US embassy cable - 09FREETOWN270 (original version)

COKE, TOKES, AND INEPT FOLKS: CAN SL STAY TOUGH ON DRUGS? (original version)

Identifier: 09FREETOWN270
Wikileaks: View 09FREETOWN270 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Freetown
Created: 2009-07-13 15:12:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: SNAR PGOV PREL SL
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
VZCZCXYZ0016
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFN #0270/01 1941512
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 131512Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2753
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0352
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
S E C R E T FREETOWN 000270 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/W (JHUNTER), INL/AAE (KGOLDSTEIN) 
EMBASSY ACCRA FOR DOJ/DEA (JBREEDEN) 
EMBASSY BRUSSELS FOR DOJ/DEA (TSCARANTINO) 
DOJ FOR DEA/OS/OSE (MCMANAMON/LENARTOWICZ) 
DOJ FOR DEA/OS/OSE/CNTOC (WBROWN) 
AFRICOM FOR CNT (CROSS) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/13/2019 
TAGS: SNAR, PGOV, PREL, SL 
SUBJECT: COKE, TOKES, AND INEPT FOLKS: CAN SL STAY TOUGH ON 
DRUGS? 
 
REF: A. FREETOWN 113 
     B. FREETOWN 152 
     C. FREETOWN 222 
     D. FREETOWN 2008 INCSR REPORT 
 
Classified By: Political Officer Amy LeMar for reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1. (S/NF) Summary: On the anniversary of the now infamous 
plane landing, the salient question facing the GoSL and 
interested stakeholders is: where are we now? What lessons 
were learned from the biggest narcotics case in the nation's 
history? Is Sierra Leone - police, judiciary, government - 
better prepared now to handle the narcotics problem than they 
were one year ago? Post's assessment, though not entirely 
bleak, is also not entirely positive. Overcoming significant 
capacity issues, endemic corruption, and what appears to be 
inevitable inertia will make it hard to push for significant 
pro-activity, despite the political will we now know exists, 
in real terms, at the highest level of government. Though 
Sierra Leone will hopefully never become a safe haven for 
narcotraffickers and other transnational organized crime, it 
remains an easy place for intelligent, well-funded criminals 
to set up shop and take advantage of the country's overall 
destitution. As the GoSL struggle to find their footing in 
the wake of the intensity and excitement surrounding the 
cocaine case, the USG must also decide how to capitalize on 
the somewhat unexpected leadership role we have assumed on 
this issue. No longer occupying a token seat at the 
stakeholder's table, we have a voice and influence with 
regards to how Sierra Leone addresses narcotics in terms of 
policy and interdiction. In the face of competing priorities, 
can we afford to give this opportunity the attention it 
needs? In the face of rising instability in the sub-region, 
can we afford not to? This report serves as a scene setter 
for upcoming USG narcotics-related visits, and is divided 
into the following sections: Case Update; GoSL/Donor Actions 
and Intentions; Operations and Intelligence; Policy Issues; 
Outlook and Opportunities (Comment). End Summary. 
 
----------- 
CASE UPDATE 
----------- 
 
2. (U) The cocaine case has moved into the appeals phase, 
with six of those convicted on April 20 (reftel B) filing 
motions with the Court of Appeal (Ahmed Sesay, Hassan Karim 
Mansaray, Chernor Momodu Bah, Mohamed Musa Kamara, Ibrahim 
Mohamed Manley, and Alimamy Kabia). These six individuals 
were found guilty of Conspiracy (Count V), and were sentenced 
to five years' imprisonment, plus fines ranging from Le 
150,000,000 to Le 300,000,000 (USD 50,000 to USD 100,000). 
Kamara received a Le 50,000,000 (USD 16,667) fine and 3 
years' imprisonment. As reported in reftel A, conspiracy was 
the hardest count of the indictment to prove, with even 
Justice Browne-Marke stating during the trial phase that he 
hadn't found the Public Prosecutor's case compelling. 
 
