US embassy cable - 98NDJAMENA443

THE CESS POOL: QADHAFI ORGANIZES THE NEIGHBORS

Identifier: 98NDJAMENA443
Wikileaks: View 98NDJAMENA443 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 1998-02-06 15:55:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL CD LY
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 061555Z FEB 98
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0131
INFO AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 
AMEMBASSY TUNIS 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L NDJAMENA 000443 
 
NAIROBI FOR EMBASSY KHARTOUM OFFICE 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL:  02/06/08 
TAGS:  PREL, CD, LY 
SUBJECT:  THE CESS POOL: QADHAFI ORGANIZES THE NEIGHBORS 
 
REF:  NDJAMENA 402 AND PREVIOUS (ALL NOTAL) 
 
CLASSIFIED BY D. HALSTED. REASON 1.5 (B,D). 
 
1.  (U) PRESIDENT DEBY BROUGHT BACK FROM HIS FEBRUARY 3- 
5 VISIT NEWS OF THE FORMATION OF THE COMMUNITY OF SAHEL- 
SAHARA STATES (COMMUNAUTE DES ETATS SAHELO-SAHARIENS, OR 
CESS).  CESS, ACCORDING TO DEBY'S ANNOUNCEMENT, WOULD 
APPEAR TO BE FIVE STATES: LIBYA, CHAD, NIGER, MALI, AND 
SUDAN.  THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, BURKINA FASO, 
TUNISIA AND EGYPT WERE OTHERS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN 
REPRESENTED AT THE TRIPOLI MEETING, AND MAY ALSO BE PART 
OF THE NEW ORGANIZATION. 
 
2.  (U) DEBY SAID THE IDEA DATED BACK TO 1972.  CESS 
WOULD BE FIRST AN ECONOMIC GROUPING, THEN LATER A 
POLITICAL ASSOCIATION, GIVING A GROUP OF LANDLOCKED 
STATES OCEAN FRONTAGE.  UNITY THEMES FIGURED IN HIS 
DESCRIPTION: "AT A TIME WHEN IMPORTANT GROUPS ARE BEING 
FORMED IN EUROPE AND ASIA, WE HAVE A DUTY, AS AFRICANS, 
TO DEVELOP THE REALITY OF TOTAL AFRICAN INTEGRATION." 
CESS IS TO FOCUS ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION IN AGRICULTURE, 
INDUSTRY, ENERGY, COMMERCE AND FINANCE.  PROVISIONAL 
HEADQUARTERS WILL BE IN TRIPOLI, WITH LIBYAN MAHDI 
AZHARI AS EXECEUTIVE SECRETARY AND CHADIAN ADOUM TOGOI 
AS HIS DEPUTY.  QADHAFI WAS NAMED PROVISIONAL PRESIDENT 
OF CESS. 
 
3.  (C) COMMENT.  CESS IS NOT LIKELY TO AMOUNT TO MUCH, 
AT LEAST WHERE CHAD IS CONCERNED.  IT MAY PROMPT SOME 
DEBATE AS ANY AGREEMENT WILL PROBABLY BE REVIEWED BY THE 
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.  CHAD WOULD GO TO CONSIDERABLE 
LENGTHS TO ACCOMODATE QADHAFI, WHO IS GENERALLY REGARDED 
WITHIN CHAD'S RULING GROUP AS A MENACE.  UNDER BETTER 
CONDITIONS, CHAD WOULD HAVE A GENUINE INTEREST IN A 
ROUTE TO THE MEDITERRANEAN AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CURRENT 
TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS. 
 
4.  (C) THE ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT ADOUM TOGOI SOLVES ANY 
MYSTERY OF WHERE HE WENT AFTER HIS NAME SURFACED AS A 
COUP PLOTTER AGAINST DEBY.  ALREADY A LEGEND FOR HIS 
PRO-LIBYAN SYMPATHIES, TOGOI LOST HIS JOB AS CHAD'S 
AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA WHEN HE GOT INTO A FIST FIGHT IN 
NOVEMBER 1996 YEAR WITH THEN-FOREIGN MINISTER KEBZABO 
OVER DIFFERENCES ABOUT LIBYAN POLICY, ALL RIGHT IN FRONT 
OF A VISITING LIBYAN DELEGATION.  DEBY GAVE HIM A JOB AT 
THE PRESIDENCY SO HE COULD KEEP AN EYE ON HIM.  TOGOI 
WAS REMOVED FROM THAT JOB LAST NOVEMBER, AND THERE 
ENSUED - FOR THIS REASON AND EVIDENTLY OTHERS - THE 
CHALLENGE TO DEBY'S LEADERSHIP FROM FELLOW ZAGHAWAS 
(REFTELS). 
 
 
HALSTED 

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