The whistleblowers’ site Wikileaks published a leaked Cable of US Embassy Addis Ababa. This is the 7th Cable of its kind. The Cable presents a 1 hour and half longJ endayi frazer, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs  meeting between,

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Jendayi Frazer, the then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs that covers a broad ranging issues concerning Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, and the Eritrean border. The meeting, held on Jan. 31/2008, was also attended by Donald Yamamoto, US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Courville, Sudan S/E Williamson, AF/SPG Director Lauren Landis.

Kenya’s post-election violence: Meles appears to prefer pressuring the opposition parties and their candidate Rayla Odinga(now Prime Minister). Though he advised US and EU to warn both sides ‘regarding accountability for violence’, he seems to hold the opposition responsible for it. Meles said:

‘the international reaction thus far does not inspire moderation. The EU response of cutting off assistance gives the message that ]President] Kibaki is the “bad guy” and does not push Odinga or his group to moderate their positions.’

‘it would be helpful for the United States, in coordination with the EU, to speak to both the opposition and [the pro-government] key Kikuyu figures in clear terms regarding accountability for the violence.’

Jandayi Frazer doesn’t appear to contradict his assessment of the opposition, rather claims the lack of leverage over the opposition, and wishes to see more accommodating efforts by President Kibaki.

Sudan-US relations: A/S Frazer expresses twice its disenchantment with the Sudanese ruling party, National Congress Party (NCP), negative rhetoric towards the US and its threatening to expel US  Charge d’Affaires and those engaged in building the peacekeeper building camps. Remarkably, Meles Zenawi, downplayed Khartoum’s rhetoric saying,

‘the government in Khartoum is “not a one man show” and he did not think these threats were serious’.

‘the NCP was posturing a bit and that they would not push too far.’

Somaliland Recognition: Both Meles and Frazer wants the African Union to take the lead in the recognition Somaliland. She said that:

she had raised the issue with AU Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare, who seemed to be placing unrealistic conditions for addressing the Somaliland issue. The first was that Somaliland negotiate with the government in Mogadishu, either the TFG or its successor, regarding its independence, and the second was that there be a regional consensus on Somaliland’s status, neither of which are likely to happen or result in any clear decisions.

Meles stated his government position on Somaliland is similar to the United States. However, he said ‘the political situation within the AU was not yet ripe for addressing the Somaliland issue.’ Meles claimed the then Somaliland President, Rayale, messed up by not following his advise on how to raise the issue in the AU. Meles said that:

he urged him[Rayale] to write to the AU requesting that they identify a timeframe for a discussion on the Somaliland issue. However, Rayale “messed things up” by essentially re-sending his previous letter requesting recognition and membership in the AU, rather than asking for a timeframe for a discussion on Somaliland.

Meles said that, if Somaliland had taken the route that he suggested, it would have been likely that the issue could have been addressed soon. However, if the elections for a new AU Chairperson take place during the AU Summit, Meles said that the next chairperson is unlikely to be as positive towards Somaliland as Konare, which will only further delay any discussion of Somaliland.

Ethio-Eritrean border: The cable also contains a vague discussion on the Ethio-Eritrean border. A/S Frazer asked Meles ‘what would have been the consequences of dropping out of the Algiers Agreement.’ Meles’s response is even less clear, he noted that

had Ethiopia dropped out of the Algiers Process, it would not have changed Ethiopia’s position to remain committed to avoiding conflict with Eritrea. Dropping out would have consolidated hard-liners within his own government who advocate a tougher line with Eritrea and the U.N., and confused the Eritreans.



  1. missed opportunities from early days onward. Was there ever a case and Riyale blew it, I seriously doubt that.

  2. "Rayale “messed things up” by essentially re-sending his previous letter requesting recognition and membership in the AU, rather than asking for a timeframe for a discussion on Somaliland." This is very important in my opinion and we must prepare ourselves to work harder on all fronts. This tells us not to neglect lobbying the African countries, while the talks in Turkey talks are going on. In other words, we can chew our chewing-gum and walk at the same time.

    A message for Professor Ahmed Samater: In case you messed, We already had the plan B and now plan A is the only option.

    • Former President Rayaale's time was too tough and bad. The whole world was too proxy and toxic.
      Being a first time minority president of the Somaliland of Dictator Egalism which were already
      beleagured by hartilanders through the Egypt AL Butros Butros ghali when he was the SG of
      the UN?. Don't forget what the SL was like when Egal passed away in S/African Military Hospital.
      Without Rayaale SL would have been hell haven. I have special respect for Rayaale having ruled the SL for 8 years and handed over a democratic Govt peacefully.

      • Mohamed cheers,

        Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the blame game business and I was just pointing out that we shouldn't limit our selves to one single front (Turkey). Riyaale did what he did and I leave that for the historians to comment. It will be immoral to comment upon Egal's deeds, because he is not alive to defend himself and I leave the deceased to be judged by Allah and I pray that he forgives his sins and ours too.

        • Not to worry..we both trying to give ideas…doesn't matter whether we disagree on
          certain issues but at least whatever is appropriate should work instead of scratch
          each others backs.

  3. It is never too late if that's what the people of Somaliland want. Although the position of the people of somaliland is complete divorce from the union, some of our politicians including the incumbent President have other ideas.

    Are we all singing the same song and are we sincere about it?

  4. This is not a new thing. We have heard or read this report almost three or four years ago.I wonder why to repeat it again?

  5. Zenawi is dead and Frazer departed with Bush administration. Konore is gone and former President Riyaale transferred power peacefully after his defeat at the polls in 2010. Somaliland still remains and will continue to thrive. Still can never forget Frazer visit to Somaliland. What a coup! What a shock to our foes.