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Cablegate: Au Summit - a/S for African Affairs Carson Meets

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PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #0288/01 0421214
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 111214Z FEB 10 ZDS ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7729
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0955
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 8060
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ADDIS ABABA 000288

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY (ADDED PARAGRAPH 24 TO THIS MESSAGE)

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/C, AF/RSA, AF/W, AF/E, AF/S, AND S-USSE
NEA/MAG, STATE ALSO FOR IO/UNP AND NEA/MAG
PARIS FOR WBAIN
LONDON FOR PLORD
NSC FOR MGAVIN
USEU FOR AFRICA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/10/2020
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU
SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT - A/S FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS CARSON MEETS
FRENCH COUNTERPART

ADDIS ABAB 00000288 001.4 OF 004


Classified By: USAU Ambassador Michael A. Battle, reasons 1.4 (b) and (
d).

1. (U) January 30, 2010, 4:00 p.m.; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2. (U) Participants:

United States
Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson
NSC Senior Director Michelle Gavin
USAU Ambassador Michael Battle
Special Advisor for the Great Lakes Howard Wolpe
USAU A/DCM Joel Maybury
USAU Political Officer Lauren Ladenson
AU Desk Officer Ryan Bowles (notetaker)

France
Director-General for Africa Stephane Gompertz
Ambassador to Ethiopia Jean-Christophe Belliard
Political Officer Frederic Chole

3. (C) Summary: During a meeting on the margins of the
African Union Summit, A/S Carson and French Africa Director
Stephane Gompertz discussed the next steps for Guinea,
including the ECOWAS observer mission and how to resume
foreign assistance. On Niger, Gompertz expressed French
displeasure over Tandja's extension of term, but said
France had no plans to cut its foreign aid. Turning to
Nigeria, Gompertz said the January 28 joint statement sent
a good message. On Madagascar, Gompertz thought that both
SADC mediator Joaquim Chissano and other parties had made
huge blunders. He said the French and U.S. positions
parted ways on who we consider to be at fault. France
does not favor any of the political actors, including the
deposed president, while the U.S. considers coup leader
Rajoelina to be the villain.

4. (C) Summary (cont): Moving to Chad, Gompertz expressed
concern about news that the government was demanding an
end to the MINURCAT peacekeeping mission by March 15. He
hoped an accommodation could be reached by renaming the
mission or changing the mandate. On the Great Lakes
Region, Gompertz said that Paris and Kigali had resumed
diplomatic relations. He concurred that MONUC should not
be terminated this year, as the DRC wished. Gompertz
alleged that Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony was
in Khartoum in late 2009, according to sensitive reporting
from the French DGSE. Finally, on Sahel counter-terrorism
issues, Gompertz said Algeria was blocking the long-sought
conference on coordinating counter-terrorism policy in the
Sahel. End Summary.

---------------------------
Guinea: Progress being made
---------------------------

5. (SBU) A/S Carson met with French Africa Director Stephane
Gompertz on January 30 on the sidelines of the African Union
(AU) Summit in Addis Ababa. Carson began by raising Guinea,
saying that Morocco played a useful role, and things seem to
be turning out well in Guinea. Burkinabe President Blaise
Compaore deserves much credit. Secretary Clinton was
scheduled to call him and offer her thanks soon. Gompertz
feels that Compaore wants to go slowly because he is
concerned about supporters of coup leader Dadis Camara using
force. Paris wants Morocco to continue to be at the center
of resolution in Guinea, but also does not want to exclude
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

6. (SBU) Carson said that the U.S. will participate in the
upcoming security sector assessment, and we are prepared to
be financially supportive of these and other upcoming steps
towards getting Guinea back on its feet. He said we will
fund elections via the International Foundation for Electoral
Systems (IFES) and re-establish our substantial aid
activities. Gompertz said France will also resume, but not
with any more money than before the coup. Principally,

ADDIS ABAB 00000288 002.2 OF 004


France will un-freeze the Conakry-Airport expressway project
that it was funding.

7. (SBU) While the U.S. has not passed any names to Guinean
officials about who would be "unacceptable" for office, the
French have suggested some members of the National Council
for Democracy and Development (CNDD) who would be "toxic."
Carson believes that no military should take part in the
transition election.

-----------------------------------
Nigeria: Joint statement a success
-----------------------------------

8. (SBU) Both Carson and Gompertz felt the January 28 joint
statement was a great success. Carson is pessimistic
about the situation in Nigeria. We thought ailing President
Yar'adua was heading back to Abuja last week, but our
information turned out to be incorrect. Senior Nigerian
leadership are still engaged in self-deception, evidenced by
the recent cabinet declaration that Yar'adua is "not
incapable" of leading. Gompertz said former Nigerian
President Obasanjo is frustrated by his inability to
influence the current situation, which he caused by selecting
a sick Yar'adua as President in 2006. Carson said the U.S.
wants a stable transition without military involvement.

-----
Niger
-----

9. (C) France is embarrassed by the situation in Niger,
created by Nigerien President Tandja's successful hijacking
of the constitution for a third term in office. Tandja
told French President Sarkozy in MarchQQQ8'Ve's inability to
influence the situation, in part because the Nigerien
opposition is disorganized. According to Gompertz, the
Nigerien opposition regularly visits Paris and tells of big
plans to hold demonstrations and rallies, however, in the
end these events never take place. He believes a military
coup is possible, and understands from ECOWAS that
mediation is more or less dead.

