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Cablegate: Somalia - President Continues Efforts to Oust Prime

VZCZCXRO7619
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2807 3511557
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161557Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7963
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7451
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002807

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/E
USUN PLEASE PASS A/S Frazer and AF/E-Garey

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SOCI PINR SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - PRESIDENT CONTINUES EFFORTS TO OUST PRIME
MINISTER

REF: A) Nairobi 2652 B) Nairobi 2681

1. (U) Continuing his effort to oust Prime Minister Nur Hassan
Hussein "Nur Adde," on December 16 President Abdullahi Yusuf
nominated Mohammed Mahmud Guled "Gamadheere" prime minister. On
December 15 Yusuf tried to sack the prime minister, but was rebuffed
by the parliament in the form of a strong vote of confidence in Nur
Adde and passage of his cabinet slate (reftel A). Nur Adde has
since sworn in his ministers and is pushing parliament to debate the
Joint Security Council's November 25 unity government proposal
(reftel B).

2. (SBU) Citing Yusuf's continued challenge to Nur Adde, Kenya's
Foreign Minister Wetangula threatened Yusuf with a travel ban and
asset freeze, in keeping with a warning to Somali peace process
spoilers in article 11 of the November 18 Intergovernmental
Authority on Development (IGAD) declaration. Somalia watchers at
the French Embassy in Nairobi told us they have recommended their
delegation to the December 16 New York International Contact Group
meeting push for communique language critical of President Yusuf.

3. (SBU) In a phone call with Special Envoy John Yates, the Speaker
of Parliament Sheikh Aden Mohammed Nur said Yusuf's actions were
contrary to the Transitional Federal Charter. Parliamentarians and
others with whom we spoke expressed disdain for Yusuf's latest
gambit. "It's the last kick of a dying horse," one told us. There
was a consensus even among Yusuf supporters that he had badly
misjudged how parliament would react. A former minister thought
Yusuf's age, coupled with bad advice from his closest advisors had
gotten the better of him.

4. (SBU) Yusuf's PM nominee Gamadheere is his long time ally.
Gamadheere received mixed reviews from Somalis with whom we've
consulted. Some praised him as a patriotic stalwart who never
emigrated from Somalia like so many others over the last 18 years.
Others discounted his abilities. Regardless of his qualifications,
it seems unlikely Gamadheere will rise to the prime ministership.

5. (SBU) Comment: Yusuf surprised us by following up his December
15 attempted sacking with such an antagonistic and seemingly
ineffectual effort the very next day. He may be surprised himself
that at least one IGAD state, Kenya, is considering sanctions -
others may follow if he continues down this path. End Comment.


RANNEBERGER

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