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Cablegate: Libyan Organization Issues Statement Opposing Africom

P 271520Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2875
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
OSD WASHINGTON DC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI

UNCLAS TRIPOLI 000999

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/MAG AND AF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PMIL PGOV LY
SUBJECT: LIBYAN ORGANIZATION ISSUES STATEMENT OPPOSING AFRICOM

1. On November 21, the Community of Sahel and Saharan States
(Cen-Sad) issued a statement at its Tripoli headquarters
"categorically rejecting" Africom and any foreign military
presence in any Cen-Sad member country. The statement noted
that Cen-Sad represents roughly half of Africa's territory and
population. In the statement, Cen-Sad expressed its full
support for a statement issued by the South African Minister of
Defense rejecting any foreign military presence in Africa.

2. Comment: Created in the Libyan coastal town of Sirte in
February 1998, Cen-Sad includes 25 members from Senegal to
Somalia. Originally conceived to focus on infrastructure
investments in northern Africa, Cen-Sad now serves as a
Libyan-led political coordination mechanism operating in
parallel to the African Union. Cen-Sad's opposition to Africom
echoes long-standing GOL objections to the presence of foreign
forces on the African continent and reflects Libya's experience
under Italian occupation and Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's
attendant anti-foreign rhetoric. End comment.

MILAM

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