This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 000136
STATE FOR AF AND AF/E PARIS/LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHER NAIROBI FOR SOMALIA/SOMALILAND WATCHER PRETORIA PASS TO JOHANNESBURG
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2015 TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM DJ SO SUBJECT: SOMALILAND FM ON MARGINS OF KAHIN'S DJIBOUTI STOP: SEEKS WASHINGTON VISIT
REF: DJIBOUTI 121
Classified By: AMBASSADOR MARGUERITA D. RAGSDALE. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).
1. (C) Somaliland President Daher Rayaleh Kahin, accompanied by his Foreign Minister Edna Adan Ismail, and other ministers, were in Djibouti February 12 and morning of February 13 for talks with Djiboutian officials, including President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita. Ambassador met with FM Ismail at the Sheraton Hotel evening of February 12 and heard her describe the just-concluded South African leg of the group's travel as the outcome of a long-standing invitation from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party. There were no meetings with President Thabo Mbeki or with Foreign Minister Nkosazana Zuma, but there were extended briefings to the ANC on the situation in Somalia and Somaliland. In addition, the party met with Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, a contact Ambassador cultivated during an earlier tour in Pretoria, who has written on Islam and on Somali issues. Jhazbhay has been designated as Honorary Consul for Somaliland in South Africa. FM Ismail also took advantage of the South African visit to conduct some speaking engagements to talk about Somaliland's "growing democracy."
2. (C) The return visit to Djibouti included the meeting and follow-on lunch with President Guelleh and Prime Minister Dileita. The visit also included a private audience for Ismail with Djibouti's First Lady. Ismail said the relationship with Djibouti is growing closer and stronger. (See Ref) The border between the two countries has re-opened, there is free flow of traffic, agreement on travel of Somalilanders to Djibouti using Somaliland passports and greater cross-border cooperation, especially on security matters and contraband interdiction. Djibouti has provided office accommodations and furnishings for a Somaliland office in Djibouti and plans to send a representative "soon" to Somaliland.
3. (C) FM Ismail said she "sensed disillusionment" on the part of Guelleh with the situation in Somalia and that he is seeing "value" in closer ties with Somaliland. Yet, she admitted, Guelleh is "very careful" in the words he selects to use with her government. She spoke positively of Guelleh's commitment to peace in Somalia and praised the role of Djibouti's Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Farah in the process. She did not indicate that any new ground was broken in the current visit other than to further cooperation.
4. (C) FM Ismail noted that while she and her President were in Ethiopia, they had approached the African Union (AU) to ask that an AU delegation visit and assess the Republic of Somaliland and its democratization process. This was approved, and the delegation is set to arrive in Somaliland, according to Ismail, "towards the end of February or the beginning of March." She did not have information on the composition of this delegation.
5. (C) Ambassador took the opportunity of the meeting to raise with FM Ismail the points conveyed in Garey and Zorick e-mails of 2/11/05. Following are responses/reactions from FM Ismail:
-- On parliamentary elections, Somaliland needs to be certain of those eligible to vote. It needs more complete rosters to identify, for example, tribal affiliations in order to achieve a more democratic process. If there is any delay in holding of elections, it will be a delay of only a month or so to assure these matters are resolved. The constitution does allow for such a delay.
-- On the matter of Zam Zam Dualeh, the human rights accusations made by Ms. Dualeh are unfounded. Extensive follow-up, including independent medical examinations by Dualeh's clan physician, and FM Ismail's personal visit with Dualeh revealed no abuse of the type alleged. Ms. Dualeh appears to have mental problems that have also been confirmed by Ms. Dualeh's mother -- who resided with her in the prison. Ms. Dualeh likely has a political agenda fueled by her clan affiliation with Abdillahi Yusuf. Although released from prison, she continues to cause unjustifiable difficulties for Somaliland by her allegations to the press, Amnesty International, and western governments. Ms. Dualeh was arrested because she behaved in a way that was threatening to a Somaliland official, including camping out in front of the official's home, claiming falsely to be a relative, and making available a photograph of herself in guerrilla gear.
-- On the admonishment that Somaliland should avoid publicly criticizing the TNG, it has been unnecessary for Somaliland to speak publicly against the TNG because the TNG "is saying it all themselves by their actions." FM Ismail said she will continue to point out, however, that Somaliland is building and improving its democracy.
6. (C) Request from FM: FM Ismail asked that Ambassador convey to the Department of State her desire "to be invited" to visit Washington soonest to "meet with the new team." She said an "invitation" would help make the case to Kahin for such a visit and ensure a firm program. (It is unclear who would be expected to finance such a visit.) Embassy is prepared to convey Washington's response via Somaliland's representative in Djibouti, if Department desires. RAGSDALE