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Cablegate: Somalia - Reinforcing Amisom

VZCZCXRO4818
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #4421/01 3591723
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241710Z DEC 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA IMMEDIATE 5092
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA IMMEDIATE 1865
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 2326
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA IMMEDIATE 7157
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 0200

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 134421

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - REINFORCING AMISOM

REF: ADDIS ABABA 3426

1. (U) This is an action request, please see paragraph 2.

OBJECTIVES
----------

2. (SBU) Ambassadors are asked to approach host governments
at the highest appropriate level to pursue the following
objective:

-- Establish firm host government commitments to deploy an
(additional) battalion to reinforce the African Union Mission
in Somalia (AMISOM) in the wake of Ethiopia's withdrawal from
Somalia, tentatively planned for January 5, 2009.

-- Determine the level of equipment and other logistical
support that will be necessary in order for host government
to deploy to Somalia.

-- Inform host government of the USG timeline necessary to
provide equipment to forces deploying to Somalia.

BACKGROUND
----------

3. (U) On December 22, the African Union's Peace and Security
Council (PSC) agreed to extend AMISOM's current mandate for
two months, effective 16 January, 2009, and also asked the AU
Commission to work closely with the Government of Ethiopia to
ensure that the planned withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from
Somalia is closely coordinated with AMISOM to avoid a
security vacuum. Council members noted the readiness of
Uganda, Burundi, and Nigeria to deploy one battalion each to
AMISOM, subject to salary support, equipment, and logistical
support. While the USG could provide equipment and
logistical support, it does not pay salaries. The Department
is currently working with the EU to support the salaries of
the three additional battalions. It was also reported in an
earlier donors, meeting that Algeria had offered 10 aircraft
to assist AU troop contributors with deploying their
contingents to Mogadishu.


TALKING POINTS
--------------

4. (SBU) Embassies Kampala and Bujumbura may wish to draw
from the following suggested talking points:

-- We have been following closely the events in Addis over
the past several days and wish to coordinate with you over
the reinforcement of AMISOM.

-- Your government has indicated its willingness to deploy a
trained 850-man battalion to AMISOM. We commend your offer
to send (additional) troops and are ready to assist your
government by providing urgent equipment items and logistical
support to this battalion. Our equipment funds are limited,
and the USG may not be able to provide all of the requested
equipment.

-- Providing equipment for your designated battalion prior to
the Ethiopian withdrawal date of 5 January will be
problematic for us. Our contractors require 3-4 months to
procure many types of peacekeeping equipment. Vehicles, in
particular, are difficult for our contractors to procure
quickly.
-- We are prepared, however, to deploy any forces that your
government is willing to deploy before the full delivery of
all USG-procured equipment. While this is not an optimal
solution, we believe that our contractors may have sufficient
contract aircraft available to move your troops into
Mogadishu beginning the first week of January. Equipment for
the partially equipped battalion can be delivered to
Mogadishu piecemeal over the following 4 months.


5. (SBU) Embassy Abuja may wish to draw from the following
suggested talking points:

-- We have been following closely the events in Addis over
the past several days and wish to coordinate with you over

STATE 00134421 002 OF 002


the reinforcement of AMISOM.

-- Your government has indicated its willingness to deploy a
trained 850-man battalion to AMISOM. We commend your offer
to send troops to AMISOM and are ready to assist your
government by providing up to $3 million in urgent equipment
items, as well as logistical support, to this battalion.

-- Providing equipment for your designated battalion prior to
the Ethiopian withdrawal date of 5 January will be
problematic for us. Our contractors require 3-4 months to
procure many types of peacekeeping equipment. Vehicles, in
particular, are difficult for our contractors to procure
quickly.
-- We are prepared, however, to deploy any forces that your
government is willing to deploy before the full delivery of
all USG-procured equipment. While this is not an optimal
solution, we believe that our contractors may have sufficient
contract aircraft available to move your troops into
Mogadishu beginning the first week of January. Equipment for
the partially equipped battalion can be delivered to
Mogadishu piecemeal over the following 4 months.


6. (SBU) Embassy Algiers may use the following:

-- It has been reported to us that your government has
offered to assist with the airlift of additional troop
contingents to AMISOM.

-- We are currently engaging the Governments of Uganda,
Burundi, and Nigeria to each send an additional 850-man
infantry battalion.

-- We request that you make available the required number of
aircraft, aircrew, and fuel to move these additional
battalions to Mogadishu as early as the first week of January.


REPORTING DEADLINE
------------------

7. (U) The Department greatly appreciates Posts' assistance
and engagement on this issue. Please report results of this
effort via front-channel cable to AF/RSA Mike Skardon no
later than Tuesday, December 30.


POINT OF CONTACT
----------------

8. (U) Please contact AF/RSA Mike Skardon (o: 202-647-7371 or
h:703-477-5321) or via e-mail for any further background
information or argumentation needed to meet our objectives.
RICE

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