Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 5408 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YM YI YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 09LONDON1701, SOMALIA/HOA: PDAS CARTER INFORMED THAT UK TO INCREASE SOMALIA ENGAGEMENT REF: LONDON 1635 Classified By: Acting Political Counselor Daniel McNicholas, reasons

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09LONDON1701.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09LONDON1701 2009-07-24 13:01 2011-02-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy London
VZCZCXRO5716
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHLO #1701/01 2051311
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241311Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2950
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 001701 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/E, AND AF/RSA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/23/2019 
TAGS: PREL EAID MASS PHUM PINR XW SO KE ER ET UK
SUBJECT: SOMALIA/HOA: PDAS CARTER INFORMED THAT UK TO INCREASE SOMALIA ENGAGEMENT REF: LONDON 1635 Classified By: Acting Political Counselor Daniel McNicholas, reasons
1.4 (b/d)

1.(C) Summary. Foreign Office East Africa and Great Lakes DAS-equivalent Jonathan Allen told AF PDAS Carter July 22 that ministers decided July 21 that Somalia "matters a lot to UK interests" and the British Government should put more resources into supporting the TFG and AMISOM, as well as the regions of Somaliland and Puntland. This is a 180-degree shift from UK policy advanced by Allen's predecessor. Allen agreed the TFG should focus its efforts on Mogadishu and then increase its base from there with AMISOM's support. Stopping support to al-Shabaab is critical to the TFG's survival, and the UK supports individual named sanctions against Eritreans and broader sanctions against Eritrea, if it does not stop its support. Noting BBC Somali Service's independence, Allen agreed to look into a possible bias in its reporting. On Kenya, Allen strongly supported close U.S.-UK cooperation to move the reform agenda forward, supported by elements of the Kenya civil society and media. On Ethiopia, he agreed the 2010 elections were unlikely to be free and fair and that it was important to focus on governance as a way to make them "acceptable." He said the UK is reviewing its support to Ethiopia in September, when it will consider the decreasing political space under President Meles. End summary.

2.(C) AF PDAS Carter discussed supporting the TFG in Somalia and the Somali regions of Somaliland and Puntland, the negative role of Eritrea in Somalia, the restrictive political space in Ethiopia, and moving reform forward in Kenya with Foreign Office East Africa and Great Lakes Director Jonathan Allen, Somalia Research Analyst Cedric Barnes, and DFID East and Central Africa Head of Office John Gordon on July 22.

3.(C) Indicating a 180-degree policy shift, Allen said the UK Government had been reviewing its Somalia policy (reftel) and ministers had decided July 21 that Somalia "matters a lot to UK interests" for migration, counter terrorism (CT), and humanitarian reasons, and that the UK needs to put more resources into dealing with Somalia. Allen said the UK plans to pursue a twin track of support. First, the UK will support the TFG, which is "fragile but still the best game in town," and UN processes, primarily through AMISOM. Secondly, the UK will do more work with Somaliland and Puntland. Allen agreed that the TFG should focus on Mogadishu for now, establishing security with AMISOM's help, delivering services, and encouraging governance and accountability as much as possible. He also agreed that countering al-Shabaab would be the TFG's most important task in the near-term and that it needed more support to do that. Allen took on board the need to encourage more African states to participate in AMISOM and that it was more important to focus on building AMISOM's capacity rather than expanding its mandate. He said the UK thought bordering countries should not be involved in AMISOM, as their domestic political concerns could compete with AMISOM's mission. Carter said the USG supports AMISOM funding coming from UN assessed costs, and Gordon said the UK was leaning in that direction. It would still be critical to pressure the UN to fulfill its obligations.

Eritrea and Sanctions 
---------------------

4.(C) Allen said Eritrea was a spoiler, especially because of the support it supplies directly to or allows to be provided to al-Shabaab. He agreed that stopping support to al-Shabaab would be critical for the TFG's survival and said the UK supported sanctions against named Eritrean individuals. Sanctions should only go broader than that if Eritrea continues its unhelpful behavior. Allen agreed that sanctions against Eritrea would be an effective point for demarching Arab states about discouraging support that may emanate from within their borders, and he took on board that the EU's loan was not an effective form of engagement with Eritrea. He said the EU was close to turning off all its support to Eritrea.

