US embassy cable - 04DJIBOUTI1512

VISIT OF SOMALI PRESIDENT TO DJIBOUTI

Identifier: 04DJIBOUTI1512
Wikileaks: View 04DJIBOUTI1512 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Djibouti
Created: 2004-11-24 06:02:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV PARM PHUM PNAT PBTS PINS PTER DJ SO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 001512 
 
SIPDIS 
 
LONDON, PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2014 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PARM, PHUM, PNAT, PBTS, PINS, PTER, DJ, SO 
SUBJECT: VISIT OF SOMALI PRESIDENT TO DJIBOUTI 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Erinn C. Reed for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (U) Summary: Newly elected President of Somalia, Abdillahi 
Youssouf Ahmed, came to Djibouti for a 24-hour visit on 
November 15, 2004. In a press conference with Djiboutian 
national media during the visit, Abdillahi Youssouf touched 
on the conflicting relations between Somaliland and Puntland, 
how he intends to manage the integration of Somaliland into 
the new federal entity of Somalia, and his three-phase plan 
to restore stability to war-torn Somalia. End Summary. 
 
2. (U) At the end of a 24-hour visit to Djibouti, new Somali 
President Abdillahi Youssouf Ahmed gave a press conference to 
Djiboutian national media. In the conference he explained his 
three-phase plan to return stability to Somalia: (i) 
disarmament, (ii) army building, and (iii) reconstruction of 
the country. Youssouf said he needed a foreign army to help 
rebuild Somalia's national military. His objective was not to 
put Somalia's population face-to-face with foreign forces. 
Rather, in order that these forces be accepted in Somalia, a 
Somali-speaking corps should guide them. He stated that 
Djibouti is closer to Somalia, and added that "we need them 
on our side in this mission." Responding to a question 
concerning what he expected from the UN Security Council 
(UNSC) meeting in Nairobi on November 18 to discuss Sudan and 
Somalia issues, he stated that the UNSC should give financial 
support to an African force, because the African Union is 
still too young to do so effectively. Youssouf reported that 
he will present his program to members of the UNSC and will 
count on the UNSC to mobilize the necessary funds. Concerning 
a question on what the former transitional government, 
created at the Arta conference in 2000, has done and whether 
his cabinet will take the same path, the Somali president 
refused to criticize the former transitional government and 
said he would not repeat the same errors. Instead, he 
highlighted the importance of reconciling people and 
disarmament, two things the former government failed to do. 
He gave himself one year to fulfill these engagements. 
 
3. (U) On Somaliland-Puntland relations, Youssouf said the 
current state of relations does not please him. "I used to be 
President of Puntland, now I am President of Federal Republic 
of Somalia and my duties are to observe the laws." He added 
that the conflict will only be solved by dialogue. On the 
issue of integrating the two self-proclaimed independent 
regions of Somaliland and Puntland, the Somali president 
stated that as soon as he is settled in Somalia, he would 
engage in negotiations with Somaliland. He said he believed 
Somaliland would eventually join the federation. 
 
4. (C) Comment: Sources said that the two presidents 
disagreed on the priorities of sending peacekeeping forces. 
Youssouf reportedly sought the support of Guelleh in his call 
for the international community to send forces to Somalia. 
Guelleh is said to have advised Youssouf that the priority 
was disarmament, not sending troops. He said the Somali 
warlords had to surrender their arms first, then African 
forces could come to Somalia. Guelleh also reportedly said 
that since many of the warlords are now parliamentarians, it 
would be likely that they supported the government. In 
addition, he highlighted the contradiction in having warlords 
in the government while still keeping heavily armed militias 
in Somalia. End Comment. 
RAGSDALE 

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