INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Au Summit: Kikwete Willing to Do More On Somalia

Published: Thu 4 Feb 2010 04:25 AM
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SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT: KIKWETE WILLING TO DO MORE ON SOMALIA
THIS MESSAGE IS FROM USAU AMBASSADOR MICHAEL BATTLE
1. (U) February 2, 2010, 5:00 p.m.; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2. (U) Participants:
United States
Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson
USAU Ambassador Michael Battle
NSC Senior Director Michelle Gavin
Special Assistant Akunna Cook
AU Desk Officer Ryan Bowles (notetaker)
Tanzania
President Jakaya Kikwete
3. (SBU) Summary: Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete told A/S
Carson that Tanzania reiterated its offer to train Somali troops
under certain circumstances, said he was optimistic about the
success of reforms under way in Zanzibar, and speculated that
Tanzania might need additional assistance to rebuild in the
aftermath of recent floods. Kikwete also expressed his happiness
with the election of Malawi to the African Union (AU) chairmanship.
End Summary.
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Somalia
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4. (SBU) Meeting on the margins of the AU summit, Tanzanian
President Kikwete reiterated Tanzania's willingness to train Somali
soldiers at a National Service Camp outside of Arusha. He said that
this was not a new offer, and that he was surprised no one had ever
taken advantage of it, but that nonetheless, it still stood.
Kikwete said that Tanzania wanted to make a long-term contribution
to Somalia's stability, and was willing to train Somali police, and
members of Somalia's intelligence service.
5. (SBU) Kikwete recounted Tanzania's long history as a supplier of
troops to UN missions in Darfur and Lebanon, but said that his new
year's message which indicated a readiness to do more in Somalia was
not referring to troop contributions. In response to A/S Carson's
question, Kikwete indicated that raising AMISOM salaries from $750
to the UN standard $1,100 would not make a difference in Tanzania's
decision on sending troops. Kikwete portrayed the decision to
supply troops to AMISOM as a political one, because of the many
casualties that could be expected from suicide bombings and combat.
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Flooding
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6. (SBU) Kikwete appreciated the U.S. contribution following recent
flooding in Tanzania. He said that the central railroad was badly
damaged at more than 20 points on the line, and that repairs would
cost around $20 million. Although he had hoped to pay for repairs
by reallocating budget money, he now thinks that external donor
assistance will be needed. Kikwete did not have a specific request
now, but thought one might come in the future.
7. (U) Kikwete disclosed plans to provide replacement livestock to
Masai people who lost more than 150,000 animals in the floods. For
the Masai, who measure net worth in the number of livestock they
possess, the flood wiped out much of their wealth. He hopes to
provide around 100,000 new animals to the Masai.
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Zanzibar
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8. (U) Kikwete described the political horse trading which took
place in the constitutional reform on Zanzibar. He was clearly
proud of the outcome, which will be subject to referendum soon.
Although the opposition contends that referendum is not necessary --
they could just sign it -- Kikwete believes that referendum would be
good for political buy-in on the part of the Tanzanian people.
Kikwete said he may need assistance from the USG on referendum
costs, and A/S Carson said we would be willing to assist if we
received a request.
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9. (U) Kikwete said the winner of elections will be President of
the Zanzibar Parliament, with two assistants - one from the winning
party and one from the opposition. Ministries will be doled out by
the winning coalition, but governorships (non-members of parliament)
will be awarded in proportion to the popular vote.
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Malawi as AU Chairperson
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10. (SBU) A/S Carson noted that we were pleased at the election of
Malawi to the AU chairmanship. Kikwete exhaled deeply and looked
visibly relieved. He said that Qadhafi was difficult to work with,
and although he believed in the things he said, it was clear that
Qadhafi often simply did not grasp whichever issue was in play. He
said that Qadhafi is an elderly man who in private calls leaders
like Kikwete "my son." Kikwete, who preceded Qadhafi as AU
chairperson, was excited for a fresh start under Malawi.
11. (U) A/S Carson has cleared this cable.
YATES
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