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Cablegate: Somalia - Pm Installs New Banadir Government

VZCZCXRO1223
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2679/01 3330359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280359Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7748
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3106
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002679

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/E AND A/S FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - PM Installs New Banadir Government

REF: A) Nairobi 2520 B) Djibouti 946

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On November 23, a Transitional Federal
Government-appointed committee elected a new Banadir administration,
in accordance with an IGAD-imposed deadline and more than two months
after Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein dissolved the former
administration on September 12 in a bitter political battle.
Mohamed Osman Ali "Dhagahtur" (Hawiye/Abgaal) was elected Mogadishu
Mayor and Banadir Governor. Initial reactions are mixed. On
November 24, hundreds of Mogadishu residents staged a peaceful
demonstration in support of the new administration as a fresh start
for Benadir. Some within the Hawiye clan, including Alliance for
the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) leaders are disappointed with the
outcome. They contend that Dhagatur is another warlord who, as a
deputy in Mohamed Dheere's past administration, was part of the
previous corrupt government. The Benadir election is a signal that
the Prime Minister is following his own agenda, even without
President Yusuf's approval. End summary.

---------------------------------------------
TFG Achieves One Goal with New Administration
---------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) On November 23, Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein "Nur
Adde" announced a new Banadir regional administration after a secret
ballot election at his Mogadishu residence. The Region includes
the capital of Mogadishu, and is regarded by many as the epicenter
of Somalia's conflict. Establishing a new administration to
replace that of former Governor and Mayor of Mogadishu Mohamed Omar
Habeeb "Dheere" has boosted the Prime Minister's popularity in
Mogadishu, and fulfills overdue requirements from August's Addis
roadmap (reftel A) and the October 29 Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD) agreement.

----------------------------
Clan-Based Electoral Process
----------------------------

3. (SBU) Through complex clan negotiations, the Prime Minister, and
a now-dissolved regional governing body he appointed on September
12, named 69 delegates to serve as counselors in the new
administration and to elect from among themselves the region's top
leaders. The 69 delegates were allocated to clans: Hawiye - 32
delegates (Abgaal 15, Morasade 9, and Habar Gedir 8); Darod - five
delegates; Dir - five delegates; Digil and Mirifle - five delegates;
and the minority clans collectively received three voting
delegates.

---------------------------
Three Top Officials Elected
---------------------------

4. (SBU) The three elected officials were:
-- Mohamed Osman Ali "Dhagahtur" (Hawiye/Abgaal) was elected
Mogadishu Mayor and Banadir Governor. Osman received 50 of 69
votes. Osman was deputy mayor under Mohamed Dheere before Dheere
was ousted. In his acceptance speech Osman pledged to prioritize
security and facilitate the return of Mogadishu's IDPs.
-- Abdifatah Omar Sabriye "Shaweye" (Hawiye/Morasade) was elected as
First Deputy Mayor/Governor. Omar served in Mohamed Dheere's
administration as Deputy Mayor/Governor. He was appointed to the
position as a replacement to his father following his death in a
roadside bomb. He received 38 votes to clinch the position.
-- Ahmed Adan Shido (Hawiye/Habar Gedir) was elected as Second
Deputy Mayor/Governor. Adan is also allied with the TFG but did not
previously serve in previous Banadir administrations. He is closely
allied with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Abdisalam.
The remaining 66 counselors will serve in different capacities in
the administration, including as commissioners to Banadir's 16
districts.

-----------------------
Initial Reactions Mixed
-----------------------

5. (SBU) The election of the Banadir government received mixed
reactions. On November 24, media report that hundreds of Mogadishu
residents peacefully demonstrated their support for the new
administration. Influential Hawiye elders implored the newly
elected to learn lessons from past administrations' failures.
Abdimalik Yusuf (Habar Gedir/Ayr), Director of the Shabelle media

NAIROBI 00002679 002 OF 002


network, told us that ordinary Somalis of all clan affiliations are
hopeful. Transportation companies in Mogadishu welcomed the
election and requested the administration to remove the numerous TFG
checkpoints used to extort money from transport vehicles.
Influential traditional elders have publicly supported the new
administration including Imam Mohamed Imam Omar, an important
spiritual leader.

6. (SBU) The strongest criticism came from within the PM's own
Hawiye clan. Hawiye/Abgaal sub-clan members expressed
dissatisfaction with the the administration's clan distribution,
arguing that they are the underrepresented as the largest native
community. The Hawiye/Habar Gedir argued that the
mayor/governorship should have gone to them instead of the Abgaal
because the Prime Minister is Abgaal, thus their sub-clan rivals are
already represented at the highest level. Alliance for the
Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) Chairman Sheikh Sharif Ahmed told us
in Djibouti that "this is not the administration we wanted," and is
disappointed with the election of a "warlord" and Dheere henchman
who served in the previous, corrupt administration (reftel B). We
made it clear that in order to influence the outcome of the
election, they should have taken part in the process.

7. (SBU) The Hawiye Traditional Unity Council, the most influential
Hawiye political body, was in full support of the electoral process
and its outcomes. Despite some of its leaders' disappointment with
giving representation to "outsiders," the HTUC endorsed the new
administration because they see it as successful challenge to
President Yusuf. Also, the HTUC requested that the new
administration employ Shari'a law and the new administration quickly
agreed. Despite having no formal legal jurisdiction, all matters
will be referred to the Mayor/Governor who serves as arbiter on a
range of issues.

-------
Comment
-------

8. (SBU) While the clan-based electoral process for the Benadir
administration may not have been the free and transparent model for
which advocate, residents and community elders endorsed it.
Nevertheless, some are criticizing the PM for backpedaling by
allowing a member of the former "corrupt administration" to assume
the top regional post. Indeed, it seems doubtful that replacing
Dheere with his deputy could improve Benadir's functioning.

RANNEBERGER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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