Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09NAIROBI679
2009-04-06 13:29:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Nairobi
Cable title:  

SOMALIA - TFG PARLIAMENT MEETING IN MOGADISHU

Tags:  PGOV PINR PREL PTER SOCI SO 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO0519
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #0679/01 0961329
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061329Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9074
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 000679 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL PTER SOCI SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - TFG PARLIAMENT MEETING IN MOGADISHU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 000679

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL PTER SOCI SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - TFG PARLIAMENT MEETING IN MOGADISHU


1. (SBU) Summary: Transitional Parliament Speaker Aden
Mohammed Nur "Madobe," who was en route from Mogadishu via
Nairobi to Prague for the April 6 - 9 meeting of the ACP - EU
Joint Parliamentary Assembly, in an April 4 meeting described
security in Mogadishu as steadily improving, although recent
assassinations were cause for concern. Madobe calculated the
number of MPs attending sessions in Mogadishu at 307, barely
a quorum. The remaining 213 MPs were either traveling or
still weighing the wisdom of moving to the Somali capital, he
said. The Parliament had held two sessions to date: the
first devoted to organizational matters; the second session
to increasing the number of committees from fourteen to
twenty-seven and amending rules of procedure to accommodate
the recently-installed Alliance for the Re-liberation of
Somalia (ARS) deputies. Madobe described al-Shabaab
Spokesman Muktar Robow, a clan kinsman, as embroiled in a
conflict with other members of the al-Shabaab leadership, but
unlikely to bolt to a TFG government he "does not trust."
Madobe confirmed that the TFG very shortly would present its
conception of Sharia for Somalia to the Parliament. The
TFG's framework would be considered by the Parliament's
Justice and Religious Affairs Committee, he said. End
summary.

Somalia to Feature at ACP-EU
Parliamentary Assembly
--------------


2. (SBU) On April 4, Transitional Federal Parliament Speaker
Aden Mohammed Nur "Madobe," who was en route from Mogadishu
to Prague for the April 6 - 9 annual meeting of the African,
Caribbean, Pacific - European Union (ACP - EU) Joint
Parliamentary Assembly met briefly in Nairobi to describe the
work of the Parliament, conditions in Mogadishu, and the
government's plans to implement Sharia. Madobe noted that
Somalia would be discussed on the second day of the ACP - EU
meeting.

Mogadishu Improves, but
Worrying Signs
--------------


3. (SBU) Madobe described a "noticeable" improvement in
security in Mogadishu since the TFG's February arrival, but
he cautioned that there were worrying recent developments.
Among them were the recent assassinations or attempts on

prominent Somali politicians, especially from the
Parliament's point of view, the April 1 wounding of MP Amir
Shaketi. The attacks were designed to intimidate the
government, Madobe said, and if they continued, they might
succeed.


4. (SBU) Al-Shabaab remained an enemy of the TFG, and there
was "no hope" for reconciliation, as it was run by
"foreigners." Madobe's clan cousin Muktar Robow (they are
both members of the Liban sub-clan) was embroiled in a
conflict with other members of the al-Shabaab leadership, but
it was unlikely, Madobe thought, that Robow would make
overtures to the TFG, as he did not trust its leadership.


5. (SBU) Madobe disagreed with those who alleged that
al-Shabaab's funding was drying up. There has been a recent
influx of foreigners, he said, and the organization seemed as
robust as ever. He implied that the World Food Program's
humanitarian programs were benefiting al-Shabaab in areas it
controlled, and urged that thought be given to channeling
more aid to TFG-controlled areas.

Parliament in Session
--------------


6. (SBU) The improvement in security had allowed 307 MPs to
relocate to Mogadishu. The remaining 213, Madobe said, were
traveling, in training, or fearful of moving to the Somali
capital. In its two plenary sessions to date, the Parliament
had dispensed with all initial logistical problems, and
agreed to increase the number of committees from fourteen to
twenty-seven.

Sharia Discussion
--------------


7. (SBU) Madobe confirmed that the TFG was expected to
present a framework for the discussion of the adoption of
Sharia law very soon. (Prime Minister Sharmarke separately
told Ambassador Yates that he would present the TFG's
framework as early as April 4 or 5.) If the conception was

NAIROBI 00000679 002 OF 002


acceptable to the Parliament, a committee to draft
legislation on Sharia based the framework would be
constituted. Like the Prime Minister and President Sharif,
Madobe expected that the version of Sharia to be presented by
the TFG would be "in harmony with Somali traditions," and
would not cause concern among members of the international
community.

Comment
--------------


8. (SBU) Comment: The initial decision to move the Parliament
from Baidoa to Mogadishu met resistance from MPs --Madobe
among them-- and clearly many parliamentarians have not
agreed to attend plenaries in Somalia's sometimes violent
capital. It is unlikely, however, that the percentage of MPs
present in Baidoa at any time exceeded that currently present
in Mogadishu. Madobe joined virtually all of Somalia Unit's
contacts in believing that the decision to introduce Sharia
was driven largely by the need to neutralize the TFG's
opposition, which had tabled Sharia as a litmus test for the
new government. More important to Madobe was the TFG's
fragile hold on Mogadishu and the rising number of attacks
targeted at prominent Somali personalities. End Comment.

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to SomaliaWatchers@state.sgov.gov.
RANNEBERGER