Search

 

Cablegate: Lack of Political Will Prompts Treasury Project Suspension

VZCZCXRO2717
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #1546 1580533
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 060533Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0856
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 001546

DEPARTMENT FOR EEB/IFD/OMA: JWINKLER; EEB/ESC/TFS: JJALLORINA;
AF/FO: TMOSS; AF/E: JWYSHAM; AND AF/EPS: AADLER
TREASURY FOR OTA: JERRY ROWE AND CAROL KELLEY
TREASURY FOR DO: VIRGINIA BRANDON

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTFN EAID ECON EFIN PTER PREL ET
SUBJECT: LACK OF POLITICAL WILL PROMPTS TREASURY PROJECT SUSPENSION

1. SUMMARY: Seven months after the signing of the Terms of Reference
(TOR) between the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) and the U.S.
Treasury Department for an Anti-Money Laundering and Counter
Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) program, the U.S. Department of
Treasury has decided to suspend work on the project due to lack of
progress and political will from NBE and the Government of Ethiopia
(GoE). Embassy Addis Ababa fully supports this decision and
Ambassador Yamamoto will inform the Prime Minister of the decision
shortly. While the program is not being terminated at this time,
the NBE must take specific and concrete steps before the Department
of Treasury's advisor will make another trip to Ethiopia. END
SUMMARY.

2. In November 2007, NBE and Treasury signed a TOR and work plan for
an AML/CFT technical assistance program designed to equip Ethiopia
with the requisite legal framework and assist in the implementation
of an AML/CFT regime including a financial intelligence unit (FIU).
An ominous prelude of things to come, the TOR was only signed after
a ten-month negotiation and persistent foot dragging by the NBE
Governor culminating in Ambassador Yamamoto's personal appeal to the
NBE Governor to sign the document.

3. The Treasury advisor, Carol Kelley, the Ambassador and Poloffs
have long held concerns about the political will within the GoE for
this initiative. Attempts to recruit a high-level GoE member, Ato
Neway-Kristos Gebre-Ab, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, to
provide a whole-of-government perspective and senior initiative
behind the effort were met with Neway's refusal to engage on the
issue and assurances that the NBE was the sole and proper
institution to champion the AML/CFT program.

4. NBE has not proven up to the task, and the Kelley has met with
difficulties in fulfilling the TOR. Despite attempts to encourage
the working group at the NBE to move expeditiously in finalizing a
draft AML/CFT Proclamation (which is key to implementing any of the
other parts of the TOR), the NBE staff continued to assure Kelley
that the enactment of the Proclamation would be accomplished with
little debate and in a short period of time. However, the draft
Proclamation went through two drafts within NBE before the working
committee expressed concern that they were acting outside of their
expertise and jurisdiction in acting as proponents for the draft.
While NBE staff have engaged Kelley during her bi-monthly visits, it
is clear that the NBE is willing to allow Treasury to exert time and
effort into establishing a AML/CFT regime for Ethiopia, but will not
dedicate its own staff or resources to making the project a reality.
When Kelley has left the NBE working group with tasks to accomplish
during her absences between visits (the NBE rejected permitting a
resident advisor), she has consistently returned to find that very
little if anything had been completed. In her last visit, she
returned to find that none of the necessary progress had been
achieved.

5. This, coupled with the overall lack of progress, led Kelley to
recommend that the program be suspended and she not make additional
trips to Ethiopia until and unless specific information is conveyed
to her in advance of travel. Treasury's Office of Technical
Assistance and Embassy Addis Ababa fully support this determination.
The information that will be needed to re-start the program is: 1.
The proposed dates of the next visit; 2. A detailed description of
the specific type of technical assistance that is requested; 3. A
detailed description of any relevant information to support the need
for the visit, including activities conducted and progress made on
the Work Plan since the last visit; and 4. A detailed description of
the specific preparatory steps taken by the Working Group and/or
others to ensure the maximum utility of the trip.

6. COMMENT: Post and Treasury are disappointed and frustrated by the
lack of progress and seeming disinterest on the part of NBE in this
important project. Without an effective AML/CFT regime, Ethiopia
risks losing its correspondent banking relationships with U.S. or
other international banks and becoming even more isolated from the
larger global financial sector. Kelley does plan to remain
available by e-mail to NBE, and a potential collaboration with
parties attempting to move a counter-terrorism proclamation through
the GoE may offer a new opening for the AML/CFT effort. However,
unless the requisite political will is exerted by NBE, its Governor,
and the GoE more broadly, it is unlikely that Ethiopia will, at
least in the near term, comply with global standards for AML/CFT.
END COMMENT.

YAMAMOTO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC