NETHERLANDS: PLANS TO EXPAND PEACE AND SECURITY PROGRAMS IN AFRICA

Identifier: 
06THEHAGUE762

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 000762

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E (E. REDDICK), AF/C (AMB J. LEADER AND J.
GAFFNEY), AF/RSA (M. BITTRICK AND C. BECK)
OSD FOR OASD/ISA/AFR (COL K. LANGDORF, C. IKINS, T. WONG)
EUCOM FOR MAJ T. RAYMOND
MOLESWORTH FOR S. HRICIK
NAIROBI PLEASE PASS TO CDC (T. BOO)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2016
TAGS: PREL, KGHA, KHIV, KPKO, MARR, MASS, MOPS, BE, BY, CG,
FR, NI, NO, RW, SF, SU, UG, UK, US, NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: PLANS TO EXPAND PEACE AND SECURITY
PROGRAMS IN AFRICA

REF: GENEVA 706

THE HAGUE 00000762 001.2 OF 003

Classified By: Political Counselor Andrew J. Schofer; reasons 1.4 (b) a
nd (d).

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see para 6.

2. (SBU) Summary: The GONL is paying increasing attention to
African Peace and Security Architecture and is ready to
commit additional resources. The GONL wishes, in cooperation
with the Belgians, to take a lead on Burundi Security Sector
Reform (SSR). It is considering contributing a small
contingent of headquarters staff to the European Union,s DRC
election mission. On SSR, DDR and an African Standby Force,
the GONL is taking a comprehensive look at possibilities for
multi-donor or unilateral programs. It is interested in
contributing specialized personnel to our ACOTA and,
possibly, HIV/AIDS programs. End summary.

Background: growing support for Africa initiatives
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. (SBU) Embassy officers met March 23, 29 and 30 with
specialized Dutch MOD and MFA colleagues, to discuss Dutch
interest in SSR, DDR, HIV/AIDS, peacekeeping, and related
programs in sub-Saharan Africa. For much of the past year,
the GONL has signaled an interest, but its goals have been
vague. With the increasingly likely prospect of a Labor-led
government in 2007, interest now appears to be solidifying.
Regardless of whether Labor wins, Dutch interest in Africa is
likely to grow, as the GONL seeks domestically popular
alternatives to its commitments in Afghanistan, the Balkans
and elsewhere. Poloff held follow-on discussions April 6
with Africa researchers from the Netherlands Institute for
International Relations ("Clingendael") and received insight
entirely consistent with what GONL officials are saying.

4. (SBU) Embassy points of contact are Colonel John Gross
(DAO, grossjd2@state.gov), Ted Burkhalter (political officer,
primary for Africa, burkhaltereb@state.gov) and Jason Grubb
(political-military officer, back-up for Africa,
grubbjb@state.gov).

Dutch propose taking lead, with Belgium, on Burundi SSR
--------------------------------------------- ----------

5. (SBU) The GONL has proposed taking a lead, with the
Belgians, on Security Sector Reform (SSR) efforts in Burundi.
The program would start with the drafting of a white paper,
followed by staff level assistance. SSR implementation
would be some time off and would require multiple donors.
The Dutch have stressed they were heavily involved in early
demobilization efforts in Burundi. For this reason, the
Dutch parliament is more comfortable with direct assistance
to the Burundian military and police than to those of other
Great Lakes countries.

6. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: The GONL would welcome U.S.
participation. However, it wants to be sure the
Dutch/Belgian lead role is maintained. It therefore seeks
full U.S. buy-in, before moving ahead. Post requests cleared
points from Washington, informing the GONL that we welcome
the Dutch/Belgian SSR leadership role in Burundi and look
forward to discussing further at the next meeting of the
Great Lakes Contact Group. END ACTION REQUEST.

Great Lakes Intelligence Fusion Cell
------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The Dutch provided the initial funds for Burundian
participation in the Great Lakes Intelligence Fusion Cell.
They are willing to consider providing some additional funds
but need Burundian budget estimates ASAP. They would
appreciate any help and note positively our DATT,s and their

THE HAGUE 00000762 002.2 OF 003

DATT,s persistent efforts in Bujumbura.

8. (SBU) The Dutch say the Burundians need, ultimately, to
fund the continuing costs of the fusion cell on their own.
We suspect the need might materialize sooner rather than
later.

ACOTA
-----

9. (SBU) The GONL has overcome initial reservations, which
may have been fueled by inaccurate NGO reports on ACOTA's
goals. The Dutch are eager to provide specialized military
personnel, on a case-by-case basis. They request that ACOTA
program coordinators inform them 2-3 months in advance of
personnel needs. They are unwilling to work with ACOTA
civilian contractors, unless uniformed U.S. officers are
present.

10. (SBU) Post, after consulting with ACOTA coordinators,
suggested the GONL also consider independently funding PSO
"bricks and mortar" projects in Mozambique, Nigeria, and
elsewhere. According to the MFA, funds for this are not
currently available. We suggest this issue be raised again,
following next year,s election.

