US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2289

NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON HUMANITRIAN ASSISTANCE AND UNAMSIL ROTATION UPDATE

Identifier: 01ABUJA2289
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2289 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-09-12 16:07:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL EAID MASS MARR KPKO SL NI UNAMSIL
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 ABUJA 002289 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/12/2011 
TAGS: PREL, EAID, MASS, MARR, KPKO, SL, NI, UNAMSIL 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON HUMANITRIAN ASSISTANCE 
AND UNAMSIL ROTATION UPDATE 
 
 
REF: A. STATE 143583 
     B. ABUJA 2117 
     C. STATE 151930 
     D. ABUJA 2218 
     E. ABUJA NI 2287 
     F. ABUJA 2286 
 
 
Classified by CDA Andrews; Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d). 
 
 
1. (C) CDA Andrews called on NSA Aliyu Mohammed on 12 
September.  Mohammed echoed the words of President Obasanjo 
regarding the terrorist attacks against the United States 
(Ref F), and offered any and all assistance to locating the 
perpetrators and bringing them to justice.  Andrews thanked 
the NSA for the quick reaction of the Nigerian security 
establishment to protect the Embassy and American lives and 
property in Nigeria. 
 
 
2. (U) Andrews provided the NSA a briefing on the trip to 
Kano and Jigawa States using OFR helicopters, and informed 
the NSA that we expected an OFDA team in the following days, 
assuming they did not have pressing duties in the United 
States.  Mohammed thanked the Embassy profusely for the 
goodwill gesture, noted he had informed both the President 
and the Vice President of the Embassy's efforts and stated 
that the OFDA team would be welcome, if they were able to 
come. 
 
 
3. (C) Andrews noted the Embassy had received a letter from 
the Senate President and the Speaker of the House requesting 
an MPRI program to enhance the oversight capabilities of the 
National Assembly Defense Committees. (COMMENT:  Both the NSA 
and President had previously expressed reservation about MPRI 
working with the National Assembly.  END COMMENT.)  Andrews 
noted that, since Nigeria was a democracy, the Embassy could 
not "lightly set aside" such a request when signed by the 
presiding officers of both houses.  Mohammed replied that he 
was an early supporter of the MPRI program, and said he would 
discuss the Assembly's request with Senate President Anyim 
that afternoon, and ask the Assembly leaders to also discuss 
their interest in MPRI with President Obasanjo. 
 
 
4. (C) Andrews informed the NSA of recent discussions of 
UNAMSIL troop rotations, including the initial request to 
keep one Nigerian battalion in Sierra Leone until January 
(Ref A) and the President's decision to support the request 
(Ref B).  Andrews also told the NSA of the subsequent request 
made to the Acting Minister of Defense that one Nigerian 
battalion be replaced by a Senegalese OFR-trained battalion 
(Ref C and D).  Finally, Andrews explained that we understood 
that the Army had not received new orders and was proceeding 
on its original orders (Ref E), which caused us some concern. 
 Mohammed asked that the Embassy work with his Military 
Advisor LTC Idris to resolve the matter.  (NOTE: CDA sent LTC 
Idris a letter, at his urging, explaining in detail the 
requested rotation changes.  END NOTE.) 
 
 
5. (C) After returning from the meeting, PolMilOff spoke with 
Balarabe Lawal, SA to the Army Minister (Batagarawa is seized 
with a visit of the Chinese Defense Minister).  Lawal stated 
that Minister Danjuma himself had approved the rotation 
changes when checking in with his office during his leave. 
Lawal then checked with the Personal Staff Officer to the 
Minister, at PolMilOff's urging, to confirm that the Army had 
been informed.  Lawal reported that the Army had not been 
informed, and that Chief of Defense Staff VADM Ibrahim Ogohi 
had also sent a letter on the rotations.  The decision was 
being held in abeyance until the Minister could consider all 
of the information received.  COMMENT: We assume this means 
that Ogohi is again creating obstacles.  END COMMENT. 
 
 
6. (C) DATT COMMENT: According to Colonel Operations, Colonel 
Kaka, as of 12SEP01 1300, the Army was proceeding on the 
original schedule, i.e. rotation of two Nigerian battalions 
on 17 September.  END DATT COMMENT. 
 
 
7. (U) Freetown minimize considered. 
Andrews 

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