US embassy cable - 01ABUJA957

NIGERIA: MEETING WITH NSA ALIYU MOHAMMED -- A CONTINENTAL POTPOURRI

Identifier: 01ABUJA957
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA957 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-05-03 15:22:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL EAGR EAID OVIP JA LY NG CF IR NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000957 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
BRUSSELS FOR HINSON-JONES 
NSC FOR FRAZER AND BYRNE 
OSD FOR IKINS AND MCCONNELL 
BANJUL FOR DCM 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/03/2011 
TAGS: PREL, EAGR, EAID, OVIP, JA, LY, NG, CF, IR, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MEETING WITH NSA ALIYU MOHAMMED -- A 
CONTINENTAL POTPOURRI 
 
REF: A. A) ABUJA 900 
     B. B) ABUJA 873 
     C. C) ABUJA 956 
     D. D) ABUJA 804 
 
 
(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b) 
and (d). 
 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY. During a post-Operation FOCUS RELIEF (OFR) 
round-table meeting with the Nigerian National Security 
Advisor (ref C), NSA Aliyu Mohammed also discussed 
continental issues and President Obasanjo,s travel schedule. 
 He said President Obasanjo would travel to Asia in late May, 
and would be back in Abuja only briefly on May 29 for 
celebrations of the second anniversary of his inauguration 
and Nigeria,s transition to democracy.  Mohammed noted that 
President Kabila had been to Abuja, and would attend the 
HIV/AIDS Summit immediately followed by an official visit 
(This did not happen).  On Sudan, Mohammed said President 
Bashir would offer John Garang autonomy for southern Sudan 
but with unfavorable terms.  Egypt and Libya continued to 
demonstrate deep interest and concern for the changing 
Sudanese landscape.  On Niger and Chad, Nigeria recently 
concluded an agreement with Chad and Niger for Nigerian 
forces to stabilize the area around Lake Chad.  Nigeria is no 
longer planning additional food aid for Niger, believing it 
qualifies for broader international assistance.  Finally, 
Libya continues to pressure Niger on loans taken by the Bare 
regime, which used territory as collateral.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
2. (U) Following the OFR round-table on April 19, Ambassador 
Jeter, DOD PDAS Bernd McConnell, AF PDAS Mark Bellamy, DATT, 
and Counselor for Regional Affairs called on National 
Security Advisor General (ret) Aliyu Mohammed.  The NSA was 
joined by his principal assistant LTC Mohammed Inua Idris. 
 
 
3. (C) In response to a series of questions from Ambassador 
Jeter, the NSA noted that Democratic Republic of Congo 
President Kabila had recently visited Nigeria.  (COMMENT: We 
understand that President Obasanjo traveled to the 
Presidential Wing of the Abuja airport to meet with President 
Kabila.  END COMMENT.)  He said Kabila was seeking Nigerian 
food assistance, but did not say whether Nigeria had agreed 
to provide it. Kabila would also attend the HIV/AIDS Summit 
and would remain afterward for an official visit to Nigeria 
(Kabila was a no-show and Congo was not represented).  The 
NSA, however, did state that the Nigerian Government was no 
longer planning to purchase food aid for Niger, as he 
understood that Niger was eligible to receive U.S. food 
assistance itself.  (COMMENT:  We understand that the 
Department has verified that there is a serious drought and 
food shortage in Niger, and a request has been made to the 
U.S. for PL 480 assistance.  END COMMENT.) 
 
 
4. (C) The NSA noted that President Obasanjo would make an 
official visit to Japan in late May, and then go on to 
Indonesia for a G-15 conference.  He would return to Nigeria 
on May 29 in order to participate in the ceremonies 
celebrating the May 29, 1999 inauguration of a democratically 
elected government.  He would then depart later the same day 
to participate in celebrations for the founding of the CNN 
television network to which he has been invited by CNN 
President Ted Turner. 
 
 
5. (C) The NSA then went on to discuss a number of other 
continental issues.  He noted that based on discussions 
between the Sudanese and the Kenyans, he believed Sudanese 
President Bashir would offer John Garang autonomy for 
southern Sudan but with terms that would not be acceptable to 
Garang.  It would not be easy for Garang to get control over 
the southern Sudanese oilfields, or to demarcate boundaries 
through the swamps in the south.  The NSA also noted that the 
Libyans and the Egyptians were talking with Sudanese 
President Bashir regarding their concerns about southern 
Sudanese autonomy.  The Egyptians were particularly worried 
about the prospect of an autonomous southern Sudan taking 
steps to dam or otherwise impede the flow of the Nile, 
Egypt,s most sensitive foreign policy issue.  There would be 
no resolution of the Sudan situation without Egypt. 
 
 
6. (C) The NSA further stated his belief that Sudanese 
opposition leader El Turabi did not realize that at least 75 
percent of the Sudanese no longer supported him.  Ambassador 
Jeter told the NSA that U.S. Congressman Mike McNulty was 
very interested in Sudanese matters, and the Congressman had 
emphasized during a meeting with President Obasanjo that the 
SPLA and Garang would have to be engaged to reach a 
resolution to the conflict (Ref D).  He added that there was 
great interest in the Sudan among religious and other groups 
in the United States, including a wide array of Congressional 
leaders. 
 
 
7. (C) The NSA then said the pressure of drought in southern 
Niger and in Chad was making the area around Lake Chad more 
unstable.  Nigeria recently reached an agreement with Chad 
and Niger for Nigerian forces to try to stabilize the area. 
He also noted that Libyan leader Qadhafi continued to be 
interested in the situation in Chad and that Chadian 
President Idris Deby would travel to Tripoli to meet with 
Qadhafi to discuss relations.  The NSA stated that Libyan 
pressure on the Nigerien Government, particularly regarding 
loans that had been made during the Bare regime that had used 
Nigerien territory as collateral, had been increasing. 
 
 
8. (C) In a brief reference to Burkina Faso, the NSA noted 
that it too was interested in receiving some sort of food 
assistance from Nigeria.  He mentioned that there would be an 
upcoming meeting between President Obasanjo and President 
Campaore, implying that Obasanjo might visit Ouagadougou in 
the very near future. 
Jeter 

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