Cablegate: Unsc-African Union Discussions in Addis Ababa
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P 231414Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6727
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 001960
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
CJTF-HOA AND USCENTCOM FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO UNSC AU SU SO
SUBJECT: UNSC-AFRICAN UNION DISCUSSIONS IN ADDIS ABABA
1. (SBU) SUMMARY. African Union Commission Chairperson
Konare urgently requested visiting UN Security Council
representatives to provide funding for African peacekeeping
forces in Darfur and Somalia. Konare, AU Commissioners, and
African Ambassadors highlighted capacity and financial
limitations, but asserted that African states were committed
to meeting and resolving African crises. Deployment of
African troops to Darfur and now to Mogadishu underscore the
AU,s ability to act quickly to stabilize a crisis situation,
but the AU lacks resources to sustain such deployments and
looks to the UN to take over operations and ensure funding.
Konare pointed to Burundi operations as an example of
successful UN-AU cooperation. AU forces helped stabilize
Burundi, brokering an end to a decade-long civil war through
a ceasefire and peace accord. The UN followed up with a UN
peacekeeping mission, thus demonstrating that the UN and AU
working cooperatively can meet Africa's difficult challenges.
Sudan and Somalia dominated discussions. Discussions also
included the DRC, Cote d,Ivoire, and the Eritrea-Ethiopia
border. The large number of participants did not allow for
substantive detail discussion of the topics, but did help
highlight commitment by the UN and AU to pursue closer
cooperation and coordination. END SUMMARY.
AU PLEA FOR FOLLOW-UP
2. (SBU) During a morning session on June 16 with visiting UN
Security Council representatives, African Union Commission
Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare and AU Commissioners
highlighted areas for closer AU-UN cooperation and
coordination in meeting crises in Africa, particularly UN
support for funding of contingency operations. The African
Union was making progress in organizing members to rapidly
respond to crises, AU officials said, citing the initial
deployment of 2,000 Rwandan troops to meet urgent
humanitarian needs in Darfur. Operations now lasted over ten
months, however, and AU member states found it difficult to
financially sustain such operations.
3. (SBU) More important, Konare pointed out that close
cooperation between the UN and AU was important to ensure
forward political movement to enable the AU Mission in Sudan
(AMIS) to be replaced by the United Nations. The degradation
in Chad-Sudan relations, the inability to implement the Abuja
Accord, and continued instability, made Darfur operations
4. (SBU) Konare called for greater dialogue with Sudanese
President Bashir to find workable solutions. Konare
recommended that clear messages of assurance be conveyed to
Bashir and the Sudanese that there was no hidden agenda
against Sudan. In response to UN representatives' queries on
accountability and transparency, Konare asserted that the AU
and UN hybrid force could work out a clear command and
control structure, and that transparent financial management
could be arranged. AU Commissioner for Peace and Security
Ambassador Said Djinnit said that time was of the essence:
action on a hybrid force had to take place now, not in 2008.
5. (SBU) Ambassador Khalilzad outlined the fundamental issues
confronting the UN and AU in enhancing closer cooperation.
There needed to be a clearly defined timeline and taskings of
next steps by the UN and AU. Furthermore, clarity was needed
in the command and control structure by the UN, and in
transparency and financial management of funding operations.
These details, critical to AU-UN coordination in Sudan, had
to be laid out quickly.
SOMALIA: THE NEXT UN OPERATION
6. (SBU) Konare articulated the African Union's position that
the United Nations now had to take over Somalia operations.
The AU had deployed some 1,400 Ugandan troops and now awaited
the deployment of Burundian troops to bolster the AU Mission
in Somalia (AMISOM). The deployment was far short of the
ADDIS ABAB 00001960 002 OF 002
8,000 minimum needed to support peacekeeping operations, but
the message to Somalia was that the AU was committed to its
stabilization. Konare described the importance of Somalia
operations in the context of fragile political dialogue in
the Middle East affecting East Africa, noting that extremist
elements still operated in Somalia. Ethiopian forces had
helped neutralize some negative influence and had given
Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) an
opportunity to establish itself in Mogadishu. It was
necessary for Ethiopian troops to depart, but not before more
AU troops were in place to support a smooth transition from
Ethiopian forces to AU peacekeepers.
7. (SBU) The TFG was weak but the upcoming Somali National
Reconciliation Congress could help strengthen stability in
Somalia. Konare said the international community had to stop
extremism in Somalia and elsewhere in Africa, and neutralize
the influence of Jihadist groups. This was why the AU, and
hopefully the UN, could help protect the TFG in the short
term, and allow for Somalia to stabilize and hold elections
for its future leaders.
WHY SHOULD THE UN TAKE OVER SOMALIA OPERATIONS?
8. (SBU) In the afternoon session, UN representatives pressed
Commissioner Djinnit on why the AU should expect the UN to
take over Somalia operations. Djinnit noted that AMISOM's
current mandate would end in July; while the AU would have to
extend AMISOM, it expected the UN to take over operations.
He echoed Konare's remarks that UN-AU cooperation in Somalia
was key to stability, pointing out Burundi operations as the
model for such mutually shared interests. In Burundi, the
African Union had deployed Ethiopian and South African forces
to stabilize the country. A ceasefire was negotiated, and
Tanzania had led peace talks resulting in a peace accord.
With a transition government in place in Bujumbura,
conditions were met for the UN to take over AU operations.
The result had been successful elections, stability, and
peace in Burundi. It was hoped that the UN could move into
Somalia to help follow-up on AU operations.
9. (SBU) UN representatives asked about the prospect for
stability in Somalia and the challenges facing the National
Reconciliation Congress. Ambassador Khalilzad suggested that
if the now-delayed reconciliation congress could not convene,
perhaps the AU could help hold several, smaller
reconciliation meetings that could eventually lead to a
larger comprehensive meeting.
10. (SBU) UN representatives and African Ambassadors provided
brief informational reports on Cote d,Ivoire, the DRC,
northern Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the
Eritrea-Ethiopia border, and political transition in the
Comoros. The reports were brief and void of any
controversial remarks. The Belgium UN PermRep's presentation
on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border issue was so brief that no
issue of contention between the parties was raised.
11. (SBU) COMMENT. The day-long meeting at AU headquarters
could not delve into substantive detail but did highlight the
support for closer AU-UN cooperation and coordination in
meeting crises in Africa. UN Security Council
representatives first met formally with AU Peace and Security
Council (AU PSC) counterparts at AU Commission Headquarters
in Addis Ababa in 2006. Significant challenges remain before
the UN considers operations in Sudan and particularly
Somalia. END COMMENT.
12. (U) Ambassador Khalilzad cleared this message.