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Cablegate: Icg Meeting On Guinea Reinforces Jan 15 Ouagadougou

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DE RUEHDS #0128/01 0271211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271211Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7517
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEWMFC/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0948

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 000128

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/FO, AF/W
PARIS FOR WALLACE BAIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU ASEC GV
SUBJECT: ICG MEETING ON GUINEA REINFORCES JAN 15 OUAGADOUGOU
DECLARATION

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The tenth meeting of the International Contact
Group (ICG) on Guinea on January 26 brought no surprises as Group
members were generally encouraged by recent political developments
in Guinea. Discussion focused on reinforcing the January 15
Ouagadougou Declaration through advancing security sector reform,
restarting targeted assistance programs (many of which have been
suspended), reviewing sanctions, and pressuring Guinean stakeholders
to move forward quickly. Although there was a sense of cautious
optimism, ICG members remain deeply concerned about the overall
security situation and the potential for backsliding. During the
course of the meeting, the ICG agreed to officially accept the
Kingdom of Morocco into the Group as a member. The next ICG meeting
is scheduled for February 22 in Conakry, Guinea. END SUMMARY.

--------------------
MEETING PARTICIPANTS
--------------------

2. (SBU) The ICG on Guinea convened its tenth session on January 26
in Addis Ababa. AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping opened the
meeting, but left shortly after delivering his opening remarks,
leaving ICG co-chairs Dr. Ibrahima Fall and Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas
to conduct the rest of the meeting. Organizations and countries
represented included France, the United Kingdom, Libya, Morocco,
China, Japan, Russia, Canada, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, the European
Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Francophonie, the
Community of Sahel-Saharan States (SEN-CAD), and the Organization of
Islamic States. Several senior diplomats were present:
A/S-equivalent Stephane Gompertz of France, the Burkinabe Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minata Samate-Cessouma, UN Special
Representative Said Djinnit of the UN, and the Nigerian Minister of
State for African Affairs. AF DAS Fitzgerald represented the United
States. Guinea did not send a delegation. The last ICG meeting was
held in Ouagadougou on December 13, 2009.

-----------------------------
UPDATE FROM THE ICG CO-CHAIRS
-----------------------------

3. (SBU) Before opening the floor for discussion, Chambas updated
the Group on recent developments in Guinea. Chambas and Fall had
traveled to Ouagadougou, just after learning of the signing of the
January 15 Ouagadougou Declaration, where they were able to meet
with junta leaders Captain Dadis Camara and General Sekouba Konate,
as well as the CNDD (National Council for Democracy and Development)
delegation that had arrived with the intent of escorting Dadis back
to Conakry. According to Chambas, Burkinabe President Blaise
Compaore's successful mediation convinced the CNDD delegation that
General Konate would lead Guinea's transition while Dadis would
continue to convalesce in Ouagadougou.

4. (SBU) Chambas and Fall accompanied Konate back to Conakry on
January 22, along with a Burkinabe General, Ali Traore, who Compaore
sent with instructions to remain in Guinea as an observer and
advisor throughout the transition process. France later strongly
endorsed General Traore's presence, describing him as a
high-ranking, experienced military officer.

5. (SBU) While in Conakry, Chambas and Fall met with the new
Guinean Prime Minister, Jean-Marie Dore. Dore reportedly told
Chambas that he would do everything he could to move the transition
process forward quickly, but that he faces significant challenges.
Dore said that he wants to be prime minister in reality, with real
powers, and wants to make sure that he is given the authority he
needs to direct the process. According to Chambas, Dore said he is
willing to "sacrifice" his candidacy for president, but only if it
means that Konate delegates the appropriate powers of state for him
to fulfill his mandate. Dore also expressed concerns about the
overall security situation, noted that the national coffers are
empty, and requested international assistance to alleviate economic
and social pressures during the transition period.

6. (SBU) With respect to General Konate, Chambas described him as
someone who understands and respects that he has a clear mandate.
"Konate signed an agreement and he is someone who respects his
commitments," Chambas told the ICG. Chambas added that Konate fully
intends to keep the CNDD out of the elections.

7. (SBU) Chambas and Fall also met with representatives of the
Forces Vives, Guinea's loose coalition of opposition forces.

ADDIS ABAB 00000128 002 OF 003


Chambas noted that the Forces Vives were surprised by the
Ouagadougou Declaration and chagrined that they had been left out of
such an important discussion, but were generally happy with the
results, admitting that the Declaration was more than they had hoped
for. However, the Forces Vives told Chambas that it is important
for the government to move quickly to ensure a successful
transition. They expressed concern about the National Transition
Council, noting that if the body is not given a clear mandate, it
could interrupt or delay the electoral process. The Forces Vives
also noted ongoing concerns about the security situation, and
underscored the need for international assistance for security
sector reform.

8. (SBU) Chambas said he left Guinea feeling "more assured" that
most Guinean stakeholders want the transition process to move
forward and are committed to doing so. At the same time, Chambas
remains concerned about the overall security situation, potential
spoilers, and the underlying fragility of the process.

