Waiting for Mugabe to die an imperfect solution


0

Waiting for President Robert Mugabe to die was an imperfect solution but both the United States and the Dutch had been rebuffed by South African President Thabo Mbeki when they advocated a more aggressive South African posture on Zimbabwe.

Peter de Gooijer of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs speculated that the South Africans would, as a matter of principle, prioritise regional solidarity over political pragmatism in dealing with Harare.

Theresa Whelan of the United States said Washington was shifting its position regarding the South African Development Community in terms of Zimbabwe.

The US would work with the SADC as an element of the African Union concept and with Zimbabwe as a member of the SADC, but would not engage Harare bilaterally.

Ed: That was seven years ago. Mugabe is still alive but a solution was found three years later by the same Thabo Mbeki.


Full cable:


Viewing cable 05THEHAGUE2973, NETHERLANDS/AFRICA: DASD WHELAN’S VISIT TO THE

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

Released

Classification

Origin

05THEHAGUE2973

2005-11-01 12:49

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy The Hague

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 THE HAGUE 002973

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR DASD WHELAN

STATE FOR THE DEPUTY SECRETARY AND S/CRS

STATE ALSO FOR EUR/UBI/REITER

USEU FOR LERNER AND BRENNER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/01/2015

TAGS: PREL MCAP NL XA MASS MARR PGOV

SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/AFRICA: DASD WHELAN’S VISIT TO THE

HAGUE

 

REF: THE HAGUE 02756

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Andrew Schofer for Reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

 

1. (U) SUMMARY. On October 14, DASD for African Affairs

Theresa Whelan met with several representatives of the Dutch

MFA and MOD. Discussion during the two meetings included

GONL and USG involvement in SSR and DDR initiatives in South

Africa, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, and the DRC, as well as

mutual commitment to combating HIV/AIDS and violence against

women. Participants shared interest in approaching

post-conflict situations holistically, perspectives on the

future roles of NATO and the EU in Africa, and concerns about

weapons destruction initiatives. END SUMMARY.

 

SOUTH AFRICA: FIRST WORLD INFRASTRUCTURE, THIRD WORLD TALENT

——————————————— —————

 

2. (C) Dutch interlocutors agreed with DASD Whelan’s

assessment that the South African military is the sole force

on the continent that has the potential to operate on the

brigade level and is thus the most likely candidate to play a

significant role in African peace and security.

Consequently, the Dutch share the USG’s view that building

the capacity of the rapidly crumbling South African military

forces is crucial. Peter de Gooijer (Deputy Director

General, Political Affairs, MFA) pointed to FM Bot’s Oct.

10-11 visit to Johannesburg as evidence of Dutch interest in

building a strategic partnership with the South Africans.

During his visit, Bot signed an agreement giving the South

Africans 5 million euros for SSR/DDR activities in the DRC

and another allowing the South Africans to make more use of

Dutch military training capabilities and exercise

opportunities.

 

3. (C) The Dutch share the USG’s opinion that South Africa

can play a key role in counter-terrorism initiatives. DASD

Whelan suggested that joint Dutch – U.S. action to combat

bogus South African passports, which are relatively easy to

counterfeit and have considerable clout on the continent,

would make a significant contribution to the war against

terror in Africa.

 

4. (U) Dutch interlocutors agreed that the GONL and the USG

should continue to explore avenues of cooperation in building

the capacity of the South African military. DASD Whelan

agreed to lay the groundwork for a joint project during

working-level meetings with the South Africans on November 7

and 8. Dutch counterparts agreed to continue the momentum

during meetings planned in South Africa in December and

January.

 

5. (C) Both the Dutch and the U.S. have advocated a more

aggressive South African posture vis-a-vis Zimbabwe, and both

have been rebuffed by President Mbeki. De Gooijer speculated

that the South Africans will, as a matter of principle,

prioritize regional solidarity over political pragmatism in

dealing with Harare. Though DASD Whelan and De Gooijer

agreed that waiting for Mugabe to die was an imperfect

solution, DASD Whelan explained that the USG is shifting its

position regarding the South African Development Community

(SADC) in terms of Zimbabwe. The USG will work with the SADC

as an element of the AU concept and with Zimbabwe as a member

of the SADC, but will not/not engage Harare bilaterally.

