Cablegate: Ctf-150/Somalia: Outbrief From Canadian Ship
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHLO #2833/01 3151456
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P 101456Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0385
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 0419
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY 0074
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1188
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0253
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 2776
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY 0175
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RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEBSAA/NAVCENT RIYADH SA PRIORITY
RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 002833
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2018
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS NATO PTER SO CA UK
SUBJECT: CTF-150/SOMALIA: OUTBRIEF FROM CANADIAN SHIP
Classified By: Acting Political Counselor Jim Donegan, reasons 1.4 (b/d ).
1. (C/NF) Summary. The Canadian vessel HMCS Ville de Quebec escorted five WFP vessels in and out of Mogadishu between August and October 2008, and the vessel's commanding officer noted that there is clear evidence of collusion between Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and pirates in Somali waters and links between pirates and terrorist networks. He also reported that the Mogadishu port authorities maintain a very professional operation in the busy port and the well-equipped and trained African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces provided very "reliable and professional" support to the escort operations. HCMS Ville de Quebec Commander Chris Dickinson briefed Canadian High Commission officials in London on his experiences and lessons learned as Commander of Canada's lead ship in CTF-150 and escorting WFP vessels delivering aid to Somalia. Canadian Political Officer Anna Kapellas offered us a back brief on November 7. She, however, did not offer details on the relationship between the pirates, the TFG, and terrorist networks, saying the information was classified "Canadian Eyes Only." End summary.
2. (C) The Canadian vessel HMCS Ville de Quebec, re-tasked on August 6 from Operation Enduring Freedom to support WFP humanitarian deliveries, escorted five WFP shipments to the mouth of Mogadishu harbor and five different ships out between August and October 2008. HMCS Ville de Quebec Commander Chris Dickinson, who finished his rotation in theater on October 22, briefed Canadian High Commission officials in London while in transit. The Ville de Quebec did not escort WFP vessels all the way into Mogadishu port, due to land-based threats, and would only escort vessels returning from Somalia if their hauls were empty, as the origin and contents of cargo on returning vessels could not be confirmed. Small AMISOM vessels provided additional support to the WFP ships all the way into the Mogadishu port, which Dickinson described as very active and efficiently run. Dickinson described the AMISOM support and coordination as very reliable and professional, though building trust and establishing a relationship with AMISOM did take time. He said the Ugandan troops were adequately trained and equipped for their mission.
Lessons Learned ---------------
3. (C) Dickinson offered the Canadian High Commission the following lessons learned and observations: -- Placing anti-piracy teams on the escorted vessels in the port of origin (either Dar es Salaam or Mombasa) was an effective method of deterring attacks and maintaining good communication with the escorted vessels, especially since current Rules of Engagement do not allow vessels to be boarded once they have been attacked by pirates. -- Establishment of a joint intelligence cell on the Ville de Quebec and frequent visits to the ports of origin allowed the Canadians to exploit intelligence gathered from the ship masters of the escorted ships, other commercial maritime operations in the area, and port authorities in Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. -- Placing helicopters on the escorted vessels was an effective anti-piracy deterrent. -- Communications with the escorted WFP vessels was difficult and often only possible via satellite phone, so pre-mission coordination at the port of origin was essential. LONDON 00002833 002 OF 002 -- WFP is only interested in the contents of the escorted vessels, and there was at times conflicts when the Ville de Quebec adjusted administrative and logistical procedures to ensure the safety of the escorted vessel itself and its crew.
-- Fuel was only intermittently available and very expensive in Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, significantly increasing the price of the escort missions. -- Conducting outreach projects and programs, in conjunction with the Canadian High Commissions, in both Mombasa and Dar es Salaam resulted in a good relationship between the port communities and the Ville de Quebec.
-- Maintaining operational security is difficult because WFP routes are unclassified, well-established, and readily available to anyone in the area.
TFG, MV Faina, and Terrorist Links ----------------------------------
4. (C/NF) Dickinson told the Canadian High Commission staff that there was clear evidence of collusion between the TFG and the pirates. Kappellas did not offer details, terming the information "Canadian Eyes Only." On the MV Faina, the vessel hijacked by pirates and reported to be transporting tanks, Dickinson said that all of the small arms had already been off-loaded and taken to shore in Somalia. He said he believed the tanks and hostages were still on board. Dickinson also said clear links between the pirates and established terrorist networks exist. In many cases, they are the same people, using the same routes. Most commercial maritime operators in the area are surprised that the international community does not do more to disrupt the linkages. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX