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Cablegate: Somalia - Pd Activities Update, December 23

VZCZCXRO4946
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2688/01 3580835
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 240834Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0278
INFO SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002688

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR AF/RSA, AF/PD, 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, DECEMBER 23

REF: NAIROBI 2537; 07 STATE 116686

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Summary

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

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PD Activities

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2. (SBU) The Somalia Unit, including the Military Information
Support Team (MIST) dedicated to Somalia, performed para. 3-8
activities since the last report:

3. (SBU) The Counselor for Somalia Affairs conducted a press
roundtable on December 22 to discuss the recent meeting of the
International Contact Group for Somalia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The journalists showed a high level of interest in U.S. views on
the ICG meeting, and coverage was excellent. TFG-owned Radio
Mogadishu, apparently having secured a recording of the event from
another media outlet, featured the item prominently on both its
broadcasts and on the station's website (www.radiomuqdisho.net).

4. (SBU) The Somalia Unit issued a press statement on December 23
calling for the release of the VOA Somali Service reporter who was
arrested by Puntland authorities on December 22. The statement was
carried in Somali media. We have also registered our concern
directly with Puntland President "Faroole" (ref A).

5. (SBU) During the December 10-11 Somalia regional conference in
Nairobi, participants discussed public diplomacy in nearly all of
the sessions, focusing on the importance of our own outreach, in
addition to the ongoing effort to boost the TFG's own media
efforts.

6. (SBU) The Public Diplomacy Assistant is in the process of adding
several features to the Virtual Presence Post (VPP) website
(http://somalia.usvpp.gov/) highlighting the activities being
carried out inside Somalia under the grants written at the end of
FY09. Many of these activities have included a high level of
branding, representing a leap forward in our public diplomacy
efforts inside Somalia. Activities completed to date include a
'youth for peace' workshop in Mogadishu, a microfinance/youth
employment project in which over 100 youth in Mogadishu were given
kits to start shoe shine business, and a vocational center for
youth in Bossaso.

7. (SBU) PAO traveled to CJTF-HOA to meet the new detachment of
psychological operations personnel and discuss how to include the
new detachment in the overall public diplomacy effort toward
Somalia.

8. (SBU) MIST activity: Continued discussions with contractor in
the production of an anti-extremism comic book series. Also
working on developing new programs in light of a decrease in
immediately-available funding, and develop proposals to secure

NAIROBI 00002688 002 OF 002


additional funds.
RANNEBERGER

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