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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08DJIBOUTI940 2008-11-23 14:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

SOMALIA: SENIOR DJIBOUTI OFFICIAL ON YUSUF'S

Tags:   DJ PGOV PREL SO 
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RR RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDJ #0940 3281406
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 231406Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI
TO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3392
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9742
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 000940 

SIPDIS

NAIROBI ALSO FOR SOMALIA UNIT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/23/2018
TAGS: DJ PGOV PREL SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA: SENIOR DJIBOUTI OFFICIAL ON YUSUF'S
FUTURE

Classified By: Amb. James Swan for Reasons 1.5 (b)(d).



1. (C) Summary: Ismail Tani, Djibouti's point person on
Somalia issues, says the GODJ has rebuffed Transitional
Federal Government (TFG) President Yusuf's repeated and
continuing appeals to travel to Djibouti to participate in
the next round of talks with the Alliance for the
Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS). While noting the growing
consensus that it is time for Yusuf to go, the GODJ (and
President Guelleh personally, according to Tani) fears that
Yusuf will resort to divisive clan politics to torpedo
reconciliation if he is forced out against his will. Guelleh
instead favors "stroking" Yusuf to persuade him to leave on
his own, perhaps in exchange for naming his own successor
from among the Darod clan. In order to make such an appeal
to Yusuf, Tani said Guelleh is considering whether to allow
Yusuf into Djibouti -- but keeping him sidelined from the
TFG/ARS talks, and seeking to isolate him from other Somali
political actors in Nairobi, Baidoa, and Mogadishu. End
Summary.



2. (C) President Ismail Omar Guelleh's point person on
Somalia confirmed Nov. 23 that TFG President Yusuf continues
to press for an invitation to Djibouti. GODJ Presidency
Secretary General Ismail Tani told the Ambassador that Yusuf
is "at the end" and has repeatedly called to ask to travel to
Djibouti for this week's planned continuation of TFG/ARS
talks. Tani said he had rebuffed Yusuf, explaining that the
TFG/ARS talks are organized by UN SRSG Ahmadou Ould-Abdallah
not by the GODJ. Based on guidance from the Somalia Unit,
Ambassador confirmed that the USG shares Ould-Abdallah's
conviction that Yusuf should not come to Djibouti. Tani
agreed it would be disruptive at a delicate time in the
TFG-ARS negotiations.



3. (C) Tani said Yusuf's calls have included increasingly
confrontational references to Somali clans. Yusuf accused
Tani and the GODJ of backing the "Hawiye," and asking
petulantly why the GODJ wasn't satisfied with a Hawiye Prime
Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and also wanted a Hawiye
president too. Tani commented this direct reference to clan
politics was unseemly for someone who ostensibly is president
of all Somalis.



4. (C) While there is a growing consensus on the need to
replace Yusuf, Tani said, the GODJ worried that , Yusuf would
"tribalize" the political dispute and further complicate
national reconciliation, if forced out against his will.
President Guelleh believes that Yusuf must now be "stroked"
to agree to exit of his own volition. Tani suggested Yusuf
could agree to leave if Guelleh and others not only appealed
to him to consider his place in history, but also (more
importantly) allowed Yusuf to name a Darod figure to succeed
him. With this in mind, Tani said Guelleh is considering
allowing Yusuf into Djibouti but keeping him isolated from
the TFG/ARS talks as well as other Somali political actors in
Baidoa, Mogadishu, and Nairobi. Tani said he would discuss
next steps with Guelleh after the President's expected return
later today (Nov. 23) from a short visit to Dubai.
Ambassador reiterated that allowing Yusuf into Djibouti while
the TFG remains internally divided over his role would risk
transfering this internal squabble to Djibouti and
undermining the credibility of the TFG's negotiators in the
talks with the ARS.



5. (C) Comment: Tani is among the three or four most
influential figures in the Djiboutian government and is
widely acknowledged to have the lead -- after President
Guelleh -- on the Somalia account. His comments indicate
that the GODJ believes it is now a matter of "how" not
"whether" Yusuf should go. Tani expressed interest in
meeting with Somalia Special Envoy Yates while he is in
Djibouti for the TFG/ARS talks and we will work to arrange
this.
SWAN