US embassy cable - 90MOGADISHU11003

DISCUSSION WITH MANIFESTO SIGNERS

Identifier: 90MOGADISHU11003
Wikileaks: View 90MOGADISHU11003 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Mogadishu
Created: 1990-12-18 15:06:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINS PHUM MOPS SO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 181506Z DEC 90
FM AMEMBASSY MOGADISHU
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1207
INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY ROME
USIA WASHDC 7929
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOGADISHU 11003 
 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, PINS, PHUM, MOPS, SO 
SUBJECT:  DISCUSSION WITH MANIFESTO SIGNERS 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
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2.  ON DECEMBER 17, DCM HOSTED A LUNCHEON FOR 
SEVERAL SIGNERS OF THE MAY MANIFESTO.  THEY ARE: 
GENERAL ABDULAHI MOHAMED HASSAN, FORMER COMMANDER 
OF THE SOMALI POLICE AND A MAJERTAIN (BIO DETAILS 
FOLLOW SEPTEL); MOHAMOUD SALAH NOOR, ADOLBAHANTE 
AND FORMER LABOR OFFICIAL; ABDULAZIZ NOOR HERSI, 
A LAWYER AND MEMBER OF THE MAJERTAIN CLAN, 
AND MOHAMED GIAMA, A MAJERTAIN AND FORMER AMBASSADOR 
TO THE EC AND FORMER MINISTER OF COMMERCE.  ALSO 
PRESENT WERE OSMAN SAMANTAR, A PROMINENT MAJERTAIN 
BUSINESSMAN, AMBASSADOR BISHOP AND POLOFF. 
 
- 
3.  PEACEFUL RECONCILIATION.  THE GUESTS WERE 
DISCOURAGED BY THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE CAIRO 
ROUND TABLE TALKS, AND BLAMED IT ON THE GSDR 
FOR HAVING ISSUED A STRICT NEW SECURITY DECREE 
AND HAVING ARRESTED SEVERAL MANIFESTO SIGNERS 
(NOTE.  AMBASSADOR GIAMA WAS ONE OF THREE 
MANIFESTO SIGNERS DETAINED FOR APPROXIMATELY 
TWO DAYS DURING THE VIOLENCE IN MOGADISHU TWO 
WEEKS AGO).  ALTHOUGH THOSE DETAINED WERE NOW FREE, 
THE GROUP MADE CLEAR THAT DIALOGUE WITH THE GSDR 
WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE SO LONG AS THE SECURITY DECREE 
IS IN FORCE.  MOREOVER, THEY SAID, THEY HAD 
RECEIVED NO INDICATION THAT CHARGES AGAINST 
THE DETAINEES HAD BEEN DROPPED. 
 
- 
4.  THE MANIFESTO GROUP HAD BELIEVED THE NEW 
CONSTITUTION TO BE A STEP FORWARD; BUT NOW, THEY 
SAID, PRESIDENT SIAD HAD BLOCKED THE PATH OF 
PEACEFUL RECONCILIATION, LEAVING ONLY VIOLENCE 
AS A MEANS OF RESOLVING SOMALIA'S CRISIS. 
NEVERTHELESS, THEY STILL BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT 
A PEACEFUL, NEGOTIATED SOLUTION IS NECESSARY. 
 
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5.  ROLE OF THE U.S.  THE GROUP EXPRESSED THANKS 
FOR THE USG HAVING CUT AID TO THE GSDR.  BY CONTRAST, 
THEY CRITICIZED THE GULF STATES AND ITALY FOR THEIR 
CONTINUED AID TO THE SIAD GOVERNMENT.  THEY ASKED 
THE U.S. TO PERSUADE THE GULF STATES NOT TO AID THE 
GSDR, AT LEAST NOT BY GIVING CASH, WHICH IS USED 
ONLY FOR WEAPONS PURCHASES AND PERSONAL ENRICHMENT. 
THE AMBASSADOR EXPLAINED THE LOGIC BEHIND THE GULF 
STATES AIDING THOSE GOVERNMENTS THAT SUPPORT THE 
POSITION OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THAT HAVE BEEN 
HURT ECONOMICALLY BY THE GULF CRISIS.  HE ALSO 
POINTED OUT THAT THE GULF STATES ANNOUNCED THEIR 
USD 70 MILLION AID FOR SOMALIA AT A TIME WHEN 
CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM LOOKED MORE PROMISING THAN 
IT DOES NOW. 
 