3. (SBU) Sesay, as expected, submitted the most grounds of 
appeal, stating that the judge erred in law and in fact with 
regards to the weight and evidence adduced before the Court, 
and for failing to raise the constitutionality of 
retroactively applying the new National Drugs Control Act 
(NDCA) to the Supreme Court for decision-making. The appeals 
grounds also question the Justice's determination that alibis 
provided by Defense witnesses were inauthentic. The others' 
grounds simply stated the judge was wrong to convict the 
defendants, because the proof against them regarding the 
conspiracy was circumstantial. Sesay is asking that the 
conviction be overturned or to have the sentence reduced. The 
others are presumably asking for the same. According to 
contacts, the appeals will not be heard before the Court 
until 2010. 
 
4. (S/NF) Reportedly, the others failed to appeal because 
they could not afford it. Patrick Moriba Johnson and Sadjo 
Sarr allegedly failed to appropriately "thank" their trial 
attorneys, who in turn "lost interest" in assisting with an 
appeal. The remaining foreigners (George Aritstizabel 
Archilla, Victor Manuel Araujo Lastreto, Julio Cesar 
Morales-Cruz, and Yeimy Fernandez Leandro) failed to file 
because they still owe their attorneys for their trial 
services. Post conservatively estimates that the attorneys 
 
are owed between USD 60-75,000. Information from sources 
suggests that the foreigners are comfortable, and have access 
to cell phones. Leandro is of particular interest to Sierra 
Leonean intelligence, which requested UK assistance with 
phone records (Note: As of July 6, UK/SOCA had not provided 
help. End Note). USG assistance would also be welcome; Post 
can provide further details on the scope of this request, DEA 
interest depending. 
 
5. (C) Post suspects that the appeals will be found to have 
at least some merit, and will result in either reduced or 
reversed sentences. Our analysis suggests that Browne-Marke 
chose to take a hard-line during the trial, possibly at the 
behest of the Sierra Leonean Executive  Branch, but that he 
left enough room in his judgment for this hard-line to be 
softened or reversed. The media did not follow the appeals 
with the same rabid attention as the case itself, and it 
would be possible to change the initial decisions without 
creating an uproar. This may have been the agreement made 
with Sesay, long believed by Post to be the scapegoat for 
more influential people, and it is within the realm of 
possibility that he will become a free man within the next 
year. It is difficult to ascertain how that could impact the 
others, but given that Sesay filed independently, he could 
have his conviction overturned in isolation. 
 
6. (U) With regards to assets seized over the course of the 
investigation, the Cessna continues to garner the most 
attention. The Registrar of the Law Court announced on May 7 
that the plane had been valued at USD 100,000 by the Director 
of Civil Aviation. When questioned about the low valuation, 
sources claimed that "modifications" made to the plane were 
the cause. Less than a month later, the Procurement Unit 
received three sealed bids for the plane, but a declaration 
of ownership has yet to be made. An auction to sell the 
seized vehicles remains to be scheduled. 
 
--------------------------------- 
GoSL/DONOR ACTIONS AND INTENTIONS 
--------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) The Joint Drug Interdiction Task Force (JDITF) 
continues to solidify, and will become operational in August. 
Though its development has been slow, the involvement of key 
stakeholders, interest from donors, and recognition of the 
need for such a group has saved it from falling victim to the 
usual lethargy. The JDITF structure has not changed since its 
conception in January, 2008: it has an Integrated 
Intelligence Group (IIG), Enforcement and Investigation Group 
(EIG), and Prosecutions Group. The IIG consists of 
representative from the Office of National Security (ONS), 
Central Intelligence and Security Unit (CISU), Forces 
Intelligence Unit, and the Special Branch and Criminal 
Intelligence Service of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP). The 
EIG is comprised of officers from the SLP's Operations 
Support Division and Criminal Investigation Department. The 
Prosecutions Group, involving attorneys from the Department 
of Public Prosecutors, has not officially been brought into 
the fold, but will be in the coming months. 
 
