The cable provides a summary of a meeting held on January 31/2010 in Addis Ababa and attended by US Sate Department Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, National Security Council Senior Director Michelle Gavin, Ambassador Michael Battle, Nobel peace prize laureate former President of Finland Maarti Ahtissari, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Sudan Pekka Haavisto and a few other officials. The meeting covered a number of issues concerning Somalia and Sudan.
As it is a very brief cable, it would be redundant to provide a summary of it.
You may use the links to other websites, provided in the text and at the bottom, if you wish to read more about the persons and issues mentioned in the cable.
Read below the full text of the Cable (taken from Wikileaks)
Reference ID – 10ADDISABABA187
Created – 2010-02-03 13:01
Released – 2011-04-24 00:12
Classification – UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Origin – Embassy Addis Ababa
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SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT: AHTISSARI URGES TRANSATLANTIC COOPERATION
This message is from US AU Ambassador Michael A. Battle.
¶1. (U) January 31, 2010, 4:00 p.m.; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
¶2. (U) Participants:
Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson
NSC Senior Director Michelle Gavin
Ambassador Michael Battle
AF Special Assistant Akunna Cook
Political Officer Lauren Ladenson
AU Desk Officer Ryan Bowles (note taker)
Former President Maarti Ahtissari
Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Sudan Pekka Haavisto
Peace and Reconciliation Adviser Jussi Ojala (note taker)
¶3. (SBU) Summary: Former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Maarti Ahtissari said that transatlantic cooperation at the planning stage of any new initiative is crucial, and called on the U.S. to begin working with others on detailed planning for the independence of South Sudan. Finnish Special Envoy Pekka Haavisto told A/S Carson that the international community, particularly the UN, needed to focus more on Puntland and Somaliland if we wished to curtail piracy. A/S Carson asked Haavisto to look at the issue of raising AMISOM salaries to the UN-standard $1,100 per month in the hopes of recruiting additional countries to contribute troops, as we understand that one of the barriers is primarily the amount of EU financial support. End summary.
Sudan: We must plan for an independent South
¶4. (SBU) Former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Maarti Ahtissari said that the Group of Elders was considering the best way to engage on Sudan. They were asked a week ago to travel to Khartoum, but declined in order to see the results of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s upcoming mission. At the end of May, Carter will report to the Group at their next meeting in Johannesburg. Based on Carter’s report, the Group will consider a trip to Sudan.
¶5. (SBU) Ahtissari reiterated his credentials as a devout Transatlanticist, said that he would tell President Obama that European reticence to be involved in Iraq and Afghanistan could mostly be traced to a lack of joint planning in the early stages of each conflict. He says this points to a need for the U.S. and Europe to work together closely on issues of concern from day one — and that in the case of Kosovo, for example, this coordination proved to be critical to the independent and stable country we have today.
¶6. (SBU) Moving back to Sudan, Ahtissari said that close planning and cooperation was desperately needed on planning for South Sudan’s independence. Unfortunately, he said, the UN, AU, and EU were really unable to discuss the issue seriously prior to the 2011 referendum in Sudan. Given that responsible multilateral institutions could not effectively plan, Ahtissari said that bilateral partners like the United States and others must start work immediately.
He said that we needed to start now to think about how alternative oil pipelines and energy arrangements, among other items, would work. Ahtissari was pessimistic about the prospects for Sudanese unification, and did not believe the North would negotiate quickly or in good faith on the myriad issues inherent in splitting the Sudanese state during the immediate time period following the independence vote.
¶7. (SBU) A/S Carson said he agreed with Athissari’s assessment, and said that independence was inevitable. Carson thought that many governments and individuals were involved in “self-delusion” by thinking that unification remained a viable option, and Ahtissari agreed. Ahtissari finished by saying that as much concern as he has, he feels he can not participate with the other Elders on Sudan, because his prior experience with the secession of Kosovo would remove his neutrality in the eyes of the Northern Sudanese.
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Somalia: Puntland and Somaliland are key
¶8. (SBU) Finnish Special Envoy Pekka Haavisto said he visited Mogadishu in May, and Puntland and Somaliland in August. He is concerned that the international community is not doing enough to provide assistance to Puntland and Somaliland, as he believes that small investments would reduce piracy and strengthen their governments. He is troubled that 15-year-old youth he spoke to in Puntland aspire more to be pirates than any other profession, and says that this points to the need to stimulate the local economy and provide jobs to young people. Haavisto feels that in order to reduce piracy, the UN in particular must be less risk averse and more willing to work in Somaliland and Puntland. He called for international aid to be split 50 percent each for economic development and hard security.
¶9. (SBU) Haavisto felt safe on his 1500 km journey overland to Somaliland and Puntland with six local armed bodyguards he hired for $20 per day, per person. He was advised that he would need 30 guards to safely travel to pirate havens in the two regions. While in Puntland he discussed the prospect of additional aid, and told A/S Carson that Puntland authorities assured him of the safety of any Western aid worker trying to help their people.
¶10. (SBU) A/S Carson took note of Haavisto’s comments, and said that we would like to engage more with both Somali regions. However, our diplomatic security service was still not comfortable with the prospect of our sending diplomats to either Somaliland or Puntland. Carson hoped this situation might change in the future.
¶11. (SBU) Carson moved to the AMISOM mission, and pointed to the need for the AU to pay salaries in line with UN standards. Currently the AU pays $750 per soldier per month, while the UN standard rate is $1,100 per month. We understood that the barrier to resolving this issue is primarily related to the level of EU funding for troop salaries, and that AU Chairperson Jean Ping is in favor of raising salaries. Haavisto promised to look into the amount of EU funding.
¶12. (U) A/S Carson and NSC Senior Director Gavin have cleared this message.
Recent development – It has been reported last March that EU allocates €65.9 million to support peacekeeping in Somalia.