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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI1553 2004-12-06 11:18:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

SOMALILAND FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKS INTERIM STATUS

Tags:   PREL PHUM MARR PTER SO DJ 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 001553 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF AND AF/E
LONDON/PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/05/2014
TAGS: PREL PHUM MARR PTER SO DJ
SUBJECT: SOMALILAND FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKS INTERIM STATUS
FROM U.S.


Classified By: AMBASSADOR MARGUERITA D. RAGSDALE.
REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) Edna Ismail Aden, Foreign Minister of Somaliland,
told Ambassador December 5, during their meeting at the
Sheraton Hotel, that Somaliland is interested in reviving
"interim status" recognition for Somaliland first discussed
and considered during the waning days of the Clinton
Administration. Such a status, she said, would give
Somaliland greater security, provide access to international
financial institutions, provide eligibility for development
assistance, enable Somaliland to refine its credibility, and
give Somaliland "acceptable" passports. "We want," Aden said,
"to be brought in from the cold."



2. (C) Aden, on a December 3-5 visit to Djibouti, requested
the meeting with Ambassador and was accompanied by Abdillahi


M. Duale, Somaliland's Minister of Information and National
Guidance. Aden and Duale had earlier met with President
Guelleh. Aden told Ambassador that she raised with Guelleh
Somaliland's interest in "revival" of the "interim status"
concept with the U.S. and that Guelleh had "supported" them.
Despite Ambassador's probing, Aden was less clear on how that
interim status would unfold or its implications. Was she
anticipating, for example, some type of informal recognition
or agreement?



3. (C) Aden replied that "interim status" could take any
form. The important point, she said, was that U.S. action
would likely lead others to take similar steps. She said a
number of western countries had told her that they did not
want to be the first to recognize Somaliland and likened
Somaliland to a "beautiful woman that no one wanted to marry."



4. (C) Ambassador noted the U.S. and African Union positions
to date, including that of Djibouti, which supported the
concept of a Somali whole, rather than a cantonized entity.
She said Abdillahi Yusuf appeared to be making efforts to put
together a government, although he had not yet returned to
Somalia. Did Somaliland see possibilities in working with
Yusuf as the new interim President? Aden replied in the
negative, and insisted that Yusuf is an individual who will
never have the support of Somaliland's people. The wounds
are too deep, she said. (Comment: She showed Ambassador
photos which she believed illustrated the atrocities that
Yusuf had committed against Somaliland that could not be
forgotten. End comment) She continued that Yusuf is an
individual who speaks positively, but behaves quite
differently. He is a "trigger-happy" character who lacks the
ability to control others, including his own relatives.
Moreover, she said, Yusuf continues to talk as if Somaliland
should bear some of the blame for its own suffering at his
hands, an unfathomable notion. There is no one in the
current crop of warlords, Aden said, "to whom Somaliland can
safely be wedded."



5. (C) Returning to the theme of Somaliland's worthiness for
"interim status," Aden said Somaliland was "a model
country" for democracy in the region. It has a controlled
army, the diaspora is returning in large numbers, there are
no arrears in salaries, no hunger and no malnutrition. In
addition, Somaliland has worked feverishly in the global war
on terrorism. She said that she had solicited help from Camp
Lemonier, through the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of
Africa (CJTF-HOA), on coastal and border security for
Somaliland. President Guelleh considered it a "good idea"
that Somaliland send someone to Djibouti to work directly
with CJTF-HOA to train in border security techniques. This
is important, she said, in view of efforts by Yemen to
destabilize Somaliland, in cooperation with Abdillahi Yusuf.
Aden accused Yemen of providing arms to Yusuf and of paying
USD 2 million to help Yusuf get elected as interim Somali
president. She said Yemeni arms had already been used
against Somaliland in recent clashes around Las Anod.



6. (C) As for the African Union, Aden said she hopes to meet
soon with President Obasanjo of Nigeria to discuss
Somaliland's future and particularly the seat of Somalia in
international organizations. Somaliland had put forward
several ideas on this score.



7. (C) Aden and Duale were on their way back to Somaliland
following a trip to Europe, where Aden said they had
discussed the October Stockholm meeting on Somalia. Aden and
Duale had asked the EU that a portion of resources allocated
to Somalia be also shared with Somaliland.
RAGSDALE