According to US cable leaked before its due date to be declassified 03/11/14, either Roble Olhaye hijacked national interest of Djibouti or Piggy is a ruler in absentia.
Ali Abdi Farah Foreign minister at time has tried to insert his power and override what he called “the unauthorized dealing of Roble Olhaye to sideline the entire government”
On Feb. 2004 Olhaye was visiting Djibouti; during his stay he met General Robeson who then raised the base’s long term lease relationship and how to make it amenable to both sides. Olhaye responded that he had discussed the issue with Department of Defence for the Government of Djibouti. Djibouti welcomed the U.S. presence and would continue to do all it could to provide facilities but it desired a long term commitment. He said Djibouti was not in a position to put any timelines or constraints on the USG that the U.S. was “welcome to stay permanently if it wished and to expand, to be more comfortable.” Olhaye added that Djibouti will try its best to provide what the military needs and to be welcoming. General Robeson asked Olhaye if he would be involved in lease negotiations and the Olhaye responded positively that he would be representing the Djiboutian Government in Washington
According to Ragsdale the US ambassador a meeting with Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Farah on March 10 2004, Farah contradicted information we reported (reftel A) that placed authority for negotiations on the Camp Lemonier base lease renewal within the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. Farah also denied that Ambassador Olhaye would be his country’s primary interlocutor.
This makes three possibilities, and counting, for Djiboutian dialogue with the U.S. on base lease renewal. Despite the denials of Farah, though, we are hard-pressed to see talks without a role in some manner for Ambassador Olhaye. He is present in Washington and is expected to continue his engagement. If the confusion is indicative of anything, it is that Djibouti’s own internal tensions over who will take charge of renewal talks will add another hurdle to those we must overcome as we enter what probably will be tough lease negotiations.
The US negotiator insisted Ambassador Olhaye to be part of the dream team from Djiboutia side; perhaps Olhaye as Washington insider knows well the kick-back games that can satisfy both parties.