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Cablegate: Port Security Demarche - Yemen

VZCZCXYZ0033
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #5270 3652152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 302138Z DEC 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA PRIORITY 0000
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC 0000
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RULSJGA/COMDT COCARD WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC 0000
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC 0000
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC 0000

UNCLAS STATE 135270

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EWWT KHLS PREL PTER YM
SUBJECT: PORT SECURITY DEMARCHE - YEMEN

1. This is an action request. See paragraph 5.

-------
SUMMARY
-------

2. (SBU) The United States Government (USG) is concerned that
the
current level of port security in Yemen does not adequately
reflect the current threat situation given recent terrorist
events in country. The USG seeks to engage the Government
of Yemen (ROYG) to address U.S. concerns regarding a
possible increased risk of terrorist exploitation of
international maritime commerce to launch attacks,
including on the United States. Accordingly, the USG urges
the ROYG to enhance port security measures at its port
facilities and for vessels upon arrival to Yemen as
applicable under the International
Maritime Organization,s (IMO) International Ship and Port
Facility Security (ISPS) Code provisions of the
International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS),
1974. Embassy Sanaa should also seek ROYG agreement to
receive additional U.S. Coast Guard visits to offer
recommendations for additional measures as appropriate. If
these actions are not implemented, the USG may impose
conditions of entry on vessels arriving to the United
States whenever one of their last five ports of call was in
Yemen.

----------
BACKGROUND
----------

3. (SBU) The Maritime Transportation Security Act Of 2002 (46
U.S.C. 70108-70110) requires the Secretary of Homeland
Security to assess the effectiveness of anti-terrorism
measures maintained in foreign ports and to take action if
effective anti-terrorism measures are not in place. As
part of this assessment process, a U.S. Coast Guard
International Port Security (IPS) Program Team visited
Yemen in April/May 2007 to discuss implementation of the
ISPS Code in Yemen,s ports. A follow-up visit occurred in
November of this year. Based on a thorough assessment of
available intelligence, observations in the port of Aden,
and a decrease in the overall security environment due to
recent terrorist events in country targeting U.S., Yemeni,
and other international interests, the Secretary of
Homeland Security in coordination with the Maritime
Security Policy Coordinating Committee (MSPCC) has
determined that the anti-terrorism measures in place in
Yemen do not reflect the current threat situation.

4. (SBU) Accordingly, the ROYG, under its responsibilities as
the
contracting government to the SOLAS regulations, including
the ISPS Code, is requested to immediately review the port
security posture in its ports. A thorough and detailed
Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) should be
undertaken and a revised and detailed Port Facility
Security Plan should be prepared which takes into account
the threats and risks identified in the PFSA. In the
interim, the ROYG should take additional security measures
in its ports and should also require vessels that call at
its ports to take additional security measures consistent
with security level 2. The ROYG is also requested to host
a team of U.S. Coast Guard experts to assess the additional
security measures implemented by the ROYG. If these
actions are not implemented, the USG may impose conditions
of entry on vessels arriving to the United States whenever
one of their last five ports of call was in Yemen.

--------------
ACTION REQUEST
--------------

5. (SBU) Post is requested to deliver the talking points in
paragraph 5 to officials in the appropriate ministries.
Please advise to whom the points were delivered, the date
of delivery, and the response. In its response, post is
also requested to provide its views regarding the likely
impact of such increased security measures in terms of both
the additional resource demands on the ROYG and the
shipping industry, and the potential public impact of such
measures. The U.S. Coast Guard is prepared to conduct a
follow up visit Yemen to assist in the implementation of
ISPS security measures in collaboration with appropriate
host government officials. Please advise if such a visit
would be appropriate and welcomed by the ROYG. If so, post,
s assistance in arranging the visit and providing a post
point of contact would be appreciated.

--------------
Talking Points
--------------

6. (U) Under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA),
the United States Congress mandated that the United States
Government (USG) assess the effectiveness of anti-terrorism
measures in foreign ports.