--------------------------
DISCUSSING THE WAY FORWARD
--------------------------

9. (SBU) During the ensuing discussion, there were several
recurrent themes. Nearly all ICG members noted that the transition
process seems to be moving forward positively, but emphasized
concerns about security and Guinea's continued political
instability. The Burkinabe Minister stressed an urgent need for
security sector reform, which was echoed by several members of the
Group.

10. (SBU) DAS Fitzgerald agreed that security sector reform is
needed, but that such a project is more of a long-term process. For
the near term, he emphasized the importance of bringing in an ECOWAS
civil-military observer mission as soon as possible, in order to
bolster security in the lead-up to elections. Fitzgerald added that
the United States is ready to assist with this initiative as it is
essential to have an observer team on the ground. Canada publicly
echoed Fitzgerald's comments while the Nigerian Minister of State
privately expressed support later during a break.

11. (SBU) The Nigerian Minister of State's comments to the Group
focused on security concerns as well. He emphasized the importance
of continued unity among members of the Forces Vives. He also
commended Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore for his willingness to
host Dadis. "It is very important that we keep Dadis out of
Guinea," he noted, adding that Nigeria had already pledged to
provide financial support to the Burkinabe Government to help
maintain Dadis in Ouagadougou.

12. (SBU) On the topic of sanctions, Chambas noted that there are
currently two types of sanctions against Guinea: those that were
implemented in response to the December 28, 2008 coup d'etat and
those that were put in place in response to Dadis' intended
candidacy and the September 28, 2009 massacre. Chambas encouraged
members of the Group to review their sanctions and determine whether
some could be lifted in recognition of recent positive developments.
France commented that some bilateral programs can resume, such as
military and economic cooperation, as soon as the transitional
government is established, stating that "we will strongly consider
restarting some of these programs." The EU cautioned that review of
sanctions should not inadvertently condone impunity for serious
human rights abuses.

13. (SBU) In response to suggestions that the World Bank and the
IMF consider resuming programs in Guinea, the WB representative said
the Bank wants to play a role to help stabilize the transition
process, but needs to hold internal consultations to determine "at
what speed we can engage." He noted that it may be difficult to do
anything in the near term because Guinea is more than $15 million in
arrears on debt payments.

14. (SBU) Buy-in to the Ouagadougou Declaration was another issue
of concern. Although the Forces Vives seem satisfied with the
Declaration, several members of the Group suggested that a more
legally binding agreement should be put in place, such as a
presidential decree. Chambas agreed that such an agreement would be
helpful, but said that it should be put in place quickly and not
launch any "re-negotiation."


ADDIS ABAB 00000128 003 OF 003


------------------------------
MOROCCO ACCEPTED AS ICG MEMBER
------------------------------

15. (SBU) During the discussions, the Kingdom of Morocco requested
that Morocco participate permanently in the ICG meetings on Guinea.
ICG members noted Morocco's recent contributions to advancing the
transition process and agreed that Morocco should participate in
future ICG meetings.

--------------
ICG COMMUNIQUE
--------------

16. (SBU) Following the discussions, the Group negotiated the text
of the communique, which has not yet been officially released. Key
components include:

-- expression of appreciation for Burkinabe President Blaise
Compaore's successful mediation efforts;

-- statement of willingness to support Guinean initiatives to
restore constitutional order, state authority, national
reconciliation, economic and social development, and security sector
reform;

-- an invitation to ECOWAS to enter into negotiations with the
Guinean authorities regarding the deployment of a joint
civil-military observation mission to Guinea as soon as possible;

-- an invitation for countries and organizations to review their
sanctions against Guinea;

-- a re-statement of Item No. 8 of the Ouagadougou Declaration
regarding the non-candidacy of members of the CNDD and the
transition government in upcoming elections;

-- acknowledgement of the UN Commission of Inquiry's investigation;
and

-- admission of the Kingdom of Morocco as a member of the ICG on
Guinea.

-------
COMMENT
-------

17. (SBU) There were no surprises during the meeting as ICG members
were generally encouraged by recent developments and looking to
reinforce the Ouagadougou Declaration. At the same time, it was
clear that ICG members remain deeply concerned about the security
situation and the potential for backsliding. They were focused on
needing to work towards security sector reform, restarting targeted
assistance, and pressuring Guinean stakeholders to stay the course.
Most agreed that time is of the essence.

18. (SBU) On the question of an ECOWAS observer mission, discussion
during the meeting was limited, but there seemed to be continued
support for the initiative, particularly among France, Canada, and
Nigeria. DAS Fitzgerald spoke privately to Chambas who said he
remains committed to getting an ECOWAS observer mission on the
ground as soon as possible, but that the ICG needed to be careful
about the wording in the communique so as to avoid exacerbating
tensions in Guinea, particularly in the Forest Region.

19. (SBU) The next ICG meeting is scheduled for February 22 in
Conakry.

20. (U) DAS Fitzgerald has not had an opportunity to review this
cable.

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