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Cablegate: Igad Sanctions Somalia President Yusuf

VZCZCXRO4454
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #3441/01 3590953
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240953Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3216
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7645
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 003441

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO SO ET
SUBJECT: IGAD SANCTIONS SOMALIA PRESIDENT YUSUF

1. (SBU) Summary. Intergovernmental Authority for
Development (IGAD) foreign ministers met December 21 in Addis
Ababa to discuss the political and security situation in
Somalia. They praised the Somali parliament and Prime
Minister for rebuffing President Abdullahi Yusuf,s recent
ham-handed attempt to install a new government. The foreign
ministers endorsed travel and asset sanctions against Yusuf
for undermining the government and obstructing the peace
process. They congratulated the Transitional Federal
Government (TFG) and Alliance for the Re-Liberation of
Somalia (ARS)/Djibouti for agreeing to a unity government. A
follow-on meeting between the TFG and ARS will be held
January 10. The Ethiopian foreign minister reaffirmed that
Ethiopian troops would leave Somalia on or about December 31;
the foreign ministers urged more AMISOM troops and greater
materiel and financial support to TFG and ARS forces to
maintain order after the Ethiopians leave. End Summary.

IGAD Sanctions President Yusuf
------------------------------

2. (SBU) On December 21 IGAD foreign ministers met in Addis
Ababa to discuss continued political squabbling between
Transitional Federal Government leaders and the Ethiopian
National Defense Forces, (ENDF) imminent withdrawal from
Somalia.

3. (SBU) Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin, chairing
the meeting, spoke for the group when he praised the Somali
parliament for endorsing Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein
"Nur Adde" and his new government over President Abdullahi
Yusuf, who earlier in the month had tried to oust the prime
minister. The gathering recognized Somalia,s new foreign
minister, Mohammed Mahmud Goala, who was present. The
ministers also noted positively the Somali parliament's
endorsement of the unity government plan proposed during the
November 25 round of Djibouti peace talks. They urged swift
implementation. The Djiboutian foreign minister announced
another round of peace talks on January 10.

4. (SBU) The ministers endorsed the immediate sanctioning of
President Yusuf for his effort to oust the prime minister.
Kenya, Djibouti, and Uganda in particular urged tough
communique language, and encouraged other international
organizations, specifically the AU and UN, also to consider
sanctioning Yusuf. Separately, the Kenyans told us they were
gathering data on Yusuf,s assets and his associates, but
would not commit to a date for sanctions.

5. (SBU) On the security situation, Seyoum reiterated
several times that the Ethiopian pull-out from Somalia was
"irreversible," and would begin on or about December 31 and
take no more than five days. He said some Ethiopian troops
had already begun to leave Mogadishu. Seyoum was
disappointed recent meetings in New York had failed to secure
a commitment on a UN peacekeeping operation. There was
consensus among the ministers that if Uganda's troops
withdrew along with Ethiopia's, violence would escalate
destroying all hope for a UN force or political settlement in
the future. Ugandan FM Sam Kutesa urged the Ethiopians to
withdraw in a "responsible" manner, to avoid a precipitous
collapse of Mogadishu's fragile security. He also warned
that AMISOM,s mandate had to be modified if it were to make
and keep peace in Mogadishu. Kutesa noted that to remain in
Somalia, "there must be Transitional Federal Institutions to
support," and that "Uganda's decision to stay was
reversible." Seyoum and others urged AU chairman Lamamra to
rush newly pledged Ugandan and Burundian troops to Mogadishu,
saying he understood the troops were ready and could be flown
in within days. Lamamra recounted Nigerian President
Obasanjo,s promise of an immediate battalion.

6. (SBU) Seyoum also urged IGAD countries and international
donors to take immediate steps to bolster the TFG,s capacity
to defend itself, particularly by supplying security forces
with salaries and weapons. Djibouti agreed, saying that
Prime Minister Nur Adde told him the TFG could gather 6,000
troops and the ARS 3,000, if only there were vehicles, cash
and supplies to support them. Seyoum, referring to an
internal UNDPKO paper which presented three scenarios for
Somalia, mooted the possibility Mogadishu's security would
not deteriorate after Ethiopia's pull-out; he cited an
internal UN memorandum suggesting one result might be new

ADDIS ABAB 00003441 002 OF 002


opportunities for national reconciliation. Privately, Seyoum
told the Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary
General for Somalia that he was disappointed the UN paper
suggested this scenario.

7. (SBU) Seyoum's message to the IGAD leaders was clear and
unambiguous. His message was Ethiopia is leaving Somalia,
and if the international community does not want chaos in
Somalia, then the United Nations and the African Union should
act. Seyoum said Ethiopia would no longer wait for a
peacekeeping force that he did not believe was coming. He
reiterated that the ENDF would not serve as a bridge force
until more AMISOM troops could be deployed, and that it was a
fallacy to think that Ethiopian troops would remain in
Somalia until May or June.

Comment
-------

8. (SBU) IGAD's decision to impose sanctions on Yusuf, a
sitting African leader, set a historic precedent for Africa,
but to have any teeth the member states will have to enforce
such sanctions. Nevertheless, IGAD went further than the
African Union Peace and Security Council which on December 22
declined to sanction Yusuf because he was a sitting African
leader, and instead decided to sanction Mohammed Mahamud
"Gamodheere," Yusuf's intended replacement for Nur Adde.

9. (SBU) Comment continued. PolOffs from Embassy Nairobi
and Embassy Addis Ababa, along with an Italian PolOff,
representing the IGAD Partners Forum, and the UN Deputy
Special Representative for Somalia, were the only non-African
observers who attended the closed session. Therefore, the
meeting was a unique opportunity to see the IGAD ministers
discuss the issues at close range. As Embassy Addis' PolOff
is well known to the Ethiopian State Minister for Foreign
Affairs who also attended, it is Post's assessment that the
Ethiopian government wanted the USG to hear clearly the
message that Ethiopia had to deliver. There was obvious
tension in the room between FM Seyoum and AU Commission
Chairman Jean Ping and AU Peace and Security Commissioner
Ramtane Lamamra, who wanted Ethiopia to delay their
withdrawal until more AMISOM troops could be deployed, as
well as tension between Seyoum and Ugandan FM Sam Kutesa who
wanted a "responsible withdrawal." Seyoum looked all three
men in the eye, and insisted that Ethiopia's decision to
leave was "irreversible." End Comment.
YAMAMOTO

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