be a liberation movement or an

extension of the Kenyan Army?  Museveni characterized the

Kenyan Armed Forces as a \”career army,\” questioning their

liberation credentials and wondering about their ability to

sustain bush fighters.  \”Is Kenya used to fighting like this?

Would Kenya be able to provide logistical support to its

Somali allies?\”

8. (C) Carson wondered if Somali fighters sponsored by Kenya

would be loyal to the TFG, or switch allegiances to the Ahlus

Sunnah wal Jammah (ASWJ) or another group.  Carson told

Museveni that the Ethiopian government originally had

concerns that a Kenyan-sponsored Somali force might

eventually shift its support to the Oromo National Liberation

Front (ONLF), but that Prime Minister Meles now seemed

comfortable there are control measures to preclude such a

force from meddling in the Ogaden.

Shabaab vs. AMISOM

——————

9. (C) Museveni expressed hope in the fact that almost four

years hence the extremists still have not organized

themselves.  Despite all the time and space, the Shabaab\’s

structure and capacity remain weak.  They don\’t have deep

roots, said Museveni.  They are gunmen only.  Carson

countered saying that Shabaab\’s destructive nature had

nonetheless transformed a local problem into a regional and

international one, citing refugee flows, rampant piracy, and

safe haven for violent Islamic extremism.  Museveni stated

that this situation is reversible, and that with sufficient

military force al-Shabaab can be driven from the major towns

in south-central Somalia where they would wither in the

countryside.

10. (C) Carson said the USG would continue to help build

AMISOM\’s capacity, and saluted Djibouti\’s recent troop

contribution. He solicited Museveni\’s assistance in getting

more African governments to pledge peacekeepers, and stated

that the USG is encouraging the AU and its partners to raise

AMISOM troop allowances to UN standards.

11. (C) Museveni pushed back saying that the international

community\’s money would be better spent on training and

paying the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) for a year.

It\’s cheaper than the UN, said Museveni.  Plus, the Somalis

would eventually develop more ideological commitment to

liberation than would an international force.  In the

meantime, the TFG must be able to pay its fighters until they

can galvanize ideologically. \”How much are you spending on

ships which don\’t control piracy?\” Spend that money instead

on developing a SNAF of 20,000 personnel, concentrating on

small unit leadership.  Solve the problems on the land and

the piracy issue will go away, said Museveni.

Burundi

——-

13. (C) Wolpe commended Museveni\’s shepherding of the Burundi

peace process over the years, but warned of a void in

international oversight of the peace process with the

dismissal of Head of United Nations Integrated Office in

Burundi (BINUB) Youssef Mahmoud and the withdrawal of the

ADDIS ABAB 00000280  003 OF 003

South African protection mission. Wolpe also identified the

need for a facilitation mechanism should intervention be

required during the election period.  Wolpe suggested that

the East African Community (EAC) might be able to partner

with Burundi in establishing such a framework.  On the

positive side, Burundian President Nkurunziza wants the

maximum amount of international observers for the elections

as early as he can get them.

14. (U) Museveni admitted that he had not been closely

following events in Burundi, but promised to follow up

saying, \”we\’ll ensure there are no problems.\”  Museveni

identified police training as critical in the run-up to the

elections.

African Family Values

———————

15. (U) Carson expressed gratitude that Museveni had tamped

down the tensions surrounding Uganda\’s draft

anti-homosexuality bill.  Both Carson and Otero encouraged

Museveni to pursue decriminalization and destigmatization of

homosexuality.  Museveni warned outsiders of pushing Africa

too hard on this issue, lest it create another hurricane, and

lectured on African family values.  He assured the USG

delegation that nobody in Uganda would be executed for

homosexual behavior, but explained that in the African

context homosexuality is a disorder and not something to be

promoted or celebrated.  Don\’t push it, warned Museveni,

\”I\’ll handle it.\”

Comment

——-

16. (U) Museveni was confident, amiable, and entirely lucid,

if not verbose at times. The exchange was quintessentially

Museveni as he wove wit, wisdom, scripture, and at times

gentle chastisement into his analysis of the region\’s

security challenges.  Featuring prominently were several of

his standard themes, like the danger of Islamic extremism

penetrating Black Africa and Uganda\’s prominent role as a

frontline state, as well as the critical role of subregional

organizations in addressing problems and lessons in

liberation theology.

17. (U) A/S Carson has cleared this cable.

YATES

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/11

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MOPS, MARR, SU, SO, KE

SUBJECT: ASD Vershbow Visit Highlights Regional Security Issues

CLASSIFIED BY: Mitchell Benedict, Political Counselor, DOS, POL;

REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1.  (C) Summary: During separate January 26 meetings, Assistant

Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow met with Prime Minister

Raila Odinga, Defense Minister Yussuf Haji, Chief of Defense

Jeremiah Kianga, and Interior Minister George Saitoti.  PM Odinga

expressed serious concern over regional instability emanating from

Somalia and emphasized that the international community has not

acted with resolve as needed.  The PM was equally concerned about

the potential for Sudanese instability before and after the 2011

referendum.  Minister Haji expressed his appreciation for defense

cooperation and offered new details on Kenya\’s proposed \”Jubaland

Initiative\” in Southern Somalia.  Kenyan officials expressed

concern over spillover of violence from Somalia and the flow of

Somali refugees into Kenya.   END SUMMARY.

USG-KENYA: STRONG PARTNERSHIP

2. (C) ASD Vershbow thanked Prime Minister Odinga and Defense

Minister Haji for Kenya\’s strong partnership with the United

States-including access to facilities, collaboration with the U.S.

to combat terrorism within the Horn of Africa, and Kenya\’s active

role in regional peacekeeping.  ASD Vershbow stated that the U.S.

appreciates the grave threat to Kenya\’s security stemming from

instability in Somalia and that we share much of Kenya\’s threat

analysis. Emphasizing the importance of reform and change in Kenya,

the ASD told PM Odinga the U.S. wants to work with Kenya to address

problems emanating from Somalia and Sudan but that in order to be

\”a strong partner of yours, we also need for Kenya to be a strong

country.\”  PM Odinga , citing the recent POTUS telephone calls to

Nairobi, expressed confidence that his government will find

solutions to their internal political problems so that cooperation

with the U.S. can continue.  He expressed gratitude for U.S.

assistance adding that \”we wait to see more.\”  ASD Vershbow assured

PM Odinga that the US is very interested in Kenya\’s success and

wants to see our relationship strengthened.

