Cablegate: Somalia -- Reconciliation and Mediation Planning

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




E.O. 12958: N/A



1. (SBU) The Special Representative of the Secretary General
(SRSG) issued a statement July 5 (reported reftel) indicating
renewed international community (IC) support for
reconciliation among members of the Transitional Federal
Institutions (TFIs). The SRSG proposed to the IC members of
the Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (I-CMC) a plan for
mediation among the various Somali leaders in the face of
reports of continuing military buildups and factionalization
among TFI members. END SUMMARY.


2. (SBU) SRSG Ambassador Francois Fall provided the political
briefing at a July 5 meeting of the international community
members of the Somali Coordinating and Monitoring Committee
(I-CMC). He noted that Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf
Ahmed had apparently returned July 1 to his home region in
Puntland. Amid speculation as to Yusuf's whereabouts, much
of it imagining the president putting into operation a plan
of attack on his opponents in Mogadishu, reporting from
Somalia indicated that he had returned to the port town of

3. (SBU) In the capital, the Speaker of the Transitional
Federal Assembly, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, attempted to
convene a session of the parliament on July 2. Finding it
impossible to assemble a quorum of members, those who did
gather confined themselves to forming a committee from their
number to open a political dialogue with the Prime Minister.
PM Ghedi, for his part, reportedly struck a reconciliatory
tone in his July 1 speech in celebration of the independence
of the former Italian Somalia, then headed off to Sirte,
Libya to attend the Summit of African Union Heads of


4. (SBU) SRSG Fall next obtained the group's approval to
issue a statement calling for respect of the UN arms embargo,
reduction in tensions, and renunciation of military
maneuvering (reftel). He then turned to the business of
rallying the IC behind the principles agreed in October 2004
in Stockholm. He emphasized to the I-CMC the importance of
cohesion among all the actors. Fall noted that, while
efforts to secure peace were taking place on both the
bilateral and multilateral fronts, bilateral approaches that
were not carefully calibrated to avoid fueling conflict could
be detrimental to the overall peace process. He urged country
representatives to not take on approaches which could
undermine both his leadership as SRSG as well as the
legitimacy of the initiatives the I-CMC had tasked him to

5. (SBU) Ambassador Fall observed that current reporting and
monitoring indicated escalating tensions in Somalia, at least
in part because of a continuing arms buildup. He expressed
his concern that one or the other of the two major groups
within the TFIs could be preparing preemptive military
action. Fall pushed for support, especially from the donor
country members of the I-CMC, for a course of action over the
next weeks to mid-September, directed at bringing the Somali
leaders to agreement on the key issues still blocking the
return of governance to Somalia.


6. (SBU) The SRSG presented a draft framework for a mediation
effort, designed to bring all relevant leaders in the TFIs to
the table for a final resolution of outstanding issues. His
objective was to have the leaders ready to formalize an
agreement on the questions of the seat of government,
security in the capital, and requests for a peace support
operation from outside forces by early September, so that a
High Level CMC meeting could be convened by mid-September as
a vehicle for "blessing" the agreement, and pledging
short-term support.

7. (SBU) Several I-CMC members considered Amb. Fall's
original proposal to be too prescriptive, lacking as it did
at that point any significant Somali input. Others stressed
that the IC has a right and obligation to push the Somalis
toward an agreement to allow for the return of governance, as
agreed with the Somalis under the Declaration of Principles
that was one of the results of the October 2004 Stockholm
conference on Somalia. That said, most agreed that the focus
of discussions between Amb. Fall, on one hand, and the Somali
leaders on the other, would have to be the safety and
security of Mogadishu and the need for increased dialogue
among the groups that have formed within the TFIs.


8. (SBU) Somalia Watcher joined representatives from the UK,
Sweden, Denmark and the EC in stating that the SRSG's
initiative was clearly within the remit that the IC had given
him in Stockholm. That said, the details of the SRSG's plan
clearly remained to be sorted out, and definitive support for
the approach would have to await discussion with capitals.
Comments focused on the need for quick action to defuse
tensions beyond the issuance of the SRSG's statement, and on
beginning initial stages of mediation immediately by pushing
the most intransigent leaders to make clear to the SRSG their
"non-negotiables". Some thought a time-table looking to
conclude discussions in September was not sufficiently
ambitious given the stakes. Others pointed out that a
process of active SRSG mediation might well take some weeks
in order to hammer out the differences, leaving the final
agreement to be negotiated in early September, and the High
Level CMC blessing for mid-month.


9. (SBU) The Italian representative, Senator Mario Raffaelli,
gave a very cautious endorsement to the SRSG proposal. He
stressed that the SRSG's mandate for leadership was firmly
rooted in his first developing a consensus of the IC behind
his proposals. Raffaelli echoed the intervention of the
Kenyan Ambassador to Somalia on the subject of continuing
financial assistance, calling for no slowing of aid to the
TFIs during the mediation period. (NOTE: This was an
apparent reference to Italy's intention to disburse some
Euros 2.7 million toward district-level reconciliation
projects strongly associated with the Yusuf side of the TFIs.


10. (SBU) The SRSG summarized the discussion as having
indicated an agreement in principle that he develop an
aggressive strategy for mediation among the different
groupings within the TFIs. The focus of this mediation
should be squarely on the questions of the capital city, the
seat of government, security arrangements, and external
military assistance. Finally, the objective should be to
move as rapidly as possible from polling relevant leaders to
assembling leaders for tough negotiations leading to
agreement and a blessing from the IC. In the meanwhile, all
members of the I-CMC appeared committed to unity of both
action and message, making clear that military posturing or
action was unacceptable. They again reinforced the principle
of an inclusive and reconciliation-based TFG.

11. (SBU) Amb. Fall committed to pulling together a new
formulation of this mediation framework before departing
Nairobi July 8 en route to the UNSC discussions on Somalia,
slated for July 14. In a side conversation with Somalia
Watcher, UN Political Office for Somalia Senior Advisor
Babafemi Badejo suggested calling an informal meeting of
Nairobi-based representatives of current UNSC member
countries for a rapid review of the framework, and a
discussion of the key issues before the Council, before the
SRSG's departure.

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