US embassy cable - 85MOGADISHU1292

LIBYAN ACTIVITY IN AFRICA: SOMALIA

Identifier: 85MOGADISHU1292
Wikileaks: View 85MOGADISHU1292 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Mogadishu
Created: 1985-02-04 05:02:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PGOV PREL PINT SO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 040502Z FEB 85
FM AMEMBASSY MOGADISHU
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2074
INFO AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
S E C R E T MOGADISHU 01292 
 
E.O. 12356: DNG: OADR 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINT, SO 
SUBJ: LIBYAN ACTIVITY IN AFRICA: SOMALIA 
 
REFS: STATE 7202 
 
 
1. (SECRET - ENTIRE TEXT). 
 
- 
2. THE FOLLOWING IS IN RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONS 
POSED IN PARAGRAPH FIVE OF REFTEL. 
 
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3. CURRENTLY THERE IS NO LIBYAN PRESENCE IN SOMALIA. 
 
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4. SOMALIA HAS NO OFFICIAL RELATIONS WITH LIBYA. 
THE GSDR VIEWS QADHAFI AS AN ENEMY BECAUSE HE 
SUPPORTS THE SOMALI DISSIDENT ORGANIZATIONS TRYING 
TO BRING DOWN THE SOMALI GOVERNMENT.   THERE HAVE 
BEEN RUMORS RECENTLY OF TENTATIVE CONTACTS BETWEEN 
SOMALIA AND LIBYA ABOUT RESTORING RELATIONS. 
ITALIANS HAVE TOLD US THAT DISCUSSIONS ARE UNDER 
WAY ABOUT PLACING A SOMALI DIPLOMAT IN THE ITALIAN 
EMBASSY IN TRIPOLI AND A LIBYAN DIPLOMAT IN THE 
YUGOSLAV EMBASSY IN MOGADISHU.  IT SEEMS LIKELY, 
IF TRUE, THAT PRESIDENT SIAD WILL TRY TO USE THE 
LIBYANS' DESIRE FOR IMPROVED RELATIONS AS A LEVER 
TO PERSUADE THEM TO STOP SUPPORTING THE DISSIDENTS. 
 
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5. OVERT OPPOSITION TO THE SIAD REGIME IS CENTERED 
ON TWO DISSIDENT GROUPS, THE SOMALI NATIONAL 
MOVEMENT (SNM) AND THE SOMALI DEMOCRATIC SALVATION 
FRONT (SDSF), WHICH ARE HEADQUARTERED IN ADDIS 
ABABA AND OPERATE AGAINST SOMALIA OUT OF ETHIOPIA. 
WE UNDERSTAND LIBYA HAS BEEN SUPPORTING THESE GROUPS 
FOR SEVERAL YEARS. 
 
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6. LIBYAN SUPPORT FOR THE DISSIDENTS HAS BEEN 
CONSTRAINED ON OCCASION BECAUSE OF THE MOVEMENTS' 
RELUCTANCE TO MERGE AS QADHAFI DESIRES OR TO FOLLOW 
A MORE RADICAL IDEOLOGICAL LINE. 
 
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7. AT THE PRESENT TIME, THE GSDR IS UNLIKELY TO 
SUPPORT LIBYAN SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES ANYWHERE IN 
AFRICA EXCEPT AGAINST ETHIOPIA.  OVER THE PAST 
YEAR, SOMALIA PUBLICLY HAS CRITICIZED LIBYAN 
ACTIVITIES IN CHAD AND ELSEWHERE IN AFRICA, AS WELL 
AS LIBYAN SUPPORT FOR THE SNM AND THE SDSF. 
HOWEVER, SOMALIA DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO 
ASSIST ANY COUNTRY THREATENED BY THE LIBYANS. 
 
- 
8. THE FACT THAT SOMALIA AND LIBYA ARE BOTH ISLAMIC 
COUNTRIES IS NOT A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN THEIR 
RELATIONS WITH EACH OTHER. 
 
- 
9. ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN SOMALIA AND LIBYA IS 
POSSIBLE IF LIBYAN FORCES WERE TO BE SENT TO 
ETHIOPIA AND TOOK UP POSITIONS ALONG THE BORDER 
WITH SOMALIA.  WE BELIEVE THAT FULL-SCALE WAR 
BETWEEN SOMALIA AND ETHIOPIA IS UNLIKELY.  CROSS 
BORDER SKIRMISHES, HOWEVER, ARE RECURRENT AND 
POSSIBLE LIBYAN INVOLVEMENT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED, 
ALTHOUGH THIS WOULD MEAN ADDING A NEW ELEMENT 
TO THE CURRENT SOVIET/CUBAN MILITARY INVOLVEMENT 
IN ETHIOPIA. 
 
BRIDGES 

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