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Viewing cable 10ADDISABABA288, AU SUMMIT - A/S FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS CARSON MEETS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ADDISABABA288 2010-02-11 12:12 2010-12-17 21:09 SECRET Embassy Addis Ababa
VZCZCXRO1754
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