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Viewing cable 09OUAGADOUGOU1159, GUINEA TALKS - 9th ICG-G IN OUAGADOUGOU

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09OUAGADOUGOU1159 2009-12-15 07:07 2010-12-09 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ouagadougou
VZCZCXRO6697
RR RUEHPA
DE RUEHOU #1159/01 3490712
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 150712Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5937
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHRY/AMEMBASSY CONAKRY 0073
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0771
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0736
RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA 0011
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 OUAGADOUGOU 001159 

SIPDIS 


E.O. 12958: Declassify on 8/31/2034 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM GV UV
SUBJECT: GUINEA TALKS - 9th ICG-G IN OUAGADOUGOU 

OUAGADOUGO 00001159 001.2 OF 003 


Classified by CDA Dennis Hankins for reason 1.4 (b) and (d) 

1. SUMMARY: The 9th meeting of the International Contact Group on 
Guinea (ICG-G) held December 13 in Ouagadougou was marked by a 
unified international community and capable leadership from the 
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union 
(AU), and the UN Representative for West Africa. In the face of an 
intransigent CNDD delegation (that was taken over by pro-Dadis 
hardliners at the last minute), the ICG-G issued a strong statement 
calling for continued sanctions against the National Committee for 
Democracy and Development (CNDD), an international observer presence 
during the transition, and the CNDD's agreement not to participate in 
elections. While a compromise position between the CNDD and the 
Forces Vives did not appear any closer, the international consensus 
in clearly against the return of Dadis and in favor of international 
involvement in the transition period. The declaration pushed 
mediator Compaore towards a tougher line than he has been willing to 
pursue up to now. End Summary. 

------------------ 
The 9th ICG-Guinea 
------------------ 

2. (U) The 9th Meeting of the ICG-G took place on December 13th in 
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The U.S. was represented by DAS William 
Fitzgerald and accompanied by the Charge d'Affaires. The meeting was 
chaired by co-presidents the President of the ECOWAS Commission, 
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the AU Special Envoy Ibrahima Fall. The 
leadership dais was also shared by the Nigerian Junior Minister of 
Foreign Affairs Bagudu Hirse and UN SRSG for West Africa Said 
Djinnit. Delegations included representatives of Burkina Faso, 
Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Liberia, Libya, Russia, the UK, the 
European Union Presidency and European Commission, the International 
Labor Organization, the Francophonie, the Organization of the Islamic 
Conference, and the World Bank. Many groups were represented by 
their representatives in Conakry. 

------------------------------- 
French and U.S. Share Positions 
------------------------------- 

3. (C) A pre-meeting breakfast with the French delegation 
demonstrated the closeness of the French and U.S. positions regarding 
the current situation. The French were represented at the ICG by 
Francois Goldblatt, Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Jean Grabling, 
Ambassador to Guinea, Stephane Gompertz, MFA Director for Africa and 
the Indian Ocean, and Charlotte Montel, Africa Advisor at MFA, who 
saw President Compaore's mediation efforts as weak, and hoped that 
the events of December 3 would cause Compaore to push the parties 
toward a solution that would bring a quick election and minimize the 
role of the CNDD in the country's future. The French share the 
assessment that Morocco should keep Dadis in country, that any deal 
with Dadis is impossible, and that Konate is the better if not sole 
option for the transition. 

4. (C) The French shared the assessment that President Compaore can 
and should play a more productive role as mediator, and that recent 
events may lead Compaore to believe that it is in his own political 
and, perhaps, economic interest to create a solution that does not 
include Dadis. The French claimed not to have any further 
information on the location of Dadis' would-be assassin Toumba. The 
delegation also believed that a clear and firm message delivered to 
Compaore would be more likely to produce results. The French and 
U.S. shared some concern that ECOWAS' Chambas has not been a forceful 
spokesperson for the ICG-G in past meetings and agreed to urge 
stronger African voices (notably Djinnit) to speak up (Comment: As 
the meeting progressed this concern was alleviated as all four 
African voices were strong starting with Chambas who visibly upset 
the CNDD by publicly calling for an ECOWAS observation and security 
mission. End Comment). 

-------------------------------------------- 
Co-Chairs stake out a tough opening position 
-------------------------------------------- 

5. (C) In the group's first meeting since the violence of September 
28 and the attempted assassination of Moussa Dadis Camara, 
co-presidents Chambas and Fall laid out a tough opening position. 
While condemning the events of December 3 in Conakry and "any attempt 
to destabilize the fragile situation that currently reigns," they 
cited the "urgency and opportunity of the moment." They described 
the situation in Guinea as having all necessary ingredients to become 
"explosive," and suggested the need for an international force to 
protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance in Guinea, a 
suggestion which visibly rankled the CNDD. The chairs also stated 
bluntly that impunity for repeated human rights violation in Guinea 

OUAGADOUGO 00001159 002.2 OF 003 


would not remain unpunished. 

-------------------------------------- 
Forces Vives see Guinea as "Stateless" 
-------------------------------------- 

6. (U) The Forces Vives were first to discuss their position with the 
ICG-G and to take questions. The Forces Vives condemned the 
prevailing situation in the country, which they categorized as a 
complete lack of both liberty and personal security. They claimed to 
be heartened by steps taken by Sekouba Konate as the new interim 
leadership of the CNDD over the last several days, and believed 
Sekouba was someone that they could work with. They were surprised 
and disappointed to see the CNDD delegation was composed of hard 
liners tied to Dadis and not by the more moderate figures who had 
been expected (indeed, the CNDD delegation was headed by Col. Moussa 
Keita -- one of the most virulent and explosive of Dadis' cadre). 

