DE RUEHWD #0025/01 0491551
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 181551Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0205
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0006 C O N F I D E N T I A L WINDHOEK 000025
FOR MCC, STATE FOR AF/S AND AF/RSA
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE PASS TO AMEMBASSY MALABO
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/18
SUBJECT: Namibian Foreign Minister Discusses MINURCAT, SADC
REF: A: 09 WINDHOEK 397; B: 09 WINDHOEK 453
CLASSIFIED BY: Emily Plumb, Political Officer, U.S. Department of
State, U.S. Embassy Windhoek; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)
1. (SBU) Summary. On February 17, Ambassador paid a New Year
courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs Marco Hausiku.
Hausiku offered his views on Namibia's contribution to the UN
Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in
light of Chad's President Deby's call to end the peacekeeping
operation's mandate. He also summarized Namibia's agenda as the
new Southern African Development Community (SADC) chair. The
Foreign Minister was pleased to hear that the USG hopes to restart
the African Contingent Operations Training and Assistance program
(ACOTA) for the National Defense Forces (NDF) as well as to learn
about the progress being made to implement Namibia's Millennium
Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact. End Summary.
Committed to MINURCAT
2. (C ) Ambassador called upon Foreign Minister Hausiku on
February 17 to solicit his views on a variety of topics, including
his read-out of the recent AU Summit in Addis Ababa. Hausiku
reported that he was impressed by the turnout of heads of state and
government and pleased that SADC's objective had been achieved with
the election of President Mutharika as AU chair. In April, Namibia
will join the organization's Peace and Security Council, he said.
Ambassador inquired about Namibia's intentions to send peacekeepers
to MINURCAT given Deby's recent decision to end the operation's
mandate and request the withdrawal of UN peacekeeping troops.
Hausiku replied that based on Deby's repeated requests for
international assistance during past AU summits, Namibia had
decided in 2009 to contribute troops to MINURCAT (ref A). That
decision was made public in the Namibian press this week after the
cabinet formally approved the measure, he noted. Hausiku himself
was not convinced by the sincerity of Deby's calls for MINURCAT to
depart. "These are times when the international community should
be steadfast when intervention is necessary. I'm sure deep in
(Deby's) heart he knows he cannot stand alone," he opined. He also
suggested that Namibia was trying to clarify Deby's position.
3. (C) Ambassador applauded Namibia's decision to press
forward and asserted it would be premature for MINURCAT to begin a
March withdrawal. She added that only after the situation in Chad
and Sudan stabilizes could a gradual and orderly drawdown be
considered. Hausiku agreed, "Maybe some people get used to
problems, but I would not do this if I were (Deby)." Ambassador
inquired as to the location(s) where Namibian peacekeepers would be
deployed, but Hausiku declined to venture a response.
4. (C) According to Hausiku, Namibia has already identified
some priorities for its tenure as SADC chair. The SADC agenda will
be coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, but the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and security bodies will take the lead
on peace and security issues, he stated. The Foreign Minister
referred to several "sticking points," namely Zimbabwe and
Madagascar, that needed to be addressed, but he offered no details
as to how Namibia would take action. He claimed Namibia would not
leave issues to fester, however.
5. (C) Hausiku said that Namibia also plans to focus on
harmonizing procedures for conducting elections in SADC countries,
including during the pre-electoral period and the acceptance of
results. Hausiku believes Namibia can be a leader in this area,
noting his country has the "courage" to take up election challenges
quickly. Referring to the ongoing legal battle over the results of
the November 2009 general elections by nine Namibian opposition
parties (ref B), Hausiku explained that the government is closely
"watching itself" so as to either accept the election results or
ensure that proper legal procedures are followed. Ambassador took
the opportunity to commend Namibia for allowing the judicial
process to move forward and remarked that this was part of the
process of a maturing democracy and not a blemish on Namibia's
record. Hausiku said that President Pohamba has declared that
whatever the court decides will be respected, although, he added,
the ruling party believes the elections were indeed free and fair.
ACOTA and MCC
6. (SBU) Ambassador informed Hausiku that a Department of
Defense official would visit Namibia in the coming weeks to discuss
resumption of the ACOTA program to train peacekeepers (ref A).
Hausiku said he would notify the Minister of Defense, whom he
assured has an "open mind" when it comes to training. Ambassador
also told Hausiku that the USG would be conducting additional
demining training in March at the request of the police and NDF.
7. (SBU) The Foreign Minister asked for an update on the MCC
Compact. Ambassador replied that the implementation was proceeding
smoothly. The equipment needed for the road infrastructure upgrade
project in Etosha National Park would soon arrive. On the
education side, much-needed math, science and English text books
would be delivered in the coming weeks. Hausiku was pleased with
the updates and noted that he hoped his colleagues in the Ministry
of Education would do their part to explain to students the
importance of taking care of their new text books. (Note. Due to a
severe shortage of text books and educational materials, it is not
uncommon for as many as five Namibian students to share the same
book. End note.)
8. (C) Based on the Foreign Minister's remarks, it appears
certain that Namibia will follow through on its plans to contribute
peacekeepers to MINURCAT soon despite Deby's statements. As SADC
chair, Namibia will most likely make no waves in addressing the
state of play in Zimbabwe. Despite President Pohamba's insistence
that the ruling party supports the court's role in determining the
election's outcome, more hard-line, senior members of the SWAPO
party have not been as supportive. Thus, Post will continue to
underscore our message that the judicial process must be allowed to
fully play out.
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