8. (C) The roles and responsibilities of the IIG and EIG are 
somewhat self-explanatory: the IIG will gather intelligence, 
while the EIG will conduct interdiction operations. The IIG 
will also follow trends and provide policy recommendations to 
the larger JDITF management structure, and coordinate with 
external units, such as Immigration, the National Revenue 
Authority, Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank of Sierra Leone, 
Joint Maritime Committee, and the Airport Authority. The EIG 
will not be completely reliant on the IIG for intelligence, 
and is expected to generate and share its own. 
 
9. (C) In April, the management framework for the JDITF was 
established, and is expected to be approved by the National 
Security Council Coordinating Group in July. A high-level 
Advisory Committee, consisting of the Minister of Internal 
Affairs, National Security Coordinator, Inspector General of 
Police, and RSLAF Chief of Defense Staff, will provide 
guidance and also report on JDITF activities to the 
President. The Advisory Committee will liaise with the JDITF 
Management Committee, which includes the SLP Assistant 
Inspector General for Operations, Director-General of CISU, 
RSLAF Joint Forces Commander, Director of the National Drug 
 
Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the Director of ONS' 
Serious Organized Crime Coordinating Group (as Secretary to 
the Committee). The Management Committee is expected to be 
the "brains" of the JDITF, and will provide general 
supervision and identify sources of funding for operations 
and training. Donors are called "Partners" within the 
framework, and are limited to one representative each from 
the UN, U.S. Embassy, UK/SOCA, and UK/DFID. The Partners 
regularly participate in Management Committee meetings. 
 
10. (C) With the creation of the various committees, the 
JDITF intends to sing a formal MOU with all agencies 
involved. A draft of the MOU is being reviewed by various law 
departments, but could be signed as early as August. The 
agencies already acknowledge acceptance of their roles and 
responsibilities, but want to formalize it as quickly as 
possible. The MOU will hopefully give the Management 
Committee legal standing to request budget support for the 
JDITF (see Policy Issues section). 
 
11. (C) Concurrent with policy and management decisions, the 
EIG is being formed. The "first cut" of 60 SLP/OSD officers 
were selected by SLP leadership, and are currently undergoing 
a 5-week UN-sponsored training. The training covers the 
gamut, from legal frameworks to operational planning. Of 
these 60, 20-30 are expected to be dropped: the EIG will 
ideally consist of 30 officers, with a small cadre also 
available on an as-needed basis. A source told PolOff that 
each candidate was vetted, but the scope of the vetting is 
unclear. The UN's Narcotics Advisor is pleased with how the 
training is progressing, noting that nearly all are quick 
studies and eager to be involved. This training will shortly 
go on hiatus to enable some JDITF enforcement members to 
participate in DoD-sponsored 2-week surveillance training, 
and a Defense Institute of International Legal Studies 
(DIILS) counter-narcotics course. Following the USG training, 
the UN course will resume until early August: a "graduation" 
will follow, during which President Koroma is expected to 
officially launch the JDITF. 
 
12. (C) While the new structures and training are positive 
developments, moving beyond the talking phase and into action 
will be more difficult to achieve - not because of lack of 
will, but more because of inexperience. The Partners are 
pushing the Management Committee to have a planning session 
as soon as possible, to outline operations for the EIG to 
undertake following graduation. The EIG is no longer meant to 
be merely reactive, as reported reftel D, but will become 
pro-active under the Committee's direction. Immediate 
activities will probably involve marijuana farms in the Bo 
and Kenema areas, and will provide good opportunities for the 
officers to practice their skills as well as generate 
positive publicity. Plans are also in place for the EIG to go 
up-country and to border areas to develop relationships with 
the Local Unit Commanders (LUCs), and possibly provide some 
training to SLP and Immigration officers. The Management 
Committee has been reminded that training can be lost if 
skills aren't regularly used, and some pressure is now being 
place on the IIG and the intelligence section of the EIG to 
generate leads for operations. 
 
