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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06DAKAR876
2006-04-11 16:43:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Dakar
Cable title:  

THE "LIBYAN GUIDE" GIVES PLENTY OF GUIDANCE TO

Tags:  PREL PINR PGOV EINV FR LY SU SG 
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VZCZCXRO9739
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #0876/01 1011643
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111643Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4806
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0169
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0870
RUEHTRO/USLO TRIPOLI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 000876 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, AF/SPG, AF/C, NEA/MAG AND EUR/WE
ABUJA PLS PASS TO AMBASSADOR RANNEBERGER
KINSHASA FOR BRAZZAVILLE OFFICE
PARIS FOR POL - D'ELIA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2011
TAGS: PREL PINR PGOV EINV FR LY SU SG
SUBJECT: THE "LIBYAN GUIDE" GIVES PLENTY OF GUIDANCE TO
SENEGAL

DAKAR 00000876 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: DCM Robert P. Jackson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

SUMMARY
-------


1. (C) President Wade celebrated Senegal's 46th anniversary
of independence surrounded by five other African heads of
state, but the presence of Mouammar Qadhafi drew the most
fanfare. Foreign Minister Gadio told the Ambassador during
her introductory call that there was no discussion of Sudan
or other contentious issues. In typical fashion, Qadhafi
came bearing promises of USD 2 billion in investments and the
tallest tower in Africa and pushed for reparations from
France, a united states of Africa, a single African army, and
a presidency without a term limit. So far, however, his
promises remain theoretical, and his policy pronouncements
stirred controversy. END SUMMARY.

QADHAFI PRESIDES


--------------------------




2. (C) In the days before Qadhafi arrived in Dakar, 30-foot
posters of him sprang up around town. The "Libyan Guide," as
they call him, was the real guest of honor at the
Independence Day festivities on April 4. He spent that day
and the next laying the cornerstone for a 50-floor tower to
be built with Libyan financing and addressing the National
Assembly and thousands of Senegalese women. The
government-run newspaper, "Le Soleil," printed tribute after
tribute to this "friend of Senegal," mentioning in passing
the presence of the Presidents of the Congo, Gabon,
Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde. Indeed, Qadhafi was the only
visiting African leader permitted to make a speech on
Independence Day. He used the opportunity to tell the
Senegalese that Wade should be president for life and that
they should demand compensation for having been colonized by
France and reparations for the soldiers who fought for France
in World War I and II. In a very insightful reply, President
Wade noted that his father had fought in World War I and had
pursued a pension in the French courts for 35 years, which
may explain why Wade trained as a lawyer and why he is so
unwavering once he sets his mind on something. The French
Charge and military representatives were visibly unhappy with
the remarks and boycotted the Senegalese military reception
that followed the four-hour parade. Not only the French were
upset by the spectacle though. The other four heads of state,
who sat in the sun waiting 30 minutes for Qadhafi to arrive
and another 20 for Wade, were reportedly furious about the
poor treatment they received, especially since Sassou-Nguesso
is entitled to higher billing as African Union President.

QADHAFI AVOIDS CONTENTIOUS ISSUES


--------------------------




3. (C) When Ambassador Jacobs paid her introductory visit on
Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs Cheikh Tidiane Gadio on
April 7, the Minister said that there had been no bilateral
discussions about Darfur during Qadhafi's visit. According
to Gadio, "Both sides were trying to avoid discussion of
contentious issues." Gadio added that Senegal remains
committed to re-hatting the African Union Mission in Sudan
(AMIS).

QADHAFI PROMISES MUCH


--------------------------




4. (U) For the most attention-generating event during the
visit, the Libyan leader put in place the first stone of
"Qadhafi Tower," billed to become the tallest tower in
Africa. According to Abdoulaye Balde, Secretary General at
the Presidency and National Agency for the Organization of
the Islamic Conference (ANOCI) officials, the tower will cost
USD 250 million. Ambassador Ahmed Khalifa Niasse, special
advisor to President Wade, added that the tower will take two
to four years to build and will be visible as far away as The
Gambia. Niasse told "Le Soleil" that Niasse fought hard to
get the tower built in Senegal and that it is part of a USD 2
billion plan for Libyan investment, including a new airport
(although he said he "could not speak about the airport
before President Wade").



5. (U) Qadhafi also addressed a gathering of women, to whom
he promised laws protecting them from divorce. At the
National Assembly, he called for a unified Africa, a regional
army for the continent and a presidency for life. He said he
is against constitutions limiting the mandate of heads of
state and said presidents should be allowed to stay in power
as long as possible if that is the will of the people. This

DAKAR 00000876 002.2 OF 002


last pronouncement led to vigorous debate in the media.

QADHAFI DISAPPOINTS


--------------------------




6. (C) Despite the grand investment scheme Qadhafi may have
brought with him, one Embassy contact in the National
Association of Architects told us there is no blueprint or
study for the tower and no money yet to build it. The GOS
has not yet decided on a site, though it will require five
hectares of land. An embassy source at APIX, the government
investment agency, said no investment or actual promise of
investment has flowed in from Libya as a result of Qadhafi's
visit. Moreover, Qadhafi donated no aid, something which,
according to at least one newspaper, caused great
disappointment among many expecting handouts.

COMMENT


--------------------------




7. (C) A quick call to the Foreign Ministry revealed that it
had little involvement with Qadhafi's visit. Staff at the
Ministry said the visit was handled almost entirely by the
Presidency. For all the posters and articles glorifying
Qadhafi, it is probable that his visit was orchestrated to
bring maximum glory and exposure to President Wade. One can
imagine Wade's appreciation for Qadhafi's push for presidents
for life. END COMMENT.



8. (U) Minimize considered.
JACKSON