SOMALIA

3. (C)  PM Odinga stated that worsening conditions in Somalia are

of serious concern to Kenya and that instability in Somalia is

causing instability in Kenya. He stated that for humanitarian

reasons the border with Somalia will unofficially remain open

despite the flow of thousands of refugees and arms.  He assessed

that allowing the TFG to completely collapse would result in a

grave situation.  He stated that should the TFG fall, al-Shabaab

would fill the void.  Minister Saitoti said he believes that

current levels of assistance directed to the TFG are inadequate and

that a significant effort should be made to provide more money and

technical assistance.  Saitoti urged the ASD to explore ways to

build capacity of the TFG.

4. (C)  Minister of Defense Haji explained that the border between

Kenya and Somalia was of significant concern.  He stated that Kenya

was deploying additional resources to their eastern border.

Minister Saitoti also expressed particular concern over Kenya\’s

border security.  He commented that Kenya was receiving 6,000

refugees monthly and outlined major security, economic and

environmental implications of the flow.  Saitoti said that ethnic

Somalis are competing for scarce employment opportunities

throughout Kenya and having a negative impact on the tourism

industry.  Saitoti pointed out the environmental degradation

occurring near refugee camps as Kenya\’s forests were being torn

down for use as firewood.

KENYA\’S JUBALAND INITIATIVE

5. (C) Minister Haji and General Kianga made the case for their

proposed Jubaland initiative and asked for our \”understanding and

support.\” Kenya has begun to train up to 2,000 Somalis to be

deployed against al-Shabaab in Lower and Upper Juba.  Addressing

U.S. concerns about coordination with the TFG, Kenyan officials

claimed that the TFG had requested the initiative, that political

NAIROBI 00000159  002 OF 003

accommodation between Jubaland and TFG authorities was being worked

out, and that the TFG is now recruiting all fighters.  The TFG has

spoken with many voices on the Jubaland initiative.  In our most

recent conversation with him, President Sharif provided a qualified

endorsement to Department of State Assistant Secretary Carson on

the margins of the AU Summit on January 31. Post will continue to

monitor closely TFG views on Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative.    Kenyan

officials also emphasized their strategic focus on denying

al-Shabaab control of the Kismayo port, a key logistics hub.  ASD

Vershbow agreed that training additional TFG forces was important,

but told Ministers Haji and Saitoti that while \”you have our

understanding, you do not yet have our support.\”

6.  (C) Minister Saitoti and Minister Haji pointed out that the

international community was assisting both Uganda and Djibouti to

trained TFG forces, but was not willing to assist Kenya.  Haji

asserted that \”Kenya deserves to be assisted as Uganda and Djibouti

were assisted.\”  Minister Saitoti, sensing no change to U.S.

reluctance to support their Jubaland initiative, noted pointedly

that the United States has as of yet been unable to propose an

alternative strategy to Kenya\’s Jubaland initiative.

EXTREMIST THREATS

7. (C) Both Minister Haji and Minister Saitoti raised concerns

about the increasing presence of foreign fighters in Somalia.

General Kianga believes that Somalia is becoming a \”sanctuary\” for

foreign terrorists.  They believe that al-Shabaab is working

closely with AQ and others to increase foreign fighters in the

region.  They stated that \”if al-Shabaab is not contained, Kenya

will have a very serious situation to deal with.\”

SUDAN

8. (C) The Kenyan leadership is very concerned about the potential

for instability caused by expected deterioration in relations

between North and South Sudan.  PM Odinga reaffirmed that Kenyan

relations with both the North and the South were stable,

highlighting the unresolved North/South border issue as a likely

future friction point.  He stated that there needs to be a peaceful

process between the North and South to demarcate the border, and

that countries in the region should urge Sudan to address the

border issue before the upcoming referendum.  He also believes that

building governance capacity in South Sudan is critical.  He stated

that the North continues to arm itself and that the South needs

military supplies, equipment, and training.   ASD Vershbow agreed

there are significant challenges associated with the upcoming

referendum and that the U.S. and Kenya need to work closely to

minimize regional effects.  PM Odinga believes that the road ahead

will be rough because he does not see adequate resolve in Khartoum

for a peaceful post-referendum Sudan.

9. (C)  Odinga raised the standstill concerning Southern Sudanese

tanks in Kenya. Odinga asserted that the North is heavily armed and

that the South is looking for ways to protect themselves.  ASD

Vershbow told Odinga that he was optimistic that a mutually

agreeable solution could be found.

PIRACY

10. (C) PM Odinga and Minister Saitoti briefly discussed Somalia

piracy and its effects on Kenya.  PM Odinga mentioned that piracy

money flow has distorted commodity and real estate prices in Kenya,

and that imports and exports premium. Describing mainland Somalia

as a \”reservoir\” for piracy, Odinga emphasized the need to \”plug

the source\” and asserted that piracy should be fought on land,

rather than the high seas.  Minister Saitoti stated that Kenya

needs help taking care of Somali pirates in Kenyan prisons.

NAIROBI 00000159  003 OF 003

11. (U) ASD Vershbow cleared this cable.

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SENSITIVE

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NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/17

TAGS: PREL, EAID, KE, XW, ECON, EINV, ENRG, EFIN, PGOV, CH, PINR

SUBJECT: Chinese Engagement in Kenya

REF: 10 STATE 10152

CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher Walton, Economics Officer, State, Econ;

REASON: 1.4(B), (C), (D)

1. (S/NF) Summary: China\’s engagement in Kenya continues to grow

exponentially.  China enjoys a large trade surplus with Kenya;

exports increased by more than 25 percent a year from 2004 to 2008.