13. (S/NF) Against this backdrop, donor interest in the JDITF 
continues to grow. The USG, besides training already 
identified, will be providing some tactical equipment in the 
near future. Further support is pending an interagency 
assessment in September, but Sierra Leone has been slated to 
receive increasing amounts of INCLE funding in FY09, 10, and 
11. The UN, though the United Nations Development Program, is 
also providing equipment. Though the UK has yet to provide 
funding, their Justice Sector Development Program recently 
agreed to include an evidence storage facility in the new ONS 
building they are constructing; the lock-up should be 
available for use in December. Though material support is 
useful, especially to a task force that currently has no 
direct government financing beyond that given by contributing 
GoSL agencies out of their own budget support, the Partners' 
greatest utility has been in the area of technical assistance 
and encouragement. Keeping members focused on the bigger 
picture is sometimes necessary when meetings get mired in 
currently inessential details. Also, identifying the 
necessary steps for creating and supporting the JDITF has 
been crucial for organizational and visionary purposes. 
 
 
 
14. (S/NF) Some of this pragmatism is hard to maintain in the 
face of interest from countries and donors not resident in 
Sierra Leone. The Partners' position has been to push the 
Management Committee to, at least in part, assess its own 
needs for moving forward. This has been a challenge, however, 
because donors have sent assessment teams who appear to want 
to fit their project model to a Sierra Leonean context, 
rather than understand the context and create the model. A 
proposed UNODC project, for example, includes a number of 
already-conducted activities. A sub-regional 
UNODC/DPKO/UNOWA/INTERPOL partnership project, hoped to be 
implemented in Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, and 
Guinea Bissau, also contains unnecessary or duplicative 
activities. The former UNODC proposal will be partially 
funded by the Dutch government to the tune of USD 1.4 
million. The sub-regional project, which has a larger 
transnational organized crime focus, is budgeted at just 
under USD 50 million. This project is also expected to 
receive at least partial funding. 
 
15. (S/NF) When queried by PolOff regarding the proposals' 
generic tone and the inclusion of inappropriate activities, 
representatives responded that such issues will be ironed out 
in the second and even third round of assessments. The core 
Partners (USG, UN, DFID) have privately shared concerns about 
this approach, especially when juxtaposed against the Sierra 
Leonean culture that makes it nearly impossible for them to 
say "no." The need for donor support is so great that Sierra 
Leoneans will take whatever is provided with little 
questioning or input, destroying the opportunity to ensure 
that donor dollars spent here will add value. Hence, the 
constant call for the Partners to the JDITF to conduct their 
own strategic planning exercises that would enable them to 
point donors in the right direction (Note: PolOff insisted 
that the Management Committee determine their own needs for 
the DIILS training. The result is a curriculum that will fill 
in the gaps left by previous training. End Note). An 
up-coming mid-July visit by representatives of the Italian 
Government will give them a chance to practice being in the 
driver's seat. The Italians expect to contribute USD 300,000 
to the JDITF as part of a sub-regional project that will also 
include Guinea Bissau, Senegal, and Mali. 
 
16. (S/NF) One should not interpret the above as a complete 
dismissal of all donor-suggested activities: the proposals do 
contain some excellent ideas that could propel interdiction 
and prosecution efforts forward. These activities, though, 
are sometimes buried in a largely inappropriate logistical 
framework. They also often fail to acknowledge the realities 
on the ground, which is that the GoSL is aware of their own 
needs, but not always effective at relaying them. In the race 
to be an active participant in combating the West African 
transshipment trend, it is easy for donors to rush into 
easily-prescribed plans or generate assessment after 
assessment that result in no tangible action. It is also 
easy, unfortunately, for the GoSL to allow this to happen. 
 
--------------------------- 
OPERATIONS AND INTELLIGENCE 
--------------------------- 
 
17. (S/NF) Per reftel B, the proliferation of marijuana 
cultivation is being viewed as a national security threat. As 
the country's most valuable cash crop, marijuana production 
is increasing to the detriment of subsistence farming. In 
Moyamba District, for example, intelligence reports suggest 
that individual marijuana farms span between 5 and 12 square 
miles. Local Unit Commanders feel powerless to stop the 
cultivation because RSLAF, Paramount Chiefs, and even SLP 
officers are frequently involved. LUCs also lack operational 
funding for staff and equipment: across the SLP, lack of 
funding for fuel constrains patrols and activities (reftel C). 
 
