Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More



Cablegate: Usau: Synopsis of Amisom Consultative Meeting With

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 CA-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DS-00 DHSE-00
EUR-00 OIGO-00 E-00 UTED-00 VCI-00 FOE-00 H-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 MFLO-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00
VCIE-00 DCP-00 NSAE-00 OIC-00 NIMA-00 CAEX-00 PER-00
GIWI-00 DOHS-00 SSO-00 SS-00 FMP-00 SCRS-00 DSCC-00
PRM-00 DRL-00 SAS-00 FA-00 SWCI-00 PESU-00 /001W

P 060703Z NOV 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (C) SUMMARY: The November Consultative Meeting of AMISOM
stakeholders reveals a precarious security situation and
danger in continuing status quo support to both AMISOM and
the TFG. While all stakeholders agree that AMISOM must not
fail, few donors are willing to provide sufficiently flexible
funding or lethal assistance to both AMISOM and the TFG.
Good news includes the addition of a Djiboutian contingent to
AMISOM, EU resumption of funding in December, the
establishment of a TFG radio station, and the fact that the
TFG has paid at least some of its soldiers. The bad news is
that AMISOM still has not achieved its mandated end strength,
and is still suffering from arrears in salaries, insufficient
equipment, and a stalemate over reimbursement from the AU for
contingent-owned equipment. Somali Police salaries remain in
arrears, and both the AU and donors are concerned with the
slow pace of the TFG in reconciliation and expansion of
governance, as well as poorly stated needs and lack of a
security framework to govern foreign assistance and security
sector reform. The group revalidated AMISOM's existing
mandate, but called for an adaptation of rules of engagement.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

2. (U) As is customary, international partners were invited
on November 2 to the culminating portion of the day's
consultative meetings between African Union (AU) Peace and
Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra, Ministers of Defense
from AMISOM troop contributing countries (TCC), and other
stakeholders. (Note: MoDs from Burundi, Djibouti, Somalia,
and Uganda were in attendance.) Lamamra began by giving a
synopsis of preceding closed deliberations, saying there had
been no major developments since the last such gathering. He
stated, however, that political reconciliation efforts by the
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) continue. Lamamra
admonished the TFG for its lack of cohesion and encouraged it
to expand its governance beyond Mogadishu. While extremist
elements still dominate the media in Somalia, Lamamra praised
the TFG for establishing a state radio station to counter
insurgent misinformation.

General Security Situation

3. (C) Lamamra characterized the security situation as "more
mediocre" than before, with "ping-pong" control of Mogadishu
between TFG/AMISOM forces and the Islamic insurgent group
al-Shabaab. Lamamra laid some of the blame for this lack of
capacity at the donors' door, saying that much of what had
been pledged at the March Donors Conference in Brussels had
yet to materialize. Friendly forces, Lamamra said, are still
suffering from a lack of critical military equipment. Other
noteworthy comments included:

- Expansion of AMISOM with a formal contribution of troops
from Djibouti;
- TFG payment of salaries to 3,214 Somali National Armed
Forces (SNAF); and
- Non-payment of TFG police forces (more for a lack of
mechanism than funding).

4. (C) Lamamra also made the case for additional TFG forces,
saying that the government needs 8,000 military personnel and
a police force of 5,000 to secure Mogadishu. He estimated
that an additional 8,000 troops would be needed to secure the
central and southern portions of Somalia. Lamamra ended his
resume of the security situation by saying Somalia is
volatile and unpredictable, and added that the status quo is

AMISOM Mandate and Rules of Engagement

5. (U) Lamamra reported that the group had determined
AMISOM's existing mandate to be sufficiently robust and
flexible. However, AMISOM's rules of engagement (ROE) needed
to be adapted to allow friendly forces to take preemptive
military action in certain cases. Lamamra also articulated
the need for improved equipment and resources to allow AMISOM
to be proactive, striking "the snake amongst its eggs."
(Note: Interlocutors tell us separately that a major concern
with the ROE is AMISOM's limited ability to protect key
installations from terrorist attacks, which is a concern both
from a force protection standpoint and because these
installations are key revenue earners for the TFG.)

Training for TFG Forces

6. (C) Lamamra welcomed the many offers of training for TFG
police and military forces, but entreated the TFG to provide
a better framework to harmonize international support,
including policies, doctrine, and a comprehensive list of
needs. He asked international partners to ensure that their
training packages are standardized and adapted to Somali
needs, and requested that the packages include essential
equipment. Lamamra stated that partners must also budget for
salaries for uniformed Somali personnel, or risk losing them
to the insurgents once deployed. Finally, he cautioned
partners to ensure ethnic and clan balance in the units they

The Somali MoD Weighs In

7. (C) In contrast to his predecessor Dr. Gandhi, newly
appointed Somali Minister of Defense Abdallah Boss Ahmed was
at times both defensive and accusatory. Extremists, he said,
took advantage of the complete lack of support from the
international community to attempt to overthrow the TFG in an
offensive that lasted from May to July 2009. He claimed
twice that his government had received none of the support
pledged at the Brussels conference. Nonetheless, Boss
reported that the parliament had resumed its work in
Mogadishu and has managed to develop a work plan and budget
of 9.3 million USD, of which 3.6 million USD has already been
raised. The TFG is reaching out to parties outside the
Djibouti Process and remains committed to dialogue and
reconciliation, but insecurity remains its largest impediment.

