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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
90MOGADISHU11138 1990-12-20 14:32:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Mogadishu
Cable title:  

NORTHERN MINISTER DEPLORES CURRENT SITUATION

Tags:   PREL PINR PGOV SO 
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O 201432Z DEC 90
FM AMEMBASSY MOGADISHU
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1242
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOGADISHU 11138 


E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PREL, PINR, PGOV, SO
SUBJ: NORTHERN MINISTER DEPLORES CURRENT SITUATION

REF: Q MOGADISHU 08622; B) MOGADISHU 10999
- C) MOGADISHU 10793

1. (C) ENTIRE TEXT.

2. SUMMARY: ANOTHER OF THE YOUNGER MEMBERS OF THE
CABINET HOLDS THE PRESIDENT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
COUNTRY'S MALAISE. END SUMMARY.

3. INTRODUCTION: OVER LUNCH DECEMBER 19, ABDIRAHMAN
JAMA MOHAMED, MINISTER OF LIVESTOCK,FORESTRY AND RANGE,
IDENTIFIED PRESIDENT SIAD BARRE AS THE PRINCIPAL STUMBLING
BLOCK TO PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF SOMALIA'S MOUNTING
POLITICAL TURMOIL. AN ISSAK FROM HARGESIA, THE
YOUTHFUL MINISTER WARMLY BUT PRIVATELY ENDORSED FORMER
PRIME MINISTER MOHAMMED EGAL'S PUBLIC CALL THIS WEEK
FOR SIAD'S RESIGNATION. ABDIRAHMAN SAID HE FOUND EGAL'S
PROPOSED SUCCESSION SCENARIO QUITE REASONABLE. HOWEVER,
WHEN ASKED IF HE THOUGHT SIAD BARRE WOULD AGREE TO
STEP DOWN, ABDIRAHMAN SHOOK HIS HEAD SLOWLY AND SADLY.
ASKED WHAT PROCEDURE CURRENTLY EXISTS FOR PEACEFUL
RESOLUTION OF OUTSTANDING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE REGIME
AND THE REBELS, THE MINISTER SAID SOURCES WITHIN THE
GOVERNMENT STATE THAT THE CAIRO ROUNDTABLE HAS BEEN
RESCHEDULED FOR MID-JANUARY. I THEN BRIEFED HIM ON MY
DISCUSSION WITH THE EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR, WHO TOLD ME
THAT NO NEW DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR THE PUTATIVE TALKS
IN THE EGYPTIAN CAPITAL.

-
4. CAIRO CONFERENCE: IN DISCUSSING THE POSTPONEMENT OF
THE MEETING IN CAIRO, THE MINISTER SAID THE ORDERS TO
ARREST THE MANIFESTO GROUP MEMBERS CAME DIRECTLY FROM
SIAD. HE WAS ANGRY WHEN HE DISCOVERED THEY INTENDED TO
CONSULT WITH THE SNM IN LONDON EN ROUTE TO CAIRO. WHEN
IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF THE TWO GROUPS
CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE MET IN CAIRO AND THAT SENIOR GSDR
OFFICIALS ROUTINELY CONTACT SENIOR SNM OFFICIALS WHEN
IN LONDON, ABDIRAHMAN SMILED WEAKLY.

-
5. VIOLENCE: IN AN EXCHANGE ON THE VIOLENCE WHICH HAS
PROMPTED THE EVACUATION OF SO MANY FOREIGN ASSISTANCE
PERSONNEL, THE MINISTER BLAMED THE SOMALI MILITARY FOR
THE ONGOING MURDERS AND ROBBERIES. HE OPINED THAT THE
DETACHMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR SIAD'S PROTECTION, NOW
COMPOSED SOLELY OF MAREHAN TRIBE MEMBERS, SEES THE END
OF THE REGIME AND THEIR OWN PROTECTED STATUS COMING.
CONSEQUENTLY, THEY ARE TRYING TO BUILD UP PERSONAL
FINANCIAL RESERVES BY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. HE CLAIMED
THAT EVEN SIAD BARRE HAS HAD PERSONAL VEHICLES STOLEN
BY SOLDIERS ASSIGNED TO GUARD HIM. THE MINISTER SUBSE-
QUENTLY REQUESTED MY ASSISTANCE OBTAINING VISAS FOR
YOUNG RELATIVES HE WANTED TO HELP LEAVE SOMALIA TO AVOID
BOTH VIOLENCE AND BEING IMPRESSED INTO THE SOMALI
NATIONAL ARMY.

-
6. AID SUSPENSION: ABDIRAHMAN TOOK THE OCCASION TO WARN
ME THAT MANY SENIOR MEMBERS OF GOVERNMENT HOLD ME PER-
SONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUSPENSION OF AMERICAN
ASSISTANCE, WHICH THEY CONSIDER AN OVER-REACTION TO THE
ONGOING VIOLENCE. HIS ACCOUNT WAS SIMILAR TO THAT GIVEN
ME A FEW DAYS EARLIER BY THE MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
(REFTEL C). HE ADVISED ME TO SEE THE PRIME MINISTER TO
TRY TO CLEAR THE AIR.

-
7. NATIONAL PROSPECTS: THE MINISTER'S DOWNBEAT
ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT SCENE GAVE RISE TO EVIDENT
PESSIMISM ABOUT SOMALIA'S FUTURE. HE RULED OUT
FEDERALISM AS INCONSISTENT WITH SOMALIA'S POVERTY,
FACTIONALISM AND THE NOMADIC LIFESTYLE OF MOST OF ITS
PEOPLE. BUT HE RELENTED WHEN IT WAS NOTED THAT
FEDERALISM COULD MEAN NO MORE THAN TWO FEDERATED POLITICAL
UNITS. HE HAD PRESUMED IT MUST ENTAIL THE ESTABLISHMENT
OF ELABORATE GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES IN EACH OF THE
COUNTRY'S 20 REGIONS. HE DID STATE HIS BELIEF THAT BOTH
THE PRIME MINISTER AND FINANCE MINISTER JAMA BARRE HAVE
NATIONAL INTERESTS AT HEART, AND HE URGED THAT I WORK
CLOSELY WITH THEM.

-
8. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: IN REVIEWING WHAT DIVIDES
SOMALIS, THE MINISTER FOCUSED ON THE DIFFERENT VALUE
SYSTEMS TO WHICH SOMALIS WERE EXPOSED IN BRITISH AND
ITALIAN ADMINISTERED SOMALIA. NORTHERNERS FIND IT
IRKSOME, HE UNDERLINED, TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH SOUTHERNERS,
BECAUSE THEY APE THE ITALIANS' CORRUPTION, INCOMPETENCE,
AND TOLERANCE FOR SHODDY WORK.


BISHOP