18. (S/NF) Emboffs recently met with intelligence contacts to 
discuss their focus. Sources reported that cocaine 
trafficking continues, but on a smaller scale because of the 
attention garnered by the court case. They noted that there 
continues to be considerable movement across the Sierra 
Leone-Guinea border. They have their sights on Belgian, 
Belarusian, and Dutch nationals, and are hoping to pass 
information to the EIG in a few months. Sources promised to 
 
share further information with PolOff in the near future, and 
expressed interest in working with the DEA on joint 
initiatives, if possible. 
 
19. (S/NF) Intelligence contacts remain extremely focused on 
Gibrilla Kamara (aka GK). Their information has pinpointed a 
hideaway in Conakry, from which he rarely ventures out. They 
believe that his resources are rapidly diminishing. When 
asked, sources stated that they are unaware of a relationship 
between GK and Guinean heavy (and current Minister of 
Presidential Security) Claude Pivi. Emboffs were told that 
the GoSL wants GK extradited as soon as they can corroborate 
his physical location through other sources (Note: Source 
requested USG assistance with this, and will provide the 
address in Conakry soonest. Post will pass on to relevant 
agencies for possible action accordingly. End Note). 
Surprisingly, the GoSL is considering asking Senegal's 
President Wade to negotiate the extradition with Guinean 
junta leaders. When asked why President Koroma may use a 
third-party, source responded that Wade has more pull with 
Dadis. That said, source also acknowledged that Wade's son is 
believed to be heavily involved in narcotics trafficking, and 
that the GoSL may prefer in the end to use their own 
bilateral channels. 
 
------------- 
POLICY ISSUES 
------------- 
 
20. (C) The passage of the National Drugs Control Act 2008 
(NDCA), was a significant step for the GoSL, since the draft 
legislation had languished with limited attention since 2006. 
However, problems exist within the Act that could hamper 
current enforcement efforts by creating a turf war between 
JDITF core members and the newly created National Drug Law 
Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 
 
21. (S/NF) The NDLEA was created by the passage of the NDCA, 
and was the brain-child of Kande Bangura. Bangura is the 
brother-in-law of the Minister of Internal Affairs, and 
reportedly begged for the position of Sierra Leone's "drug 
czar." Sources have reported that the relatively low-level of 
drug activity until recently meant that Bangura traveled to 
UNODC, INTERPOL, and ECOWAS conferences, cobbling together 
the NDCA from other countries' legislation. Bangura is not 
well-regarded by members of the security sector, who noted 
that few of them had seen, let alone commented on, the draft 
NDCA before it was pushed through. That Bangura used the 
cocaine case and need for quick, more stringent legislation 
to his benefit is a surprise to no one: contacts have sniffed 
that he created a "mini-fiefdom" where he could "play at 
being a big, important police officer." The obvious tenor of 
these comments is that he has not been accepted, nor will be, 
by the high-ranking officials in Sierra Leone's security 
sector, despite his familial relations. 
 
22. (C) Bangura, however, can not be discounted. The NDCA has 
given him actual power beyond that which his brother-in-law 
can provide. The NDLEA's responsibilities, by law, include 
"coordinating all drug-related regulatory, enforcement, and 
prosecution functions; developing and implementing the 
national drug control strategy; and enforcing and duly 
administering the provisions of the Act including receiving, 
investigating, or referring to the appropriate authority, any 
complaining of a suspected or alleged offense under this 
Act." It also puts the NDLEA as the lead with regards to 
policy, demand reduction, and international cooperation. In 
reality, however, the NDLEA has not been empowered (possibly 
by design) to carry out its functions. As reftel D notes, the 
Agency's operating budget this year was USD 125,000, which 
has not gone far towards staffing, equipping, and 
operationalizing the Agency. The NDLEA's Executive Director 
has the right to second officers for enforcement purposes, 
but this has not been exercised. 
 
