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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA1744
2006-06-26 09:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

ETHIOPIA: A/S FRAZER DISCUSSES SOMALIA AND SUDAN

Tags:   PREL  KPKO  IGAD  AU  SO  SU 
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VZCZCXRO0231
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #1744/01 1770908
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 260908Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1293
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 001744 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2016
TAGS: PREL KPKO IGAD AU SO SU
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: A/S FRAZER DISCUSSES SOMALIA AND SUDAN
WITH FM SEYOUM


Classified By: A/S FRAZER FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 001744

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2016
TAGS: PREL KPKO IGAD AU SO SU
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: A/S FRAZER DISCUSSES SOMALIA AND SUDAN
WITH FM SEYOUM


Classified By: A/S FRAZER FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).


1. (C) SUMMARY: A/S Frazer discussed Somalia and Sudan with
FM Seyoum June 24. Seyoum urged a stronger U.S. role in
Somalia. If not leading, he said, the U.S. should at least
be an active participant in a partners group. A radical
change of U.S. attitude will be required, he said. Seyoum
said the recent statement of the International Somalia
Contact Group had already sent a strong message of support
for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The
Foreign Minister said that Ethiopia hoped to avoid
participating in the initial deployment of an IGAD peace
support mission, but believed it was vital to check the
advance of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). Such a mission
should be on the ground as soon as possible with a mandate to
protect and build the capacity of the TFG, beginning in
Baidoa but looking to expand into areas like Puntland and
elsewhere outside Mogadishu. Delay would favor extremists
and could cause defection from the Transitional Parliament.
Seyoum claimed that "everyone agrees that regional
intervention is required; the questions are how, when and by
whom." While the UIC had tried to sound moderate, several of
its key leaders were not. Seyoum told Frazer that the
TFG/UIC dialogue begun in Khartoum earlier in the week would
be helpful in isolating extremists. Frazer agreed on the
need to develop contingency plans to prevent the
consolidation of a radical Islamic regime while avoiding
steps that would play into their hands. The key was to
create space for more moderate elements. She said that the
Khartoum agreement between the UIC and TFG had created the
possibility for a political solution. Turning over known
terrorists to the USG would send a positive signal, she
added, and asked the GOE to convey that message to friendly
clan leaders. On Sudan, Seyoum agreed with A/S Frazer that
the African Union could not reverse its decision to transfer
its mission in Darfur to UN control in spite of Sudan's
renewed opposition. He suggested dealing with specific

Sudanese concern, such as the specific mandate of the mission
and the pursuit of war criminals. End Summary.


2. (SBU) A/S Frazer called on Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin
June 24. Charge, CJTF-HOA Commander RADM Hunt, Lt. Commander
Mike Sowa, Pol/Econ Counselor, executive assistant Kendra
Gaither and Somalia/Djibouti deskoff Nole Garey accompanied
Frazer. Seyoum was joined by Ethiopian Ambassador to the TFG
Abduraziz Akumel, MFA Director for Europe and America Almaz
Eshete, Americas Deputy Ayalew Mamo and Ayele Lire of the MFA
Africa division.

--------------
STRONGER US ROLE NEEDED
--------------


3. (C) Seyoum urged a stronger U.S. role in Somalia. He
recalled that A/S Frazer had mentioned on the margins of the
UN General Assembly in fall 2005 that U.S. policy on Somalia
was evolving. He commented that while the USG had assisted
significantly on the humanitarian front since then, it had
remained "on the fence" politically. The intervention of
international extremists had now changed the situation
dramatically. If not leading political efforts, he said, the
U.S. should at least be an active participant in a partners
group. He argued that Somalia was at a crossroads; the
international community could either "hand the country over
to extremists and bleed the whole region" or "take it back
for the moderates." There was no time to lose. A radical
change of U.S. attitude would be required, he said. Seyoum
noted the recent statement of the International Somalia
Contact Group (SCG) had already sent a strong message of
support for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG).


4. (C) A/S Frazer argued that prior to recent developments,
U.S. policy had been to "push from behind." She acknowledged
that current dynamics required more and said that her trip to
the region was a way to begin. "We still don't want to be in
the lead, but will have a stronger presence," she told
Seyoum, and promised to send representatives to the June
28-29 AU/IGAD/Partners meeting in Nairobi. Frazer said that
the Arab League-brokered agreement between the TFG and the
UIC had created the possibility of a political solution. The
USG approach was now to 1) support the TFG; 2) support the
Somali people and their humanitarian needs; 3) counter the
terrorist threat; and 4) build indigenous institutions to
fill the governance vacuum. She explained to Seyoum the

ADDIS ABAB 00001744 002 OF 003


genesis and evolution of the SCG and indicated that SCG
agreed to include both IGAD and the Arab League in the next
SCG meeting in Stockholm.


5. (C) Seyoum claimed that while the UIC had tried to sound
moderate, several of its key leaders were not. Recent
contradictory public statements from the UIC clearly
reflected this. He suggested that the Khartoum agreement
with the TFG had merely been a way for the UIC to stall for
time in order to consolidate its gains on the way to creating
a radical Islamic state in Somalia. "We must monitor
developments closely and prepare ourselves to neutralize this
threat," he said. "Our best entry point is to continue
supporting the TFG. Fighting terrorism cannot be separated
from the struggle to establish the rule of law."

