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Angola denied it was planning to send police to Zimbabwe

The Angolan government denied it was planning to send police to Zimbabwe arguing that the Zimbabwean government could handle its problems on its own.

The Angolan government was forced to make the denial after a report by TalkZimbabwe, which was repeated in several other media, said Angola was planning to send 3 000 police officers to help President Robert Mugabe quell the unrest in his country.

Although the United States was one of the countries pressing for a reaction from the Angolan government it doubted that the Angolan government had the capacity to provide the police officers.

“Few in Angola, including government officials and opposition members, believe that Angola has the capacity to deploy 3000 police to Harare. Further, the GRA normally reacts cautiously and prudently with regard to its southern African neighbours,” the US embassy in Angola said.

“Given the international attention on Zimbabwe, we believe it highly unlikely that the GRA would take such a step. However, it is assumed that President Mugabe, relying on his personal relationship with President dos Santos, as the two longest standing Presidents in southern Africa, requested assistance – fuel and cash – during his two-hour visit at the Luanda airport.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 07LUANDA288, ANGOLA DENIES IT IS SENDING POLICE TO ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07LUANDA288

2007-03-22 11:38

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Luanda

VZCZCXRO2321

OO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHLU #0288 0811138

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 221138Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3829

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L LUANDA 000288

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/S

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AF WATCHERS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2017

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI AO

SUBJECT: ANGOLA DENIES IT IS SENDING POLICE TO ZIMBABWE

 

REF: LUANDA 252

 

Classified By: Amb. Cynthia Efird for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (SBU) Summary: The Angolan government has officially

denied it is sending 3000 police militia to Zimbabwe. The

denials come in response to a report originating on

TalkZimbabwe.com following a visit by Angolan Interior

Minister Roberto Leal Monteiro, &Ngongo8 to Zimbabwe, which

has since been repeated by news services around the world,

including the Times of London. Minister Monteiro

categorically denied to Ambassador Efird on March 21, 2007

that Angola was sending police troops. In addition, the

Angolan Chief of Police has issued formal statements denying

the report and the Angolan Embassy in Harare has also issued

a statement calling the story &completely false.8 End

Summary.

 

2. (U) Background: Angolan Minister of Interior Roberto Leal

Monteiro, &Ngongo,8 traveled to Zimbabwe from March 14th to

March 17th to meet with his GOZ counterpart. His visit also

followed a two-hour airport stop-over of President Mugabe to

Luanda on March 7, 2007 on his return from the independence

ceremonies in Ghana. While in Harare, Monteiro signed a

cooperation agreement with the GOZ on stemming international

criminal activity such as trafficking and smuggling of

precious metals. However, an article on Talk Zimbabwe.com

alleged that Monteiro pledged to supply 3000 Angolan police

officers to help quell the violence in Zimbabwe. This

article has been picked up and repeated in western news

services.

 

The Minister and others Deny the Report

—————————————

3. (SBU) When the first report surfaced on March 19, 2007,

Ambassador Efird immediately called Minister Monteiro to

question him on the report. His Chief of Staff conveyed the

Minister,s denial and at that time Amb. Efird strongly

suggested to the Minister that the GRA issue a strong denial.

On March 21, 2007 Ambassador Efird met with Minister

Monteiro to discuss the issue and he categorically denied the

report. He stated that he normally meets on a semi-annual

basis with his GOZ counterpart, and that meeting which had

been originally planned for December was postponed due to the

death of the Zimbabwean Minister,s mother at the end of last

year. It was rescheduled to follow-on his trip to Kinshasa

to examine some Angolan-DRC border issues. Monteiro told the

Ambassador, &Zimbabwe can handle its problems on its own.8

The Angolan Embassy in Harare sent a letter to Talk

Zimbabwe.com calling the report &completely false8 and

provided the Diplomatic Corps in Harare with copies of the

letter. The letter reinforced that the bilateral accords

signed dealt with the exchange of best practices and did not

pertain to police reinforcements. The Angolan Chief of

Police has also denied the report on Angolan television and

radio.

 

4. (C) Embassy Comment: Few in Angola, including government

officials and opposition members, believe that Angola has the

capacity to deploy 3000 police to Harare. Further, the GRA

normally reacts cautiously and prudently with regard to its

southern African neighbors. Given the international

attention on Zimbabwe, we believe it highly unlikely that the

GRA would take such a step. However, it is assumed that

President Mugabe, relying on his personal relationship with

President dos Santos, as the two longest standing Presidents

in southern Africa, requested assistance – fuel and cash –

during his two-hour visit at the Luanda airport. It is also

likely that part of Monteiro,s trip to Zimbabwe was also to

evaluate first-hand the situation in Harare to inform the

President,s decision on the request for humanitarian

assistance. Ambassador Efird has demarched President dos

Santos on Zimbabwe (Reftel A) and is awaiting an appointment

with the Minister of External Relations who returned from

bilateral meetings in Portugal only yesterday (March 21,

2007). End Comment.

EFIRD

 

(8 VIEWS)

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