Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 08NAIROBI2290, WHITHER M/V FAINA'S TANKS?

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08NAIROBI2290.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08NAIROBI2290 2008-10-02 15:03 2010-12-09 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Nairobi
VZCZCXRO7210
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2290/01 2761546
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 021546Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7201
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0005
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0306
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2820
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA  PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002290 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2018 
TAGS: MASS PTER PHSA KE UP SO SU
SUBJECT: WHITHER M/V FAINA'S TANKS? 

REF: A. USDLO KHARTOUM IIR 6 890 0139 08 201536Z FEB 08 
B. USDAO NAIROBI IIR 6 854 0108 08 291553Z JAN 08 
C. USDAO NAIROBI IIR 6 854 0026 08 091427Z NOV 07 

Classified By: PolOff Rachael Doherty, reasons 1.4 (b,d). 

------- 
Summary 
------- 

1. (S-NF) A shipment of 33 Ukrainian T-72 tanks and other 
ammunition and equipment aboard the M/V Faina, currently 
under the control of pirates off the coast of Somalia, has 
raised questions and controversy in Kenya about their final 
destination. It is a poorly kept secret that the tanks are 
bound for the Government of South Sudan -- and that the 
Government of Kenya has been facilitating shipments from 
Ukraine to the Government of South Sudan since 2007. Since 
the world's eyes are now on the M/V Faina, it is unlikely 
that the tanks, if released, would go immediately to their 
intended destination. Instead, they are likely to sit in a 
Kenyan military depot until the world's attention shifts 
elsewhere. In the meantime, the Kenyan military is in an 
uncomfortable spot. End Summary. 

--------------------- 
Kenya Claims T-72s... 
--------------------- 

2. (C) The hijacking of the Ukrainian-owned, Belize-flagged 
merchant vessel (M/V) Faina -- and subsequent confimation by 
the government of Ukraine that there are 33 T-72 tanks and 
other ammunition and equipment onboard -- has raised 
questions about the cargo's ultimate destination. In a move 
likely aimed at stemming controversy, the Government of Kenya 
has claimed that the ultimate destination for the shipment is 
the Kenyan Armed Forces. It is a poorly-kept secret, 
however, that the shipment was originally bound for South 
Sudan. 

3. (S-NF) The contradictions have already been highlighted in 
the press. Kenyan Government spokesman Alfred Mutua and 
Kenyan Defense spokesman Bogita Ongeri have both insisted 
that the tanks belong to Kenya. East Africa Seafarers' 
Assistance Program spokesman Andrew Mwangura told a different 
story: that the shipment ultimately was bound for the 
Government of South Sudan. (Note: Intelligence reporting 
(refs A-C) confirms Mwangura's story -- not the official GOK 
stance. After reporting that he was warned by Kenyan 
government officials to stop talking about the shipment, 
Mwangura was arrested on October 1. End Note.) 

4. (C) MFA Director of Political Affairs Ambassador Ben Ogutu 
maintained the party line to PolOff on September 30, but 
expressed relief that the Ministry of Defense has the lead on 
the issue. "e are just repeating the information that the 
Ministry has provided to us," Ogutu said. (Note: Ogutu also 
expressed great interest in what U.S. officials in Washington 
would say about the arms' ultimate destination. End Note.) 

-------------------------------- 
...Although They Were Juba-Bound 
-------------------------------- 

5. (S-NF) Since last year, Kenya's Ministry of Defense has 
indeed played a major role in assisting the Government of 
South Sudan receive arms shipments from the Government of 
Ukraine. When the shipments are off-loaded at the port of 
Mombasa, they are transported via rail to Uganda and then 
onward to Southern Sudan (ref C). Military officials have 
expressed discomfort with this arrangement, however, and have 
made it clear to us that the orders come "from the top." 
(i.e., President Kibaki) 

6. (S-NF) Given the extensive local and international media 
attention, it is unlikely that the shipment will go directly 
to Sudan should the cargo be offloaded in Mombasa as 
originally planned. A high-level military official has 
indicated to us that if received, the cargo will be offloaded 
and delivered to a military depot in Kenya, where it will 
likely sit for a few months before risking the overland 
shipment to Sudan. 

------------------ 

NAIROBI 00002290 002 OF 002 


Not the First Time 
------------------ 

7. (S-NF) This is not the first time a T-72 shipment to South 
Sudan has been publicly diverted. In mid-February, the 
Government of Kenya was reported as "seizing" a shipment of 
tanks bound for the Sudan People's Liberation Army as it 
violated the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end 
Sudan's civil war. The "seizure" occurred when Kenya's own 
security situation was still precarious given the 
post-election crisis. The tanks were ultimately released and 
proceeded to Sudan, and the cargo currently aboard the M/V 
Faina was meant to complete the tank sale. (Note: Although 
there is no arms embargo against Southern Sudan, the CPA does 
say that the parties "agree in principle to proportional 
downsizing of the forces on both sides" following the cease 
fire. The CPA permits the resupply of lethal military items 
on approval by the Joint Defense Board and UN mission. End 
Note.) 

8. (C) Comment: While Kenya does see itself as a guarantor of 
the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which was signed in 
Nairobi, the highest levels of government have nevertheless 
allowed previous arms shipments to proceed. Kenya's 
political leadership has thereby put the Kenyan military in a 
in an uncomfortable spot. Some Kenyan military officials 
have been questioning whether Kenya should be facilitating 
arms deliveries since well before the M/V Faina made 
headlines. 

9. (C) Comment, cont: While no one is talking about why Kenya 
is in this position, we can think of a few reasons. First, 
it is possible that Kenya's political leadership wants to 
support the Government of South Sudan but not in a way that 
will openly provoke Khartoum or potentially threaten South 
Sudan's eventual independence. Vice President Musyoka's 
public opposition to the International Criminal Court's 
indictment of President Bashir (because it could threaten the 
CPA) illustrates this point. Second, the government appears 
genuinely sensitive to charges that major arms shipments 
would be in violation of the spirit of the CPA. Third, given 
Kenya's track record on corruption, it is always possible 
that there is a financial benefit for a senior Kenyan 
official (or two, or more) in return for facilitating the 
arms shipments. As such, the question of "Who owns the 
tanks?" will remain a touchy side issue for Kenya in the 
piracy of the M/V Faina. 
RANNEBERGER