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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07CAIRO1678 2007-06-04 11:03:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
Cable title:  

SOMALIA: EGYPT, ARAB LEAGUE WANT COURTS MODERATES

Tags:   MOPS PREL ARABL EG SO 
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VZCZCXRO4207
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHEG #1678/01 1551103
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 041103Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5507
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001678 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2017
TAGS: MOPS PREL ARABL EG SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA: EGYPT, ARAB LEAGUE WANT COURTS MODERATES
INVOLVED VIA OTHER GROUPS

REF: A. SECSTATE 76012 (NOTAL)


B. ADDIS ABABA 1549 (NOTAL)

C. CAIRO 1380

Classified by DCM Stuart Jones for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: Poloff delivered ref A demarche on June 3 to
both MFA Cabinet Advisor Ahmed Abu Zeid and Arab League
Secretariat advisor Zeid Sabban. Abu Zeid said that Egypt

SIPDIS
supports including moderate members of the now defunct
Council of Islamic Courts (CIC) in reconciliation talks,
preferably via clan or civil society affiliations. Abu Zeid
said that Egypt was "not keen" on Sheikh Aweys'
participation, given his terrorist designation, but
questioned the criteria for labeling other CIC figures as
"moderate." Sabban sought to distance the League from the
CIC and Aweys, insisting that "there are no Courts" and that
those not denouncing violence should have no role. Sabban
detailed League monetary contributions for Somalia, and
asserted that League members would meet on Somalia only if
the upcoming National Reconciliation Congress fails to
generate forward momentum. The GOE and Arab League
understand that the CIC as an organization is no more, but
may be flexible on including former CIC leaders in
reconciliation talks. End summary.



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

--
Egypt: Involving CIC Moderates Via Other Groups


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

--



2. (C) On June 3, poloff delivered ref A demarche to MFA
Cabinet Staff Member Ahmed Abu Zeid, who, along with Egypt's
ambassador in London, will represent the GOE at the June 5-6
London meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on
Somalia. Discussing USG views on the now-defunct Council of
Islamic Courts (CIC), Abu Zeid said that Egypt preferred to
involve moderates affiliated with the former Courts via their
clan affiliations or other civil society groups. He proposed
additional "flexibility" toward former CIC members, however,
should their exclusion as a group jeopardize the national
reconciliation process. Acknowledging USG views on the CIC,
Abu Zeid suggested the possibility of engaging these
individuals informally, in parallel with the reconciliation
process.



3. (C) Poloff emphasized USG opposition to inclusion of
Sheikh Aweys, Sheikh Sharif, and the leadership of the Al
Shabaab militia in reconciliation talks. Abu Zeid said Egypt
was "not keen" on Aweys' participation, grudgingly
acknowledging his UNSC terrorist designation, but questioned
the criteria by which other former CIC members were
designated as "moderates."



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


Arab League: "There are no Courts"


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





4. (C) Poloff discussed ref A demarche separately on June 3
with Arab League Secretariat advisor Zeid Sabban, who, along
with director of the League's African Affairs office Samir
Hosni, will represent the League at the London ICG meeting.
Sabban insisted that "there are no Courts," agreeing that
former CIC members should participate in reconciliation talks
under their clans or other civil organizations. Sabban
agreed that those not renouncing violence and extremism
should have no role, explicitly pointing to Sheikh Aweys.
Sabban warned against "making the mistake" of thinking that
all Hawiye are extremists since the CIC had strong links to
the Hawiye.



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


League Financial Commitments for Somalia


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





5. (C) Sabban explained that the League monetary allocations
for Somalia: $1 million for the AU to manage AMISOM
operations, $1 million for disarmament, and $1 million for
the UNDP. The League also approved a further $1 million for
Secretary General Amre Moussa to spend on reconciliation.

SIPDIS
Sabban bemoaned lack of funding as the biggest obstacle to
getting more AU troops on the ground for AMISOM, though he
acknowledged that the unstable security situation is also a
concern. He suggested that the UN should provide more
funding for AU peacekeepers, and that the League may approach
the USG and AU bilaterally on setting up a UN fund for
Somalia.



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


League Praises Reconciliation Congress


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





6. (C) Sabban praised the upcoming mid-June National

CAIRO 00001678 002 OF 002


Reconciliation Congress as a "Somali initiative." Sabban
hoped that a "father figure for Somalia" might emerge out of
it, someone who could effectively liaise with all Somali
parties and the international community; Sabban cited
specifically Ali Mahdi, head of the reconciliation
conference. Sabban blamed recent Transitional Federal
Government (TFG) inaction for lack of progress on
reconciliation thus far, citing TFGers' fears of losing
power. The League was hoping to send a representative to the
conference, but was concerned about security in Mogadishu.
The League was in the process of replacing its Nairobi-based
ambassador to Somalia; the replacement, said Sabban, should
be in place in Nairobi before the Congress opens and would be
available to represent the League.



7. (C) Sabban said that League member states would not meet
in Jeddah unless the Congress failed to general momentum for
reconciliation. In that case, said Sabban, they will
convene, and look for a new way forward in conjunction with
the AU, IGAD, UN, and EU.



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


Comment


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





8. (C) The GOE and Arab League recognize that the CIC is no
more, and as a group should not play a major role in Somali
reconciliation. That said, they are sympathetic to the
public support that the Courts previously enjoyed, and which
may be fueling continued violence in Somalia. As we have
heard from European Somalia envoy Jean-Christophe Belliard,
the GOE and League may be flexible on engaging former CIC
leaders - including Aweys - if they believe it will assist in
stable reconciliation (refs B/C). Additionally, we note that
Egyptian decisions on Somalia policy lie with the Egyptian
General Intelligence Service (EGIS), rather than the MFA.
Nevertheless, the June 5-6 ICG meeting in London will provide
a good opportunity to flesh out specifics on GOE and League
views toward including former CIC members.
RICCIARDONE