Somaliland 
----------

5.(C) Allen said the UK plans "to thicken" its support to Somaliland, though the British government is not considering recognition at this stage. He conceded that the UK government would only look at recognition if south central Somalia appears to be in chaos for another 20 years, as the UK wants to support democracy in Somaliland and to continue LONDON 00001701 002 OF 003 its CT cooperation. Allen said the UK had been stressing to the Somaliland authorities the need for the September elections to take place. Carter acknowledged Somaliland's need to re-burnish its democratic credentials through an election and said that the U.S. and UK should coordinate more on Somaliland, especially on CT programming.

Puntland 
--------

6.(C) Allen said the UK is talking to the Puntland authorities more and trying to assess the British government's ability to work with them. The Puntland President had recently been in London and "pretty much said all the right things," including on the coast guard and alternative livelihoods. Noting that the UK was under no illusion about who they were dealing with and the connection of the Puntland authorities to piracy, he said the UK was considering maritime support in particular, possibly with the EU. Allen said the risk-versus-reward relationship with piracy needs to be changed, and the best way to do that may be to bolster the Puntland's coast guard while keeping EU or UK personnel involved in all Puntland operations. Carter noted that it is also important for the international community to deal with the fishing and toxic waste dumping issues along the Puntland coast. Allen also noted that the Contact Group on Somalia had little support and interest in the international community, but that the Contact Group on piracy had lots. He suggested the U.S. and UK should work to get China and Russia more engaged on the corollary issues to piracy. Carter said the industry should be doing more and that the USG questions the effectiveness of establishing a special tribunal to deal with justice issues related to the pirates. Barnes said that while there is not currently an al-Shabaab piracy link with Puntland, it would be possible for al-Shabaab to squeeze Puntland more, if the TFG fails, and establish links with pirates.

BBC Somali Service 
------------------

7.(C) Carter presented Allen with the information about a possible bias in the BBC Somali Service's reporting. Allen noted that the Somali Service maintains complete independence, but agreed to look into it. 

Kenya 
-----

8.(C) Allen strongly supported the need for the U.S., UK, and international community to work together to pressure the Kenyan government on the reform agenda. He said the UK's three objectives were constitutional reform to eliminate the conflict that results in a winner-take-all system, electoral support to favor transparency and legitimacy, and SRR and police support to deal with any violence that arises. Carter also noted the importance of the Kenyan media and civil society in pressuring the government elite on accountability and reform issues. Allen agreed it was important to broaden the base of the political agenda in Kenya and said the U.S. and UK embassies cooperated well on the ground. On the violence in the wake of the previous elections, Allen said he anticipated the Kenyans would set up a special tribunal and agreed that funding for that tribunal, if requested, may be the best mechanism to ensure that it is a transparent and independent institution.

ICC 
---

9.(C) In light of the recent high-level African ICC cases, Carter said it was important to deal with the perception that the ICC only takes on African cases. Allen agreed.

Ethiopia
--------

10.(C) Allen agreed that the 2010 elections in Ethiopia would likely not be free and fair and that a focus on governance would be the only way to make them "acceptable" without disengaging Ethiopia entirely. Gordon argued that it was tough to deal with President Meles' autocratic, state-led growth policy because the social development indicators are improving. Carter noted that the Ethiopian systems that result in improved social development indicators are financed by foreign development assistance and are not sustainable. Also, Meles is increasingly reducing the political space in Ethiopia. Allen said the UK Government is reviewing its assistance programs and policy on Ethiopia in September and LONDON 00001701 003 OF 003 will be considering these issues.

11.(U) This cable was cleared by PDAS Carter. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX Kingdom LeBaron