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Cablegate: Usau: Amisom Meeting Underscores Frustration,

VZCZCXRO7791
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #2946/01 3501403
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161403Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7176
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 8000

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002946

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/E, AF/RSA
PARIS FOR WBAIN
LONDON FOR PLORD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL AU
SUBJECT: USAU: AMISOM MEETING UNDERSCORES FRUSTRATION,
PLEAS FOR TROOPS, FUNDS, EQUIPMENT

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM USAU AMBASSADOR MICHAEL A. BATTLE.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: At a December 14 meeting at the AU, AMISOM
stakeholders and partners expressed their frustration with
the ongoing danger in Somalia and discussed how to improve
the situation. Many underscored the need to enhance the TFG
and its security forces, as well as the need for partners to
make good on troop, funding, and equipment commitments. AU
Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra discussed
transforming AMISOM into a UN force. Participants also
addressed the utility of training in the absence of
sufficient equipment and timely troop payments. The lack of
change in the overall situation and concomitant frustration
has led key players to urge those involved to think outside
the box, and to transfer more responsibility to the Somali
people. END SUMMARY.

-------------------------------
FRUSTRATION WITH DIRE SITUATION
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) African Union (AU) Peace and Security Commissioner
Ramtane Lamamra chaired a December 14 meeting in Addis Ababa
of the African Union Commission, Ministers of Defense of the
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Troop Contributing
Countries (TCCs), and partners. During the meeting,
participants reiterated their frustration with the dire
situation in Somalia. The AMISOM Force Commander, Major
General Nathan Mugisha, noted the strong influence of
al-Shabaab, particularly in Mogadishu in recent weeks. He
listed the following nine challenges that AMISOM faces:

-- An inadequate number of troops for both AMISOM and
Transitional Federal Government forces (TFG)
-- Stakeholders' understanding of the AMISOM mandate and the
limitations that restrict their assistance
-- TFG's lack of cohesion
-- Operational limitations, such as the small maritime force
that covers only a fraction of Somalia's 3000 km coast
-- Lack of capability to track aircraft going in and out of
Mogadishu (NOTE: The reason for wanting an air traffic
control system, as Mugisha seemed to be saying, was not
clear, even after asking for clarification. END NOTE.)
-- Difficulty deploying other components such as humanitarian
aid
-- Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs), suicide bombers,
pirates, and spoilers
-- Difficulty obtaining timely information

--------------------------------
"SOMALIZE" FORCES AU/UN HYBRID
--------------------------------

3. (SBU) Given AMISOM's high level of frustration in Somalia,
meeting participants discussed possible ways to improve
AMISOM's efforts. Several speakers mentioned the need to
empower the TFG, enhance Somali capacity, and focus on the
"Somalization of forces." The Ugandan Ambassador to Ethiopia
and the AU, Mull Katende, stated that AMISOM could follow its
mandate, but the "security of the country is the
responsibility of the Somalis."

4. (SBU) During the meeting, Lamamra stated that AMISOM
should become a UN force. AMISOM represents the
international community, he reasoned, and UN involvement will
help to ensure that the international community can reach its
objectives in Somalia. He reiterated this point the
following day at an AU Partners Group Peace and Security
meeting, explaining that the AU and UN are building a hybrid
force in Somalia. The UN will handle logistics, while the AU
will supply human resources. The ultimate goal is to
transform AMISOM into a UN peace-keeping operation, though
the UN balks at this notion, saying there is no peace to keep
in Somalia.

5. (SBU) While the UN has agreed to get involved by providing
logistical support, there are limitations on what it can
contribute, a fact referenced in the meeting on AMISOM. The
UN cannot, for example, pay salaries to Somali forces or fund
the purchase of lethal equipment with assessed contributions.
The UN-administered trust funds, one for AMISOM and the

ADDIS ABAB 00002946 002 OF 002


other for the TFG, also have various strings attached that
may make for a more complicated picture than Lamamra paints.

-----------------------
UNFULFILLED COMMITMENTS
-----------------------

6. (SBU) Much discussion focused on AMISOM's unfulfilled
needs in terms of troops, funds, and equipment. The Force
Commander reminded participants of the commitment Djibouti
made to contribute troops to AMISOM, while others urged their
African counterparts to step up to the plate as TCCs. (NOTE:
No potential additional TCCs besides Djibouti were mentioned
specifically. END NOTE). The issue of delays in the
payments of stipends arose, with European Union (EU)
representatives assuring those present that over five million
euro should have reached the AU by day's end, as well as 30
million euro before Christmas to make troop payment possible.
Participants also discussed lack of equipment as an
impediment to success. On a positive note, the UN will start
to reimburse TCCs for non-lethal, Contingent Owned Equipment
(i.e. TCC-owned equipment used in Somalia). In general,
participants sung a familiar refrain that commitments have
not been honored in a timely fashion, negatively impacting
the mission in Somalia and allowing al-Shabaab to gain
strength.

7. (SBU) Significant debate centered around the utility of
training troops. The Force Commander stated that AMISOM's
recommended process was to "train massively," and the EU
discussed its substantial training efforts. The Somali
Foreign Minister, however, argued that "training is OK when
the situation is normal, but we need to turn the tide against
insurgencies." Given the exceptional situation in Somalia,
and the lack of sufficient equipment and timely troop
payments, he felt that training would not make AMISOM or
Somali forces effective. Moreover, AMISOM and its partners
could end up training the enemy if dissatisfied troops join
the insurgents. Ugandan Ambassador Katende emphasized the
need not simply to train and equip troops, but also to retain
them with regular pay, competent leadership, basic equipment,
and esprit de corps.

8. (SBU) COMMENT: Recurring difficulties on the ground in
Somalia have left those involved frustrated and desperate for
stakeholders and partners to make good on their promises. In
recent months, Lamamra has indicated the need to brainstorm
new approaches and think outside the box. At the December 15
meeting with partner Ambassadors, he asked, "Are we winning
or are we wasting time, energy, and resources just to
maintain the status quo?" He then noted that developing a
new strategy in the coming weeks or months would be
appropriate. His repeated call for more resources to go to
the Somali Security Forces, and his confidence in an AU/UN
hybrid force in Somalia, could signal the AU's desire to
relinquish a degree of responsibility for AMISOM. As Lamamra
put it, "AMISOM should not be seen as a substitute for the
Somali Security Forces." END COMMENT.
MUSHINGI

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