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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA48
2006-01-06 14:27:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

AU PSC GREEN LIGHT FOR UN TRANSITION OF AMIS

Tags:   PREL  KPKO  SU  AU 
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VZCZCXRO4500
OO RUEHMR RUEHPA
DE RUEHDS #0048/01 0061427
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 061427Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8539
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0796
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0185
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 000048 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/SPG, AF/RSA, AF/E.

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/06/2016
TAGS: PREL KPKO SU AU
SUBJECT: AU PSC GREEN LIGHT FOR UN TRANSITION OF AMIS
UNCERTAIN

REF: STATE 1351

Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A.I. VICKI HUDDLESTON. REASON: 1.4 (B)
AND (D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 000048

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/SPG, AF/RSA, AF/E.

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/06/2016
TAGS: PREL KPKO SU AU
SUBJECT: AU PSC GREEN LIGHT FOR UN TRANSITION OF AMIS
UNCERTAIN

REF: STATE 1351

Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A.I. VICKI HUDDLESTON. REASON: 1.4 (B)
AND (D)


1. (C) Summary: The African Union (AU) Commission has not
undertaken extensive discussions either internally or with
member states on the issue of an "exit strategy" for AMIS,
Peace and Security Commissioner Amb. Said Djinnit told DCM,
British Ambassador, Dutch Ambassador and Canadian Charge
January 5. Djinnit stated his preference for a political
agreement to be in place before considering AMIS re-hatting,
but conceded that a political settlement is not a
prerequisite for UN takeover. The AU seeks more clarity on
partner committment to fund AMIS throughout a transition
period and is keen for assurance that the cash gap will also
be closed. The AU Commission will do its "utmost" to seek
either a concrete Peace and Security Council (PSC) decision
on AMIS future or PSC development of a mechanism to discuss
AMIS future when it meets January 12, Djinnit noted.
Nevertheless, PSC members will have the ultimate say. While
Djinnit was less confident that the PSC would give a green
light for UN transition planning, AU Deputy Chairperson
Mazimhaka told Charge January 6 that PSC authorization of UN
planning seems a logical outcome of the January 12 session.
In a separate meeting, the Cameroon Chair of the PSC told DCM
that he expects more clarity on AMIS future as a result of
the January 12 PSC. Without predicting PSC outcome, he
indicated satisfaction that the USG is promoting a UN
transition and noted that a UN mission would have to be more
robust than AMIS. End summary.

--------------
GETTING FRANK WITH THE AU ON AMIS
--------------


2. (C) DCM, British Ambassador Dewar, Dutch Ambassador
Hennekens and Canadian Charge approached Djinnit jointly on
January 5 to convey a united position on the importance of a
January 12 PSC decision authorizing AMIS transition to a UN
mission. DCM presented reftel points verbatim. An EC
delegation representative attended as an observer.



3. (C) The partners told Djinnit that the AU Commission can
capitalize on AMIS success to date by promoting a PSC
decision calling for a transition to the UN. The UNSC needs
an AU green light in order to authorize the UN to begin
planning. DCM noted that the U.S. wants to use its UN
Security Council Presidency in February to request planning
for re-hatting AMIS, so timing is crucial. Partners noted
that partner funding does have its limits so the AU and its
member states should not make a PSC decision based on the
assumption that partner funding for AMIS will continue.


4. (C) Still, the USG and UK are committed to ensuring that
AMIS funding continues during a transition period. DCM said
that the U.S. intends to work to ensure a continued African
presence in Darfur through advocating re-hatting African
troops and considering the possibility of an African Force
Commander for the UN mission. Partners asked Djinnit to
ensure the AU Commission's report to the PSC stresses the
importance of deciding on a way forward for AMIS. Partners
also assured Djinnit of continued commitment to improve
African peacekeeping capability through training and
equipping African troops.

-------------- --------------
EXIT STRATEGY UNCLEAR, AU SEEKS REASSURANCE ON FUNDING
-------------- --------------


5. (C) Djinnit said that the AU and partners should take
joint credit for AMIS success. Emphasizing the importance of
AMIS for AU credibility, Djinnit noted that Darfur was the
first opportunity to test the new Peace and Security Council
(PSC) and the AU's strategic objective of "non-indifference."
AMIS was also an opportunity to improve AU peace support
capability.


