Viewing cable 04DJIBOUTI310
Title: DJIBOUTIAN RESPONSE TO NEW U.S. LANDMINE POLICY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI3102004-03-04 14:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000310 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR PM SEAL AND STICKELS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PM DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTIAN RESPONSE TO NEW U.S. LANDMINE POLICY 
AND VISION FOR REGIONALIZED TRAINING CENTER 
 
REF: STATE 43579 
 
SUMMARY 
-------- 
 
¶1.  (U) POLOFF delivered the tear line of reftel to Ministry 
of Foreign Affairs Senior Councilor Djibril Elabe on March 1, 
¶2004.  Elabe is the MFA representative responsible for 
Djibouti's demining portfolio and organized a "way forward" 
forum for the Djiboutian Humanitarian Mine Action Center 
(DMAC) after their January 29, 2004 declaration of "Mine 
Safe" status.  Elabe welcomed the new landmine policy as 
"progress" but lamented that it was less forceful than that 
previously proposed by former President Clinton.  Elabe went 
on to speak on his vision for the DMAC in Djibouti as a 
regional training center working in collaboration with the 
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
U.S. LANDMINE POLICY 
-------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Elabe described President Bush's new landmine policy 
as "progress."  He posed numerous questions on the life 
expectancy of "temporary" mines as opposed to "persistent" 
mines and whether the U.S. would make this mine technology 
available to developing countries.  He lamented that 
President Bush's landmine policy seemed less forward than 
that proposed by former President Clinton. 
 
DMAC FORUM 
---------- 
 
¶3. (U) Djibouti's Humanitarian Demining Program declared the 
country of Djibouti "Mine Safe" on January 29, 2004.  The 
program was funded by the Department's Political/Military 
Demining section and oversight was provided by RONCO 
contractors.  With the completion of the program, and the 
financing, the MFA organized a forum to examine the future of 
the demining center in Djibouti and ways forward.  POLOFF was 
invited to make remarks at the forum and after offering 
congratulatory remarks focused on four points; that their was 
still some unexploded ordinance (UXO) work for the deminers 
to finish within their borders, that the forum should examine 
how to integrate civil society into what had to this point 
been a uniquely military organization, that the forum needed 
to implement mechanisms that would protect the resources and 
structure of the DMAC from other under-resourced Government 
institutions, and that most importantly the way forward 
rested on the reputation of the DMAC, which had to date 
suffered no casualties in its work, and should not be asked 
to operate outside its mandate or training in bomb disposal 
for example. 
 
THE WAY AHEAD 
------------- 
 
¶4. (U) Elabe noted that an agenda of recommendations had been 
born at the DMAC forum and that he would forward a copy to 
POLOFF.  He continued that he thought with the current 
turbulent environment in the Horn of Africa region the DMAC 
could serve a valuable role as a regional training center for 
other demining operations.  He pointed specifically to what 
he hoped was approaching peace in Sudan and the need for 
demining operations there.  He spoke about the potential for 
Sudanese deminers to come to Djibouti, perhaps through the 
auspices of IGAD, to be trained in Djibouti and perhaps 
partner with Djiboutian deminers in demining efforts in the 
region.  POLOFF commented that he was unsure of IGAD's 
mandate but that he would pass the idea on as one of merit. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 ¶5. (U) Djibouti's response to President Bush's new landmine 
policy was positive if muted.  Elabe seized the opportunity 
to pursue Djibouti's agenda to identify a regional role for 
its Humanitarian Demining Program which is now without 
revenue and at risk of being cannibalized by the 
under-resourced military.  End Comment. 
RAGSDALE