Lord,s Resistance Army
----------------------

11. (S) MFA representatives noted the Geneva core group
meeting (reftel) and said that the GONL fully supports an
integrated political/military/security/development approach
to the LRA. However, because of Dutch concerns about the
human rights record of the UPDF, the GONL is unlikely to
participate in any military component. Poloff followed up
March 28 and 29 with MFA political and political-military
advisors, who stressed, though, that the possibility is not
entirely ruled out. Development Minister van Ardenne (who
plays an influential role in Dutch Africa policy) reiterated
to Ambassador Arnall on March 29 that the GONL supports core
group/UN/MONUC/UNMIS efforts to capture LRA leaders.

12. (S) The Dutch have asked, repeatedly, whether the U.S.
has reached any decisions on military options for assisting
the UPDF against the LRA. They have asked that we consider
sharing this information with them as soon as is possible.

ASF and African security architecture
-------------------------------------

13. (SBU) The Dutch had several questions and comments
stemming from the March London clearinghouse conference.
They are likely to raise these at the next contact group
meeting. First, they will participate in C3IS workshops, but
to learn, rather than to lead. Second, they are interested
in African Standby Force (ASF) buildup but want to be clear
that it must be done in a multi-donor framework. Third, they
asked whether we had any thoughts on the modalities of the
ASF. Fourth, they would like to know whether there are any
specific areas of ASF in which the U.S. would like Dutch
assistance. They suggested a strong preference for logistics
assistance. Finally, what is our thinking with regard to
positioning of schools? Will every regional grouping (i.e.,
ECOWOS) have its own school(s)? The Dutch did not indicate
whether they are contemplating anything beyond the current
Burundi PKO training center.

Congo (DRC): EU election mission and DDR
----------------------------------------

14. (SBU) The GONL will not contribute ground troops to the
European Union,s election mission in Congo (DRC). It may,
however, contribute a staff contingent to the proposed
Operational HQ in Potsdam and a "very small number - 3 or 4"

THE HAGUE 00000762 003 OF 003

of officers to a forward HQ in the DRC. This remains under
discussion and is contingent on the success of the German
proposal. MFA colleagues have told us they are frustrated
that the MOD (and Defense Minister Kamp) remain wary of
sending ground troops to Africa. They believe that, if Labor
wins the 2007 elections, this will change.

15. (SBU) The MFA again emphasized the GONL view that a
premature international withdrawal from the DRC would have
dire consequences. They urged us to press this point within
the administration and with members of Congress. They
predict a continued need for a strong international presence
well beyond the last round of elections, likely to be held in
late September or October.

16. (SBU) The MFA stressed that future DRC DDR efforts will
require large sums of money and must therefore be conducted
in a multi-donor setting. The Dutch will participate in such
efforts but will not take a lead. They are finalizing
preparations on existing integrated brigades programs, in
conjunction with the South Africans. MFA representatives
explained the Dutch position, saying the GONL had already
provided several hundred thousand dollars of "tailor made"
assistance for joint MONUC-FARDC operations. They are
interested in knowing the scope of possible U.S.
contributions.

HIV/AIDS in the SSR context
---------------------------

17. (SBU) The Dutch military has still not grasped the
necessity of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in SSR and
peacekeeper training programs, according to MOD and MFA
officers. The MFA has a rough conceptual plan, but, as one
of their representatives told us, "The U.S. is way ahead on
that." The Dutch expressed interest in sending military
health officials (whether uniformed or civilian) to visit, or
even participate in, U.S. HIV/AIDS programs with African
militaries. Although the idea has not received high-level
consideration within MOD, the officers with whom we met felt
it might be helpful in generating greater awareness. We
passed the Dutch a summary of ODC Pretoria,s programs with
the South African military (prepared by Pretoria for Dutch
consumption). We also told them about U.S. programs in
Nigeria and suggested they contact our HIV/AIDS coordinator
in Abuja (Nina Wadhwa).

Sudan/Darfur
------------

18. (C) Netherlands Sudan policy is currently coordinated by
the MFA Sudan Task Force, which operates outside the Africa
Department. The issue was therefore not discussed. In
brief, though, the Dutch hold positions similar to our own
and are very active in support of the Abuja talks and UNSC
action. Should NATO or EU technical or logistical support to
an eventual rehatted force be needed (as seems probable), the
Dutch are likely contributors. They have a small military
and police presence in UNMIS and have provided logistical
support to AMIS.

Conclusion: Encouraging the Dutch
---------------------------------

19. (SBU) Dutch interest in African Peace and Security
programs is genuine and largely altruistic. The GONL is
constrained, however, by three factors: acute human rights
sensitivities, a relative lack of experience, and hesitancy
among its military leaders. We can significantly increase
Dutch expertise, as well as support among the military, by
inviting MOD specialists to observe or participate in our
HIV/AIDS programs with African militaries and our ACOTA
peacekeeper training programs.
ARNALL