US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2420

NIGERIAN ARMY TROOP ROTATION COMPLETELY CANCELLED

Identifier: 01ABUJA2420
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2420 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-09-21 16:21:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Tags: PREL MASS MARR KPKO SL 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 ABUJA 002420 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
NOFORN 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6X1 
TAGS: PREL, MASS, MARR, KPKO, SL, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIAN ARMY TROOP ROTATION COMPLETELY CANCELLED 
 
REF: IIR 6 871 0371 01 
 
 
Classification derived from IIR 6 871 0371 01; Reason 1.6X1. 
 
 
1. (U) This is IIR 6 871 0371 01, repeated through State 
Channels to ensure wider distribution outside of DOD. 
 
 
begin text: 
 
 
2. (C/NF) Summary: Nigerian army staff stated that latest 
troop rotation cancelled. Elements of one battalion that had 
begun to move to Sierra Leone will be recalled. 
 
 
3.  (C/NF) According to Colonel Operations, Colonel D. Kaka, 
of the Nigerian Army Staff, the troop rotation plan involving 
73 and 65 battalions, switching with 5 and 130 battalions has 
been summarily cancelled.  Kaka stated that elements of the 
65 battalion had already begun to rotate but that these 
personnel would return to Nigeria shortly. 
 
 
4. (C/NF) Kaka clearly was confused regarding the 
cancellation, literally throwing his hands in the air over 
the decision to cancel while part of a unit was already 
deployed (field comment - ironically, Kaka requested that RO 
find out from the Nigerian Government what was going on). 
 
 
5. (C/NF) Field Comments: For several weeks, RO has updated 
Kaka on the UN/US rotation plan in the wake of the Nigerian 
Presidents decision to support the change.  The original 
rotation plan was changed twice in the last few weeks by 
UN/US planners.  While the first change (both battalions to 
rotate in January) was accepted by the President, the 
Nigerian Army had not gotten any word one way or the other. 
The waters became muddier when we suggested a further change 
(one battalion to rotate out in September and be replaced by 
the Senegalese, and the second battalion to rotate in 
January).  Emboffs made calls on Minister of state for Army 
Lawal Batagarawa explaining the changes and the fact that the 
Army did not know about them and was proceeding with original 
rotation plans. The Nigerian army now apparently has chosen 
to cancel the rotation completely and leave the 5 and 130 
battalions in Sierra Leone until the situation clarifies or 
the Operation Focus Relief phase three units are ready to 
deploy in December/January timeframe.  The fact that source 
has requested RO to provide him information on what his own 
government is doing is indicative of sources frustration with 
the Nigerian bureaucracy and slowness to respond. 
 
 
end text 
 
 
6. (C) CDA is seeking an appointment with Minister of Defense 
Danjuma for Tuesday, September 25, to try to put the rotation 
issue back on track. 
 
 
7. (U) Freetown minimize considered. 
Andrews 

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