--------------
REGIONAL MISSION TO PROTECT AND BOLSTER TFG
--------------


6. (C) Seyoum claimed that "everyone agrees that regional
intervention is required; the questions are how, when and by
whom." The short-term solution would be the deployment of an
African force in Somalia to check the advance of extremists.
The longer-term effort should be focused on building the
institutions of a national police force and army that
reflected the country's clan make up. The Foreign Minister
said that Ethiopia hoped to avoid participating in the
initial deployment of an IGAD peace support mission (IGASOM),
since the UIC would seek to exploit popular suspicions of
Ethiopia. Ethiopia would go into Somalia only as a last
resort if no other option appeared viable.


7. (C) Seyoum said that a regional mission should be deployed
with a mandate to protect the TFG, beginning in Baidoa but
looking to expand into areas like Puntland and elsewhere
outside Mogadishu. Such a mission should be deployed
immediately, regardless of the UIC's rejection and
criticisms. Delay would favor extremists and could cause
defection from the Transitional Parliament. The UIC itself
was a diverse mixture of forces, including both moderate
militias tied to clan leaders and businessmen as well as
extreme elements, such as Aden Hashi Ayro. These disparate
elements had no other cause to unite them other than opposing
the TFG, which they accused of having no indigenous support.


8. (C) A/S Frazer said the USG and international partners
needed to see the TFG's National Security and Stabilization
Plan before making decisions about supporting and IGAD
mission in Somalia. She expressed concern that deployment of
the mission could have the opposite affect of that desired --
rallying Somalis against the TFG. It would be important to
plan for all contingencies, since the UIC might indeed prove
to be radical and aggressive. In order to minimize the risk
of a negative popular reaction in Somalia, Frazer urged that,
at least initially, the focus of an IGAD mission be building
the capacity of the TFG, rather than simply protecting it or
fighting the UIC. The USG and other partners were still
hesitant about deploying an IGASOM mission, and about lifting
the arms embargo; framing the issue properly would be
critical. Seyoum agreed, saying that any IGASOM mission that
did not build the TFG's long-term capacity would fail. He
claimed that the existing NSSP was already a step in this
direction, since it gave all the clans a role in security and
other institutions. He noted that the TFG already had a
3,000-man militia. A/S Frazer replied that the existing TFG
militia must be broadened so that it would not be perceived
merely as "Yusuf's militia."
-------------- --------------
DIALOGUE TO ISOLATE THE EXTREMISTS, CREATE SPACE FOR MODERATES
-------------- --------------


9. (C) Frazer agreed on the need to develop contingency plans
to prevent the consolidation of a radical Islamic regime
while avoiding steps that would play into their hands. The
key was to create space for more moderate elements. The next
round of Arab League-sponsored talks would take place July

15. Frazer agreed that extremists might use the lapse and a
false sense of security among the international community to
consolidate their position and prepare another offensive.
She asked Seyoum what steps he would recommend in the interim
to counter UIC hard-liners. The Foreign Minister replied
that "only committed intervention of the international
community will tip the balance in favor of the TFG," and

ADDIS ABAB 00001744 003 OF 003


argued that it was possible to influence the situation.
Seyoum told Frazer that the TFG/UIC dialogue begun in
Khartoum earlier in the week would be helpful in isolating
extremists. He said that leaders from the 'Ayr clan had
already contacted the GOE to convey misgivings about
extremist activities of UIC leaders. The killing of a
Swedish journalist had created an uproar that would redound
against radical leaders.


10. (C) Frazer emphasized that turning over known terrorists
to the USG would send a positive signal and asked the GOE to
convey that message to friendly clan leaders. The more
important issue was clearly to prevent Somalia from becoming
a Jihadist state, but in the short-term a hand-over of wanted
terrorists would foster positive U.S. engagement. Seyoum
replied that "they always deny that they have them," but
agreed to pass the message. He noted that the 'Ayr clan had
seized the properties of other clans in southern Mogadishu
fifteen years earlier and had been profiting from them. Clan
leaders were concerned that a functioning national government
would force them to return the properties and were looking
for a way to avoid this. Finding a way to solve this problem
would facilitate stability in Mogadishu and bring various
clan leaders into cooperation with the TFG and international
partners. A/S Frazer responded that the Contact Group might
explore possible solutions.

-------------- --------------
SUDAN: GOE AGREES AMIS TRANSITION TO UN MUST MOVE FORWARD
-------------- --------------


11. (C) On Sudan, A/S Frazer argued strongly that the African
Union could not reverse its decision to transfer its mission
in Darfur to UN control in spite of Sudan's renewed
opposition. The GOS was simply stalling, she asserted, and
would back down in the face of a firm position on the part of
the AU. Recent statements by President Al Bashir were an
effort to create chaos in the AU Peace and Security Council
(PSC). The A/S added that if the AU were to reverse itself
on the UN transition, the DPA itself could fall apart.
Frazer asked that Ethiopia use its influence within other
African states to maintain the current AU commitment to an
October transition from AMIS to a UN mission in Darfur.


12. (C) Seyoum agreed that "the implementation of the Darfur
Peace Agreement (DPA) was not optional. Furthermore, the GOE
clearly understood what the PSC had decided at the last AU
Summit. There was no doubt about the mission transition at
the end of September, and there would be no going back.
Seyoum said that the GOE had already sent the GOS a message
to this effect. He suggested that an alternative to giving
in on the UN re-hatting was to deal with specific Sudanese
concern, such as the specific mandate of the mission and the
pursuit of war criminals. He urged the USG to continue
intensive bilateral diplomacy to ensure continued member
state commitment to the PSC decision. A/S Frazer agreed, and
said that working on specific language within a Chapter 6
mandate to protect civilians and the UN Mission itself was a
viable option.
HUDDLESTON