- 
6.  THE GUESTS ALSO ASKED THE U.S. TO CONTINUE 
TO PERSUADE BOTH THE GSDR AND THE VARIOUS 
OPPOSITION GROUPS TO NEGOTIATE WITH ONE ANOTHER. 
MOHAMOUD SALAH NOOR DISAGREED WITH THE AMBASSADOR'S 
REMARK THAT U.S. INFLUENCE WITH THE GSDR WAS NOW 
LIMITED PRECISELY BECAUSE WE HAD SLASHED AID. 
NOOR MAINTAINED THAT THE OPPOSITE WAS TRUE: WITHOUT 
U.S. AID, SIAD'S POSITION WAS MORE DESPERATE THAN 
EVER.  HE WOULD THUS BE WILLING TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING 
TO GET THE MONEY FLOWING AGAIN. 
 
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7.  FEDERALISM AND SOMALIA.  THE GUESTS ALL 
SEEMED TO HAVE READ DAS HICKS' SPEECH ON 
FEDERALISM AND THE HORN OF AFRICA (USIS HAS 
DISTRIBUTED MORE THAN 100 COPIES, AND CONTINUES 
TO RECEIVE REQUESTS FOR MORE).  DESPITE ARGUMENT 
TO THE CONTRARY, ALL SOMALIS PRESENT SEEMED TO 
EQUATE FEDERALISM WITH PARTITION, WHICH THEY DO NOT 
WANT FOR SOMALIA.  ONE PARTICIPANT MAINTAINED THAT A 
FEDERAL SYSTEM WOULD INVITE THE SNM AND OTHERS BENT ON 
SECESSION TO DESTROY THE UNITY OF SOMALIA. 
 
- 
8.  THE MILITARY SITUATION.  SAMANTAR, WHO IS 
A CLANSMAN AND CLOSE FRIEND OF GENERAL MORGAN, 
CLAIMED THAT THE GENERAL HAD LEFT MOGADISHU FOR 
THE CENTRAL REGIONS ON DECEMBER 16, ACCOMPANYING 
TWO CONTAINERS FILLED WITH SOMALI SHILLINGS (SOSH). 
THE MONEY, ACCORDING TO SAMANTAR, WOULD BE DISHED 
OUT 100,000 SOSH PER DEAD BODY, TO THOSE WHO KILLED 
THE ENEMY.  SAMANTAR SAID MORGAN HAD ONLY 1,000 
POORLY-TRAINED RECRUITS AT HIS COMMAND FOR HIS 
CENTRAL REGION OFFENSIVE.  MOST OF THEM ARE OGADENI, 
HOT TO REVENGE HAWIYE ATTACKS ON THEIR REFUGEE 
CAMPS IN THE CENTRAL REGION. 
 
- 
9.  SAMANTAR ALSO CLAIMED THAT GENERAL MORGAN 
WOULD SOON TRAVEL TO CAIRO, AND THAT THE ROUND 
TABLE TALKS WOULD BE RESCHEDULED FOR MID-JANUARY. 
 
- 
10.  COMMENT.  LATER THE SAME DAY, THE EGYPTIAN 
AMBASSADOR TOLD AMBASSADOR BISHOP THAT THE GOE 
WOULD SOON LAUNCH A UNILATERAL PEACE INITIATIVE, 
CONSISTING OF INVITING THE VARIOUS PARTIES OF 
THE SOMALI CONFLICT ONE-BY-ONE TO CAIRO FOR 
DISCUSSIONS.  IT IS POSSIBLE THAT MORGAN'S VISIT 
TO CAIRO WILL FALL WITHIN THIS FRAMEWORK.  ON THE 
OTHER HAND, HE MIGHT SIMPLY INTEND TO ASK FOR ARMS. 
 
- 
11.  WE HAVE BEEN RECEIVING CONFLICTING INFORMATION 
ON THE PROGRESS OF GENERAL MORGAN'S OFFENSIVE, 
ALTHOUGH NONE OF IT POINTS TO SUCCESS.  NUMEROUS 
SOMALI ARMY CASUALTIES HAVE BEEN FLOWING BACK INTO 
MOGADISHU AND THERE ARE REPORTS OF RENEWED FIGHTING 
NEAR JOHAR AND MAHADE WEYNE, ABOUT 100 KM FROM THE 
CAPITAL. 
 
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12.  THE GROUP'S RESPONSE TO DAS HICKS' SPEECH IS 
TYPICAL OF THOSE WE HAVE RECEIVED SO FAR:  PLEASURE 
THAT SOMEONE IS GIVING SERIOUS THOUGHT TO THE 
HORN AND ITS PROBLEMS, GREAT INTEREST IN THE SPEECH, 
BUT STRONG RESISTANCE TO THE IDEA OF FEDERALISM FOR 
THIS COUNTRY.  END COMMENT. 
 
BISHOP 

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