Viewing cable 07ADDISABABA68
Title: SOMALILAND PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS COUNTER-TERRORISM

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07ADDISABABA682007-01-09 16:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Addis Ababa
VZCZCXRO3229
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #0068/01 0091615
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 091615Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3990
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
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 000068 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF AND AF/E 
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER 
CJTF-HOA FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/01/2032 
TAGS: PREL PBTS PINR PTER SO ET DJ XA
SUBJECT: SOMALILAND PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS COUNTER-TERRORISM 
COOPERATION 
 
REF: ADDIS ABABA 60 
 
Classified By: POLOFF ERIC WONG.  REASONS: 1.4 (B), (C), (D). 
 
¶1. (S) SUMMARY.  In a January 9 meeting with Ambassador, 
Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin appealed for 
international recognition and support, highlighting 
Somaliland's political progress and its commitment to 
democracy and regional stability.  Kahin, accompanied by 
Finance Minister Hussein Ali Dualeh, asserted that 
recognition of Somaliland would serve as a bulwark against 
the emergence of expansionist Somali groups (like the CIC) 
seeking to destabilize the Horn of Africa through the pursuit 
of a "greater Somalia."  Kahin asked that the USG support 
efforts to seek recognition by African states, and noted that 
Somaliland was actively lobbying east and west African 
leaders.  Kahin and Dualeh expressed concern that TFG 
President Yusuf was failing to accommodate Hawiye, and that 
disarmament in Somalia would not be possible unless all clans 
were disarmed simultaneously and under international 
supervision.  Kahin and Dualeh warned that civil war would 
ensue, if union with Somalia were imposed on Somaliland. 
Citing the importance of bilateral relations with the United 
States, President Kahin pledged to comply by "early February" 
with a USG request to release a detained Somalilander, and 
expressed interest in visiting Washington in March or April. 
Kahin attributed tensions between Somaliland and Djibouti to 
President Guelleh's concerns about commercial competition 
between Djibouti and Berbera ports.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (U) Ambassador and deputy pol-econ counselor met January 9 
with Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin and Finance 
Minister Amb. Hussein Ali Dualeh.  Kahin said Somaliland was 
"now in limbo" but deserved support from the international 
community, due to its establishment of rule of law, good 
governance and democracy, and commitment to 
counter-terrorism.  Those who failed to assist Somaliland 
now, may regret the decision in the future, he warned. 
Somaliland was "viable":  its population of 3-4 million was 
six times that of Djibouti.  Reviewing Somaliland's political 
history since independence in 1960, Kahin said Somaliland had 
voluntarily initiated a union with southern Somalia in 1960, 
and then chose to "withdraw from that failed union" in 1991, 
a decision reaffirmed by the 1997 constitutional referendum 
monitored by U.S. observers.  Somaliland had established rule 
of law and good governance:  promoting reconciliation among 
warring clans via the 1993 Borama conference, demobilizing 
50,000 militia, establishing a bicameral parliament, and 
holding national elections in 2003.  Kahin said his 
assumption of the presidency upon the death of Mohamed 
Ibrahim Egal in 2002 had been a constitutional transition 
nearly unparalleled in Africa.  As a former British 
protectorate, Somaliland's borders (unlike southern 
Somalia's) were recognized by several international treaties. 
 Somaliland controlled its borders and prevented piracy in 
the Gulf of Aden, but suffered with Ethiopia as the "first 
victims" of instability in southern Somalia, he added. 
 
¶3. (U) Recognizing that nations were built on principles and 
beliefs, not just ethnicity, Somalilanders had sought to 
break the "cycle of conflict" associated with the quest for 
"a greater Somalia," Kahin said.  Indeed, Somaliland, rather 
than southern Somalia, had a greater historical affinity with 
Ethiopia's Somali region, but had forsworn any such designs 
in order to promote regional stability, Kahin said.  Minister 
Dualeh added that by dispelling the persistent "dream of 
greater Somalia" espoused by the Council of Islamic Courts 
(CIC) and other potential extremist groups, recognition of 
Somaliland would promote the security of Ethiopia, Kenya, and 
Somalia. 
 
¶4. (C) Seeking Somaliland's recognition by the African Union, 
Kahin said he had met with east African leaders (Ethiopia, 
Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia); Somaliland Foreign 
Minister Abdillahi Duale (reftel) was traveling to Ghana and 
Togo in order to lobby west Africans.  Kahin said UK 
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Lord 
 
SIPDIS 
Triesman had agreed to push African states to recognize 
Somaliland, and urged that the USG do the same. 
 
 
ADDIS ABAB 00000068  002 OF 003 
 
 
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CONCERN ABOUT CIC THREAT BUT DISDAIN FOR TFG 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
¶5. (C) As the situation in southern Somalia jeopardized 
Somaliland's peace and stability, Somaliland was unrivaled in 
its ability and motivation to monitor developments in 
Mogadishu, Kahin said, where several terrorists detained in 
Somaliland had organized.  He noted that the CIC had publicly 
targeted both himself and Finance Minister Dualeh for 
assassination, as well as Transitional Federal Government of 
Somalia (TFG) officials.  While Somaliland had united warring 
factions to rise out of anarchy, TFG President Yusuf was 
incapable of reconciliation, Kahin said.  The principal clash 
in southern Somalia was between the Darod and Hawiye clans, 
and others were ignored.  Instead of appointing a Hawiye as 
military chief, Yusuf had appointed police, military, and 
intelligence chiefs solely from his Darod clan, prompting 
disarmament to fail.  Minister Dualeh observed that 
disarmament would succeed only if all clans were disarmed 
simultaneously, under international supervision; the UN 
Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) had failed in 1993 because 
the Hawiye had felt they were being disarmed first.  Hawiye 
and Darod comprised 38 per cent and 18 per cent of the 
population respectively in southern Somalia, Dualeh added. 
Siad Barre, a Darod, had needed to break the Hawiye's 
stranglehold on Mogadishu; Yusuf's failure to compromise with 
other clans would render him "only a guest of the Hawiye," 
Dualeh said. 
 