11. (SBU) Carson responded that we had cut all
non-humanitarian assistance, which was difficult since
Niger is an important actor on counter-terrorism. Gompertz
said that France does not intend to cut aid, even though
his country's assistance makes up nearly half of Niger's
national budget, because he worries about destabilizing the
country further. He lamented AU rules, which
prevented the AU from taking automatic and decisive action
on Niger because the third term was via constitutional
means.

12. (SBU) Gompertz said he will try and see the Nigerien
Prime Minister soon; according to him, the Foreign Minister
is moderate but has no leverage. Gompertz said ECOWAS was
waiting because Nigeria was paralyzed due to Yar'adua's
condition.

------------------------------
Madagascar: Agree to disagree
------------------------------

13. (SBU) Gompertz raised the subject of Madagascar by
saying that this was "obviously a very embarrassing
subject" for France. He thought the Maputo I and Addis
Ababa agreements were a good start, but that SADC mediator
Chissano blundered on Maputo III by not having full
participation by all parties. The recommendations were
then presented as decisions, when all parties had not
participated in the agreement.

ADDIS ABAB 00000288 003.3 OF 004


14. (SBU) Meanwhile, Gompertz said, coup leader Rajoelina
was also "stupid" and resorted to unilateral measures like
canceling his acceptance of Maputo I. France thinks AU
Chairperson Jean Ping's initiative is a good one, and said
that former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano was upset
merely at Ping's method -- not at the substance.

15. (C) Gompertz said Rajoelina visited Paris recently and
met with him and President Sarkozy's Africa Advisor
Joyandet at the Elysee. Joyandet told Rajoelina that
Ping's proposal was the last deal, and that he cannot avoid
the co-presidency. Rajoelina had no substantive response.
Gompertz said his information from Antananarivo indicated
that Rajoelina would be unable to pay the army from March
onwards.

16. (C) Carson said that we need to avoid having the
mediation favor the "villain" in the situation -- coup
leader Rajoelina. We favor an inclusive, broad outcome
with all political actors included. Gompertz responded by
saying that this was the point of disagreement between the
U.S. and France -- for France, they are all villains, none
caring about the Malagasy people.

-------------
Chad/MINURCAT
-------------

17. (SBU) Government of Chad demands that the UN Mission in
the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) leave Chad
by March 15 are unrealistic, said Gompertz. He noted that
the Chadians
believe the mission has done nothing useful, has not built
anything, and mostly stays at the airport. This is unlike
the European Union Forces (EUFOR) mission, which Chad thinks
is a useful endeavor.

18. (SBU) Carson said it would be a disaster for MINURCAT
to leave prior to South Sudan's independence referendum in
March 2011, as we do not yet know if the vote will lead to
instability along the Chad-Sudan border. Gompertz opined
that if Chadian President Deby sticks to the March 15
deadline, we should offer a face-saving device, like
changing the mission's name or mandate.

------------------
Great Lakes Region
------------------

19. (SBU) Gompertz relayed news that Paris and Kigali
recently resumed diplomatic relations. French FM Bernard
Kouchner visited Kigali to mark the occasion. Rwandan
President Kagame stressed the need for investment and a
fresh start. Kouchner was impressed by the new Rwandan
foreign minister. Rwandan talks with Kinshasa are going
okay, but there is tension in civil society on the talks.
This tension was explained to Kouchner by the Archbishop of
Kigali, who said "look, we had a genocide here."

20. (C) Gompertz said Kouchner discussed the future of the
UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) while in Kigali, and everyone
emphasized to him the need to train Rwandan forces. Carson
said we want to continue MONUC. Gompertz wondered aloud if
DRC President Kabila wanted to end MONUC for domestic
political reasons, or so that he could rig the elections.
Special Advisor Wolpe responded that in his opinion it was
for domestic political reasons only.

21. (S) Gompertz said that the French intelligence service
had sensitive reporting which indicated that Lord's
Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony was in Khartoum six
months ago. Carson said that if that were true it would be
an enormous bad faith gesture by the Sudanese government,
and would show the north's intention to tear apart the
Southern independence movement. It would mean that the
north could not be trusted as an honest partner. Carson

ADDIS ABAB 00000288 004.3 OF 004


said we needed to be 100 percent sure before we could act
on that kind of information.

-----------------------
Sahel Counter-terrorism
-----------------------

22. (C) Gompertz thinks the security situation in the
Sahel remains fairly unchanged from the Paris meetings on
Sahel counter-terrorism (CT) issues six months ago. He said
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) is expanding into
northern Burkina Faso and recruiting in Senegal. The DGSE
believes AQIM will find weakness in northern Nigeria.

23. (C) Gompertz saw the Malian Foreign Minister on
January 29. The FM regretted criticism leveled against his
country for lack of action, and insisted steps were being
taken against AQIM. He said no one supports the Sahel CT
conference favored by the West, and that Algeria is
actively blocking it. Gompertz added that in his view the
Algerians are dismissive of the problem and do not want to
act. Carson said he was troubled by the lack of regional
cooperation. Gompertz said that Sahel issues were poorly
understood in the EU, and asked Carson to help him educate
northern and eastern EU member states on the AQIM problem.
He said that Lisbon implementation made it even harder for
the EU to take a comprehensive look at the Sahel.

24. (U) A/S Carson has not cleared this message.


YATES

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