23. (S/NF) In discussions with the Management Committee about 
the presence of the NDLEA and its mandate, which seemingly 
supersedes that of the JDTIF, members were initially 
dismissive. The NDLEA's lack of budget, in their minds, made 
it an agency in name only. Many stated that Bangura would 
continue to focus on publicity campaigns about the dangers of 
drugs, and leave the JDITF to handle the "important issues." 
 
 
 
Their obvious dislike for Bangura notwithstanding (Note: 
Bangura is, indeed, a self-important blowhard. End Note), 
their analysis that he will stay out of their way has so far 
been proven accurate. This trend, however, may not continue - 
particularly with the increase in donor interest. The donor 
funds have thus far been focused on the JDITF, and Bangura 
could start demanding a piece of the pie. While informally 
Bangura is allegedly on-board with the JDITF taking the lead 
on the issue for now, plans could change once Bangura becomes 
fully aware of what he stands to gain by pushing for a total 
enactment of the law. 
 
24. (S/NF) PolOff has consistently raised policy issues, such 
as those surrounding the NDLEA, with the Management 
Committee. Stressing the need to formalize an agreement with 
Bangura and the NSCCG regarding the JDITF's responsibilities 
versus the NDLEA's, PolOff particularly pointed to the issue 
of funding: namely, that the NDLEA receives government 
support while the JDITF does not. Though the contributing 
agencies, such as the SLP and the ONS, fund the JDITF now, it 
is a strain on their already overtaxed resources. They have 
also not received an increase or additional allotment of 
funding to support their JDITF activities. For the JDITF to 
maximize its effectiveness, as well as demonstrate 
sustainability to donors, it needs direct government support. 
Though taking funds away from the NDLEA's work on demand 
reduction is not ideal, there needs to be formal recognition 
that the Agency is not and currently can not support its 
expected functions. An official delineation reflecting the 
realities of the situation is required to clarify who is 
doing what and accordingly receive funding. This poses a risk 
that Bangura demand the JDITF to be housed in his agency, but 
his political capital is small enough that such a move is 
highly unlikely. Continuing to ignore the 600 pound NDLEA in 
the room is no longer feasible for the JDITF, which needs to 
be formally established in the policy arena, as well as 
operationally. 
 
25. (C) As reported reftel D, the law poses other problems. 
Primarily, it is weak on asset seizure and forfeiture, and 
barely addresses offenses by bodies corporate. The NDCA in 
particular fails to address commercial carriers, despite 
intelligence and arrests identifying their complicity in 
trafficking in and out of Sierra Leone. Strengthening the law 
will be an important next step for the GoSL, but could take 
two years or more without external assistance, based on past 
precedent. 
 
----------------------------------- 
OUTLOOK AND OPPORTUNITIES (COMMENT) 
----------------------------------- 
 
26. (S/NF) Though the past year has seen some improvements 
with regards to addressing narcotics, particularly in the 
area of awareness and political will, there is still a great 
deal of work to be done before the GoSL will be able to 
enforce laws and repel transnational organized crime 
independently. The structures, however, are slowly starting 
to gel, particularly for the management and standard 
operating procedures for the JDITF. The law, though flawed, 
is a vast improvement on its predecessor and was used to 
successfully convict 15 of the cocaine defendants. Building 
on these nascent efforts, Sierra Leone is putting itself into 
position to make proactive efforts to interdict narcotics. 
The country will be unable to do this, though, without 
long-term strategic technical and operational support. The 
SLP have limited funding and capacity to deal with regular 
crime, and the issues that plague them will also plague 
counter-narcotics attempts. It is critical that we manage our 
own expectations of what can and can not be accomplished in 
the most impoverished country in the world. That said, we 
should not ignore their efforts simply because they are 
effected at a snail's pace. Supporting specialized activities 
while at the same time investing in the enormous process of 
rebuilding a dilapidated judicial structure is likely the 
best way to keep Guinea Bissau's fate from befalling Sierra 
Leone. 
 