As part of this assessment process, a U.S. Coast Guard
International Port Security (IPS) Program Team visited
Yemen in April/May 2007 to discuss implementation of the
ISPS Code in Yemen,s ports. An additional visit occurred
in November of this year.

The team noted that security in two ports, Aden and
Hodeidiah, was provided by the Yemeni Coast Guard (YCG).
The YCG is making progress in ensuring that a secure
environment exists. However, the USG has several areas of
concern. These include:

A lack of coordination between the Designated Authority and
the YCG.

The need for a thorough Port Facility Security Assessment
and Port Facility Security Plan that reflect the risks in
Yemen.

Unclear or non-existent standard operating procedures for
providing security in the ports.

The apparent lack of a reliable security organization to
provide security in the port of Mukalla

The lack of oversight by the Designated Authority to ensure
that provisions of the Port Facility Security Plan are
being followed.

As a result of the overall assessment, and a decrease in
the overall security environment exemplified by recent
terrorist attacks against U.S., Yemeni, and other
international interests, the USG is concerned that the
current level of port security in Yemen does not adequately
reflect the threat situation. When such a determination is
made, the USG, under the authority of the Maritime
Security Act of 2002, may impose conditions of entry on all
vessels sailing to U.S. ports that have called at a port in
Yemen within five port calls of a U.S. arrival. However,
appropriate action by the Government of Yemen could prevent
the need to take such measures.

Specifically, the Government of Yemen, under its
responsibilities as a contracting government to the SOLAS
regulations, including the ISPS Code, is requested to
immediately undertake a thorough and detailed Port Facility
Security Assessment (PFSA) for its ports.

Based on the results of the PFSA, the Government of Yemen
is requested to prepare a thorough and detailed Port
Facility Security Plan (PFSP) and to fully implement its
provisions.

The USG understands that an initial PFSA and PFSP were
prepared some time ago. However, the USG believes that
given recent events, there has been a sufficient change in
the security environment to warrant a new PFSA and PFSP.

While a new PFSP is prepared and implemented, the USG
believes that Yemen should take immediate steps to
strengthen port security. The USG recognizes the concerns
that the Yemeni government has regarding the formal raising
of the security level in its ports. Nonetheless, the USG
recommends that the government of Yemen take measures in
line with security level 2 at all of its ports on a
sustained and consistent basis. Such measures should
include:

--Requiring positive identification of all personnel
entering the port facility at all times

--Searching a specified number of persons and vehicles
entering the port facility on a consistent basis

--Conducting more frequent landside and waterside patrols
to monitor the security at the port facility and ensuring
that the results of these patrols are documented and
recorded

The USG further recommends that the Government of Yemen
require that vessels arriving at ports in Yemen:

-- take measures equivalent to security level 2 (as defined
in the ISPS Code);

-- ensure that each access point to the vessel is guarded
and that the guards have complete visibility of the
exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel while
the vessel is in port in Yemen. Guards may be provided by
the vessel's crew; however, additional crewmembers should
be placed on the vessel if necessary to ensure that limits
on maximum hours of work are not exceeded, and/or minimum
hours of rest are met, or guards may be provided by outside
security forces approved by the vessel's master and company
security officer;

-- execute a declaration of security while the vessel is in
port in Yemen;

--log all security actions in the ship's log while the
vessel is in port in Yemen.

(NB: These are the same security measures the U.S. Coast
Guard would impose on vessels visiting U.S. ports had these
vessels docked at high threat ports during any of the last
five port calls.)

The U.S. continues to consider Yemen an important Counter
Terrorism partner. The U.S. Coast Guard would welcome an
opportunity to re-visit Yemen to assist in the preparation
of the PFSA and PFSP. Such a visit would form the basis for
determining whether additional measures are needed or if
any technical assistance could be provided.


End talking points.
RICE

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