Cablegate: Why Did Morocco Send Dadis Camara to Burkina Faso?
DE RUEHRB #0022/01 0150743
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 150743Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1046
INFO RUEHRY/AMEMBASSY CONAKRY PRIORITY 0022
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU PRIORITY 0599
RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 0005
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0107
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0204
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1295
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0143
RUEHJL/AMEMBASSY BANJUL 0111
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU 0065
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0524
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0005
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0661
RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA 0574
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 3862
RUEHPA/AMEMBASSY PRAIA 0011
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0727
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0463
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 0047
RUEHDS/USMISSION ADDIS ABABA
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 RABAT 000022
STATE FOR AF/W, INR/AA AND NEA/MAG
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/14/2020
TAGS: PREL PINS GV MO UV
SUBJECT: WHY DID MOROCCO SEND DADIS CAMARA TO BURKINA FASO?
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Classified By: DCM Robert P. Jackson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: Following the Secretary,s conversation with
Minister of Foreign Affairs Taieb Fassi Fihri, the Embassy
was surprised to learn January 12 of the Government of
Morocco,s (GOM,s) abrupt decision to discharge Guinean
junta leader Dadis Camara from the Mohammed V Military
Hospital in Rabat and send him by medical plane to
Ouagadougou. A January 11 telephone conversation between
King Mohammed VI and Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore,
Security Council consideration of the report on the September
28 massacre in Conakry, and pressure from Dadis, supporters
to repatriate him appear to have motivated the GOM,s action.
Believing that President Campaore may have torpedoed French,
Moroccan and U.S. efforts to find an African country that
would accept Dadis for resettlement, King Mohammed VI
intended to place responsibility for continued mediation of
the Guinea conflict squarely in Campaore,s court. The GOM
supported U.S. requests to keep Dadis Camara from using
contracted civilian air arranged by his supporters for return
to Conakry, and transported him via Moroccan &medical8
airlift to Burkina Faso without telling him that he would not
be returning to Conakry. Finally, the GOM pledged continued
support for U.S. and French requests to establish a new
residence for Dadis Camara to keep him out of Guinea and for
Guinea,s transition. End Summary.
2. (C) Embassy Rabat learned the afternoon of January 12
that the GOM intended to facilitate the departure of Dadis
Camara for Burkina Faso by the end of the day. According to
Ambassador Nasser Bourita, Chief of Staff of the Moroccan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dadis Camara was
aware of events in Guinea, had been well enough to travel for
at least three weeks, and his return had been formally
requested by the Guinean Ministry of Foreign Affairs through
the Moroccan Ambassador to Guinea. Bourita stated that King
Mohammed VI, who reportedly spoke with Burkina Faso President
Blaise Compaore on January 11, wanted Compaore to assume
responsibility as mediator of the Guinean conflict vice
remaining angry that he had not been party to the Rabat
Declaration of January 5. It was the king,s further desire
that Dadis Camara not be in Morocco when the UN Security
Council considered the contents of the United Nations report
on the September massacres in Guinea. Bourita asked for U.S.
support to keep the travel secret from the Government of
Burkina Faso, which he stated was not advised until shortly
before Dadis' arrival of the GOM,s intent to deliver Dadis
Camara to Ouagadougou that day.
3. (C) Embassy Rabat demarched the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs late January 12, requesting the GOM not permit Dadis
Camara to utilize a rented airplane arranged by his
supporters in Guinea for return to Guinea. The GOM honored
that request and Dadis Camara departed Rabat for Ouagadougou
between 1845 and 1900 GMT aboard a Moroccan &medical plane8
in the company of two Moroccan doctors (one an
anesthesiologist), a Moroccan nurse, a Lebanese doctor, and a
Guinean cardiologist. Dadis reportedly thought he was going
to Conakry and was &calm8 although the previous day, he had
reportedly told Fassi Fihri that he wanted to return to
Conakry to &cut off hands and heads.8 Camara landed in
Ouagadougou before 21:45 GMT on January 12.
4. (C) The GOM expressed its intent to reach out to the
Government of Saudi Arabia in support of the U.S. and French
demarches urging Saudi Arabia to accept Dadis Camara for
residency, just as King Mohammed VI had reached out to
Gabonese President Ali Bongo, who declined to host Dadis.
The GOM also reached out to General Sekouba Konate on both
January 12 and 13 to reassure him that Morocco remained
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supportive of his efforts to lead a transition. The GOM reportedly also urged President Campaore to host Dadis Camara for more than five days -- as Campaore had reportedly stated the night Dadis arrived.
5. (C) Comment: The timing of the king,s decision was surprising, if not entirely unexpected. While not in accord with the spirit of the January 5 declaration, the GOM had always said that it needed a legal basis to keep Dadis and did not want him in Morocco when the Security Council considered the report on the massacre. The GOM remains hopeful that Dadis Camara will not return to Guinea.
Morocco,s willingness to work with the U.S. and France to prevent Dadis from taking contracted air back to Guinea, bought some time. Moreover, Morocco remains interested in participating in the international contact group meeting in Addis Ababa in late January. End Comment.
6. (U) Conakry and Tripoli minimize considered.
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