 

6. (U) The South Africans have approached both the U.S. and

the Dutch with a proposal to build a facility to destroy

small weapons not only from South Africa but also from

conflict regions such as the DRC. De Gooijer explained that

the Dutch find the proposal illogical, since small weapons

can be destroyed easily enough in conflict zones without a

dedicated facility to do so. De Gooijer also pointed to the

logistical hurdles in moving arms confiscated in the DRC, for

instance, to South Africa for destruction. DASD Whelan

responded that the Swedes committed to financing in part the

construction of a small weapons confiscation center for the

South Africans as an offset of the South Africans’ purchase

of 28 Gripen fighters. The South Africans have appealed to

the USG to pay their share of the construction costs.

 

SUDAN: DUTCH DO NOT SUPPORT BLUEHATTING AMIS TROOPS

——————————————— ——

 

7. (U) Dutch counterparts agreed that the recent kidnapping

of military observers by a faction of the Justice and

Equality Movement (JEM) seriously undermined AMIS’s

credibility. Given shared interest in building the capacity

of the AU to address security problems in Africa, USG and

GONL participants agreed that delegating AMIS authority to

UNMIS in the short term may be a blow from which the AU could

not recover. DASD Whelan expressed conviction that handing

over control to UNMIS in the long term is nevertheless

inevitable. The Dutch, however, do not support bluehatting

AMIS troops. Hans Docter (Deputy Head of the Sudan Task

Force, MFA) explained that the GONL will continue efforts to

build the capacity of AMIS troops with the expectation that

AMIS will be able to sustain supervision of SSR/DDR

activities in Darfur.

8. (U) The Dutch do not fully understand USG prioritization

of SPLA integration over the creation of the Joint Integrated

Units (JIUs) pursuant to the IMAT paradigm. Dutch officials

were stunned by DASD Whelan’s assertion that the SPLA intends

to hedge its bets on the success of the Government of

National Unity (GNU) by maintaining a separate standing army

of approximately 60-140 thousand troops subsidized by the

SPLM’s share of projected oil revenues.

 

9. (U) The Dutch made a strong pitch to DASD Whelan for U.S.

cooperation on initiatives to combat violence against women,

particularly in Sudan, where the Dutch have expressed

interest in joint initiatives and have a one million euro

fund dedicated to such initiatives.

 

RWANDA

——

 

10. (C) The U.S. and the Dutch share an interest in using

Rwandan military forces in external peacekeeping missions and

agree that a necessary first step toward realizing this

objective is intensive troop training. DM Kamp recently

signed an MOU in Kigali on bilateral military cooperation

that will assist Rwandan military forces in carrying out

crisis management operations in Africa. Dutch peace and

stability projects could serve as excellent complements to

USG training efforts in the region. USG Just In Time

Training (JITT) for Rwandan troops destined for AMIS service

faces resistance from Congress; DASD Whelan encouraged Dutch

interlocutors to continue the program or present a

sustainable troop-training alternative.

 

BURUNDI

——-

 

11. (U) The Dutch see Burundi as an important priority; they

have contributed 103 million euros for SSR/DDR initiatives

and to the United Nations Operations in Burundi (ONUB). DASD

Whelan suggested the Dutch collaborate with the USG on a

language lab project, explaining that perhaps the Dutch could

construct the lab facility and the USG could provide the

necessary materials (computers, language books).

 

THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC): A LONG WAY TO GO

——————————————— ———–

 

12. (C) The USG is prepared to provide brigade-level support

for SSR/DDR initiatives in the DRC. DASD Whelan lamented

that it will nonetheless be at least a decade before the

FARDC is more than an army in name only. The USG is

interested in making a substantive contribution to the

multilateral effort in the DRC, but has yet to identify where

in particular; DASD Whelan suggested that perhaps the USG

would do so at the level of the Ministry of Defense.

 

13. (U) The Dutch are considering projects to improve the

intelligence capability of MONUC. DASD Whelan explained that

the impediments to intelligence sharing in the DRC are

fundamental, largely consisting of tactical challenges to

collecting information at the human level. DASD Whelan put

forth the DOD’s tripartite intelligence fusion cell

initiative as a method of facilitating the flow of

information from the field to MONUC. Dutch interlocutors

agreed to continue exchanging views and expertise with regard

to building the capacity of the intelligence regime in the

DRC.

