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Wade said UK was to blame for crisis in Zimbabwe

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade criticised Britain for its handling of the Zimbabwe crisis saying it was Prime Minister Tony Blair’s failure to live up to the Lancaster House commitments to subsidise land reform that was the origin of the crisis.

A British embassy official Julia Edwards, however, took exception to this notion saying: “We signed on for land reform, not Mugabe giving land to his mates”.

Wade had announced plans to travel to Harare to try to mediate on the Zimbabwe crisis arguing that one person, South African President Thabo Mbeki, could not do it alone.

Edwards said the UK would not allow President Wade to negotiate between it and President Mugabe. Instead, efforts should be focused on getting Mugabe to stop repressing the opposition.

 

Full cable:


View+ing cable 07DAKAR2116, SENEGALESE PRESIDENT PLANS TO VISIT ZIMBABWE

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

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07DAKAR2116

2007-10-30 13:22

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Dakar

VZCZCXRO2940

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO

DE RUEHDK #2116 3031322

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 301322Z OCT 07

FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9460

INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0001

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0326

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1084

RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 2182

C O N F I D E N T I A L DAKAR 002116

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/W, AF/S, AND AF/RSA

PARIS FOR POL ) D,ELIA

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2017

TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV SG ZI SF UK

SUBJECT: SENEGALESE PRESIDENT PLANS TO VISIT ZIMBABWE

 

REF: DAKAR 1988

 

Classified By: CHARGE D,AFFAIRES JAY SMITH FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

 

 

1. (C) Summary: Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is still

planning to visit Zimbabwe and meet with President Robert

Mugabe in an effort to succeed where South African President

Thabo Mbeki has failed: relieving the suffering of the people

of Zimbabwe. To do so, according to President Wade, several

African presidents acting through the African Union need to

mediate between President Mugabe and UK Prime Minster Gordon

Brown. End summary.

 

2. (SBU) On October 18, MFA Director of International

Organizations Mame Baba Cisse informed Pol Counselor that

President Wade is still planning to travel to Harare to

discuss Zimbabwe,s political crisis with President Mugabe.

President ade originally announced his intention to travel

to Zimbawe during a press conference shortly after eturning

from the United States for the meeting f the UN General

Assembly (REFTEL). According t Cisse, the Government o

Zimbabwe welcomes Presdent Wade,s visit, but since there

was not enoughtime to prepare for it before the end of

Octoberthe presidential rendezvous will take place at the

end of November.

 

3. (C) Cisse reiterated wha President Wade said during his

pres conference; it is not possible for one country (i.e.

South Africa) or one president (i.e. South African President

Thabo Mbeki) to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe. He echoed

Wade,s sentiment, arguing that the President Mbeki,s

efforts heretofore had met with only failure. Instead of

relying on one head of state, several African presidents need

to work together through the African Union to relieve the

suffering of the people of Zimbabwe, he opined.

 

4. (C) When asked, Cisse said that President Wade did not

have any particular country or president in mind, saying that

all efforts to improve the situation would be welcome. Like

Wade, he criticized the United Kingdom for its handling of

the crisis, particularly Gordon Brown,s threat to boycott

the EU-AU Summit if President Mugabe participates. (Note:

During his press conference, President Wade said that former

Prime Minister Tony Blair,s failure to live up to the

Lancaster House commitments to subsidize land reform were the

origin of the crisis. End note.)

 

5. (C) On October 19, UK DCM Julia Edwards told Pol

Counselor that the United Kingdom welcomed efforts by other

African heads of state to assist in resolving the crisis,

although HMG took exception to the notion that the origin

stems from the UK,s failure to honor its commitments saying,

&We signed on for land reform, not Mugabe giving land to his

mates.8 Moreover, she said the UK would not allow President

Wade to negotiate between it and President Mugabe, as Wade

had suggested in the press conference. Instead, efforts

should be focused on getting Mugabe to stop repressing the

opposition.

 

6. (C) Comment: Upon his return from the United States,

President Wade focused the majority of his comments during

his press conference on foreign affairs. Facing criticism

for alleged corruption and cronyism in his government, he

like many second-term presidents, is putting more energy into

foreign policy. Moreover, it is clear that Wade is at least

in part motivated by a desire to compete with and outdo

Mbeki, with whom he has clashed over the direction of the AU

and NEPAD. It is also equally clear that Wade and his team

in the MFA have only the most basic understanding of the

crisis in Zimbabwe and are ill-equipped to make any dramatic

progress during Wade,s upcoming visit. In the meeting with

Pol Counselor, Cisse noted that Senegal does not have an

embassy in Harare and requested any information or analysis

of the current state-of-play in Zimbabwe that the United

States might be able to provide. End comment.

SMITH

 

(6 VIEWS)

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