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Cablegate: Usau Ambassador and Au's Peace and Security

VZCZCXRO4419
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #2494/01 2930852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200852Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6547
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7959

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 002494

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/RSA, S-USSES, AF/E, AF/W, AND IO/UNP
NSC FOR MGAVIN
DOD FOR OSD (VHUDDLESTON)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU
SUBJECT: USAU AMBASSADOR AND AU'S PEACE AND SECURITY
COMMISSIONER REVIEW CRISES IN AFRICA

1. (SBU) Summary: In their first meeting, USAU Ambassador
Battle and AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra
reviewed political crises on the African continent and each
pledged to reinforce cooperation in the peace and security
arena, including in the emerging counternarcotics effort.
Lamamra believes Sudan's conflict must be resolved as it has
an enormous stake across Africa. The AU and the U.S. must
work together on Sudan and it is encouraging that SE Gration
is firmly engaged and that our positions are coming together.
He said AU and U.S. positions on Somalia are similar, but he
worries that Somalia could become another Afghanistan. On
Guinea, Lamamra called for Dadis Camara to go and predicted
the AU would impose sanctions on the coup perpetrators if
constitutional order is not restored. Madagascar's
stakeholders have yet to fully implement the Maputo agreement
for power sharing, but a meeting of the chief rivals in Addis
Ababa in early November could provide a way forward. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) USAU Ambassador Battle, accompanied by USAU A/DCM
and AU Desk Officer, called on Lamamra at AU headquarters on
October 16. The Ambassador assured Lamamra that the AU was
"absolutely central to American policy" and was a critically
important institution. Lamamra, a long-time Algerian
diplomat and perhaps the most sought-after AU official on
matters of peace and security, acknowledged that the United
States support for AU missions was "invaluable" to the
continental organization.

Counternarcotics
----------------

3. (SBU) The discussion immediately turned to the interests
the USG and the AU share in combating narcotics trafficked
from South Africa to Europe via West Africa. The Ambassador,
having just returned from consultations with USAFRICOM
leadership, suggested to Lamamra that the AU consider having
an AFRICOM team visit to engage AU officials about the nature
of the problem and to address possible assistance. Lamamra
enthusiastically accepted the proposal, saying narcotics
presented a national security threat on the continent. He
cited governments in West Africa that were vulnerable to drug
lords. Lamamra said islands off West Africa were known
transit points for drugs originating from South Africa on
their way to Europe. It was important to assess the nature
of the threat and to examine how best to fight the drug
traffic and prevent it from expanding. The Ambassador
concurred, adding that it was critical to stop the phenomenon
before it further imperils West African populations.

4. (SBU) Lamamra added that the AU will want to study how it
can pool its resources on the continent in order to provide
an effective response to the drug traffic. He said existing
customs services, naval forces, and law enforcement agencies
in West Africa were not up to the task as long as they worked
alone.

Continuing conflicts
--------------------

5. (SBU) Conflicts in various parts of Africa require further
consultation with the United States, Lamamra said. The
existing mechanism of International Contact Groups for
Madagascar, Guinea, and Mauritania has proven effective in
addressing the aftermath of unconstitutional changes of
government, he assessed. The AU has appreciated that the
international community has lined up behind the AU in order
to speak with one voice against coup perpetrators. Lamamra
said he believes that the U.S. and the AU are in agreement on
how to tackle problems in the Great Lakes Region and in
Somalia, and that our positions are becoming closer on how to
address the situation in Sudan.

Sudan: Enormous stakes ahead
----------------------------

6. (SBU) The U.S. and the AU need to ensure that they succeed
in developing a common vision of what Sudan will be in the
future and what is a desirable outcome in Sudan, Lamamra
said. He urged the U.S. and AU to "pool our efforts" and he

ADDIS ABAB 00002494 002 OF 003


praised SE Gration for his engagement on Sudan. Lamamra
noted that the heads of state of the 15-member AU Peace and
Security Council would convene in Abuja on October 29 to
deliberate the findings and recommendations of the High-Level
Panel on Darfur report. That report was presented to AU
Commission Chairperson Jean Ping by panel chairperson and
former South African President Thabo Mbeki earlier in
October. The AU has invited international partners to attend
the session.

7. (SBU) Sudan remains one of Africa's most dangerous
conflicts, Lamamra assessed. With elections in 2010 and 2011
in Sudan, the stakes for that country and for the continent
as a whole are "enormous," he added, and the Sudanese
conflict is certainly not one that the U.S. can solve alone.
The Ambassador agreed with Lamamra, noting that the U.S. no
longer has the desire to solve problems alone.

Somalia: Another Afghanistan?
-----------------------------

8. (SBU) In Lamamra's view, Somalia is the continent's other
most dangerous conflict. "It runs the risk of becoming
another Afghanistan," he warned, citing the local, regional,
and global ramifications of a conflict left unchecked.
Lamamra said the AU had evidence of growing numbers of
foreign fighters in Somalia.

Guinea: Time for Dadis to go
----------------------------

9. (SBU) Lamamra assessed that Captain Dadis Camara is a "big
part of the problem" and "he needs to go" in order for Guinea
to return to constitutional order and stability. He called
for a neutral transition, meaning coup perpetrators should
not be allowed to run in upcoming elections. Lamamra and the
Ambassador agreed that narcotics trafficking and consumption,
including by the illegal government in Conakry, were further
devastating and corrupting the country. Lamamra previewed
the October 17 ECOWAS summit that was expected to address the
situation in Guinea. Lamamra made clear that the AU Peace
and Security Council had given Dadis Camara a deadline to
respect the return to constitutional order or face sanctions
from the AU.

10. (SBU) The September 28 killings at the stadium in Conakry
aggravated circumstances. The AU supports the need for an
immediate investigation into the September 28 events.
Lamamra emphasized that there could not be any impunity after
what happened. (Note: The AU PSC is expected to follow
ECOWAS' lead in imposing sanctions on those responsible for
the coup.) Lamamra also noted that Blaise Compaore would
continue to play a facilitator role to find a way out of the
crisis. The Ambassador expressed concern that the exit
strategy not result in more violence.

Madagascar: Difficulties implementing Maputo agreement
--------------------------------------------- ---------

11. (SBU) On efforts to find a solution in Madagascar,
Lamamra explained that the four governing families there had
yet to agree to fully implement the Maputo agreement for
power-sharing. He noted that former President Ravalomanana
had refused to accept Rajoelina as president of the
transition government, and that there was disagreement over
where to hold a meeting among the key stakeholders. One
distinct possibility is for a meeting to take place in Addis
Ababa in early November, Lamamra told the Ambassador. If
that is the case and it is successful, it would launch the
transitional period leading to elections in June 2010.

Climate change
--------------

12. (SBU) Lamamra and the Ambassador agreed about the
importance of Africa speaking with one voice on the issue of
climate change at the summit in Copenhagen in December. The
U.S. is concerned that Africa will be devastated if the
international community does not address the ecological
impacts of climatic changes. Lamamra spoke of an urgent need

ADDIS ABAB 00002494 003 OF 003


to save the coming generations of Africans.
MEECE

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