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Cablegate: Drugs and Election Concerns in Guinea-Bissau For

VZCZCXRO2716
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0921/01 2832303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 092303Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5091
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0985
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR PRIORITY 0218
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0809

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000921

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DAKAR-PLEASE PASS TO BISSAU WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL BR SG XY UNSC
SUBJECT: DRUGS AND ELECTION CONCERNS IN GUINEA-BISSAU FOR
UNSC

1.(SBU) SUMMARY. USG Pascoe briefed the Security Council on
the political and security issues in Guinea-Bissau. He
focused on the preparations for the November 16 legislative
elections and the growing threat of narco-trafficking. He
emphasized the suggestion of the SYG's report that an
international experts' panel might assist with the drug
issue. Burkina Faso drafted a Presidential Statement (PRST),
generally supporting Guinea-Bissau's development efforts and
expressing concern for the narco-trafficking problem.
Brazil, chair of the PBC effort in Guinea-Bissau, lobbied
against any reference to the panel in the PRST.
Guinea-Bissau itself is unenthused about the prospect of an
experts' panel. The idea of an experts' panel gained
considerable interest but little active support. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Pascoe Briefs UNSC-Drugs and Election Main Concerns
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. (SBU) USG for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe presented the
Secretary-General's quarterly UNOGBIS report on October 7 to
the Security Council, stressing the preparations in place for
the "crucial" November 16 legislative elections. He noted
the Government of Guinea-Bissau (GOGB) was very open in
acknowledging the dangers and impact of narco-trafficking in
Guinea-Bissau. He reiterated the report's concern that
Guinea-Bissau is no longer merely a transit hub, but appears
to be fast becoming a major market place in the drug trade.
Pascoe suggested that an international experts' panel could
send a message of strong international support as UNOGBIS
looked for ways to help the GOGB address the drug problem.

3. (U) All Security Council members called for free, fair,
and transparent elections on November 16. Additionally, all
members supported the regional conference to address
narco-trafficking, planned by ECOWAS for October 28-29.

--------------------------------------------- -----
Debate over Experts' Panel, What is Brazil Doing?
--------------------------------------------- -----

4. (U) The representatives from Libya, Italy, and Indonesia
all stated an experts' panel would be a useful way to address
the problem of narco-trafficking. The French, British, and
Burkinabe representatives called for further discussion
regarding the panel, while the Russian and Costa Rican
representatives wanted more details and views on implications
of such a panel. Only South African PermRep Kumalo stated he
did not believe an experts' panel was the answer to
drug-trafficking. Kumalo called for strengthening the
counter-narcotics capacity of Guinea-Bissau's domestic
institutions, through international efforts bolstering law
and order programs. He said, "we don't need to subject a
fragile democracy to an experts' group."

5. (SBU) Burkina Faso tabled a PRST generally supportive of
Guinea-Bissau's efforts on elections and economic development
and welcoming ECOWAS sponsorship of a regional conference on
drug trafficking. An early version of the PRST included a
reference to the SYG's call for an international panel of
experts to be created to consider drug trafficking and
organized crime in Guinea-Bissau. Burkina Faso deleted the
reference, reportedly after Brazil, chair of the
Peacebuilding Commission Configuration for Guinea-Bissau,
lobbied against it. Negotiations continue as some members,
including the U.S., push to include language calling upon
Guinea-Bissau to take relatively more responsibility for
leading election and counter-narcotics efforts.

----------------------------------------
Guinea-Bissau Lukewarm to Expert's Panel
----------------------------------------

6. (U) Ambassador DiCarlo expressed USG concern over the
threat of narco-trafficking in Guinea-Bissau. She called on
the GOGB to account for official actions regarding the July
12 arrival of a reportedly illicit air cargo from Venezuela.
She called on the GOGB to take a strong leadership role in
combating trafficking. The Guinea-Bissau PermRep Cabral
agreed with DiCarlo, saying in the session the GOGB needed to
show leadership to address the drug problem, and he noted the
GOGB was primarily responsible for the peace and security of
its country. He argued, however, that Guinea-Bissau needs

USUN NEW Y 00000921 002 OF 002


continued international assistance in order to build domestic
institutions equal to this enormous task.

7. (SBU) Cabral, in the margins after the meeting, told
DepPolCouns that he personally is unenthused about the SYG's
idea of an international experts' panel to address the drug
issue. He said Guinea-Bissau would prefer international
assistance to bolster his nation's ability to target
drug-trafficking and organized crime through domestic
institutions.
Khalilzad

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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