6. (C) According to Djinnit, the AU has not had much
opportunity to discuss AMIS exit strategy either with the PSC
or with member states. Still, "it was clear from the
beginning that there must be an exit", he said. Djinnit
noted that the AU does not have the capability or financial
security to engage in a long-term mission and that the UN is
the only logical successor for AMIS. There is, though, no
agreement on transition timing.

ADDIS ABAB 00000048 002 OF 003




7. (C) Djinnit said that the AU's fundamental assumption was
that transition should be linked to a political settlement.
He conceded that, while securing a political agreement would
make it easier for him to promote transition, a political
settlement is not necessarily a precursor to UN takeover.


8. (C) Djinnit thanked the USG for assurances that AMIS
funding would continue during a transition period, but
commented that the AU needs not only sustainment of current
funding but also additional funding to meet cash shortfalls.
The EU Peace Facility will only take AMIS to April 2006, he
reminded partners. Djinnit noted that he had consistently
told partners for many months that AMIS need more financial
predictability. Director of the Chairperson's Bureau Diallo
also requested clarification on partner intent to fund AMIS
through a transition period that may last nine months.


9. (C) Djinnit stated that the issue of funding is still
"very sensitive." He commented that strategic partnerships
between the AU and international community cannot be based on
financial dependency. He welcomed U.S. and other partner
offers to enhance AMIS capacity and said the AU is open to
external technical assistance provided the AU retains command
and control.

--------------
AU COMMISSION WANTS CLARITY ON AMIS FUTURE
--------------


10. (C) The AU Commission is not in a position to predict the
PSC outcome, Djinnit noted. He assured partners that the AU
wants to go to the Khartoum Summit with a clear sense of
AMIS' future. Djinnit said that the Commission would do its
"utmost" to seek either a concrete PSC decision on AMIS
future or a mechanism for discussing the way forward for
AMIS.

--------------
PSC CHAIR THOUGHTS
--------------


11. (C) In a separate meeting, Cameroon Ambassador Jean
Hilaire Mbea Mbea (PSC Chair for January) told DCM, Dutch
Ambassador and British Poloff that he is "relieved" to hear
that the U.S. "has changed its position" on the issue of
transition (Note: DCM raised reftel points). Cameroon was
under the impression that the USG was reluctant to promote UN
takeover of AMIS, he said. Mbea said that the PSC may want a
shorter transition period for UN takeover -- three months
instead of nine. He emphasized that a UN mission should not
simply take over from AMIS, but instead should be more
robust. Mbea was not convinced that the UN is prepared to
undertake a more robust mission. Mbea noted that he cannot
predict the PSC outcome, but stated his expectation that the
January 12 PSC will provide more clarity on the issue of AMIS
future. He did indicate, though, that the PSC may simply
extend AMIS for three months while the details of a
transition are worked out with the UN. DCM urged the
Cameroon Ambassador to consider clear language on transition
during the January 12 PSC meeting so the USG can use its
February Security Council Presidency to pursue the issue of
re-hatting AMIS. British Poloff noted that handing AMIS
responsibility to the UN will also free the AU to pursue
efforts in other regions such as the Great Lakes.


12. (C) Note: Canadian Charge approached Lesotho and Kenya
PSC Ambassadors January 5. According to Canadian Charge,
Lesotho does not expect that the PSC will make a firm
decision on AMIS future on January 12. The Kenyan Ambassador
expressed preference for continued AMIS presence in Darfur.
End note.

--------------
COMMENT
--------------


13. (C) Post does not believe AU member states have a clear
understanding of timelines involved for transition, funding
constraints and partner committment to continued support to
improve African peacekeeping capabilities. This is all the
more true since the AU Commission has not actively engaged
member states on the issue of exit strategy and realities on
the ground. Post will continue to approach local PSC
Ambassadors, but high-level approaches to PSC and other key
capitals are also vital.

ADDIS ABAB 00000048 003 OF 003



HUDDLESTON