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04DJIBOUTI667 2004-05-06 14:43:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 000667 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/05/2014


Classified By: Ambassador Marguerita Ragsdale. Reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: Members of Djibouti's delegation to the
April 22-23 East Africa Counter-Terrorist Initiative
EACTI) Conference in Kampala relayed their observations
of the event to Embassy officers. The delegates found the
conference a useful forum to express Djibouti's total
commitment to the Global War on Terrorism and said they
have a clearer idea of the threat of transnational
terrorism than most neighboring countries, especially
Ethiopia. They expressed continued frustration at the
delay in delivery of EACTI assistance, particularly
speedboats for coastal defense. They conceded that
Djibouti had done a poor job of prioritizing training
needs. They indicated their belief that for success in
counter-terrorism in the Horn of Africa, the U.S. should
commit itself more forcefully in efforts to reintegrate
Somalia into the East African community of nations.
End summary.

2. (SBU) From April 22 through April 23, 2004, delegates
from eight East African countries and numerous branches
of the U.S. government, met in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss
EACTI issues. Djibouti was represented by Abdillahi
Mohamed Abdillahi, Deputy Chief of National Security
Services; Lieutenant Colonel Osman Nour Soubagleh,
Djibouti's liaison to the U.S. military; Mohamed Ali
Hassan, Director of Bilateral Relations,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mohamed Moussa Abar,
Captain (Harbormaster) of the port of Djibouti; and
Bryan Boyd, Force Protection Officer, American Embassy

3. (C) Following the conference, the Djiboutian delegates
met with Embassy officers to provide their reaction to the
conference. The delegates stated that the conference was
a good initiative and very productive in bringing
the East African countries together to discuss
counter-terrorist issues with representatives from the U.S.
government, particularly those from the U.S. State
Department who are responsible for EACTI funding. They
said they sincerely want the U.S. government to recognize
that Djibouti is committed to fighting the Global War on
Terrorism. They also commented that their involvement
in the conference, including participation in the
discussions and presentations in two of the four
breakout groups' final reports to the plenary, are good
examples of Djibouti's level of dedication. Abdillahi
represented the group on "Law and Law Enforcement"
while Hassan represented the group on "Integration
and Regional Cooperation."

4. (C) The delegates shared with FPO officer their belief
in the need to accelerate the initiative in Djibouti.
They cited lack of delivery to date of engineering
construction equipment and five patrol boats that are
part of EACTI funding and requested an update on delivery
status. The delegates however, were very pleased with
progress of the TIP/PISCES program in Djibouti. They said
the Global War on Terrorism is unlike any other war in
history and the need to move swiftly to fortify Djibouti
is critical to its success. They also stated that there
is a need for the U.S. government to institute new
procedures to combat terrorism more swiftly and that many
of the procedures used by the U.S. government today
were originally initiated during the cold war.

5. (C) The delegates also admitted shortcomings in
their own government, particularly in providing clear
guidance and a timely response to requests by U.S.
representatives on ways EACTI funding should be
utilized in Djibouti. The delegates stated that it is
their goal to ensure that a list of well-conceived
requests is prepared and an open dialogue is maintained
to assist the U.S. government on properly allocating
EACTI funding.

6. (C) One delegate commented that he appreciated the
frankness of American participants at the conference and
believed that many of the comments made were crucial and
important to the conference, particularly to his
understanding of foreign policy issues and how EACTI
works in other countries. This delegate was particularly
impressed by comments made from the U.S. representatives
from Ethiopia and Eritrea.

7. (C) The delegates concluded their overall summary of
the conference by commenting on Somalia. They said there
is a great need for all participants, and especially the
U.S., to devise a strategy to stabilize Somalia. They went
on to say that it was extremely important that the U.S.
spearhead peace efforts in Somalia, and that the U.S.
should not run from the issue. The delegates said
Somalia is the largest safe haven for terrorists in
East Africa and failure to deal with Somalia ultimately
weakens the long-term anti-terrorist efforts of the
U.S. and East African countries.

8. (C) One delegate also commented that Somalia's seacoast
covers over 3,000 km and reaches from Djibouti all the way
to Kenya providing the greatest external border threat
to other countries. Something needs to be done, they said,
to address this vulnerability. They also wanted to
emphasize that the issues of controlling the internal
borders in various East African countries are more
political than security-oriented. Greater efforts should
be placed on controlling the airport, seaport,
and seacoast. (Note: Comments about internal border
security stemmed from a series of discussions at the
conference that stressed the need for a national I.D.
card to track movement of people. End Note.) He continued
that borders between countries are not the overlying
problem and many of the people in East Africa routinely
cross from one country to the next daily. The
delegates indicated that proper control of the movement
of people between internal borders can be achieved by
building structures such as wells and schools that will
attract migrant and nomadic people to settle in a
particular area.