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Cablegate: Uganda Response to Demarche: Somalia - Reinforcing

VZCZCXRO6753
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKM #1665/01 3651014
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301014Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1025
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA IMMEDIATE 0101
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA IMMEDIATE 1855
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 0042
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA IMMEDIATE 1201
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 7174

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001665

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO AF/RSA MSKARDON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO UG ET BU SO
SUBJECT: UGANDA RESPONSE TO DEMARCHE: SOMALIA - REINFORCING
AMISOM

REF: A) SECSTATE 134421 B) SCANLON EMAIL 12/30/08

1. (SBU) Summary: The Ambassador met with Ugandan Minister
of Defense Crispus Kiyonga on December 29 to deliver reftel
points and obtain an understanding of Uganda's ability to
deploy an additional battalion of troops to the current
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). DATT also met
with the Chief of Land Forces for the Ugandan People's
Defense Forces. Officials indicated that Uganda is eager to
deploy additional units to Somalia, but that armored vehicles
are a prerequisite. Also, Uganda will not deploy without a
thorough understanding of the African Union's funding stream,
demonstrating that troop salaries and other funding will be
provided in a more timely manner than in the past. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) The Ambassador and Poloff met with Ugandan Minister
of Defense Crispus Kiyonga to deliver the points in ref A on
December 29. The Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) of the Ugandan
Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF), Brigadier General Robert
Rusoke, also attended the meeting. After hearing reftel
points, Minister Kiyonga responded that the U.S. offer for
transport and equipment is "excellent news," but that Uganda
does have constraints making immediate deployment impossible
before certain equipment and funding requirements are met.

3. (SBU) First, Kiyonga said, both the current battle group
and future additional battalion need new vehicles,
specifically troop carriers and armored vehicles. The
previous battle group deployed with their own vehicles but
these need to be repaired and any additional Ugandan units
would also need armored vehicles. According to Kiyonga,
Uganda cannot supply new vehicles itself because the Defense
Ministry obtained Parliamentary authorization for the
original deployment on the condition that it would be budget
neutral, i.e., would not incur any additional costs to the
Uganda national budget. Minister Kiyonga stated that Uganda
was "flexible" on the list of equipment beyond the vehicles,
however, and committed to providing Post a list of items as
soon as possible. (Note: UPDF officials state the list will
be ready by Friday, and we will review it with them. End
note.)

4. (SBU) Second, the Government of Uganda (GOU) needs to
obtain a stronger commitment from the African Union (AU)
regarding its financial support for the deployment. Uganda
wishes to see the AU's exact budget and funding stream for
the $67 million estimated three-month extension of the
current mission to confirm that the funds for equipment and
salaries will be forthcoming as planned. Kiyonga explained
that the AU has not met past financial commitments, by, for
example, not paying salaries to the Ugandan Battle Group
(UGABAG-3) from September to date. Though Uganda has
received a commitment that the September to November salaries
will be paid shortly, it still does not know when December
will be paid. "The financial situation remains unclear,"
Kiyonga said. "We are ready to put in a battalion but we need
to be sure they will have equipment and that it will be
possible to maintain them." He stated that Uganda would be
willing to make an arrangement along the lines of the one
used by the UK and Burundi, by which the UK paid Burundian
soldiers directly.

5. (SBU) Other UPDF officers provided further details about
the parameters of a future Ugandan deployment. In a meeting
with DATT, Commander of the UPDF Land Forces Lieutenant
General Edward Katumba Wamala noted that Uganda would need a
minimum of 10 days after a political decision to deploy has
been made in order to identify an appropriate battalion, a
process complicated by the UPDF's current operations in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Wamala stated he would
put together a list of equipment to be submitted to Post by
Friday, January 2. Wamala also stated that current vehicles
in Mogadishu could be repaired to a limited extent, and
committed to undertaking a full assessment in coordination
with a Dyncorps contractor.

6. (SBU) Meanwhile, Uganda is moving forward with its
planning, Minister Kiyonga stated. Minister Kiyonga and UPDF
Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) General Aronda Nyakairima will
travel to Bujumbura as soon as possible to coordinate with
Burundi next steps and assess the impact of the Ethiopian
withdrawal from Somalia. Thereafter, the two Ugandans plan

KAMPALA 00001665 002 OF 002


to travel to Addis Ababa to meet with African Union
officials. According to JCS Rusoke, the timing and pace of
any future deployment will be determined after these meetings.

7. (SBU) JCS Rusoke advised the Ambassador on December 30
that Uganda could possibly deploy smaller, company-sized
units, but tht the vehicle requirements still remain. He
stressed that Uganda would be in a better position to discuss
future deployment after Minister of Defense Kiyonga and CDF
Aronda complete their consultations in Burundi and Ethiopia.

8. (SBU) Comment: The GOU's attitude toward a deployment is
encouraging, but it is clear that a deployment cannot occur
by January 5. Uganda's current operation in the DRC against
the Lord's Resistance Army is occupying the attention of
officials and stretching UPDF equipment and manpower. Aside
from this, in the meetings it was clear that the GOU trusts
the U.S. commitment for equipment much more than it trusts an
AU commitment to pay salaries and provide other support,
which could cause significant complications should the AU
prove unable to give Uganda the type of commitment or
planning details it needs. On the issue of vehicles, there
may be a small amount of flexibility because officials are
not yet speaking with one voice. While Minister Kiyonga and
JCS Rusoke state the vehicles are an absolute prerequisite
for deployment, Wamala stated that Uganda can deploy if 10
CASSPIR fighting vehicles follow the deployment within 10 or
15 days. Post will be meeting with the UPDF to discuss the
list of equipment needs on January 2 and will follow up with
details at that time. Minister Kiyonga agreed to meet with
the Ambassador after he returns from his trips to Burundi and
Ethiopia. End Comment.
BROWNING

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