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Cablegate: Somalia - Tfg Moves Forward in Wake of December 3

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RR RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2458/01 3401217
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R 061217Z DEC 09 ZDK CORRECTED COPY
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1712
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002458

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARA MARKINGS AND CAPTION)

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR MARR SOCI SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - TFG MOVES FORWARD IN WAKE OF DECEMBER 3
BOMBING WITH PLANS TO REPLACE POLICE COMMISSIONER AND ARMED
FORCES COMMANDER

NAIROBI 00002458 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: TFG Prime Minister Sharmarke is pushing
forward with plans to replace the TFG's controversial Police
Commissioner and lackluster Armed Forces Commander in the
wake of the December 3 suicide bombing that took the lives of
three TFG ministers and left a fourth near death in a Nairobi
hospital. Sources suggest that the Commissioner, Abdi Hassan
Awale "Qebdiid", has, after a week of resistance to his
firing, finally accepted the fact that he must go.
"Qeybdiid's" replacement had worked as a Police Commander
during the administration of TFG ex-President Abdullahi
Yusuf. He was most recently Somalia's Ambassador to Tanzania
and, as a Marehan, part of an effort to generate Marehan
resistance in Kismaayo to al-Shabaab. The new Commissioner
at first glance brings little of significance to the TFG, but
the replacement of warlord "Qeybdiid" with an Ambassador can
be portrayed by the TFG as another step in its efforts to end
its reliance on figures with complicated pasts whose
loyalties are suspect. End summary.

2. (SBU) TFG Prime Minister Sharmarke told Somalia Unit that he
was convening the TFG Council of Ministers on December 6 to
formalize the removal of controversial Police Commissioner
Abdi Hassan Awale "Qeybdiid," and his replacement with
current Somalia Ambassador to Tanzania Ali Mohamed Hassan
Loyan. (Note: "Qeybdiid" had been told that he was being
replaced about one week ago in what observers describe as a
tense meeting with TFG President Sharif and the Prime
Minister. According to Sharif's Chief-of-Staff Abdikareem
Jama, "Qeybdiid" had learned he was to be fired and
confronted the President and Prime Minister at Villa Somalia
in Mogadishu before they were ready to make the announcement.
"Qeybdiid" at the time of his firing told Embassy contacts
that he would not accept dismissal. He also at the time
reportedly rejected the follow-on ambassadorship offered by
the Prime Minister. In the days following his dismissal,
"Qeybdiid" loyalists staged demonstrations against his
firing. The demonstrations, and "Qeybdiid's reputation for
taking revenge on those who oppose him, caused some to
believe that he had a hand in the December 3 suicide bombing
that took the lives of four TFG ministers. Somalia Unit does
not believe that to be the case. End note.)

3. (SBU) Sharmarke told Somalia Unit on December 6, in advance
of the planned meeting, that he believed that the addition of
Djiboutian and French-trained TFG troops had made "Qeybdiid,"
who had been brought into the TFG in part because he came
complete with his own troops and technicals, less essential.
Sharmarke also thought that a silver lining in the cloud of
the December 3 suicide bombing was that the subsequent rumors
about "Qeybdiid's" involvement, although not true, had made
it impossible for him to further resist his removal.

4. (SBU) "Qeybdiid's" replacement is current Somalia Ambassador
to Tanzania Ali Mohamed Hassan Loyan. Loyan has been
actively involved in efforts to build Kismaayo Marehan
resistance to al-Shabaab in the wake of al-Shabaab's
assassination of a prominent Marehan Kismaayo businessman.
That effort has to date failed to gel. We understand that
Loyan's tenure as a police commander under former TFG
President Abdullahi Yusuf was undistinguished, and that he
was ultimately fired in 2007 for failure to perform. Loyan
was reportedly a National Security Service Colonel during the
Siad Barre era where he was responsible, among other things,
for containing resistance to Barre's then-increasingly
unpopular regime.

5. (SBU) Also slated for replacement on December 6, according
to Sharmarke, was Armed Forces Commander Yusuf Hassan
"Dhumaal," a Marehan. "Dhumaal" had a lackluster run as
Commander. He was unable to make much progress in
integrating the TFG's ragtag security forces and was
unwilling to accept advice from more experienced military
professionals. "Dhumaal" was courageous: he was wounded in
the leg during some of the Mogadishu fighting. According to
Sharmarke and President Sharif's Chief-of-Staff Abdikareem
Jama, "Dhumaal" was to all appearances happy to be replaced
and offered no resistance when given the news. He will be
offered another job in the TFG.

6. (SBU) Slated to replace "Dhumaal" is Mohammed Gelle Kahiye
"Nugagod." "Nugagod" was a military commander under Siad
Barre. He is a Sa'ad/Ayaanle ("Qeybdiid" was Sa'ad/Hilowle.)
Some sources tell us that "Nugagod" was not present in
Somalia during the post-1991 civil war and is therefore not
tainted by anything that happened during those turbulent
years. He may be able to bring into the mix those Sa'ad who

NAIROBI 00002458 002.2 OF 002


are fed up with al-Shabaab and willing to concentrate their
energies to ousting al-Shabaab from Mogadishu, but his
longtime absence from Somalia may mean that he lacks the
personal connections to make that happen quickly.

7. (SBU) Sharmarke, in his December 6 conversation with Somalia
Unit, made it clear that the TFG was determined to move
forward. He rejected a December 5 suggestion by TFG Minister
of Defense Abdullah Boss that the TFG would like to see all
Joint Security Committee and High-Level Committee meetings
postponed for one month in the wake of the suicide bombing.
RANNEBERGER

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