EU AND NATO: WORKING TOGETHER IN THE FUTURE

——————————————-

 

14. (U) While reactions were not unanimous in the subject,

most interlocutors enthusiastically greeted DASD Whelan’s

suggestion that the EU and NATO work complementarily in

Africa. Robert de Groot, (Director of Security Initiatives,

MFA) and Major General Cobelens (Director of Operations, MOD)

embraced DASD Whelan’s suggestion that NATO’s expertise in

SSR/DDR and capacity-building could buttress the AU’s

operational efforts in Sudan and elsewhere. DASD Whelan

underscored the vital role NATO could play in realizing the

concept of an African Standby Force. Col. Langdorf added

that the NATO Partnership for Peace initiative could be

adapted to Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

15. (U) Hans Horbach (Deputy Director of Security

Initiatives, MFA) praised NATO’s SSR/DDR capabilities and

lamented a tension between NATO and the EU that he saw as

more perceived than real, pointing to the press as the

instigator of the perception. Whether real or perceived,

DASD Whelan argued that the working relationship between the

two entities was flawed, as evidenced by the disappointing

results of the MAPEX activities in Sudan in September.

Docter and De Groot, acknowledging the EU-NATO relationship

in Sudan is dysfunctional, suggested that the EU assume more

responsibility for logistics, management, and policing and

leave SSR/DDR activities to NATO.

 

16. (U) De Groot expressed enthusiasm for the prospect of

Dutch involvement in NATO capacity-building initiatives on

the regional level, suggesting that the GONL and USG take a

year to come up with a joint “blueprint” of NATO

capacity-building initiatives in Africa. Though USG efforts

in capacity-building on the regional level have been focused

in the West, DASD Whelan was enthusiastic about other

regional opportunities, despite logistical hurdles. She

explained that prior USG cooperation with the Economic

Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was largely a

result of the fact that ECOWAS has a system that facilitates

direct engagement, unlike SADC. Dutch interlocutors shared

DASD Whelan’s interest in engaging SADC through NATO.

 

THINKING HOLISTICALLY

———————

 

17. (U) The Dutch are keenly interested in taking a holistic

approach to post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization in

Africa. DASD Whelan explained that the DOD Strategy

Department is working on a pilot project that approaches

“ungoverned space” holistically in an effort to avoid

stovepiping. She suggested that perhaps the Dutch could

inform the DOD’s analysis of the way forward in synthesizing

the tripartite command structure — CENTCOM, EUCOM, and PACOM

— currently in force in Africa. Joint Dutch – U.S

initiatives in holistic thinking may be particularly

pertinent to Africa’s troubled maritime space, rife with

fishing conflicts, smuggling, and piracy. Major General

Cobelens was enthusiastic about the prospect of combating

Somalian pirates with CENTCOM. Dutch counterparts agreed

with DASD Whelan’s suggestion that the South African Navy be

included in joint GONL-USG maritime security initiatives in

Africa and in Task Force 150 operations, provided the scope

of the Task Force could be expanded.

 

18. (U) While conceptual common ground was found on myriad

topics, DASD Whelan and De Gooijer were especially engaged in

sharing their views on the sequencing of point-conflict

reconstruction. Whelan and de Gooijer agreed that security

is a necessary element of development and that development

therefore cannot commence until security has been

established. De Gooijer added that the South African’s

shared opinions on this subject figured prominently in the

Dutch decision to identify South Africa as a key ally on the

continent.

 

HIV/AIDS

——–

 

19. (U) Dutch interlocutors shared their interest in

combating HIV/AIDS in Africa and urged the U.S. to consider

joint initiatives. Dutch Parliament, they said, is always

interested in HIV/AIDS projects in Africa. DASD Whelan

explained that implementation of all USG HIV/AIDS initiatives

involving the military comes from the Naval Health Research

Center (NHRC) in San Diego. She invited Dutch counterparts

to the NHRC for an information exchange and consultations.

In the alternative, NHRC officials perhaps could come to the

Netherlands. DASD Whelan further suggested that the Dutch

and the U.S. explore possibilities of working as implementing

partners on AIDS initiatives in Africa, particularly in South

Africa, where estimates of HIV infection in the military run

as high as 45 per cent.

SCHOFER

 

(5 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *