Viewing cable 07ADDISABABA1131
Title: SOMALI AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES DETAINED FOREIGN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07ADDISABABA11312007-04-13 15:46:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Addis Ababa
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OO RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #1131/01 1031546
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131546Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5614
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 001131 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF AND AF/E 
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER 
CJTF-HOA FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PTER PHUM KISL KAWC KJUS SO ET
SUBJECT: SOMALI AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES DETAINED FOREIGN 
FIGHTERS IN ETHIOPIA 
 
REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 1079 (NOTAL) 
 
     ¶B. ADDIS ABABA 1105 
 
¶1. (U) SUMMARY.  In an April 11 press conference in Addis 
Ababa, Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) 
Ambassador to Ethiopia Abdikarin Farah acknowledged that 41 
suspected foreign terrorists had been captured in Somalia and 
were in Ethiopian custody, and that another 200 were being 
detained in Somalia.  Stressing Somali responsibility and 
Ethiopian assistance in processing the detained suspects, 
Farah refuted allegations that suspects were routinely 
subjected to torture and human rights abuses.  Characterizing 
the detention methods as "procedural" and "transparent," 
Farah asserted that suspects had been subjected to "little 
more than questioning."  The TFG's lack of embassies, 
consulates, and high-security prisons required that suspects 
be transferred to Ethiopian custody, he explained.  Farah 
asserted that Mogadishu was experiencing its most peace 
period in 16 years: foreign fighters supporting the Council 
of Islamic Courts (CIC) were responsible for violent attacks 
in Mogadishu, including "terrorist war crimes" targeting NGOs 
and schools.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
FOREIGN FIGHTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR INSECURITY IN MOGADISHU 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
¶2. (U) Amb. Farah attributed violence in Mogadishu to foreign 
fighters supporting the ousted CIC.  He said that Mujahideen 
had publicly claimed responsibility on April 10 for recent 
attacks in Mogadishu that caused over 100 deaths.  Farah 
insisted that extremists, particularly al-Shabaab elements of 
the CIC, were collectively responsible for more than 300 
assassinations during the last 10 months.  In recent weeks 
the CIC had been targeting intellectuals, women's and 
business associations, ex-militia, and TFG supporters. 
Referring to these ICU-led attacks as "terrorist war crimes," 
Farah said attacks included shooting down an aircraft 
supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and 
firing open shells on schools and restaurants. 
 
¶3. (U) Farah expressed regret that TFG and ENDF defense 
operations had likely resulted in some recent civilian 
mortalities, and offered the TFG's apologies.  Farah asserted 
that Mogadishu was experiencing its most peace period in 16 
years, with no reports of killings in Mogadishu from April 
1-10. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
TFG CONTINUES POLITICAL OUTREACH TO HAWIYE 
------------------------------------------ 
 
¶4. (U) Farah highlighted that a significant number of 
extremists had been killed over the last several months, and 
that immediate threats to TFG and civilian security had been 
significantly reduced by the informal ceasefire of the last 
10 days.  On a parallel note, Farah reported that 
"diplomatic" normalcy was beginning to return to Somalia, as 
Hawiye elders were making significant progress towards 
re-establishing their authority, and had engaged last week in 
a series of meetings with TFG PM Ghedi.  As the most 
problematic of the al-Shabaab leaders had been disavowed by 
his elders, the TFG had made recent inroads towards 
cross-clan dialogue.  Farah said the April 16 reconciliation 
conference would likely be delayed a month, while organizing 
committees in Nairobi sought further funding for it, but that 
the conference was a tremendous tool for continued dialogue. 
 
------------------------------------- 
41 TERRORISM SUSPECTS DETAINED IN ETHIOPIA 
------------------------------------------ 
 
¶5. (U) Farah acknowledged that 41 suspected terrorist 
fighters were being held in Ethiopia.  Of the 41, 29 had been 
brought before a military court and would be released; the 
remaining 12 would be processed shortly by a military court. 
Stressing Somali responsibility and Ethiopian assistance in 
processing the detained suspects, Farah refuted allegations 
that suspects were routinely subjected to torture and human 
 
ADDIS ABAB 00001131  002 OF 002 
 
 
rights abuses.  Amb. Farah said recent press reports alleging 
TFG and Ethiopian human rights abuses of detainees were 
"baseless, unfair, inaccurate, and willfully misleading". 
Characterizing the detention methods as "procedural" and 
"transparent," Farah asserted that suspects had been 
subjected to "little more than questioning."  The TFG's lack 
of embassies, consulates, and high-security prisons required 
that suspects be transferred to Ethiopian custody, he 
explained. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
ANOTHER 200 FOREIGNERS DETAINED IN SOMALIA 
------------------------------------------ 
 
¶6. (U) Farah said that approximately 200 additional foreign 
detainees remained in Somalia.  Citing security and 
diplomatic concerns, Farah declined to provide further 
details.  Farah said that as of April 11, several detainees 
had asked not to be placed in contact with their respective 
embassies (i.e., rejected consular access), while an as yet 
unspecified number of the 200 awaited consular access. 
 
¶7. (SBU) COMMENT:  Amb. Farah sought to underscore the joint 
nature of detainee operations, emphasizing cooperation 
between Ethiopian forces and TFG authorities.  While seeking 
to highlight the "transparent" nature of the detentions, 
Farah disclosed few new details about the 41 detained foreign 
fighters in Ethiopia or the 200 additional fighters detained 
in Somalia.  Farah did not discuss any individual cases or 
nationalities (e.g., detained Amcit Amir Mohamed Meshal) (ref 
B), nor did he suggest that any other Amcit was among those 
being detained.  Separately, Ethiopia's foreign ministry 
announced April 9 that the GOE would try 12 detained foreign 
fighters in a military court as "suspected terrorists".  GOE 
authorities were expected to conduct a hearing on April 13 on 
the status of foreign fighters detained in Ethiopia, but as 
of late April 13 had not publicly announced any decision. 
END COMMENT. 
YAMAMOTO