PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2745 3441652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091652Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7843
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3121
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
UNCLAS NAIROBI 002745
DEPT FOR AF/E AND A/S FRAZER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT PGOV PREL OVIP SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - SCENESETTER FOR A/S KIMMITT'S PARTICIPATION IN UN
1. (SBU) Post welcomes your visit to Nairobi for the UN/Government
of Kenya Conference on Piracy. The conference is an opportunity to
help shape the international community's response to Somali piracy.
The conference conclusions may also feed Washington deliberations in
advance of the planned New York ministerial on piracy.
2. (U) Over 150 delegates from morethan 50 invited countries and
international organizations will gather for a day of technical
talks, preceding a ministerial on day two, in which you'll
participate. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and Special Envoy for
Somalia John Yates will accompanyyou. After opening remarks by the
UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Ahmedou
Ould-Abdallah, and addresses by Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and
Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, the plenary will discuss
international, regional, and Somali-based responses to piracy. The
day ends with issuance of a communiqu.
3. (SBU) If you agree, from among the participating delegates we
have scheduled meetings for you with the UK's Lord Allen West,
Minister for Home Affairs and Security, and French Special Envoy for
Piracy Mrs. Chantal Poirot. At Ambassador Ranneberger's suggestion
Puntland President Mohammed Muse Hersi has also agreed to meet with
you, should you choose.
4. (SBU) This year to date, Somali pirates, mostly from the
northern semi-autonomous Puntland region, have launched 105 attacks,
resulting in 64 successful ship hijackings. Currently 13 ships are
being held, including the weapons ship M/V Faina and the ultra large
crude carrier M/V Sirius Star. Shipping and insurance companies
have reportedly paid between $30 and $50 million in ransoms to
Somalia pirates this year. Ransom money has probably made its way
into local politicians' pockets, as well as the regions' economies.
Ransoms are reportedly driving a new market for luxury goods in
Puntland, and may be behind a purported rise in the price of real
estate as far away as Mombasa, Kenya.
5. (SBU) As delegations gather here in Nairobi and later in New
York, we urge Washington to build into its longer-term piracy
strategy comprehensive economic- and politically-based land
solutions, as well as sea-based ones. The up-tick in piracy is the
result of a collapse of Somalia's economic, political and security
situation. Sea-based solutions are necessary in the short and
medium term. But without a concerted effort to politically solve
Somali piracy on land, sea-based solutions will require potentially
expensive, dangerous, open-ended commitments by shippers and navies
to deter pirate attacks over thousands of square miles of ocean.
Sea-based solutions risk distracting international navies from their
more important counter-terror and counter-proliferation missions.
6. (SBU) A land solution to Somali piracy would involve mustering
increased international support for a peace keeping operation for
Somalia, as well as finding financial support (from Arab states, for
example) for joint TFG and moderate Islamist security forces
projected to stand up in the first half of 2009. Likewise,
continued pressure on Puntland, where pirate networks are based,
will reinforce our message of transparent government and cooperation
on our counterterrorism and anti-piracy initiatives. In
Washington's piracy response planning, and in light of renewed
international attention on Somalia, we urge blending land solutions
to Somalia's political woes with sea solutions to piracy.