The China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) is drilling for oil

in the Isiolo region.  China may be a potential partner in the

development of the new mega-port at Lamu.  In addition, China is

heavily involved in various infrastructure projects across Kenya

primarily with roads.  China is also providing weapons to the GOK

in support of its Somalia policies and increasing their involvement

with the Kenyan National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS)

by providing telecommunications and computer equipment.  Recently,

China signed an economic and technical cooperation agreement with

the GOK providing new development grants.  To date, China and the

U.S. do not collaborate on development projects in Kenya.  End

summary.

2. (U) China enjoys a large trade surplus with Kenya, exporting

more than 30 times its imports.  For 2008, China exported $917

million of goods to Kenya while China imported $29 million worth of

Kenyan goods.  China\’s exports in 2008 grew by 39 percent over 2007

capping the fourth straight year of at least 25 percent export

growth, including a 54 percent increase in 2007 and a 79 percent

increase in 2005.  China is now the third largest exporter to Kenya

after the United Arab Emirates, which principally exports oil to

Kenya, and India.  In comparison, the U.S. exported $440 million

worth of goods to Kenya in 2008 while importing $343 million worth

of Kenyan goods.

3. (U) The CNOOC is drilling for oil in the Isiolo region of Kenya

(see ref A).  The exploratory well will cost $26 million dollars

and drilling will be complete in April 2010.  Numerous oil

companies have drilled 31 exploratory wells in Kenya over the last

50 years without success.  However, CNOOC is making a credible

effort to find oil in an area geologically similar to Southern

Sudan, with its substantial oil finds.  As reported ref A, we had

heard that CNOOC would announce results from the exploratory well

by January 2010; we are now hearing an announcement may come in

April.

4. (U) The GOK is highly interested in developing a major port

complex in Lamu, which has much greater potential as a deep water

port than Mombasa.  The GOK originally held discussions with Qatar

over the development of the Lamu port in return for a substantial

allocation of farm land.  Negotiations involving development of the

Lamu port reportedly occur inside the \”black box\” of President

Kibaki\’s inner circle at State House.  We understand, however, that

talks with Qatar are off, and that the Chinese are in play as a

potential partner for the port development project and associated

regional infrastructure (road and rail infrastructure to Southern

Sudan and Ethiopia, and pipeline infrastructure to Southern Sudan

and Uganda).  China\’s interest in the Lamu project is reportedly

linked to the presence of oil in Southern Sudan and Uganda which

could be exported via Lamu as well as the greater export potential

to Ethiopia, Southern Sudan and Uganda.  The addition of oil from

Isiolo would add additional impetus to China\’s interest in the port

development which is estimated to cost more than $5 billion.

5. (SBU) China is currently developing a number of infrastructure

projects in Kenya.  Currently, China Wuyi, Syno Hydro, and China

Overseas Engineering Corporation are working on the Thika Road

project, a major eight lane highway from Nairobi to Thika town.

Another Chinese firm, Shengli Engineering & Consulting Company was

the prime contractor for the Mombasa-City Centre-Gigiri road

upgrade project.  In addition, the second phase of a project to

upgrade the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is being

worked by China National Aero-Technology International Engineering

Company (CATIC).  The first phase of the project was completed by

the Chinese company, China Wu Yi.  TBEA International, another

Chinese firm, is developing a 120 MW thermal plant in Longonot and

600 MW coal-fired power station in Mombasa as an independent power

producer.  TBEA is also undertaking projects that involve

construction of 132 kV lines and sub-stations in the Rift Valley,

Central, Western and Coast provinces.  During a recent visit to the

Olkaria geothermal development site in the Rift Valley Province,

Econoff observed that Great Wall Drilling, another Chinese company,

was exploring for geothermal energy.  The KenGen Olkaria Geothermal

Development Manager told Econoff that while he would prefer to buy

quality American drills, pipes, and other geothermal-related

products, American companies could not compete with China on price

and price won every time in Kenya.

6. (S/NF) In January 2010, the GOK received from the GOC via CATIC

weapons, ammunition, supplies, and textiles for making uniforms in

support of the GOK\’s Jubaland initiative.

7. (S/NF) As of late August 2009, Telkom Kenya awarded Zhongxing

Telecommunications Equipment Company (ZTE) a contract to provide

landline telephone monitoring equipment to the NSIS.  Telkom Kenya

awarded the contract to ZTE after being pressured to do so by the

NSIS Director General Michael Gichangi and the NSIS Director of

Operations Division Joseph Kamau.  Gichangi\’s preference for ZTE is

based on kickbacks he received from the company while on a visit to

China.  Kamau received monthly payments of over $5000 from ZTE

which were used to pay medical bills.

8. (S/NF) As of September 2008, ZTE was building e-Government

infrastructure on the NSIS headquarters compound.  The project

involved a secure network for Kenyan e-Government activities,

including software and computer-based security, and a two-story

complex that would house the entire Kenyan governments\’ network

files.  As of early March 2009, Chinese technicians were working on

a project in the basement of the NSIS headquarters.  The presence

of the technicians was well known throughout the NSIS and was

causing some concern over the level of cooperation between the NSIS

and its Chinese counterparts.

9. (U) The GOK and GOC recently signed an Economic and Technical

Cooperation Agreement.  The agreement provides a $7.3 million grant

from China to Kenya.  Of the grant, $150,000 will finance a

computer program for the Ministry of Finance while the remaining

funds can be used by the GOK to fund development projects of their

choice.  The agreement also covered Chinese funding of feasibility

studies for the potential development of Lamu port.  In addition,

China committed to funding portions of the Northern Corridor road

project, which links Mombasa and Nairobi to Ethiopia and Southern

Sudan, as well as parts of the new Mombasa-Kampala standard gauge

railway.  Currently, China\’s Shengli Engineering Construction is

refurbishing The Moi International Sports Complex at Kasarani with

$12.8 million of grant-in-aid money from China.  In Early 2009,

China provided a $1 million grant to the GOK for the construction

of a 100 bed hospital in Nairobi.  In 2008, the GOK received

approximately $381 million in interest-free and preferential loans,

with $145 million intended for the planned ring roads aimed at

decongesting Nairobi.  Since 2008, the GOK has implemented

campaigns to attract investment from the $1 billion China-Africa

Development Fund.