¶6. (C) Asked about Somaliland's relationship with the TFG, 
Kahin responded that no agreement with Yusuf was possible so 
long as Yusuf continued to lay claim to Somaliland.  Noting 
that 50,000 had died fighting for independence, Kahin 
asserted that the only solution was co-existence:  "Somalia 
must be accepted as two entities, side-by-side; Somalia and 
Somaliland."  The TFG was "an insult" to the Somali people, 
Kahin said, having failed to achieve anything, in contrast to 
authorities in Somaliland.  It was an injustice that 
Somaliland remained a victim of "a failed state," Kahin said. 
 Ambassador Yamamoto observed that dialogue between the two 
needed to precede any movement toward recognition.  Minister 
Dualeh recalled that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles had said 
he had acceded to Eritrean independence in order to avoid 
another 30 years of war; civil war among Somalis would result 
if Somaliland were "forced into a union." 
 
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COMMITTED TO COUNTER-TERRORISM COOPERATION 
------------------------------------------ 
 
¶7. (S/NF) Pres. Kahin underscored Somaliland's constitutional 
commitment to combat terrorism, its security cooperation with 
Yemen, and its ongoing trials of terrorists.  The most 
capable members of Somali intelligence had been 
Somalilanders, he said, trained by the United States, Russia, 
and Egypt.  Somaliland was a "Muslim state that is willing to 
fight fanatics," he added, citing examples of bilateral 
cooperation with U.S. authorities.  Kahin pledged to comply 
by "early February" with a USG request to release a detained 
Somalilander, as he did not wish the matter to be "an 
obstacle in our relationship."  Underscoring its sensitivity 
and likely parliamentary concerns about its 
constitutionality, Kahin said knowledge of the matter was 
limited to himself, Finance Minister Dualeh, Foreign Minister 
Duale, and Somaliland's intelligence chief.  Noting his own 
previous experience as a colonel in Somali intelligence, 
Kahin asserted that the detainee was a terrorist who had 
sought to overthrow the democratic order, by plotting to kill 
Kahin and other Somaliland officials, and to assist the CIC. 
Nevertheless, Kahin said, the detainee would be released, 
perhaps via Addis Ababa, so long as he never returned to 
Somaliland.  Documents detailing the detainee's associations 
would not appear in court, Kahin added.  However, in return, 
Somaliland sought aid from the USG:  the United States 
supported democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan; why not 
Somaliland, Kahin asked. 
 
¶8. (C) Amb. Yamamoto expressed appreciation for Somaliland's 
cooperation, and observed that the USG had been working on 
 
ADDIS ABAB 00000068  003 OF 003 
 
 
how to support Somaliland since President Egal's 1999 visit 
to the United States.  Much of the USD 2-5 million in annual 
USG aid to Somalia went to Somaliland, including support for 
former Foreign Minister Edna Adan Ismail's hospital for 
women, he added.  Pres. Kahin said he would work with the USG 
on a visit to the United States.  He added he would plan to 
do so in March or April, and would contact Amb. Yamamoto 
regarding the modalities.  Amb. Yamamoto expressed support 
for Somaliland's representative in Washington, highlighting 
that while a visit would be symbolic, substantive follow-up 
discussions would be key. 
 
¶9. (C) Pres. Kahin attributed tensions between Somaliland and 
Djibouti to President Guelleh's concerns about commercial 
competition between Djibouti and Berbera ports, noting that 
he and Guelleh were family members, and that Djibouti and 
Somaliland were comprised of the same clans.  In response to 
Kahin's request for assistance in improving port 
infrastructure to handle nearly 2 million livestock exported 
annually, Amb. Yamamoto noted that the USG could examine 
addressing phytosanitary standards and improving facilities. 
 
¶10. (SBU) BIO-NOTE:  Finance Minister Hussein Ali Dualeh was 
born in Hargeisa.  Dualeh said that following military 
training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he returned 
to Somalia in 1960 and was arrested (and acquitted) with TFG 
President Abdullahi Yusuf for participating in an abortive 
1961 coup against Somaliland's union with Somalia.  He later 
served as Yusuf's deputy when Yusuf was deputy military 
commander near Dolo.  Dualeh served as President Said Barre's 
ambassador in Uganda and Kenya in the 1970s. 
 
¶11. (C) COMMENT:  President Kahin and Finance Minister Dualeh 
underscored Somaliland's desire to strengthen strategic ties 
with the United States, consistent with previous statements 
by Foreign Minister Abdillahi Duale (reftel).  A Washington 
visit by President Kahin provides an important opportunity to 
consolidate relations with a pro-Western regime in the Horn 
of Africa that not only seeks greater international 
engagement, but also views itself as committed to democracy, 
counter-terrorism, and combating radical Salafism.  END 
COMMENT. 
YAMAMOTO