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Cablegate: Somaliland Ministers Request Usg Security

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 001819

SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS; NAIROBI FOR SOMALIA
WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MAS PBTS PREL DJ SO
SUBJECT: SOMALILAND MINISTERS REQUEST USG SECURITY
ASSISTANCE; NOTE WARMER RELATIONS W/DJIBOUTI

SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Summary: AmEmbassy Djibouti representatives
received Somaliland requests for counterterrorism assistance
in a brief meeting with the the secessionist region's
Ministers of Defense, Interior, and Rehabilitation and
Returning Refugees September 29, 2003. The Embassy
reiterated the USG position of recognizing a unified Somalia,
but promised to forward the group's information to
Washington. The Somaliland officials said the Djiboutian
Foreign Ministry had afforded them better treatment on this
visit, granting them visas, limousine service and announcing
them by title and their visit in the official media. End
Summary.


SOMALILAND MAKES ITS CASE FOR USG ASSISTANCE
--------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) CDA Smith, accompanied by visiting AF/E Desk
Officer Nole Garey, met briefly with Minister of the Interior
Ismael Adam Osman, Minister of Defense Ismail Omar Adan, and
Minister of Rehabilitation and Refugees M. Abdoulahi Iman of
the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland at the Sheraton
Hotel on September 29, 2003. The Ministers presented the
Charge with several documents, including a brochure from
their Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a paper entitled
"Somaliland's Mission for Collaboration with the
International Anti-Terrorist Activities." These materials
argued the case for international recognition of the
breakaway republic and included a request for
counter-terrorism assistance.

3. (SBU) Abdullah Hussain Iman, the Minister for
Rehabilitation and Returning Refugees, cited article 10 dash
7 in the Somaliland constitution which condemns all acts of
terrorism, avowing that the government and people of
Somaliland are categorically opposed to all acts of
terrorism. Iman decried the lawlessness that has existed in
Somalia since the end of the Siad Barre regime and the
potential use of Somalia by individuals associated with
terrorist organizations. He emphasized the danger in the
area of Puntland in Northeast Somalia, described Abdillahi
Yusuf as a "warlord", and requested US military help to fight
the recurrent piracy along the Somali coast. (Note: Puntland
has a territorial dispute with Somaliland over two
provinces.)

4. (SBU) Iman recalled the use of the Naval Base in Berbera
by the United States Navy during the Barre regime, expressing
the desire to reestablish a military relationship with the
USG.

5. (SBU) Iman described the meeting as a goodwill effort to
establish peace and stability in Somaliland. He noted that
the Somaliland navy consists of only two boats, while the
length of the coast of Somaliland is 750 kilometers, much too
long for their navy to control. Iman added that Somaliland
had been cooperating with the Government of Ethiopia in
anti-terrorism activities since 2000, and expressed the wish
to cooperate with both French and U.S. military forces in
Djibouti against terrorist activities in the region.

6. (SBU) Smith reiterated the USG position of recognizing a
unified Somalia. He promised to share the information
discussed in the meeting with Washington. The Ministers
expressed their appreciation for the meeting and confirmed
their understanding that there had been no change in U.S.
policy towards Somaliland.

7. (SBU) COMMENT: The most interesting new information
gleaned from the meeting was the behavior of the Government
of Djibouti (GoDj) towards Somaliland. During the meeting,
the Ministers showed off their new Somaliland passports with
Djiboutian visas. The Ministers said these passports were
issued to only Government of Somaliland officials. The group
was given VIP treatment and recognized as Ministers (of a
self-proclaimed republic) for the first time on this trip.
This suggests a change in the official Djiboutian attitude
towards Somaliland. END COMMENT.
SMITH

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