10. (U) China\’s companies working in Kenya tend to import a

substantial number of Chinese workers.  This importation of labor

from China tends to limit the number of Kenyans who directly

benefit with wages and knowledge transfer from the projects.  The

low Chinese bids on major projects also push local firms out of the

process, especially in infrastructure areas where capacity building

of local firms would be useful.  In addition, the Kenya Wildlife

Service (KWS) noticed a marked increase in poaching wherever

Chinese labor camps were located and in fact set up specific

interdiction efforts aimed to reduce poaching (see ref B).  KWS

also reports that 90% of the ivory smugglers detained at JKIA are

Chinese nationals.

11. (U) The U.S. mission in Kenya has no current or pending

development partnership arrangements with the GOC or any informal

collaboration at the program or project level.  The GOC does not

participate in donor coordination in Kenya.  Donors have encouraged

the GOK to bring China into the donor coordination process, but no

progress has been made to date.  While we do not recommend it, a

potential area for collaboration could include agricultural

development, a USG strength and an area of Chinese interest in

Africa.  However, the GOC does not participate in the multilateral

agricultural donors group in Kenya.  The GOC could be invited to

join this donors group, predicated on their willingness to sign a

Memorandum of Understanding ensuring their support of Kenya\’s long

term agriculture strategy.  The World Bank recently announced a new

initiative to work in cooperation with Chinese infrastructure

development in Africa.  This new effort seems to be aimed at

working with China and African countries to maximize the benefits

of Chinese development aid to the African people.

12. (SBU) Comment: Collaboration between the USG and China in Kenya

should be approached cautiously as there appears to be little

dovetailing of our interests to date.  The GOC has been silent on

the implementation of the reform agenda, which we consider

essential to Kenya\’s future stability and prosperity; the GOC turns

a blind eye to the flooding of the Kenyan market with Chinese

counterfeit goods, such as batteries, which directly damage U.S.

market share here; and the GOC has not demonstrated any commitment

to curb ivory poaching.  We expect China\’s engagement in Kenya to

continue to grow given Kenya\’s strategic location.  If oil or gas

is found in Kenya, this engagement will likely grow even faster.

Kenya\’s leadership may be tempted to move ever closer to China in

an effort to shield itself from Western, and principally U.S.,

pressure to reform.  Given the possibility of a backlash by the

Kenyan people against China, perhaps over the issue of imported

Chinese labor or mishandling of natural resources, there may be

benefits to keeping our distance, at least publicly, from China.

RANNEBERGER

US aid for Kenya, Jubaland urged in offensive on pirates

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/US+aid+for+Kenya+Jubaland+urged+in+offensive+on+pirates/-/2558/1162756/-/75vpx3/-/

 

By KEVIN KELLEY

Posted  Monday, May 16 2011 at 00:00

The United States should provide judicial aid to Kenya and military aid to the Kenya-supported Jubaland entity inside Somalia as part of a more aggressive response to piracy, a US senator urged last week.

Unless these and additional moves are made, “We will see a huge increase in terrorism from Al Qaeda affiliates that feed off pirate ransoms,” declared Senator Mark Kirk, who also serves as an intelligence officer in the US Naval Reserve.

Kirk’s recommendations coincide with recent warnings by Obama administration officials regarding the worsening plague of piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

A number of analysts are calling for stepped-up US actions against pirates.

In a report issued following a week-long fact-finding visit to three East African countries, including Somalia, Kirk cites a Kenyan government estimate that about 30 per cent of ransoms paid to Somali pirates are funneled to Al Qaeda and the Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab. That amounts to more than $50 million a year, Kirk says.

Piracy in the waters off the Horn and East Africa is becoming ever more lucrative, Kirk said.

The average ransom paid for a seized ship grew from $1.3 million to $5.4 million in the past three years, with pirates paid a total of $178 million during that period, added the Republican senator from the state of Illinois.

Pirates are currently holding 23 ships and 483 sailors, Kirk said.

His report calls for giving naval commanders the authority to attack pirate “mother ships.”

Kirk also wants US and European forces to blockade three primary pirate ports and shorelines.

He proposes US military assistance to a variety of factions in Somalia, including forces in Jubaland, to capture territory currently controlled by Al Shabaab or by pirates.

Kirk notes that Jubaland, which declared its autonomy in April, “is intended to serve as a buffer state between war-torn central Somalia, Al Shabaab and the Kenyan border.”

Kenya is providing military assistance to Jubaland, he says, but such aid has so far proven ineffective.

Kenya, which is holding 122 suspected or convicted pirates, should be given help to expand its judicial and prison capacity, Kirk says.

“Kenya in particular has expressed concern that it is carrying a heavier burden than others in the region and is not receiving the financial, technical and physical support that it requires from the United States and others in the international community,” Kirk states.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201105090038.html

The Nation (Nairobi)

Kenya: MPs Support Plans to Create a Buffer Zone

Muchiri Karanja

8 May 2011

Nairobi — MPs from North Eastern Province are unanimous in their support for the creation of a buffer zone separating their region from its volatile neighbours.

Instability in the neighbouring Somali, they say, translates to instability in their constituencies.

Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed says anything that helps stabilise the neighbouring Somalia is a welcome initiative.

“Whatever they call it, whether Jubaland, or Puntland, whichever set up, so long as it will address the issue of terrorism that is taking root on the (Somali) side, is welcome,” says Mr Mohamed.

Fafi MP Sugow Ahmed Aden says that his constituents, who are hosting a big chunk of the Somali refugees, mostly from the Juba area, look forward to the creation of Jubaland.

“But if the Jubaland initiative backfires, then the refugee crisis might expand, along with the problem of illicit arms,” says Mr Aden. “The initiative will need a lot of support from the Kenyan government and the rest of the world.”

Former Fafi MP Elias Bare Shill agrees. Kenya, he argues, has let other neighbouring countries play big brother in the Somali crisis for too long.

Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, he argues, are already playing active roles in stabilising Somali.

“The Jubaland initiative will be Kenya’s first major attempt to reassert its influence in a country that has posed a major social and security nightmare for the last two decades,” says Mr Shill. “Jubaland will not just help us with security, it will open the trade route between Kismayu and Garissa.”

According to the former MP, Kenya must formulate a clear foreign policy for handling Somalia, if the Jubaland initiative is to succeed.

