US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2686

TFUS01: NIGERIA: EU TROIKA'S CALL ON THE AMBASSADOR RE: SECURITY

Identifier: 01ABUJA2686
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2686 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-10-20 08:19:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL OFDP ASEC EU 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 002686 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR DS/OP/AF AND DS/DSS/ITA 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2011 
TAGS: PREL, OFDP, ASEC, EU, NI 
SUBJECT: TFUS01: NIGERIA: EU TROIKA'S CALL ON THE 
AMBASSADOR RE: SECURITY 
 
Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b), 
(d), (g). 
 
 
1. (C) On October 16, the EU Troika (the Belgian and Spanish 
Ambassadors, and Head of the European Commission Delegation), 
called on Ambassador Jeter to discuss ongoing events in 
Nigeria in light of September 11 and the coalition response 
in Afghanistan. 
 
 
2. (C) Belgian Ambassador Jozef Smets, currently representing 
the EU Presidency, informed the Ambassador that the Troika 
had reached out to Muslim leaders, most recently the Chairman 
of the Assembly of Muslims of Nigeria.  They found the 
Assembly Chairman to be moderate and reasonable, but very 
interested in evidence against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. 
Unfortunately, a "smoking gun" was unavailable.  Ambassador 
Jeter recalled his similar experience with the Chief Imam of 
the National Mosque in Abuja (septel).  In addition to 
seeking evidence, many interlocutors had the Middle East 
peace process in the back of their minds, the Ambassador 
continued.  The Emir of Ilorin, on the other hand, had been 
nothing but supportive (septel).  The Troika and Ambassador 
agreed on the need to get the message out to more moderate 
Muslim leaders in Nigeria.  (COMMENT: Embassy is developing a 
list of 20 or so key Muslim leaders for this effort, and will 
share information with EU colleagues, as appropriate.  END 
COMMENT.) 
 
 
3. (C) Smets raised the possibility of periodic inter-Mission 
meeting between senior personnel to manage issues related to 
ongoing events, particularly to discuss evacuation scenarios 
and security.  Ambassador Jeter responded that his DCM had 
met with counterparts from the British, Canadian, Dutch and 
German Missions, and a group of RSOs also had started 
meeting.  This could be expanded to include other EU Missions 
following consultations within this core group. 
 
 
4. (C) GON support for the safety of diplomats and diplomatic 
facilities appeared strong, Jeter stated.  The will was 
there, although one had to be realistic about GON 
capabilities.  If a domestic conflict spread to multiple 
areas in the country, the GON's ability to respond could be 
quickly eroded.  However, after the riots in Kaduna and the 
resulting attacks on Hausas in the East, the GON appeared 
better prepared. 
 
 
5. (C) Ambassador Jeter noted that President Obasanjo had 
recently said he was most concerned about Kano, Zamfara, 
Sokoto and Kaduna.  He had asked the President to add Lagos 
to his list.  The Troika agreed strongly.  The Spanish 
Ambassador noted that Obasanjo dislikes Lagos, so he ignores 
it.  The Ambassador and the Troika briefly discussed the 
conflict in Kano, agreeing that the causes were multiple, 
including economic, ethnic and religious factors.  The 
Ambassadors agreed that they should meet periodically to 
exchange views on security issues, perhaps at least once 
every two weeks. 
 
 
6. (C) COMMENT: This was the second meeting between the 
Embassy and the EU Troika, the first being a condolence call 
on the Charge shortly after September 11.  We are pleased 
that our European colleagues are equally focused on outreach 
to moderate Muslim leaders, and interested in working 
together toward this mutual objective.  END COMMENT. 
Jeter 

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