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Cablegate: Somalia - Pd Activities Update, October 9

VZCZCXRO6683
OO RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2150 2821230
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091230Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1281
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002150

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/RSA AND AF/E
ALSO FOR S/CT ZROTHSCHILD
ALSO FOR IIP/CTCC MAUSTEIN AND JVANDEVELDE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPAO PTER MOPS SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - PD ACTIVITIES UPDATE, OCTOBER 9

REF: 07 STATE 116686

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) Per ref B, Post submits the following update for the
first week of October 2009. End Summary.

-------------
PD Activities
-------------

2. (SBU) The Somalia Unit, including the Military Information
Support Team (MIST) dedicated to Somalia, performed para. 3-5
activities since the last report:

3. (SBU) Ambassador Ranneberger did an on-the-record
interview with Radio Shabelle on September 9. This interview
marked a renewal of Somali media's engagement with the U.S.
government after a long period of hesitancy due to real and
perceived threats from extremist elements in Somalia.

4. (SBU) On September 22, Ambassador Ranneberger visited
Nairobi's Aga Khan Hospital to pay respects to African Union
Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) troops injured in the September
17 dual suicide bombing in Mogadishu. The Ambassador
conducted a press conference outside the hospital in which he
reiterated our regret at the bombing and affirmed U.S.
support for the Transitional Federal Government, AMISOM, and
the ongoing rebuilding process. The event received wide and
positive media coverage.

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5. (SBU) Somalia Unit co-authored a statement, released as a
joint statement among the European Union, Inter Governmental
authority on Development, League of Arab States, United
Nations, Norway and the U.S, condemning the September 17
suicide bombings.

6. (SBU) On October 1, the regional Government of Puntland,
in two separate edicts, banned FM radio stations in Puntland
from carrying Voice of America's (VOA) Somali Service and
banned journalists from carrying out their work for VOA. The
suspension remains in effect as of mid-day October 6. Post
is engaged with the Government of Puntland in an effort to
reverse the suspension.

7. (SBU) MIST activity: The MIST has continued broadcasting a
youth drama that emphasizes the needs for peace and support
for the TFG. This program was broadcast in six locations
throughout Puntland and central Somali as well as another
location in Mogadishu. The same program is broadcasting
throughout Kenya,s Northeastern Province and Eastleigh
neighborhood of Nairobi. The MIST has also continued
broadcasting a series of lectures by a local sheikh who
advocates the need for tolerance and uses Islamic doctrine to
refute the justifications offered by extremist organizations.
This program, broadcast in six locations throughout Puntland
and central Somalia as well as Mogadishu, complements the
ongoing program broadcast throughout Kenya,s Northeastern
Province and Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi.

8. (SBU) MIST activity (cont.): The MIST continues planning
for comics and CDs that will supplement the recently aired
youth drama series. The team also continues planning for
print products that will support the TFG and condemn the
extremists. These products will be distributed throughout
Puntland, Kenya's Northeastern Province, Mogadishu, and
Eastleigh. Finally, the MIST has begun a campaign in the
Dadaab refugee camps that uses a local musical/drama group to
engage Somali youth. The second concert is scheduled to be
held at the end of this month.
HOZA

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