The plan is for Kenya to support Jubaland in the southwestern most part of Somalia to follow in the footsteps of the breakaway Somaliland and gain autonomy.

The establishment of the semi-autonomous region of Jubaland in Somalia has confirmed reports by the whistle blowing Wiki Leaks website that Kenya had backed the initiative to act as a buffer zone and prevent the entry of refugees and illegal arms into the country.

Residents of North-Eastern Province, like Abdisalan Maalim AbdiRahman from Mandera Town, who is still nursing scars from stray mortar bombs in the most recent fighting across the border, have welcomed the establishment of the semi-autonomous region.

The Ethiopian forces might have routed al Shabaab from the neighbouring Somali town of Bela Hawa, but according to Mr AbdiRahman, this does not guarantee that stray mortars and bullets will stop whistling into Mandera Town.

“As long as there is fighting across the border, we will never know peace in Mandera,” he says.

Should a buffer zone be established, then the al Shabaab guns and mortar will be driven deep inside Somalia, far from the thin borderline that currently separates residents of Mandera from the battlefields of the Somali town of Bela Hawa.

But the plan is facing some opposition from the Ethiopians. According to Wikileaks, the Ethiopians doubt Kenya’s tactical capacity to execute the idea given the strong presence of al Shabaab rebels in Jubaland.

In a cable dated February 2, 2010, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi expressed a lack of confidence on Kenya’s ability to succeed with the plan.

Mr Meles told three high-ranking US officials of “negative regional impacts” in case the initiative fails.

The al Shabaab too is not keen on losing control of Jubaland to a Kenyan-backed government.

Still, the initiative is beginning to take shape. A new regional authority of Jubaland has been formed by members of the local communities.

But there are challenges. Former Somali Defence minister Mohamed Abdi Mohamed is yet to be sworn in as the president of Jubaland days after he was named the leader of the semi-autonomous region.

This is because the region’s parliament and Cabinet have not been put in place.

Instead, Mr Mohammed was sworn in as the convener of the Juba initiative, which aspires to fully control the region in Somalia’s southwest.

On Wednesday, a section of Somali elders supportive of the creation of Jubaland said they were planning to petition the president of Somalia’s Transitional Federation Government, Sheikh Shariff Ahmed, to support their initiative.

This was one of the resolutions reached at the end of a major conference held in Nairobi.

Copyright © 2011 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/london-wikileaks/8304870/SOMALIA-UK-SET-TO-PUT-RESOURCES-TO-NEW-POLICY.html

SOMALIA: UK SET TO PUT RESOURCES TO NEW POLICY

Passed to the Telegraph by WikiLeaks

9:03PM GMT 04 Feb 2011

Ref ID: 10LONDON89

Date: 1/15/2010 16:04

Origin: Embassy London

Classification: CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

Destination: 09LONDON2435

Header: VZCZCXRO9672PP RUEHROV RUEHTRODE RUEHLO #0089/01 0151604ZNY CCCCC ZZHP 151604Z JAN 10FM AMEMBASSY LONDONTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4639INFO RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA PRIORITYRUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1530RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITYRUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

Tags: PREL,PGOV,KTFN,KPKO,SO,UK

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 000089 NOFORN SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E NAIROBI FOR SOMALIA UNIT DEPARTMENT FOR IO/PSC (JEAN CLARK) E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/15/2020 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, KTFN, KPKO, SO, UK SUBJECT: SOMALIA: UK SET TO PUT RESOURCES TO NEW POLICY REF: 09 LONDON 2435 Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville, reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1.(C/NF) Summary. Foreign office officials anticipate receiving ministerial approval on January 18 for a new resource package for Somalia, which will include GBP 9 million (USD 14.4 million) in new assistance funds and authorization for creation of a “shadow embassy” for Somalia based in Nairobi. The UK plans to increase its dialogue and development assistance with Somaliland and Puntland and also hopes to establish a means of allowing regular visits throughout Somalia. The UK “absolutely supports” sanctions against al-Shabaab, but wants to make sure it is done right. The emerging preference in the Foreign Office appears to be for a humanitarian carve-out through the Somalia Sanction Monitoring Group’s mandate, which is up for renewal in March. On Kenya’s Jubaland initiative, the Foreign Office remains pessimistic and would like to consider a joint U.S.-UK demarche to the Kenyans. At the end January, an Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) delegation will visit London to meet with Somali Diaspora groups, and the Foreign Office will meet them. Planning is underway for the EU training mission, which would train 1,000 individuals in two tranches in Uganda over 12 months. Potiential obstacles, however, remain: salaries, command-and-control issues, and logistics. The UK sees selecting a replacement for UN Special Representative Ould Abdullah as critical; it will be important to have someone who is a good manager and who can corral the international community and donors’ efforts. If approved, the UK’s new resources for Somalia will represent a significant shift in the UK’s Somalia policy, especially in a resource-scarce environment, where funding for many of the UK’s programs around the world is being reduced. End summary.

2.(C/NF) The UK Cabinet Sub-Committee on Africa will consider for final approval on January 18 a new resource package for the UK’s new policy focus on Somalia (reftel), Foreign Office Somalia Unit head Gill Atkinson told Poloff on January 14. Given previous statements of support, Atkinson anticipates ministers will approve the proposed package. If approved, the UK’s new resources for Somalia will represent a significant shift in the UK’s Somalia policy, especially in a resource-scarce environment, where funding for many of the UK’s programs around the world is being reduced.

The New Support Package – Money and People ——————————————

3.(C/NF) The new package will include GBP 9 million (USD 14.4 million) of conflict prevention funding, which Atkinson anticipates will be used to support AMISOM, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the Somaliland and Puntland authorities, and other development initiatives. Ministers will also consider creation of a “shadow embassy” for Somalia, to be based in Nairobi. The office will be headed by a counselor-level UK diplomat and will possibly include one to two reporting officers, a development assistance officer from the Department of International Development (DFID), and a military attache for the Ministry of Defense (MOD). Additionally, ministers will consider approval of a proposal that will allow for regular visits to Somalia. Atkinson noted that the UK Government is still working to find internal funding for the visits, given that the security detail requirements will be very expensive.

