Cablegate: Somalia: Talking Points for the U.S. Mission To

O 262329Z DEC 06




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. U.S. Ambassador to the African Union (AU) Cindy Courville
will be receiving a briefing following the December 27 AU
meeting on Somalia. Below are points and background for her
use during this briefing. In response to aggression by the
Council of Islamic Courts (CIC), Ethiopia has commenced
military operations against targets in Somalia. Ethiopia has
said that its action is intended to prevent further
aggression by the CIC, to prevent further delivery of arms
and supplies to the CIC, and that it is not targeting
civilians. On December 26, the African Union acknowledged
the failure to respond to the situation in Somalia and stated
that Ethiopia has the right to intervene militarily in
Somalia in light of the threats by the CIC to Ethiopia,s
security. These developments further endorse the need for
the urgent deployment of the IGASOM Peace Support Mission.

2. The United States supports the Transitional Federal
Charter and Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) as the
legitimate framework for governance in Somalia, while also
encouraging a more inclusive process of dialogue between the
TFIs and key Somali stakeholders such as business leaders and
civil society. The United States strongly believes that a
sustainable solution in Somalia should be based on credible
dialogue between the TFIs and Council of Islamic Courts
(CIC). Despite the efforts of the International Somalia
Contact Group to encourage dialogue between Somali parties
and the June 22 Khartoum Declaration between the TFIs and
CIC, the situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate.
Enclosed below are talking points on Somalia for Ambassador
Courville,s use in this and other follow-on appointments.

3. Begin Talking Points.

-- The United States strongly believes that a sustainable
solution in Somalia should be based on credible dialogue
between the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), the
Council of Islamic Courts (CIC), and key Somali stakeholders
such as business leaders and civil society.

-- Military expansion and continued aggression by the CIC has
prevented this dialogue from moving forward and has created
the need for deployment of a regional force. The recent
escalation in fighting makes the need for such a force even
more urgent.

-- Ethiopia has genuine security concerns with regard to
developments within Somalia and has provided support at the
request of the legitimate governing authority, the
Transitional Federal Institutions.

-- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles has assured the United
States and the Somalis that, in its current intervention,
Ethiopia is not targeting civilians but fighting militias of
the CIC.

-- While the CIC claims to have brought stability to the
areas it controls in Somalia, it continues to rely on child
soldiers, mistreats prisoners of war, and has caused hundreds
of refugees continue to cross the border into Kenya and
Ethiopia every day, indicating a lack of stability inside
Somalia and the violation of international norms and

-- The negative actions by the CIC, including: continued
military expansion and build-up of militia forces around
Baidoa; irredentist claims on the Somali-populated regions of
Ethiopia and Kenya; and support for insurgent groups inside
Ethiopia continue to destabilize Somalia and the broader Horn
of Africa region.

-- On December 6, the United Nations Security Council
unanimously adopted Resolution 1725, authorizing deployment
of IGASOM to restore stability in Somalia.

-- These most recent developments in Somalia stress more than
ever the need for the urgent deployment of IGASOM.

-- IGASOM will deter further aggression against the TFIs,
create the required space for dialogue, stabilize the
situation, and create the conditions for Ethiopian and
Eritrean disengagement from Somalia.

-- IGASOM deployment is a critical element in creating the
space for credible dialogue between the CIC and TFIs, leading
to a more comprehensive solution based on a negotiated

-- The CIC must now demonstrate its commitment to peace and
stability by immediately resuming dialogue with the TFIs
without precondition.

-- The United States will continue to urge the TFIs to be
more inclusive and return to dialogue with the CIC and other

-- The United States will remain actively engaged with our
international partners in preventing the continued escalation
of tensions inside Somalia, which could spark wider regional
conflict in the Horn of Africa if left unchecked.

-- The quick deployment of a regional force and consistent
pressure on all Somali parties to resume dialogue are
urgently needed to ensure that such a scenario does not

3. End Talking Points.


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