More aid promised if US passes Democracy Development Act


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The United States was likely to provide more financial aid to pro-democracy advocates who were being victimised by the State for their political activities once the Democracy Development Act had been passed.

This was said in an embassy note in a cable released by Wikileaks after Transparency International Zimbabwe director John Makumbe asked what additional resources might be available to non-governmental organisations that were working in non-democratic countries.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07BAMAKO1363, VISIT OF DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE TO MALI,

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07BAMAKO1363

2007-11-28 11:03

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Bamako

VZCZCXYZ1489

RR RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHBP #1363/01 3321103

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 281103Z NOV 07

FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8451

INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0040

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0005

RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0012

RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0001

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0029

RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0004

RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0009

RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0017

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0008

RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0007

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0007

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0003

RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0140

RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 0005

UNCLAS BAMAKO 001363

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PGOV EFIN ECON ML

SUBJECT: VISIT OF DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE TO MALI,

COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES MINISTERIAL

 

REF: A. BAMAKO 1339

B. BAMAKO 1336

 

1. Summary: The Deputy Secretary’s November 14-15 visit to

Mali as head of the U.S. delegation to the Community of

Democracies (CD) Ministerial reaffirmed our strong bilateral

ties and sent a clear message of support for Mali’s CD

Presidency. During the CD Meeting, the Deputy met with

representatives from NGOs from non-democratic countries,

participated in the launch of a working group bringing

together democracies in the Asia-Pacific region, and engaged

with delegates from other democratic states. On the

bilateral side, he met with President Toure and FM Ouane

(septel) and reached out to Mali’s own civil society The

Deputy’s press conference with a variety of Malian and

international correspondents highlighted the strength of

U.S.-Malian relations and clarified U.S. military engagement

in the North of the country. End summary

 

——————————————–

U.S. – Strong Support for Mali’s CD Presidency

——————————————–

 

2. The Deputy Secretary’s visit, beginning with his arrival

via Timbuktu, received prominent and positive press coverage

(reftel A). His acknowledgment of Mali’s long tradition of

religious tolerance and Islamic scholarship during his calls

on Muslim leaders in the brief stop in Timbuktu further

reaffirmed the positive message carried by the U.S.

delegation. The Deputy’s presence and his role as opening

ceremony speaker, along with Ambassador Danilovich’s

participation in the CD opening, communicated strong U.S.

support for the Community of Democracies and our appreciation

to Mali for its chairmanship during the last year.

 

——————————————— —————–

CD – Meeting with NGO Representatives from Undemocratic States

——————————————— —————–

 

3. The Deputy Secretary’s meeting with representatives of

NGO’s from non-democratic countries (defined as CD observer

countries or countries not invited) on the margins of the

Ministerial provided them an opportunity to voice specific

concerns:

 

–Joel Brito, International Group for Social Corporate

Responsibility (Cuba): Noted that President Bush’s recent

speech on Cuba was well-received among the opposition.

 

–Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Activist, American University of Cairo

(Egypt): Wished to elevate the fate of imprisoned

journalists and the importance of a free press. Noted that

democracy had been good for Africa, but said there were still

cases of special concern, including Egypt. They added that

Ethiopia was no longer following a democratic agenda, and

they urged the United States to help put Ethiopia back on the

right track.

 

–Reza Eslami-Somea, Professor, University of Shahid

Behesthti (Iran): NGO representatives noted the need for

further academic and cultural exchanges, but complained that

these exchanges were frequently frustrated by the

difficulties in obtaining U.S. visas.

 

–Oyo Obe, Civil Liberties Organization and Chair of the

World Movement for Democracy (Nigeria): Emphasized the

importance of involving civil society in the democratization

process.

 

–Yuri Dzhibladze, Center for the Development of Democracy

and Human Rights (Russia): Expressed their interests in

promoting greater communication between NGO’s, noting that

the government controlled nearly all the mass media but that

the internet provided a way to publish and make available to

the public much more material.

 

–Mohsen Marzouk, Kawakibi, Center for Democratic Transition

 

(Tunisia): Urged a stronger diplomatic and Embassy role in

supporting democracy, and encouraged NGO’s to be more active

in promoting their effectiveness and results. Stated need

for regional and local strategy. Said they had plenty of

money, “maybe too much,” but did not know how to best spend

it.

 

–Carlos Ponce, Justice Consortium and Milos Alcalay, former

Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN (Venezuela): Would like to

see a regional NGO support network. Asked for greater

involvement and support from regional organizations such as

the OAS. The NGO representatives argued that these regional

organizations were needed to actively counter Venezuelan

President Chavez’ funding of anti-democratic programs in

Nicaragua and Bolivia,

 

–Vo Van Ai, Que Me: Action for Democracy on Vietnam

(Vietnam): Raised their concern over plight of political

prisoners. Saw the economy opening and rise in number of

democratic activists.

 

–John Makumbe, University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe): Asked

what additional resources might be made available to them

(Embassy note: they were provided information on draft

legislation, the “Democracy Development Act,” that if passed

may provide financial aid to pro-demacracy advocates who are

victimized by the state due to their political activities.)

 

—————————————

CD – Asia Pacific Democracy Partnership

—————————————

 

4. The Deputy Secretary also hosted a working breakfast to

discuss the creation of an Asia-Pacific Democracy

Partnership, to bring established democracies from the region

together to create a framework for supporting neighboring

emerging democracies. The Canadian, Mongolian, South Korean,

and the Philippines representatives whole-heartedly supported

the initiative, while several others suggested a slower

approach. Also in attendance were representatives of

Australia, India, Indonesia, and Japan. The group agreed to

meet again in early 2008, in Asia, at a date yet to be

determined. In the meantime, the USG will produce a new

non-paper on the proposed APDP structure and priorities, and

engage in further bilateral discussions to pave the way for

the larger group meeting.

 

——————————–

Bilateral – Mali’s Civil Society

——————————–

 

5. Representatives of Malian civil society told the Deputy

Secretary of their concerns about forms of slavery still

 

SIPDIS

practiced in Mali, and the opposition of Imams and Muslim

groups to President Toure’s proposal to amend Mali’s Family

Code and abolish the death penalty (reftel B). Malian

women’s groups expressed reservations at challenging the

Imams in their contention that the death penalty was in

keeping with Koranic principles.   Representatives of the

women’s groups and religious leaders were both unhappy that

the President had announced the proposals without consulting

civil society.

 

—————-

Press Conference

—————-

 

6. During a brief press conference on the eve of his

departure, the Deputy Secretary told the Malian press corps

that, as one of Mali’s oldest allies, the U.S. is committed

to reinforcing Mali’s democratic tradition. He noted that

Mali benefits from a broad range of U.S. assistance programs,

including USAID, the MCC, the President’s Malaria Initiative,

and Military humanitarian assistance. Malian journalists

were particularly interested in U.S. military assistance to

Mali and rumors of a U.S. military base in northern Mali.

The Deputy Secretary dispelled these rumors, stating that the

 

U.S. has no intention of installing a military base in the

north. He said members of the U.S. military present in

northern Mali were there only to provide counter-terrorism

training to the Malian military. In response to questions

regarding AFRICOM, the Deputy Secretary said the U.S.

continued to consult with African countries about the

location of AFRICOM headquarters, which is currently located

in Germany. Following the press conference, some Malian

newspapers speculated that Mali figures high on the list of

potential AFRICOM sites.

 

7. The Deputy Secretary’s staff has cleared this message.

McCulley

(11 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
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.

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