US embassy cable - 88MOGADISHU8032

SOMALI INSURGENCY: ETHIOPIAN COMPLICITY?

Identifier: 88MOGADISHU8032
Wikileaks: View 88MOGADISHU8032 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Mogadishu
Created: 1988-07-06 11:44:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL MOPS PGOB PINS ET UR US SO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 061144Z JUL 88
FM AMEMBASSY MOGADISHU
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5599
INFO AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC//USDP/ISA/DSAA/OPS-D//
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ4/7-S/CCJ5//
C O N F I D E N T I A L MOGADISHU 08032 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, MOPS, PGOB, PINS, ET, UR, US, SO 
SUBJECT:  SOMALI INSURGENCY:  ETHIOPIAN COMPLICITY? 
 
REF:  (A) STATE 214518, (B) MOGADISHU 7910 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT 
 
2.  I TOOK ADVANTAGE OF A MEETING JULY 3 WITH ACTING 
PERMSEC ABDULLAHI EGAL NUR TO PROBE A BIT 
REGARDING GSDR'S CURRENT POSITION ON ETHIOPIAN ROLE IN 
NORTHERN INSURGENCY.  I HOPED IN PARTICULAR TO OBTAIN 
INSIGHT INTO AMBASSADOR ADDOU'S DEMARCHE "UNDER 
INSTRUCTIONS" (REF A), IN WHICH HE SEEMED TO TAKE A 
MUCH MORE FORCEFULLY CRITICAL LINE ON  ETHIOPIANS 
THAN HAD PRESIDENT SIAD HIMSELF IN OUR CONVERSATION 
JULY 1 (REF B). 
 
3.  CHOOSING HIS WORDS CAREFULLY, AMB ABDULLAHI TOLD 
ME SOMALIA DID NOT CONSIDER ETHIOPIANS "CLEAN-HANDED", 
BUT IT LACKED HARD EVIDENCE OF ANY SORT TO SUBSTANTIATE 
ETHIOPIAN COMPLICITY.  SOMALI GOVERNMENT WAS DEEPLY 
DISTURBED BY THE FACT THAT SNM FORCES HAD NOT/NOT BEEN 
DISARMED BEFORE BEING EXPELLED ACROSS BORDER.  IT WAS 
NOT CLEAR, HOWEVER, WHETHER THIS WAS A DELIBERATE 
OVERSIGHT OR MERELY INADVERTENCY. 
 
4.  AMB ABDULLAHI THEN POINTED TO "GROSS EXAGGERATION" 
BY ETHIOPIAN AUTHORITIES OF NUMBERS OF SOMALI 
REFUGEES THAT HAD REPORTEDLY FLED ACROSS BORDER TO ESCAPE 
FIGHTING IN NORTHERN REGION.  ALTHOUGH ETHIOPIANS CLAMED 
TO HAVE RECEIVED OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND REFUGEES, 
SOMALI GOVERNMENT WAS "CERTAIN" THAT FIGURE WAS NO 
HIGHER THAN THIRTY THOUSAND.  I SUGGESTED TO ABDULLAHI 
THAT THIS HAD LITTLE BEARING ON QUESTION OF ETHIOPIAN 
COMPLICITY WITH SNM, BUT HE CONTENDED THAT IT IMPLIED 
AN ANTAGONISTIC BIAS ON ETHIOPIA'S PART. 
 
5.  I ASKED SPECIFICALLY ABOUT EVIDENCE THAT ETHIOPIA 
HAD HELPED RESUPPLY SNM AFTER ATTACKS BEGAN.  HE REPLIED 
THERE WAS NO/NO HARD EVIDENCE, ONLY "CIRCUMSTANTIAL" 
INDICATIONS. 
 
6.  AS I LEFT THE MEETING WITH ABDULLAHI, ESCORTED 
BY PROTOCOL CHIEF ABDI HAJI, I REGISTERED MILD SURPRISE 
TO THE LATTER THAT ABDULLAHI HAD NOT/NOT MENTIONED 
INSTRUCTIONS TO AMB ADDOU (REF A) TO RAISE THIS ISSUE 
WITH A/S CROCKER.  ABDI RESPONDED THAT HE WAS UNAWARE THA 
ANY SUCH INSTRUCTIONS HAD BEEN SENT TO WASHINGTON FROM 
MINISTRY.  HOWEVER, HE CONFIDED THAT ADDOU HAD TELEPHONED 
PRESIDENT SIAD DIRECTLY ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS RECENTLY, 
IMPLYING THAT INSTRUCTIONS COULD HAVE BEEN CONVEYED 
TO ADDOU DIRECTLY BY PRESIDENT. 
 
7.  ABDI HAJI ALSO VOLUNTEERED HIS SUGGESTION THAT 
CROCKER SHOULD CLOSELY QUESTION SOVIET VICE MINISTER 
ADAMISHIN ABOUT ETHIOPIA'S ROLE AND WHAT SOVIETS 
WERE PREPARED TO DO TO ENSURE ETHIOPIANS KEPT 
HANDS OFF.  HE EXPLAINED THAT, WHEN ADAMISHIN 
VISITED MOGADISHU IN APRIL, HE MADE A BIG FUSS ABOUT 
WHETHER SOMALIA COULD PERSUADE USG TO SERVE AS 
"GUARANTOR" OF SOMALI-ETHIOPIAN PEACE AGREEMENT. 
SOVIETS, HE DECLARED, WERE PREPARED TO SIGN ON 
ETHIOPIA'S BEHALF. 
- 
8.  COMMENT:  JUDGING FROM WHAT I'VE HEARD FROM 
PRESIDENT SIAD AND AMB ABDULLAHI, I SUSPECT OUR 
FRIEND ADDOU MAY HAVE PROMPTED THE PRESIDENT TO 
ISSUE THE INSTRUCTIONS HE THEN CARRIED TO A/S CROCKER. 
MORE AND MORE, IT APPEARS THAT PEOPLE AROUND SIAD 
ARE PUSHING HIM IN WHATEVER DIRECTION APPEARS TO 
SERVE THEIR OWN INTERESTS (OR THEIR OWN CONCEPT OF 
THE NATION'S INTERESTS), WHILE SIAD HIMSELF IS 
BUFFETED BY THEIR CROSS PURPOSES.  I DO NOT/NOT BELIEVE 
WE ARE ANY CLOSER THAN BEFORE TO SEEING HARD EVIDENCE 
OF ETHIOPIAN COMPLICITY, BUT IT IS OBVIOUS THAT -- 
WHETHER SIAD LIKES IT OR NOT -- THE BLUSH 
IS OFF OF HIS VAUNTED PEACE AGREEMENT WITH ETHIOPIA. 
 
 
CRIGLER 

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