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Cablegate: Somalia: Af a/S Carson,S Meeting with Asha Hagi

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #3470 3071950
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031930Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 3636
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA IMMEDIATE 8563
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA IMMEDIATE 9828
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA IMMEDIATE 3087
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI IMMEDIATE 1164
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA IMMEDIATE 6586
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 8487

UNCLAS STATE 113470

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KPO SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA: AF A/S CARSON,S MEETING WITH ASHA HAGI

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. AF Assistant Secretary (A/S) Johnnie
Carson met with the Chairperson of Save Somali Women and
Children (SSWC) Asha Hagi on Thursday, October 15, to discuss
Hagi,s peacebuilding and humanitarian efforts in Somalia.
Hagi voiced her support for countering al-Shabaab,s
influence, empowering Somalia,s Transitional Federal
Government (TFG) and developing the economic capacity of the
Somali people. A/S Carson largely supported Hagi,s views,
noting the alignment between her ideas and U.S. Government
(USG) policy. The A/S pledged to look more closely at some
of her suggestions and noted that the Department is exploring
options to support the TFG,s underfunded and underequipped
radio station in Mogadishu. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) The Chairperson of SSWC, Asha Hagi, met with A/S
Carson on October 15, 2009. Hagi is the winner of the 2009
Clinton Global Citizen Award and the 2008 Right Livelihood
Award for her human rights and peacebuilding work in Somalia.
Hagi was a member of the High Level Political Committee
during the Djibouti Peace and Reconciliation talks in late
2008 and early 2009 that resulted in the formation of the
current TFG and helped create &the Sixth Clan8 to insert
female representation into Somali politics.

3. (SBU) Hagi highlighted five points to consider as the
United States works with the TFG to advance the Djibouti
Peace Process: reshape strategy against al-Shabaab to focus
on gaining control in the central regions of Somalia; assist
the TFG in developing a local security force; support
economic development for the Somali people that will counter
terrorism and piracy; utilize the population,s anger against
al-Shabaab to amass confidence in the transitional
government; and improve the TFG,s message domestically and
internationally through public affairs assistance.

4. (SBU) A/S Carson agreed with all of Hagi,s suggestions
and said he would seek a way to address each. While we do
not have on-the-ground access in Somalia, he stated, we can
offer assistance if the TFG can point to opportunities with
local institutions in the central regions. However, A/S
Carson underscored that the United States will not support
any groups that do not support the TFG, and we will work
through the TFG in any assistance we provide. A/S Carson
acknowledged the need for a Somalia National Security Force
and noted that while the African Union Mission in Somalia
(AMISOM) has done good work, it must be supported locally.
He highlighted the need for economic development and agreed
to look at a forthcoming economic development proposal
created by SSWC. A/S Carson informed Hagi that the USG is
willing to assist the TFG in delivering critical services in
areas it controls, such as healthcare and education, if the
TFG can produce an implementation plan.

5. (SBU) At the end of the meeting, A/S Carson expressed
particular interest in supporting a strong TFG public
diplomacy and public affairs (PDPA) program. He requested
that AF/PDPA work with the Somalia Unit in Embassy Nairobi to
improve the TFG,s radio broadcasting capabilities in and
around Mogadishu.
CLINTON

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