Jubaland ——–

4.(C/NF) Atkinson said that the Foreign Office can see the potential attraction for the Kenyans to pursue their Jubaland initiative, but that the UK does not think it will be successful. The UK is interested to know if the USG sees merit in jointly demarching the Kenyans about not pursuing it. If the Kenyans insist, Atkinson suggested that a proposal be made to the Kenyans for a long-term reconciliation process that would result in military/para-military activities only if needed and in the context of reconciliation talks. Atkinson said that Baroness Kinnock, during her on-going visit to Kenya, plans to speak with both TFG President Sheikh Sharif and the Kenyans about the Jubaland initiative, mainly to assess where they have gotten to in their thinking before taking a decision on the UK position about it. Additionally, the British Embassy in Ethiopia is making similar inquires with the Ethiopia LONDON 00000089 002 OF 003 authorities.

Somaliland and Puntland – Supporting Stability ——————————————— –

5.(C/NF) Practically speaking, Atkinson said that the UK Government had not increased its dialogue with the authorities in Somaliland and Puntland. She said they hope to after ministers have approved the new resources. Additionally, they plan to start development assistance cooperation with both regional authorities. Atkinson said the UK wants to “support stability” where it is in Somalia.

Meeting with Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) ——————————————

6.(C/NF) An ASWJ delegation will be visiting London at the end of January for engagement with the Somali Diaspora in the UK, and Atkinson said the Foreign Office plans to take the opportunity to meet with the delegation. The main objectives of the meeting will be to discuss the ASWJ’s relationship with the TFG, to learn more about the situation on the ground, and to hear more about ASWJ’s forward planning.

Sanctions ———

7.(C/NF) Atkinson said the UK “absolutely supports” sanctions against al-Shabaab, but wants to make sure it gets done right. DFID is currently undertaking an assessment of how humanitarian aid is delivered in other places in the world with similar legal constraints. She explained that while the UK may be able to live with the “gray legal space” related to delivery of humanitarian aid in al-Shabaab held areas, it is likely that the UK’s preference will be for a humanitarian carve-out. She further said that given the time constraints on agreeing the AMISOM mandate by the end of the month, the UK sees the Somalia Sanctions Monitor Group mandate, which is up for renewal in March, as the appropriate vehicle for the humanitarian carve-out language, not the AMISOM mandate (which would conflate sanctions and peacekeeping issues). She said that the UK has no problem with going ahead with introduction of the al-Shabaab list before the March mandate renewal. The Foreign Office Sanctions Teams subsequently confirmed that the UK “definitely” wants to list al-Shabaab as an organization and suggested that the monitoring group mandate could be brought forward for renewal to accommodate the humanitarian carve out.

EU and Training —————

8.(C/NF) Atkinson said that planning for the EU training mission is well under way, with the Spanish-led assessment trip having occurred in mid-December. While the plans are still being finalized, it is likely that a small-scale, light touch mission with training by other African troops will be proposed. The training will take place in Uganda in two tranches of 1,000 individuals over 12 months. She predicted that the potential pitfalls will be around salaries, command-and-control issues, and logistics. EU High Representative for Foreign and Defense Policy Cathy Ashton is interested in seeing the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) mission come to fruition, as it will be the first post-Lisbon treaty force generation and training mission. According to Atkinson, the UK Government has made a concerted effort to see Ashton engaged on Somalia, as the EU is already dedicated so many resources to efforts there. (NOTE: In a separate discussion with the Foreign Office EU Correspondent, he suggested that Ashton needed more information on the proposed operation. END NOTE.) She said there has been some consideration of appointing an EU Special Representative, but that no decisions have been made.

UN Appointments —————

9.(C/NF) On the UN, Atkinson said the replacement of Special Representative ould Abdullah will be critical; it will be important to get someone who is a good manager who can deal corral the international community and donors’ efforts. The preference is for an African and/or Muslim. She also asserted that the UK would like to push the UN to have a more joined-up approach that would see the various UN family LONDON 00000089 003 OF 003 agencies based in Nairobi working together better. Visit London’s Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX ed_Kingdom SUSMAN

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/somalia-wikileaks/8302250/SOMALIA-KENYAN-FOREIGN-MINISTER-PULSES-INTERNATIONAL-COMMUNITY-ON-SOMALIA.html

SOMALIA – KENYAN FOREIGN MINISTER PULSES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON SOMALIA

Passed to the Telegraph by WikiLeaks

9:00PM GMT 03 Feb 2011

Ref ID: 09NAIROBI2140

Date: 10/8/2009 15:12

Origin: Embassy Nairobi

Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

Destination:

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Tags: PREL,MARR,EAID,MOPS,PTER,SO,KE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002140 SIPDIS DEPT FOR AF/E E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/08/2019 TAGS: PREL, MARR, EAID, MOPS, PTER, SO, KE SUBJECT: SOMALIA – KENYAN FOREIGN MINISTER PULSES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON SOMALIA Classified By: Somalia Unit Counselor Bob Patterson; reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1.(C) Summary: Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula on October 8 convened EU representatives and the U.S. for what he said was an informal discussion of Somalia. Wetangula stressed several times that the GOK believed there was no alternative to the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but acknowledged that the TFG was weak and not active enough. He urged donor countries to make good on their pledges to Somalia, backed Price Waterhouse Cooper’s agreement with the TFG, and alleged that the September 17 suicide attacks on AMISOM in Mogadishu had Eritrean fingerprints. Wetangula also thought that the international community should be resident in Mogadishu. In the discussion that followed, the British Ambassador pushed a “bottom up/top down” approach to Somalia that would result in a weak central government and much near-independent activity in the regions. In the only off-key moment at the lunch, the Spanish Ambassador announced that the TFG had little prospect of success, and said that Spain early in its EU presidency planned an international conference on Somalia to which it planned to invite all Somali entities, including al-Shabaab. In a brief conversation after the lunch, it was clear that the other EU representatives present (UK, Sweden, Italy, European Commission) were determined to ensure that the Spanish Ambassador’s conference did not come to pass. End summary. — Kenyan Foreign Minister Strongly Backs TFG ———————–

2.(C) Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula hosted a lunch on October 8 for selected EU ambassadors, Somalia Unit representative in the absence of Ambassador Ranneberger, and Kenyan MFA Horn of Africa Division representatives. Wetangula opened the lunch by insisting that the TFG, while weak, must not be allowed to fail. Wetangula described al-Shabaab as weak, but still receiving assistance from Eritrea which, he said, had played a role in the September 17 suicide attacks on AMISOM. Wetangula worried repeatedly about Eritrea during the lunch.

