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Cablegate: Municipality Approves Chancery Street Closure

VZCZCXYZ0027
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTO #0984 2461233
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031233Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0675

UNCLAS MAPUTO 000984

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DS/IP/AF, OBO/CFSM/SM/SCD/SEB FOR BETH KEMPTON,
DS/PSD/PCB FOR ANDRAE SMITH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT ASEC PGOV PREL MZ
SUBJECT: Municipality Approves Chancery Street Closure

1. (SBU) The Charge met with the President of the Maputo Municipal
Council (Mayor equivalent) David Simango on August 28 to discuss the
longstanding Embassy request to close the public street which
dissects Embassy Maputo, comprised of a cluster of converted
residences. The Charge observed that although security barrier
gates at either end of this street prevent vehicular traffic,
pedestrians have free and essentially unhindered access to the
street and sidewalk. The Charge reviewed again Embassy plans to
erect fences and permanent barriers to block pedestrian access to
address safety and security concerns which have been on hold pending
government approvalQdespite multiple requests over the past several
years. The Charge concluded that in June, both the Minister of the
Presidency and the Foreign Minister confirmed to him that the GRM
had agreed to approve the EmbassyQs request to fence off the street
and sidewalk.

2. (SBU) Simango responded that he had consulted with officials in
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Presidency.
On the basis of those conversations, he said the Municipality
thereby granted official permission for the closure, and was sending
a letter to the Embassy indicating the same. On this basis, the
Embassy will move forward on erecting permanent physical barriers to
pedestrian traffic through the compound.

3. (SBU) Comment: Closure of this road will do much to reduce the
EmbassyQs vulnerability to armed attackers on foot. It will also
satisfy one of the recommendations outstanding from the 2008 IG
report. Embassy greatly appreciates the support of Diplomatic
Security and the Office of Buildings Overseas in concluding this
project. End Comment.

Chapman

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