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Cablegate: East Africa Regional Security Initiative Ivlp

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHYN #1352/01 1981058
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171058Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7583
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0209
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0081
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0545
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0032
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0381

UNCLAS SANAA 001352

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KSEP OEXC PHUM PREF PTER SCUL YM
SUBJECT: EAST AFRICA REGIONAL SECURITY INITIATIVE IVLP

REF: DJIBOUTI 425

1. This cable has been cleared by US Embassies Addis Ababa,
Kampala, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, and Sana'a.

--------------------------
SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST
--------------------------
2. Embassies Sana'a, Addis Ababa, Djibouti, Kampala, Nairobi,
Dar Es Salaam and Port Louis request the creation of a
multi-country regional International Visitor Leadership
Program (IVLP) entitled "Passport and Border Control from the
East Africa Region" and the allocation of additional funding
for candidates from this region to attend the program. This
initiative springs from a key recommendation by Chiefs of
Mission comprising the East Africa Regional Security
Initiative (EARSI) who met in Djibouti on March 16-17
(reftel).
------------------------------
END SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST
------------------------------

3. Protection of the borders and movement of people
throughout the EARSI region overlap multiple areas of U.S.
interest. These include combating terrorism, reducing
terrorist financing, preventing the spread of national
conflicts, stopping illicit trade smuggling, fighting
international trafficking and raising awareness of the human
rights of displaced peoples. In addition the program would
help build bridges between border security officials from
these countries.

4. The proposed IVLP program would invite seven officials
(one from each country) from border, immigration, passport,
customs, and/or coast guard authorities to the United States.
The goal of the program is to teach the importance and
proven procedures to protect official identity and commercial
documents, and implement procedures at borders and ports of
entry to safeguard international travel and commerce. The
program would run four weeks from 21 April through 16 May
2008. Participants would visit Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) facilities, holding areas, ports and airports, and
participate in presentations by CBP and relevant civil
society groups. Topics would include cargo and passenger
processing, anti-smuggling, intelligence, investigation,
analysis, risk management, and illegal trafficking.

-------------------------------
Regional Security and Terrorism
-------------------------------
5. The potential for terrorism pervades all of the countries
in the EARSI. Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen, in particular, have
all been victims of cross-border terrorism. An IVLP on
border security and passport controls would help highlight
border authorities' role in combating terrorism and would
improve the capacity of local officials to communicate with
each other and implement measures to protect their borders.

-------
Finance
-------
6. The EARSI countries feature almost exclusive cash
economies, in which financial transfers are often through
informal networks that are difficult to monitor. Though
these governments have expressed concern for terrorism
financing and drafted legislation aimed at diminishing
illegal financial activity, they often lack the working-level
knowledge to identify financial transactions used to recruit
and finance terrorist operations. Even the simple exchange
of names between security services of suspected terrorists
financiers operating in the region would be a major step
forward. This IVLP could help border security officials move
in that direction.

------------------------
Free Trade vs. Smugglers
------------------------
7. Another important aspect of border security is commerce.
Aside from the aforementioned illegal movement of money
across borders, countries from the EARSI suffer from porous
borders and the unregulated movement of goods. There are
groups willing to deal in contraband from intellectual
property to weapons, from watered down baby formula to
chickens infected with avian influenza. Officials returning
from this IVLP would be aware of the importance of
identifying channels for smuggling and take steps to diminish
the flow of smuggled goods.

-------------------------
Migration and Trafficking
-------------------------
8. All of the countries in question suffer from varying
levels of poverty and violence. Recent and current conflicts
in the HOA region have created large numbers of forcibly
displaced people. Extreme poverty compels others to migrate
for economic reasons. This volatile and mobile population
creates challenges for border authorities, particularly when
they assess a risk of terrorists moving among the migrants.
Exposure to how the United States handles these cases and how
we evaluate our performance afterwards will increase the
efficiency and effectiveness of regional authorities in
responding to crises.

---------
Documents
---------
9. Compromised travel documents pose a particular challenge
to authorities to keep dangerous elements out and manage
legitimate travelers. Local authorities can learn how to
capitalize on USG assistance programs in this regard by
observing how the United States uses technology and other
methods to keep its doors open but its borders secure. Even
partial increases in cooperation with these countries would
be a tremendous help to the United States in identifying
patterns of movement of internationally trafficked persons,
terrorist organizers and others. Program participants will
better understand the importance of sharing information on
travelers of interest among themselves and with the United
States.

-----------------------
Developing Counterparts
-----------------------
10. One of the most significant goals of this proposed
program is the potential for stronger links between
government officials within the region. Security and border
officials within this region do not have a history of trust
and sharing. If the impact of this regional IVLP is to make
them aware of their shared interests and foster space in
which they develop greater trust and reduced suspicion, it
would be a major step forward. IVLP alumni would become a
cadre of officials and an informed constituency for progress
against illegal activity, open to working with consular,
economic, political and public awareness programs from the
EARSI embassies.
BRYAN

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