7. (C) The Forces Vives condemned the attack on President Dadis, but 
when asked directly by the French, they stated their belief that 
there would be greater opportunity for progress if he were to remain 
in Morocco. They claimed that while they had compassion for the 
wounded, they had far greater compassion for the Guinean people. The 
Forces Vives very clearly declared their support for an international 
presence (a "third force") in Guinea that would help to ensure the 
peace throughout a transition period, and maintained their insistence 
that the CNDD (described as "those who had murdered and raped") not 
participate in any future elections. The Forces Vives expressed 
their appreciation for the mediation efforts of President Compaore 
and the ongoing work of the ICG, but asked that the group make a 
strong condemnation of the prevailing situation rather than pointing 
timidly at the problem. 

----------------------------------------- 
CNDD takes an early break and a hard line 
----------------------------------------- 

8. (SBU) Perturbed by the opening statements of the ICG Presidency 
and reportedly miffed that the ICG met with the Forces Vive before 
them, the CNDD departed the conference center as soon as the opening 
session concluded. The ICG then waited for hours for the CNDD 
"rewrite" their response before returning to the negotiations, and 
were met with a deeply entrenched position. A sneering and bellicose 
Col Moussa Keita stated plainly that the presence of any 
international force, whatever its makeup, on Guinean soil would be 
considered an attack on Guinea's sovereignty and a declaration of 
war. Keita claimed that the CNDD was itself capable of managing a 
peaceful, transparent transition to democracy while protecting the 
Guinean public. Their only goal, he claimed, was to construct a base 
for economic growth, peace, and free elections. 

9. (SBU) The CNDD delegation explained that the December 3 attack on 
Dadis had made the context of negotiations more difficult and had 
rendered the ICG's goal of election in the first half of 2010 
unfeasible. They confirmed that they were willing to work through 
the ICG to find a solution to the crisis, but insisted that any 
effort to restrict any group from participation in any eventual 
elections remained completely unacceptable, and would be detrimental 
to the ideal of a fully-inclusive Guinean democracy. With the 
speaking role shifting between delegation members, the group decried 
sanctions on Guinea as both in violation of international law and 
counterproductive in encouraging peace and stability. The group 
strongly reiterated their complete confidence in President Compaore 
in his role as mediator. 

10. (U) Chambas told the CNDD representation to understand the new 
democratic mood in Africa. Chambas said that military rule in the 
region had led to too many catastrophes, and that militaries must 
stay out of politics. He stated that no one can be happy with the 
current situation of democracy and governance in Guinea, and that 
despite CNDD's claim that it would be a "referee" in the new Guinea, 
it has failed to ensure the safety of the population and its ability 
to restore democracy is questionable. Chambas stated that the 
"stories" coming out of the country relating to human rights abuses 
made an international force necessary. It was, continued Chambas, in 
no way an invasion, simply an offer of assistance to the people of 
Guinea. 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
An Awkward Intervention African Mediators to Step Up 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 

11. (U) he Representative of the Libyn controlled Community of 
Sahel-Saharan States (EN-SAD) intervened to take issue with what he 
peceived to be the imposition of unacceptabl restrictions on the 
sovereign state of Guinea by the ICG. After a long tirade - 

OUAGADOUGO 00001159 003.3 OF 003 


questioning the ICG's existence, claiming that the CNDD saved Guinee 
after Conteh, tossing accusations of inappropriate interference in 
Guinea's affairs at the co-presidents, the representative of Nigeria, 
and the non-African states participating in the ICG - the 
representatives of the CNDD delivered a hearty round of applause 
while other members of the ICG seemed surprised at the outburst. 

--------------------- 
Group maintains unity 
--------------------- 

12. (C) Throughout the negotiations, the international community was 
by and large on the same footing. The absence of Dadis was viewed as 
an opportunity by the vast majority of the membership of the ICG. 
There was very little divergence between the positions of the 
international organization, the African states, the Europeans, and 
the U.S. The gaps were especially minimal between the U.S., France, 
and the UK. Because of this unity, the ICG was able to offer a 
strong statement -- one that most consciously saw as a call for 
Burkinabe President Compaore to take a more dynamic and aggressive 
stance than has been seen to date. Most of the negotiation over the 
text was over semantics, not substance. The text includes a renewed 
call for elections as soon as possible in 2010, the CNDD agreement 
not to participate in those elections, and international presence in 
Guinea to ensure the peace. 

13. (C) Comment: The meeting allowed the international community to 
take stock of the situation following the December 3 attempt on 
Dadis' life. The ability of the Dadis hard liners to seize control 
of the CNDD delegation worked against them -- only convincing the 
African leadership through their belligerent manner that there can be 
no solution involving Dadis. The situation demonstrated a remarkable 
degree of international solidarity -- unfortunately coupled by a 
general disappointment with President Compaore's mediation that is 
seen both as timid and too prone to meet CNDD demands. 

14. (U) This cable has been cleared by DAS Fitzgerald. 

15. (U) Conakry Minimize Considered. 

HANKINS