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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06NAIROBI2141
2006-05-16 14:44:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Nairobi
Cable title:  

SOMALI PARLIAMENT SPEAKER KEEN FOR U.S. SUPPORT

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PINS  CVIS  PTER  SO  KE 
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VZCZCXRO6429
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHNR #2141/01 1361444
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161444Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1733
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002141 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2026
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINS CVIS PTER SO KE
SUBJECT: SOMALI PARLIAMENT SPEAKER KEEN FOR U.S. SUPPORT

Classified By: Political Counselor Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Reasons 1.4
(B) and (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: The Ambassador met with Somalia's Parliament
Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden May 11 to discuss current
developments in Somalia. The conversation particularly
focused on the fighting in Mogadishu and possible ways to
bring it to an end, with the Speaker agreeing that he may be
in a position to mediate between the warring factions.
Sharif Hassan also focused on the need to bring the Mogadishu
warlords into the government fold. He repeatedly asked for
USG support for the Transitional Federal Institutions,
particularly for such short-term mediation efforts. Any
mediation will clearly be difficult for Sharif Hassan to
undertake, but at this time, he appears to be the official
best positioned to make such an attempt. In the meantime,
the locally brokered ceasefire in Mogadishu appears to be
holding. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Speaker of the Somali
Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) traveled to Nairobi to
participate in a meeting of the International Parliamentary
Union. He called on the Ambassador May 11 at the latter's
invitation. The Ambassador congratulated the Speaker for the
success thus far of efforts to bring the Parliament together
in Baidoa and requested an update on events. The Speaker
advised that 14 standing committees had been set up and
Parliament had managed to initiate a dialogue between
communities in conflict in Baidoa. The relocation issue has
been resolved, with 183 MPs (out of 275 total possible)
having voted in favor of maintaining the temporary seat of
government (including the executive branch) in Baidoa.
Militias are living outside Baidoa, and the process of
merging Baidoa and Jowhar militias to form a national army
has begun. Work on establishing regional councils has also
begun and should be concluded with elections by May 20.



3. (C) The Speaker expressed concerns about current events in
Mogadishu. If left unaddressed, the conflict there could
create problems for all of Somalia. The Somali people expect
the support of the U.S. to help bring an end to the fighting.
Sharif Hassan said he would like to engage the ministers
still entrenched in Mogadishu to bring them into the
government fold. He noted that if the warlords were to
achieve a military victory in Mogadishu, their alliance would
crumble the following day. He requested our support for
bringing these individuals back inside the government. The
Ambassador agreed on the importance of bringing the renegade
ministers back to the governmental fold and inquired as to
the Speaker's degree of confidence in his ability to bring
them to Baidoa. Sharif Hassan admitted that relations were
not as good as they had been a year ago, but he thought he

would be able to go to Mogadishu and engage the warlords in
discussions. He considered the possibility of separating the
warlords into different groups and using members of the
business community to influence them to return to the
government.



4. (C) The Ambassador asked the Speaker what other steps
could be taken to stop the fighting in Mogadishu. Could
someone in government - possibly the Speaker or Prime
Minister - initiate a process of mediation? Sharif Hassan
said he would not mind sacrificing himself for such a duty,
but was concerned about how to start the process without
offending one side or the other. He requested U.S. support
for any such mediation effort and suggested that we approach
the Alliance to urge them to accept mediation. The
Ambassador encouraged Sharif Hassan to work closely with the
Prime Minister on mediating the conflict in order to send a
strong signal about the ability of the different organs of
the Transitional Federal Government to work together. This
would also be an excellent opportunity for the government to
exercise its authority.



5. (C) Regarding the presence of the East Africa Al Qaida
cell in Mogadishu, Sharif Hassan noted that a small number of
people were aware of this presence, but the larger community
needs more information to understand the gravity of the
situation. The Ambassador advised that we had given fairly
detailed information to the Ayr community leaders in our
April meeting with them, which they had then used to confront
the Somalis protecting the cell. Unfortunately, these
guardians are strong both in numbers and weaponry.



6. (C) Sharif Hassan raised his potential travel to the U.S.
on a National Democratic Institute study program and inquired
whether there would be a problem obtaining his visa. The
Ambassador explained to the Speaker the concerns surrounding
our inability to deport Somali illegal aliens or convicted

NAIROBI 00002141 002 OF 002


criminals back to Somalia. He stated that we would need to
set up a mechanism with the TFG whereby such individuals
could be returned to Somalia, noting that we have had an
initial success with the return of 10 suspected pirates to
Somali territory. Sharif Hassan stated that our two
governments could negotiate on many issues, but the main
issue for which Somalia needs support is creating functioning
government institutions.



7. (C) COMMENT: Mediation in Mogadishu will clearly be
difficult for anyone, but Sharif Hassan seems to be in the
best position to make an attempt at this time. We are
encouraged by his efforts to identify possible avenues of
approach to the warlords and would like to use whatever means
are available to us to support his efforts. We are also
encouraged that the subsequent ceasefire agreed to by the
parties appears, at the time of this writing, to be holding.
END COMMENT.
BELLAMY