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Cablegate: Proposed U.S. Statement On Comoros

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OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHAN #0138 0501242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191242Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0986
INFO RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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UNCLAS ANTANANARIVO 000138

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E AND AF/FO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS ASEC FR CN
SUBJECT: PROPOSED U.S. STATEMENT ON COMOROS

REF: ANTANANARIVO 137

1. (SBU) As noted Reftel, the French Government has issued a strong
statement of support for the Union of the Comoros and a condemnation
of the illegitimate authorities governing the island of Anjouan. A
rough translation follows in Paragraph Two. This comes in advance
of French (and U.S.) participation in a multinational Mission to
deliver an ultimatum to Col. Mohamed Bacar, Anjouan's warlord
leader. We recommend the Department issue a similar statement and
offer a proposed text in Paragraph Three. The purpose of the
statement would be to add pressure to the illegitimate authorities
on Anjouan to relinquish power peacefully and thus to avoid the
bloodshed that is likely if the Union authorities decide to restore
their national integrity through military force.

2. (U) Rough translation of French text issued by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs:

France is seriously concerned with the situation in the Comoros. It
reiterates its full support to President Sambi and to this latter's
tireless efforts, with the support of the African Union, South
Africa and the international community, to maintain the integrity of
the Union of the Comoros. France stresses the necessity to preserve
unity and stability in the Comoros, seriously threatened by the
behavior of the illegal authorities of Anjouan.

The pressure brought by the African Union on the illegal authorities
of Anjouan must be reinforced by targeted and coordinated measures.
They shall have to be made by the UN Security Council, pursuant to
the request made on February 2nd by the African Union during its
summit in Addis Ababa, and by the European Union, which is
finalizing a sanctions measure.

France shall take part in a final mediation mission, the purpose for
which has been decided by the group of the countries of the region
during the African Union summit. We understand that President Sambi
has accepted the principle of this ultimate mediation, led by South
Africa with the support of France and the United States and also
including the Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the
African Union Representative, Mr. Madeira. The nature of France's
participation shall be determined once the date is determined.

In case this ultimate mission fails, and if they continue to stand
against the implementation of the requests of the African Union and
that of the international community, the illegal authorities of
Anjouan shall assume the consequences of their intransigence.

The authority of the institutions of the Union of the Comoros must
be restored without any further delay. It is an essential condition
to ensure stability in the region as well as development for the
Comoros, which is now jeopardized by this crisis. End text.

3. (SBU) Proposed U.S. text:
The Government of the United States remains concerned at the ongoing
impasse in the Comoros between the democratically elected government
of the Union of the Comoros, led by President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi,
and the illegitimate government on the Comoran island of Anjouan.
We continue to support the African Union in its effort to achieve a
peaceful solution to the current crisis in the Comoros. We call
again on the illegitimate leadership on the island of Anjouan to
step aside and allow free and fair elections to be conducted by
impartial authorities and monitored by the international community.
In an effort to resolve this conflict without bloodshed, we have
expressed our willingness to participate in a Mission, to be led by
the Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Africa, seeking to
persuade the illegal Anjouanese authorities to step aside. The
Mission would also make clear to Anjouan's renegade leadership that
the international community will hold it responsible for any
consequences should it refuse to do so.
End text.
MARQUARDT

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