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Cablegate: Au Summit - a/S Carson's Meeting with Burkina Faso

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH(CCY ADX1BDF8D WSC5952 540A)
P 040528Z FEB 10 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7606
INFO RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0951
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 8041
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 000195

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY (DELETED THE CLASSIFIED BY STATEMENT
LINE AND CHANGE THE PARAGRAH NUMBERS
WITHIN THIS MESSAGE.)

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AF/RSA, IO/UNP, AND NEA/MAG
PARIS FOR WBAIN
LONDON FOR PLORD
NSC FOR MGAVIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU
SUBJECT: AU Summit - A/S Carson's Meeting with Burkina Faso
President Campaore

This message is from USAU Ambassador Michael A. Battle.

1. (SBU) January 31, 2010; 20:00; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. A/S Carson thanked Burkinabe President Blaise
Campaore for his leadership in returning Guinea to civilian rule.
President Campaore was appreciative and echoed the need for
continued work and partnership to implement a peaceful, democratic
transition in Guinea-Conakry. He stated that he had assigned a
senior Burkinabe military official to help guide the Guinean
military reorganization process. President Campaore was also
amenable to the idea of an observer force lead by ECOWAS or other
regional actors to reassure civilians and act as a watchdog during
the transition to democratic rule. Both parties expressed
intentions to work together towards implementation of the
Ouagadougou Accord. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) A/S Carson extended greetings from President Obama and
Secretary Clinton, thanking President Campaore for his help on
Guinea. He expressed the gratitude of the USG for Burkina Faso's
actions to help put Guinea-Conakry back on the path of democratic,
civilian rule. A/S Carson reiterated the USG's belief that Captain
Moussa Dadis Camara's presence in Guinea would be a disruptive force
in the democratic transition process. He also expressed the
willingness of the USG to help Burkina Faso implement the
Ouagadougou Accord and foster a peaceful, democratic transition -
notably through assistance in restructuring the Guinean military.
A/S Carson urged President Campaore to continue guiding the process,
noting the regional importance of a democratic transition in
Guinea.

4. (SBU) President Campaore echoed the thanks of A/S Carson,
acknowledging that progress on the Guinea issue is due to a team
effort. Campaore noted Guinea has taken the essential steps toward
a democratic transition, but that the situation remains fragile. He
agreed with A/S Carson's concerns about the return of Camara and the
challenge of restructuring the Army. President Campaore said he
assigned a senior Burkinabe military official to help guide the
Guinean military reorganization process. He expressed concern at
the lack of a civilian political class and deep divisions within in
the Guinean Army. Campaore underscored the challenges of getting
cooperation amongst the disparate political forces. He highlighted
the need to remain vigilant and guide Guinea through this difficult
transition.

5. (SBU) A/S Carson applauded the "appropriate and correct" action
of Burkina Faso. He agreed with the need to reassure the Guinean
military. Carson also affirmed that the USG would continue to
encourage all parties to respect the electoral process, giving
Guinea a chance to transform itself into a strong, democratic
society. Carson reiterated USG commitment to helping reform the
Guinean military and supported Burkina Faso's intent to send a
high-level official to deal with this challenge. Carson also
floated the idea of an ECOWAS or other regional observer force,
consisting of 30-40 civilian and military officials. This force
would be an augmented diplomatic corps rather than a peacekeeping
force, working to reassure civilians and act as a watchdog against
any potential military excesses. A/S Carson closed by urging
Campaore to remain focused on Guinea and reaffirming the
appreciation and thanks of the USG for Burkina Faso's work in moving
Guinea along a democratic path.

6. (SBU) President Campaore responded to the observer force comment
by noting the provisions of the Ouagadougou Accord for
military-civilian observers. He vowed to foster implementation of
the Ouagadougou Accord. In closing, President Campaore expressed a
desire to keep in touch with the United States on this issue.

7. (U) A/S Carson has approved this message.

YATES

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