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 09NAIROBI1057, SOMALIA - TFG PRIME MINISTER WORRIED ABOUT RIVAL

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. #09NAIROBI1057.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09NAIROBI1057 2009-05-28 15:03 2010-12-08 21:09 SECRET Embassy Nairobi
VZCZCXRO5046
RR RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #1057/01 1481535
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 281535Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9645
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 001057 

SIPDIS 

DEPT FOR AF/E 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL MOPS EAID SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - TFG PRIME MINISTER WORRIED ABOUT RIVAL 
ORGANIZATION, ANXIOUS FOR USG HELP 

REF: NAIROBI 1037 

Classified By: Somalia Unit Counselor Bob Patterson. Reasons: 1.4 (b,d 
). 

1. (S/NF) Summary: In a brief Nairobi airport meeting May 
28, TFG Prime Minister Sharmarke worried about the influence 
of rival organization Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a and the failure 
of talks in Mogadishu and Addis Ababa to result in an 
agreement to cooperate. Sharmarke confirmed that 
communications and logistics problems had undercut the TFG's 
initially successful counter-attack in Mogadishu on May 22, 
and requested radios and military advice to prevent a 
recurrence of the problems. The Prime Minister repeatedly 
confirmed the TFG's willingness to accept any negative 
publicity that might result from a U.S. military strike on 
terrorists or their training camps in Somalia should such 
strikes occur. The TFG, said Sharmarke, was looking for 
money to pay security force salaries for June. In a 
subsequent meeting with UNPOS Deputy Charles Petrie, the 
Prime Minister asked assistance in getting the Government of 
Iraq to make good on its pledge of USD 5 million in aid to 
his government. The Prime Minister was grateful for the 
Secretary's May 27 telephone call to President Sheikh Sharif, 
which he had listened in on and which "really bolstered our 
spirits." Sharmarke was briefly in Nairobi en route to 
Tripoli at the invitation of Qadhafi. End summary. 

Lessons of May 22 Counter-Attack 
-------------------------------- 

2. (C) During a brief stopover in Nairobi May 28 while en 
route to Libya, a relaxed TFG Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke 
told Somalia Unit officers that his government's troops had 
fared well in the initial stages of their counterattack 
against insurgents in Mogadishu on May 22. After taking 
significant parts of Mogadishu (reftel), TFG troops had been 
forced to retreat, however, when its Uganda-trained 
contingent found itself near the Industrial Road area and far 
in advance of other TFG units. Inaccurate information passed 
by cellphone, the troops' only means of communication, caused 
the Uganda-trained soldiers to believe they had been cut off 
from other TFG soldiers, and they beat a hasty retreat, 
Sharmarke said. The May 22 counteroffensive, although 
ultimately unsuccessful, showed that security force their 
considerable weaknesses: communications, logistics, and 
battlefield command. Sharmarke requested USG assistance in 
procuring walkie talkies and other battlefield communications 
equipment and any training that could be provided the TFG's 
field commanders. He welcome the suggestion that experienced 
Rwandan or Ugandan trainers be detailed, if possible, to 
Mogadishu to lead intensive courses. 

Praise for IGAD Communique 
-------------------------- 

3. (C) Sharmarke was philosophical about progress al-Shabaab 
and other insurgents had made against the TFG in recent 
weeks. The TFG, he maintained, was keeping the door open to 
"reasonable guys," while al-Shabaab's reliance on foreigners 
was costing it support among Somalis. Sharmarke praised the 
May 20 IGAD ministerial communique's call for control of 
Somali airports and ports, and alleged that it had triggered 
al-Shabaab's efforts, via incursions into Medina to win 
control of Mogadishu airport. 

Foreigners Fighting 
------------------- 

4. (S/NF) Sharmarke joined other Somalis in alleging 
significant foreign involvement in al-Shabaab's efforts. A 
"Pakistani general" was coordinating the attacks on the TFG 
in Mogadishu, he said. Also present was an alleged al-Qaida 
operative he was able to identify only as "al-Libi." 
Sharmarke noted that he was keeping indirect tabs on Muhtar 
Robow, but no one in the TFG, to his knowledge, had had 
contact since Robow's resignation as al-Shabaab spokesman. 
Sharmarke described considerable stress between Hisbul Islam 
and al-Shabaab, with Hassan Dahir Aweys allegedly "shocked" 
by al-Shabaab's "lack of a strategy other than fighting." 

ASWJ Negotiations Faltering 
--------------------------- 

5. (C) The TFG's negotiations with Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a 
(ASWJ) had produced no results to date, according to 
Sharmarke. He described the Somalia central region 

NAIROBI 00001057 002 OF 002 


representatives they had been in contact with as "determined 
to make gains quickly on the ground," so that those gains 
could be parlayed into an improved negotiating position with 
the TFG. Although the TFG had provided some money to ASWJ, 
all assistance was now stalled, with some in the TFG worried 
that TFG cash was feeding a potential rival. ASWJ continued 
to push for high-profile ministerial positions and to stall 
on active cooperation with the TFG. Sharmarke was not 
certain what pressure the Government of Ethiopia could exert 
on ASWJ, but he several times urged the USG to do what it 
could to bring ASWJ around. 

Money Needs 
----------- 

6. (C) The Prime Minister promised an accounting shortly of 
the USD 500 thousand provided by the USG. He as very grateful 
for USG efforts to supply TFG forces with larger-caliber 
ammunition and weapons. The TFG had subsidized allies in 
Hiraan and Jowhar, as well as having provided stipends to an 
unspecified number of "al-Shabaab defectors." His government 
believed it was safer if the technicals that belonged to 
mercurial warlords Mohammed Dheere and Indha Adde were safely 
in TFG control, and negotiations were now under way to that 
end. Sharmarke estimated the total number of technicals at 
18, in addition to one APC. He noted that their purchase 
would place significant additional strain on the TFG's 
finances and asked continued USG support. (In a subsequent 
brief conversation with UNPOS Deputy Charles Petrie, 
Sharmarke urged UN and USG intercession with Iraq to speed 
the delivery of an alleged USD 5 million that the Baghdad 
government had pledged to the TFG.) 

Support for Kinetic Strikes 
--------------------------- 

7. (S/NF) Sharmarke recalled that he had called Somalia Unit 
on May 16 to urge that the USG "take out" if possible 
participants in an al-Shabaab - Hisbul Islam conclave near 
Afgoye. That phone call, he re-affirmed, had been made with 
the express consent of President Sheikh Sharif, who also 
believed with Sharmarke that and USG strikes on known 
terrorists or their training camps was necessary. Asked if 
the TFG could weather the fallout from such a strike or 
strikes and their potential collateral damage Sharmarke, 
without hesitation said, "yes." "These people," he said, "are 
out to destroy our way of life." 

Travel Plans 
------------ 

8. (C) Sharmarke was en route to Libya at the invitation of 
Qadhafi and in place of President Sharif, whom Ambassador 
Ranneberger, in a May 26 telephone call, had strongly 
discouraged from leaving Mogadishu during this stressful time. 

Comment 
------- 

9. (C) Sharmarke, like President Sharif in our recent 
telephone contacts with him, was calm and convinced that the 
TFG could prevail against its enemies. He philosophically 
acknowledged the many basic problems confronting his 
government, from forging an alliance with ASWJ to ironing out 
command and control and logistical problems in its fragile 
security forces. His dismissive comments about al-Shabaab's 
reported increasing reliance on foreign fighters, ironically, 
mirror al-Shabaab's accusations that the TFG is over-reliant 
on the foreign fighters of AMISOM as it haltingly tries to 
increase its hold on Mogadishu. 
RANNEBERGER