|07NAIROBI2098||2007-05-16 11:14:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Nairobi|
VZCZCXRO6795 OO RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO DE RUEHNR #2098 1361114 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 161114Z MAY 07 FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9741 INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RHMFISS/CJTF HOA RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 002098
1. (C) On May 14 the Ambassador met with Jean-Christophe
Belliard, the Personal Envoy for Somalia of Javier Solana,
EU Secretary-General. Belliard first visited Cairo and
Addis Ababa before coming to Nairobi. In Addis Ababa
Belliard met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who
reportedly expressed skepticism about Somalia and a desire
to extricate Ethiopia from what is turning out to be a
costly and intractable problem.
2. (C) According to Belliard, Meles said that Transitional
Federal Government (TFG) Prime Minister Gedi has "outlived
his purpose" and is not the right person for the primary
job now of ensuring an inclusive political process. The
removal of Gedi would best be an outcome of the National
Reconciliation Congress. Meles, Belliard said, agreed that
there needs to be more Hawiye in the government, including
in the security services. Meles spoke to Belliard of
standing up a Somali army and security services, and
notably did not mention the AU Peace Support Mission in
Somalia (AMISOM) or a potential follow-on UN mission.
3. (C) Belliard said the Ethiopians and the AU recognize
that credible Hawiye leaders have to be a part of the
political process, but they draw the line at including
Hassan Dahir Aweys, Hassan al Turki, or Adan Hashi Ayrow.
On the other hand, Belliard told us that when they speak in
Cairo of holding an "all inclusive process" they include
Aweys as a part of that process. In fact, Belliard claimed
Cairo is in "permanent contact" with Aweys, and that Aweys
even called Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Gheit while
Belliard was meeting with Gheit. The Saudis are also in
close contact with Aweys, Belliard said.
4. (C) Belliard said Alpha Oumar Konare, Chairperson of the
Commission of the African Union (AU), is focused on
building up AMISOM and he does not appear interested in
transitioning AMISOM to a UN operation. Konare is working
hard to arrange for 1,700 troops from Burundi and a
battalion from Nigeria. The Ugandans are doing very well,
but they need additional financial and troop support.
5. (C) Europe is a complicated family, said Belliard.
Solana reportedly "discovered Somalia" on January 2 when he
met with Secretary Rice. As Belliard tells the story, the
Secretary opened the discussion with Somalia, a subject
Solana was totally unprepared for. After the meeting
Solana immediately worked to get up to speed on Somalia,
and he tasked his staff to work closely with the U.S. to
ensure close and coordinated E.U.-U.S. policy on Somalia.
The Ambassador reviewed U.S. policy points on Somalia
(reftel). Belliard expressed full agreement.
6. (C) Solana is concerned about the so-called Saudi
initiative, the details of which remain unknown, because he
wants to avoid a parallel track that puts the Islamic
Courts back into the equation. Belliard quipped that some
Europeans in Nairobi -- he named Italian Envoy Mario
Raffaelli, the EC delegation, and the Swedes -- apparently
still view the Islamic Courts as rightfully deserving a
role in a political solution. Belliard, and the
Ambassador, agreed that bringing the Islamic Courts into
the political dialogue would prove to be a distraction and
do nothing but lend legitimacy to a spent force.