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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI1512 2004-11-24 06:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

VISIT OF SOMALI PRESIDENT TO DJIBOUTI

Tags:   PREL PGOV PARM PHUM PNAT PBTS PINS PTER DJ SO 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 001512 

SIPDIS

LONDON, PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV PARM PHUM PNAT PBTS PINS PTER DJ SO
SUBJECT: VISIT OF SOMALI PRESIDENT TO DJIBOUTI

Classified By: Pol/Econ Erinn C. Reed for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (U) Summary: Newly elected President of Somalia, Abdillahi
Youssouf Ahmed, came to Djibouti for a 24-hour visit on
November 15, 2004. In a press conference with Djiboutian
national media during the visit, Abdillahi Youssouf touched
on the conflicting relations between Somaliland and Puntland,
how he intends to manage the integration of Somaliland into
the new federal entity of Somalia, and his three-phase plan
to restore stability to war-torn Somalia. End Summary.



2. (U) At the end of a 24-hour visit to Djibouti, new Somali
President Abdillahi Youssouf Ahmed gave a press conference to
Djiboutian national media. In the conference he explained his
three-phase plan to return stability to Somalia: (i)
disarmament, (ii) army building, and (iii) reconstruction of
the country. Youssouf said he needed a foreign army to help
rebuild Somalia's national military. His objective was not to
put Somalia's population face-to-face with foreign forces.
Rather, in order that these forces be accepted in Somalia, a
Somali-speaking corps should guide them. He stated that
Djibouti is closer to Somalia, and added that "we need them
on our side in this mission." Responding to a question
concerning what he expected from the UN Security Council
(UNSC) meeting in Nairobi on November 18 to discuss Sudan and
Somalia issues, he stated that the UNSC should give financial
support to an African force, because the African Union is
still too young to do so effectively. Youssouf reported that
he will present his program to members of the UNSC and will
count on the UNSC to mobilize the necessary funds. Concerning
a question on what the former transitional government,
created at the Arta conference in 2000, has done and whether
his cabinet will take the same path, the Somali president
refused to criticize the former transitional government and
said he would not repeat the same errors. Instead, he
highlighted the importance of reconciling people and
disarmament, two things the former government failed to do.
He gave himself one year to fulfill these engagements.



3. (U) On Somaliland-Puntland relations, Youssouf said the
current state of relations does not please him. "I used to be
President of Puntland, now I am President of Federal Republic
of Somalia and my duties are to observe the laws." He added
that the conflict will only be solved by dialogue. On the
issue of integrating the two self-proclaimed independent
regions of Somaliland and Puntland, the Somali president
stated that as soon as he is settled in Somalia, he would
engage in negotiations with Somaliland. He said he believed
Somaliland would eventually join the federation.



4. (C) Comment: Sources said that the two presidents
disagreed on the priorities of sending peacekeeping forces.
Youssouf reportedly sought the support of Guelleh in his call
for the international community to send forces to Somalia.
Guelleh is said to have advised Youssouf that the priority
was disarmament, not sending troops. He said the Somali
warlords had to surrender their arms first, then African
forces could come to Somalia. Guelleh also reportedly said
that since many of the warlords are now parliamentarians, it
would be likely that they supported the government. In
addition, he highlighted the contradiction in having warlords
in the government while still keeping heavily armed militias
in Somalia. End Comment.
RAGSDALE