3.(C) Wetangula urged that aid be given immediately to the TFG. He mentioned unfulfilled international community financial pledges and suggested that equipment, such as helicopters and armored vehicles, could intimidate a weak al-Shabaab in Mogadishu. Wetangula suggested that GOK personnel could provide training to would-be Somali helicopter pilots. Without describing GOK efforts to assist the TFG, Wetangula highlighted the importance of Somalia’s Lower Juba area and its strategic significance to Kenya. Recent fighting had left the “wrong people” in control of Kismayo, Wetangula said.

4.(C) Wetangula also urged a more active role for Somaliland and Puntland where there was a “semblance of order” in south-central Somalia. He praised Ugandan and Djiboutian efforts to train troops, but worried that there was not a plan for their incorporation into the TFG’s security structures. Wetangula thought that international community efforts would gain credibility and relevance if the international community was presence in Mogadishu. With a nod to the Kenyan Special Envoy for Somalia, who was present, Wetangula said he would be the “first to send” a representative there if a green zone were established.

EU Ambassadors Back Weaker Federal Structures ————————-

5.(C) The British Ambassador seconded much of what Wetangula said, but added that the TFG could do “more to help itself” than it had to date. He mentioned greater outreach to like-minded groups around Somalia as an example, and touted alliance building as superior to military activity. Somalia had been ratcheted up the list of HMG foreign policy priorities, he said, and a close study of past, failed reconciliation efforts had convinced the UK that a successful Somalia would feature a loose federal government and semi-autonomous regions. He thought the international community should engage in a simultaneous “bottom-up/top-down” approach. The Ambassador agreed with Wetangula that Eritrea was “extremely malignant,” and noted he had just cleared on a document that would have an unnamed senior UK official aggressively raise Eritrea’s behavior during a forthcoming visit to Qatar. NAIROBI 00002140 002 OF 002

6.(C) The Italian government seconded a weaker central government, noting that the last strong government, Siad Barre’s, had consequences that continue to complicate efforts at reconciliation today. The GOI, in addition to providing financial assistance to the TFG via the AU, planned to sponsor the training of up to one thousand TFG police under UN auspices, he said.

7.(C) The EU Commission Special Representative described progress made in realizing EU pledges, then worried about the increasing prominence of negative clan dynamics in an already weak TFG. Years of ultimately unsuccessful training efforts, he said, made it imperative that there be the equivalent of a civil service, so that the skills acquired through training would remain in place even if a new TFG were to come to power.

Spanish Ambassador More Critical, Urges Engagement with al-Shabaab ——————————–

8.(C) In the only discordant note of the lunch, the Spanish Ambassador dismissed the TFG as “too weak from the start.” He quoted approvingly disparaging comments allegedly made by Puntland President “Faroole” about the TFG, criticized TFG ministers for spending too little time in Mogadishu, and promised that there would be a new Somalia conference early in the Spanish EU presidency to which al-Shabaab representatives would be invited. The TFG, he said, had failed to enlist al-Shabaab in its efforts. The British Ambassador in particuar took issue with Spain’s alleged intention to invite al-Shabaab to such a conference. He and other EU colleagues (Italy, Sweden, the European Commission) made it clear to Somalia Unit representative after the lunch that the Spanish presidency would be resisted should it attempt to stage such a conference.

Comment ——-

9.(C) Wetangula’s welcome initiative did not break any new ground, and the Foreign Minister offered no information about GOK efforts to assist the TFG in Jubaland, but his repeated comments during the lunch about what he said was continued active Eritrean involvement in Somalia suggested that Eritrea will be very much on the agenda at the next IGAD ministerial. HOZA

http://allafrica.com/stories/201003170175.html

Kenya: Govt Trains Somali Youth

Andrew Teyie

17 March 2010


Nairobi — THE Kenya Government is secretly giving military training to 2,500 Somali youth, the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia has concluded.

Kenya has not officially informed the UN Security Council of the training programme and “in a reply dated 23 February 2010 to a Monitoring Group query on this subject, the Government of Kenya denied that it is providing training for Somali troops,” says the UN report.

The report recommends that the UN Security Committee should send a warning letter to Kenya reminding it that is in breach of UN resolutions for “substantive or technical violations of the arms embargo”.

The report warns that the “international dimensions of the Somali conflict are expanding at an accelerated pace. All of Somalia’s neighbours -Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya – are militarily involved in the conflict or plan to become involved in the coming months”.

The report was signed by the UN Monitoring Group chairman Claude Heller and tabled before the UN Security Council on March 10.

“Kenya government officials have publicly acknowledged that it had accepted a request from the Somali Transitional Government to train government police officers but denied any other type of training,” states the report.

“Monitoring Group field investigations have confirmed the existence of a military training programme,” the report states.

“The training programme was initiated early in 2009 at the request of President Sharif and under the auspices of his then Minister of Defence Mohamed Abdi Mohammed ‘Gandhi’.” “Kenya hosted the programme, and Ethiopia has been closely been involved. Approximately 2,500 youths were recruited by clan elders and commissioned agents both from within Somalia (exclusively the Juba valley) and North-eastern Kenya, including the Daadab refugee camps,” states the report.

Dadaab refugee camp is home to nearly 400,000 Somali refugees.

“Two training centres were established, one at the Kenya Wildlife Service training camp at Manyani, the other near Archer’s Post in Isiolo. A total of 36 Somali officers were recruited to assist in the training under the command of General Abdi Mahdi and Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail ‘Fartaag’. The officers completed a one month training in September 2009,” says the UN report.

It adds that most of those recruited were from the Ogaden clan with the Marehan in second place.

“In December 2009, the Kenyan Minister for security, George Saitoti, reportedly confirmed to foreign diplomats the existence of Jubaland policy which is intended to establish a ‘buffer zone’ bordering Kenya in the Juba Valley,” the report states.

