Viewing cable 09CONAKRY557
Title: STRONG REACTIONS TO VISITING HEADS OF STATES'

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09CONAKRY5572009-09-14 16:24:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO5175
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0557/01 2571624
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141624Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4038
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CONAKRY 000557 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM ASEC GV
SUBJECT: STRONG REACTIONS TO VISITING HEADS OF STATES' 
MEETING WITH DADIS 
 
Classified By: A/DCM SHANNON CAZEAU FOR REASON 1.4 B AND D 
 
¶1.  (C) SUMMARY.  Many Embassy contacts are infuriated over 
remarks made by Senegalese President Wade during a public 
meeting with Dadis on September 12.  Liberian President 
Sirleaf-Johnson was also present.  In typical fashion, the 
CNDD orchestrated a major demonstration of popular support 
for Dadis, complete with crowds of women calling for him to 
run for office.  Wade seems to have been widely perceived as 
having demonstrated support for Dadis and is expected to 
actively push other ECOWAS heads of state to support Dadis' 
anticipated presidential bid.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (SBU) Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Liberian 
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf met with CNDD President 
Moussa Dadis Camara on September 12 in Conakry.  In 
anticipation of the visit, some Embassy contacts said that 
the two heads of state were coming to try and convince Dadis 
to refrain from running for office.  Others said they were 
coming as a demonstration of regional support for the 
military junta.  Despite torrential downpours throughout the 
day, Guineans reportedly came out in droves to participate in 
a public meeting with the regional heads of state.  Contacts 
shared widely differing views on what the meeting meant and 
how it was received. 
 
--------------------- 
THE WELCOME COMMITTEE 
--------------------- 
 
¶3.  (C) According to a high-level contact with the Ministry 
of Security, Wade and Sirleaf-Johnson's aircraft landed at 
the airport a full fifteen minutes before Dadis' motorcade 
arrived to greet them.  The same contact said that the 
Government of Guinea had actually paid for the jet fuel to 
get the two leaders here.  Upon arrival, they were greeted by 
hundreds of women on the tarmac calling for Dadis to run for 
President.  At some point during the visit, Wade and 
Sirleaf-Johnson reportedly met privately with Dadis, but it 
is as yet unclear as to when or whether this meeting actually 
took place. 
 
----------------------------- 
WOMEN VOICE SUPPORT FOR DADIS 
----------------------------- 
 
¶4.  (SBU) From the airport, the two leaders were escorted to 
the People's Palace where hundreds of Dadis supporters, 
mostly women, had gathered.  Jeanne Guilavogui, an excellent 
Embassy contact and young woman leader, spoke on behalf of 
the gathered women.  Reportedly speaking with great passion, 
she stated that Dadis' candidacy in the 2010 presidential 
election is necessary to safeguard peace in Guinea, and that 
he should run so as to demonstrate his unquestionable 
political legitimacy.  She then proceeded to present Dadis 
with a new boubou (traditional African robe) in case his 
current garb (a military uniform) proves to be too much of an 
impediment. 
 
¶5.  (C) When asked about her remarks, Jean Guilavogui told 
Pol LES on September 14 that the Ministry of Social Affairs 
had designated her as spokesperson against her will.  She 
claimed that she was reluctant, as a member of civil society, 
to refuse to read the speech.  However, the style and 
demeanor of her reported delivery did not appear to be those 
of someone going against personal convictions. 
 
----------------------------- 
REACTIONS FROM THE VIP GUESTS 
----------------------------- 
 
¶6.  (U) According to internet news site Guinee24, which has 
consistently demonstrated its pro-CNDD bias, President 
Sirleaf-Johnson said "I see the women and I know the power of 
women...As such, I am happy to be here and I have heard the 
women's message and how they see the future of their 
country(everywhere in the world, it is the populations that 
decide the future of their countries and we must respect 
popular will."  Other news outlets reported elements of 
President Wade's remarks, including a statement that he would 
speak with the heads of state of ECOWAS and the African Union 
in order to explain the reality in Guinea. 
 
¶7.  (C) A number of contacts took these two heads of states' 
comments as blatant demonstrations of support for Dadis and 
the CNDD.  An opposition political contact (RPG party) 
condemned Wade's statement as "deplorable," adding that Wade 
is actively advising Dadis to pursue his candidacy while 
planning to convince the international community to accept 
 
CONAKRY 00000557  002 OF 002 
 
 
him as such.  Youth contacts viewed Wade's behavior as a 
betrayal since it is clear that he has decided to offer his 
support to Dadis.  Former prime minister turned political 
leader (FUDEC) Francois Fall emphasized that the Forces Vives 
does not recognize Wade as a mediator since the International 
Contact Group is already playing that role. 
 
¶8.  (C) Although Johnson-Sirleaf made some statements, 
contacts focused their displeasure on Wade who many contacts 
see as meddling in Guinean affairs in order to advance his 
own interests.  Some speculated that Wade's motivations are 
primarily economic.  Contacts claimed that Wade may be 
looking to "work" the situation to the advantage of 
Senegalese business interests, including those of his son, 
Karim Wade.  Other contacts said that Wade's motivations are 
more political and that he is looking to broker a deal in 
Guinea as he did in Mauritania. 
 
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SUCCESS VERSUS FAILURE 
---------------------- 
 
¶9.  (C) Contacts also disagree on whether the visit was a 
success or a serious blunder, largely depending upon whether 
they find themselves in the pro-Dadis or anti-Dadis camps. 
Interestingly, the high-level contact at the Ministry of 
Security suggested that the visit was a disaster, beginning 
with Dadis' failure to receive his guests at the airport upon 
arrival.  Later, the heads of state were supposed to have 
lunch together, but were instead escorted directly to the 
airport, which was seen as a major breach in protocol. 
 
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COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶10.  (C) In recent weeks, a number of Embassy contacts have 
argued that President Wade has his own agenda in Guinea, and 
that it is inconsistent with that of the ICG and ECOWAS. 
When he first seized power, Dadis reportedly held the Malian 
President, Toure, in high regard and viewed him as a role 
model.  However, over the past few months, Dadis seems to be 
less and less enamored with Toure, and more and more inclined 
to express his high regards for Wade, who he has repeatedly 
said he sees as a father figure.  During a press statement on 
September 9, Dadis also referred to an unspecified cash 
contribution from Wade. 
 
¶11.  (C) During the last ICG meeting, ECOWAS Representative 
Chambas maintained a strong position and was clearly 
frustrated with the results of the meeting.  It remains to be 
seen whether Wade's position is divergent with that of ECOWAS 
or whether he is simply signaling where ECOWAS might go in 
the weeks and months ahead.  Guinea's neighbors may be 
worried about a possible conflict in Guinea wreaking havoc in 
the region, and as such, may be starting to think about 
taking a more cautious position.  END COMMENT. 
BROKENSHIRE