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Cablegate: Uganda May Be Open to Manpads Strategy

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKM #1848/01 3401256
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 061256Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 1826
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA PRIORITY 0661
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY 0121
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0675
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 7057

Thursday, 06 December 2007, 12:56
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001848
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
STATE FOR PM/WRA - STEPHANIE PICO
EO 12958 DECL: 06/18/17
TAGS MARR, MASS, PARM, PGOV, PREL, UG
SUBJECT: UGANDA MAY BE OPEN TO MANPADS STRATEGY
REF: STATE 156001
Classified By: PolOff Jarahn Hillsman for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (S/NF) Summary: Post has considered reftel Horn of Africa MANPADS Acquisition Engagement and Plan of Action Strategy for Uganda. Mechanisms proposed to help the GOU address counter-proliferation and destruction are feasible and timely. Post is confident that the GOU would welcome greater USG involvement. We have also determined that a Yemen-like acquisition plan could support GOU efforts to control MANPADS proliferation, but do not believe it to be necessary at this point. There are no political impediments to immediate engagement with GOU officials on the proposed MANPADS strategy. A sucessful strategy would incorporate a larger weapons accountability and destruction program to enlist wider GOU support for MANPADS destruction. End Summary.
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GOU Shares Counter-Proliferation Concerns
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2. (S/NF) The GOU has demonstrated its willingness to work with the USG to combat terrorism and further East African security initiatives, particularly in the area of weapons proliferation. Military and civilian authorities, starting with the establishment of the National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons in 2001, have deepened collaboration to tighten arms control regulations and have actively sought international partners to advance objectives. We therefore believe that the GOU would be receptive to U.S. assistance in drafting export control legislation and determining priorities. Given that the majority of the MANPADS currently in Uganda were purchased by the government, U.S. intervention with the “supply country” might not be welcomed by the GOU. Such action would be considered by some as meddling in internal security matters.
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GOU Committed to SA/LW DESTRUCTION; Open to U.S. Engagement
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3. (S/NF) The GOU in 2007 worked with SaferAfrica, UNDP, the U.S., and other international partners to identify and destroy small arms and light weapons stockpiles, including MANPADS. Minister of Defense Crispus Kiyonga reaffirmed this commitment publicly, and expressed Uganda’s desire to work with the U.S. and other international partners to meet the country’s obligations under the UN Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons, the Nairobi Protocol, and the National Action Plan on Small Arms and Light Weapons. We believe that the GOU would welcome greater U.S. engagement in the area of stockpile management and destruction. However, a more broadly focused assistance package that helps with overall weapons accountability and destruction would likely garner wider GOU support.
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Yemen Acquisition Possible
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4. (S/NF) A Yemen-like acquisition plan could be reached with the GOU. The primary Ugandan counterpart would be the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF). Currently, we do not believe there is black market activity to warrant such a program.
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Timing And GOU Partners
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5. (S/NF) The GOU has demonstrated political will to tighten arms proliferation, combat global terrorism, and push forward on East Africa peace and security initiatives. This commitment suggests that Uganda would be open to immediate engagement.
6. (S/NF) The primary GOU interlocutors would likely be the following:
--Ministry of Defense;
--Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF);
--National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons;
--Parliament’s Committee on Military and Internal Affairs; and
KAMPALA 00001848 002 OF 002
--Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Pitfalls OR Challenges to Strategy Implementation
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7. (S/NF) The GOU’s military sales relationship with North Korea might hinder engagement. For three years, the GOU has refused to allow us access to its classified budget, which could potentially include the sale of MANPADS by the GOU. CHRITTON

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