The decision by the Kenya government to recruit mainly from the Ogaden resulted in complaints from other clans.

In Kenya, the Ogaden clan have served the government in key positions since independence.

The Ogaden clan primarily lives in the central Ogaden plateau of Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province of Kenya, and the Jubaland region of Southern Somalia. They also inhabit Somalia’s major cities such as Mogadishu and Kismayo.

The Marehan mostly live in Jubaland Gedo and Lower Juba Regions in southwest Somalia, in central Somalia, the Ogaden, and in northeast Kenya. They are considered the most fierce nationalists among the Somali people and have always played key roles in both the Somali uprisings.

The media and NGOs have reported irregularities in the training programme, including recruitment of underage youth, false promises of financial remuneration and recruitment of refugees.

“Independent Monitoring Group investigations, including interviews with trainers and trainees from Manyani, have confirmed all this practices did indeed take place, but the group cannot assess the scale of irregularities,” states the UN report.

The report complains that “cooperation with Somalia’s neighbours was especially disappointing… The governments of Kenya and Ethiopia failed to respond to Monitoring Group requests for information”.

However the report exonerated Kenyan CID that alone “provided valuable assistance”.

According to the UN report, the Somali government owes its survival to the small Amisom force of Ugandan and Burundi soldiers. The troops being trained by Kenya were intended to bolster the government army.

“Despite infusions of foreign training and assistance, government security forces remain ineffective, disorganised and corrupt- a composite of independent militias loyal to senior government officials and military officers, who profit from the business of war and resist their integration under a single command,” states the UN report.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201003191005.html

Nairobi Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nation Stuck With Somali ‘Mercenaries’

Abdilatif Maalim

19 March 2010

Nairobi — An estimated 2,500 Somali youths trained by Kenya to fight in Somalia are stranded at Archer’s Post in Isiolo, The Star has established.

A report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia which was presented to the UN Security Council indicates the youths, majority of them from the Ogaden clan, started receiving training early last year at the request of President Sheikh Shariff under the auspices of his then Minister of Defence Mohamed Abdi Mohammed “Gandhi”.

“Kenya hosted the programme and Ethiopia has been closely involved.

Approximately 2,500 youths were recruited by clan elders and commissioned agents both from within Somalia (exclusively the Juba Valley) and Northeastern Kenya, including the Daadab refugee camp,” states the UN report.

The Star established that the youths cannot be deployed to Somalia as there was a stalemate between Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia about where they would be most useful.

While the Kenyan security forces want to have the youths deployed in the southern Somali regions of Juba and Gedo to create a buffer zone with the militant Al Shabaab, Ethiopia and the Somalia transitional government want them sent to Mogadishu to help repulse the Al Shabaab who have taken control of large parts of the capital.

Somalia President Sheikh Shariff later fell out with his Defence minister Mohamed Ghandi, an Ogadeni, whom he suspected of pushing for the deployment of the youths in Juba and Gedo to not only fight the Al Shabaab but also lay the foundation for the establishment of an Ogaden autonomous region.

Ethiopia’s fears the deployment of the contingent in Ogaden might bolster and give the Ogaden National Liberation Front a launching pad for its attacks against Ethiopia.

The Ogaden clan live in the central Ogaden plateau of Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province of Kenya, and the Jubaland region of Southern Somalia. In Kenya, the Ogadeni have served the government in key positions since independence.

Yesterday Somalia Ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Ali Nur, confirmed there was a stalemate in the deployment process. He could not comment further “because the issue is sensitive.” “The government of Somalia will very soon address that. I am not an authority on this matter. I can’t talk about it, but I have heard the reports of the former Somali Defence minister meeting with Somali elders in Nairobi on the deployment issue,” said Ali Nur.

The Ministry of Foreign Affair spokesman Egara Kabaji denied the UN report that Kenya was training the youths to support Somalia transitional government. He denied the existence of the such a contingent anywhere in the country, Kabaji said the only training that the government was involved in was in accordance with an agreement between the EU and Kenya in which Kenya offered to train policemen for the Somalia government.

“The last time we trained Somali police officers was in 2006, when we trained 200 VIP protection police officers. But even as we speak there is a plan between Kenya and the EU to train Somali policemen,” said Kabaji.

However, according to the UN report: “In December 2009, the Kenyan Minister for security, George Saitoti, reportedly confirmed to foreign diplomats the existence of Jubaland policy which is intended to establish a ‘buffer zone’ bordering Kenya in the Juba Valley.” Yesterday Parliament’s departmental committee of Foreign Affairs said they will in the next 10 days table a report on the recruitment in the House. Committee chairman Aden Keynan said the matter had serious consequences for security in the region.

“The issue we have been dealing with is about recruitment of the youth which the committee has concluded its investgigations,” said Keynan.

According to the UN report, two training centres were established at the Kenya Wildlife Service training camp at Manyani, and near Archer’s Post in Isiolo.

“A total of 36 Somali officers were recruited to assist in the training under the command of a General Abdi Mahdi and Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail ‘Fartaag’. The officers completed one-month training in September 2009”.

The youths under the command of General Mahdi, a former Somali warlord, were supposed to be deployed on February 16, 2010 immediately after they completed their training.

They have been at the training camps since then waiting for their deployment.

Yesterday security analysts were fearful that if the squad is allowed back into the communities it would pose a grave security risk. A few of the trainees escaped from the camp when they received reports they might be deployed to Mogadishu to fight the Al-Shabaab militants.

One of the Kenyan Somali trainers who sought anonymity told the Star that he and other trainers have not been paid since the programme started last September.

The youths who were each promised a salary of $150 (Sh11,400) a month after recruitment had also not been paid.

Last Tuesday the former Somalia Defence minister Mohamed Ghandi hosted elders from the Marehan and Ogaden clans to brief them on the training and deployment plans. The meeting, held at Chester House, Nairobi, also discussed the possibility of the two clans withdrawing their support to the Somali government.

Sources at the meeting said Ghandi assured the elders that the youths will be deployed in the Gedo and Juba region as he had initially planned when he was still Minister.

Copyright © 2010 Nairobi Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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