8. (U) Boss claimed to have 9,800 "paramilitary" forces under
his control, suggesting that if they are properly supported
by partners, they will be able to dominate Mogadishu. He,
too, mentioned needing an additional 8,000 troops to
recapture the rest of Somalia. (Comment: Boss is probably
exaggerating the number of paramilitary forces under his
influence. While there may well be 9,800 clan and private
sector fighters in Mogadishu, the TFG has thus far shown no
ability to get them into the fight in any organized manner.
It is also noteworthy that previous post-Djibouti Agreement
end strength discussions called for 5,000 Somali military and
10,000 Somali Police.)

9. (C) Somalia is at a crossroads, said Boss, and urgently
needs both political support and unfettered financial
assistance from the international community. He pleaded on
behalf of AMISOM for both additional peacekeepers and
maritime assets. He reiterated that the international
community urgently needs to find a solution for police
salaries, claiming they have not been paid for 15 months, and
stating that the arrears are undermining morale and the TFG's
efforts to secure and stabilize Mogadishu. Boss also asked
the international community to increase humanitarian support
for internally displaced Somalis.

United Nations Support to AMISOM

10. (C) Craig Boyd then briefed the group on assistance
provided by the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM
(UNSOA). His staff disseminated a Consolidated Contributions
Statement reflecting a total of 198.7 million USD pledged in
Brussels, but only 70.2 million USD received. Boyd's salient
comments included:

- UNSOA's budget for the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010
is 225 million USD;
- The SRSG and SRCC jointly determine the priorities
regarding expenditures from the AMISOM Trust Fund of 25
million USD, of which 14 million USD is already committed;
- Some donors to the AMISOM Trust Fund have put stringent
caveats on their contributions;
- No lethal equipment can be financed from the AMISOM Trust
Fund, so there must be either UN or bilateral solutions; and
- The Somalia Security Institutions Trust Fund has eight
million USD in pledges but only 850,000 USD in actual

The AU's Special Rep Ponders Reversing Donor Contributions
--------------------------------------------- -------------

11. (U) Nicholas Bwakira, who formally announced his
resignation as the Special Representative of the Chairperson
of the Commission at the end of the meeting, reported that
despite 25 million USD languishing in the United Nation's
bank account in New York, troop allowances have not been paid
since April for one TCC, and since May for the other. Bwakira
opined that donors might reverse their contributions and pay
the AU Commission directly instead. In response, EU
Ambassador to the AU Koen Vervacke stated that the EU's next
tranche of funding would be disbursed sometime in December,
and that it would cover salaries through April 2010.

12. (U) The UN Special Representative for the Secretary
General, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, sought out USAU Ambassador
Michael Battle during a break to discuss the poor funding
mechanisms that delay needed disbursements. Ould-Abdallah
stated that the United States was the only country that
managed to provide direct support to Somalia and lamented the
fact that money gets stuck in the UN system. He recommended
that donors bypass the cumbersome UN, channeling funds
instead through the PriceWaterhouseCoopers mechanism.

Contingent-Owned Equipment Reimbursements Remain Problematic
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

13. (U) Ugandan Minister of Defense Crispus Kiyonga sounded
the familiar refrain of reimbursements for contingent-owned
equipment, saying that the Ugandan Parliament authorized
Uganda's participation in AMISOM on the condition that it be
budget neutral. He also indicated that payment of death
benefits remain problematic and may impact negatively on
future troop contributions. Burundian Minister of Defense
Germain Niyoyankana echoed Kiyonga's criticisms. The UNSOA
representative recommended that when the UN next reviews the
AMISOM mandate, it consider authorizing the use of assessed
contributions to reimburse for contingent-owned equipment.
Kiyonga suggested that the proposed UN solution would be a
half-measure since presumably it would only reimburse for
equipment retroactive to UNSCR 1863 and not the beginning of
the AMISOM deployment.

Uganda and EU Offer to Assist in Somalia SSR

14. (C) Kiyonga also offered for Uganda to play a
coordinating role in training the Somali Security Forces
(SSF), contingent on donor support. EUAU Ambassador Vervacke
mentioned that the EU is studying how it might address the
SSF training shortfall, and indicated that it might be able
to use its 300 million euro Peace Facility to support
AMISOM's security sector reform efforts in Somalia.

15. (C) COMMENT: While the financial situation is not as grim
as portrayed by the Somali Minister of Defense, USAU agrees
that there are several causes for concern. All the
stakeholders seem to agree that AMISOM cannot be allowed to
fail, but only the USG appears willing to provide lethal
support to the mission. The EU appears to have worked
through most of the issues associated with its recovery
orders; it will provide the AU with 60 million euros for the
period from August 2009 to April 2010, funding troop
allowances, death benefits, police and civilian salaries,
civilian vehicles, medical expenses, travel, and rent.
UNSOA's impressive budget of 225 million USD will be
restricted to deployment and rotation costs associated with
troops, police, and contingent-owned equipment, as well as
rations, fuel, and accommodations. The needs are even more
glaring on the TFG side of the ledger, including funding
shortfalls in training, equipping, paying, and sustaining
SSF, as well as a lack of a needs assessment, policy
framework, and coordinating mechanism for SSR.

16. (C) COMMENT Continued: Technically, a TFG coordinating
mechanism exists. The Joint Security Committee is codified
Djibouti Agreement; it is comprised of sector working groups
and has funding. Apparently, however, several key members of
the TFG do not want the mechanism to work, as they would
rather see support given directly to their respective
ministries. END COMMENT.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.