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Cablegate: Au Psc Commissioner Djinnit Addresses the North

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P 071723Z MAR 07
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0586
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RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0134
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0367
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C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDING CAPTION)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS NATO PREL AU SU UN
SUBJECT: AU PSC COMMISSIONER DJINNIT ADDRESSES THE NORTH
ATLANTIC COUNCIL


1. (SBU) Summary: In a disappointing March 2 address to the
NAC, African Union Peace and Security Council Commissioner
Said Djinnit said the AU "highly appreciated" support
received from NATO, including assistance with airlift,
capacity building, and "important" lessons learned training,
and welcomed ongoing support to the AU Mission in the Sudan
(AMIS) as needed. However, Djinnit ducked questions about
how to take NATO-AU cooperation to the next level, and has
apparently grown cold on the idea he pushed earlier for a
framework agreement to enable cooperation. Djinnit did not
ask for specific assistance to the African Union Mission to
Somalia (AMISOM), saying the AU is still "working out details
and modalities" of that mission. Regarding the draft NATO-AU
framework agreement, Djinnit suggested the two organizations
should gain more experience cooperating on the ground before
moving forward with this agreement. Djinnit suggested a role
for NATO in building the capacity of the fledgling African
Standby Force (ASF), in order to "increase its capacity to
carry out peacekeeping operations." He repeatedly asked for
assistance in the form of logistics and financing for
peacekeeping operations. The Secretary General emphasized
that NATO stands ready to provide increased support to the
AU, including to the planned AU-UN "hybrid" package for
Darfur. End Summary.

2. (SBU) In opening remarks, the SYG said that the
"deteriorating" situation in Darfur was putting pressure on
the international community to act; at the same time, he
noted some progress at the political level. The SYG noted
that, in conjunction with the EU, NATO had airlifted more
than 24,000 AU troops to and from Darfur. In addition, NATO
had carried out capacity-building training with 200 AU
officers, mentored an information assessment cell, and
provided lessons-learned trainers. NATO stands ready to
provide increased support, including to the planned AU-UN
"hybrid" package for Darfur. The SYG mentioned the AU note
verbale sent in January requesting assistance with AMISOM,
adding that NATO is still waiting for specifics.

3. (SBU) Djinnit said the AU "highly appreciated" the support
it received from NATO, mentioning airlift, capacity building,
and "important" lessons learned training. Djinnit noted the
AU's current request for NATO assistance to AMIS will expire
in June 2007. While the AU expects increased UN involvement
over the next months, Djinnit said, he hoped that NATO could
provide further assistance if needed. The Commissioner said
the AU is still "working out details and modalities" of
AMISOM, and only a general letter had been sent to partners.
Some AU Allies remain "sensitive" to aspects of the AMISOM
mission, he added, particularly the political and security
situation on the ground in Somalia.

4. (SBU) Djinnit said two Ugandan battalions were in a "high
level of readiness" to deploy to Somalia, and that he
expected some of these troops on the ground in a few days.
He added that the AU intends to run AMISOM for a short period
only, with a follow-on mission provided by the UN. Djinnit
argued that deploying these first two battalions could help
build support for the overall mission from allies and
partners. He complained of a lack of logistic and financial
support for AMISOM, noting that only the U.S. and the UK had
offered both, while France had offered assistance in training
and equipping troops. In the end, he said, any solution in
Somalia will need to be political, adding that the AU is
pressing the transitional government to be more inclusive.

5. (SBU) Djinnit described his vision of an "African Peace
and Security Architecture" which, among other concepts, would
involve building the capacity of the ASF. He suggested that
NATO be involved in the training of this force in order to
"increase its capacity to carry out peacekeeping operations."
Training of this force would be done in Addis Ababa.
Djinnit said the AU cannot remain "indifferent" to conflicts
in Africa, stressing the need to act quickly in certain
circumstances. However, the AU still has a "gap in capacity"
to carry out such missions. He called on the international
community to provide logistical and financial support to AU
peacekeeping operations, saying the AU would need "hundreds
of millions" of dollars.

6. (SBU) Ambassador Nuland welcomed the growing impact of the
AU as a force for peace and stability, and also welcomed
Djinnit's efforts to increase planning capacity and overall
capability. She stressed that NATO will continue to provide
support to the AU and encouraged establishment of a strategic
partnership between NATO and the AU. In this regard,
Ambassador Nuland queried Djinnit on the NATO-AU framework
agreement, which had been forwarded to the AU as an informal
draft (an idea which originated with the AU as a way to
smooth joint work). Djinnit responded that there are
"sensitivities" in NATO-AU relations, and that the two
organizations first need to work together on the ground more,
to "combine a pragmatic and formal approach." Referring to
this agreement, French Ambassador Duque said NATO needs to
"avoid hastily getting involved in drafting this or that
agreement."

7. (SBU) The Spanish PermRep asked about the timeline for
deployment of the AU-UN "hybrid" force, expressed concern
that it may not deploy until the summer of 2008, and asked
how pressure could be increased on the Sudanese government to
accept this force. He also asked for Djinnit's views on
combating terrorism in Africa. The Dutch Ambassador asked
for specifics of how NATO could assist the ASF. The UK
PermRep suggested that NATO engage in long-term capacity
building with the AU, adding that the AU appears to have
challenges moving from decision making to the actual
implementation of operations. He also queried if NATO's
current liaison arrangements to the AU are sufficient. The
Norwegian PermRep said that NATO is ready and able to provide
support to AMIS, including for any additional requests from
the AU. He asked how NATO could "build trust" within the AU.
The German PermRep noted that coordination within the
international community in Darfur could be better, and asked
Djinnit for his views on how to improve this. The French
Ambassador said the AU is contributing to peace and stability
in Darfur, adding that it is necessary to examine the
correlation between what the AU needs and what NATO provides;
assistance needs to closely follow needs expressed by the AU.

8. (SBU) In response to PermReps' questions, Djinnit said the
AU remains concerned about terrorism in Africa. The AU is
taking a "firm stand" against terrorism and "religious
extremism" and has developed an action plan, "open to any
partnership." He noted that internal coordination within the
AU is difficult, making it challenging to transmit requests
for assistance to Allies; in addition, not all Allies agree
to such requests, further complicating AU decision making.
On Darfur, he noted the proposed "heavy" support package will
need "substantial" military enablers. He described the AU as
being "overwhelmed" by conflicts, and that while the
political will existed, the capacity to intervene was lacking.

9. (SBU) Comment: Djinnit did not take full advantage of his
address to the NAC to make specific, concrete requests of
NATO. While he asked for general assistance to AMIS and the
ASF, he was reticent on NATO assistance to AMISOM, as well as
the NATO-AU framework agreement (which Djinnit himself had
originally requested). This may reflect internal AU politics,
and perhaps opposition on the part of some AU allies to
closer ties with NATO. However, this sort of reticence,
coupled with the slow pace at which the AU formally requests
assistance, is hindering NATO's ability to provide worthwhile
and needed cooperative efforts. End Comment.
NULAND

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