27. (S/NF) Collectively, the GoSL is supportive of 
counter-narcotics efforts. This support is driven by the 
President and his closest advisors. It is likely, however, 
that senior members of the government have profited from the 
 
 
 
drug trade and have a vested interest in slowing cooperation. 
For example, Assistant Chief of Defense Staff Komba Mondeh, 
who is not known to be involved in criminal activities but is 
angry over a visa issue, recently advocated in the NSCCG for 
U.S. participation on the JDITF to be eliminated. It is 
likely that the traffickers expelled into USG custody will at 
some point implicate some GoSL representatives. Despite this, 
the fact that the expulsions occurred indicates that 
authorities intent on greater counter-narcotics cooperation 
and collaboration currently have the upper-hand. 
 
28. (S/NF) In this climate, there are opportunities for the 
USG to increase our involvement and influence. Though Post 
has a congenial working relationship with British 
counterparts in Freetown, agendas do not always coincide. The 
U.S. will likely never share the same measure of closeness 
that exists between Sierra Leone and the UK,  but signs 
indicate that the GoSL is starting to chafe somewhat at what 
is increasingly being viewed as "interference" in security 
issues. The SLP have privately indicated their frustration 
with SOCA's intense presence and direction during the cocaine 
investigation, noting that their interest seemingly 
disappeared as soon as the case ended (Note: The in-country 
SOCA representative does not attend JDITF meetings. End 
Note). Though the case would have been badly mishandled 
without SOCA guidance, the impression was left that their 
interest stemmed form their own desire for intelligence, 
rather than altruism. When PolOff recently asked the 
Management Committee what they would do if another plane 
landed tomorrow, the response was "Call you." The members of 
the JDITF are cognizant that they can't manage alone in the 
face of another major bust, and are increasingly aware that 
the USG is an ally and partner. Given the instability in 
Guinea, cementing a robust relationship with the Sierra Leone 
counter-narcotics agencies would give U.S. agencies an 
important in-road in this part of the Mano River Union. 
 
29. (S/NF) In terms of programming, the USG could contribute 
in a number of key ways, the most successful of which will 
likely involve long-term human capital investments. Short of 
having a DEA Country Attache, DEA TDYs or multi-year OPDAT or 
ICITAP programming would go a long way towards establishing 
needed relationships and trust at the working level. 
Stakeholders agree that short-term training and equipment 
provision is helpful, but does not guarantee retention and 
implementation of newly-acquired skills, nor that resources 
will be used effectively. Hands-on advisors would be 
best-placed to problem shoot, reinforce techniques, guide 
operations, and push for pro-activity. Though more expensive 
than others types of programming, technical advisors would 
have greater value-added in terms of furthering our bilateral 
and unilateral interests. Other donors, particularly through 
UN programming, will continue to pour money into projects 
that are more output- rather than impact-focused. The USG 
could support such efforts, but may miss an opportunity to 
deepen ties here by doing so. Post looks forward to 
discussing programming ideas with the inter-agency team in 
September. 
 
30. (S/NF) Sierra Leone is a tiny country in a difficult 
neighborhood. There are numerous positive indicators that 
democracy and good governance are here to stay, though 
addressing endemic corruption still presents a challenge. 
With this relatively positive framework in place, and the 
good will generated by the successful expulsions in April, 
doors are now open to the USG to help shape counter-narcotics 
policy and enforcement in a country where narcotrafficking, 
money laundering, and organized crime in general is on the 
rise. Though perhaps the progress made one year after the 
fateful cocaine plane bust seems marginal compared to what 
other countries can achieve, in this context, even these 
small steps must be viewed as a tremendous success that can 
be built on. The question before the USG is how we might 
contribute to those efforts: Post posits that significant, 
expeditious contributions will have a long-term, positive 
multiplying effect. End Comment. 
FEDZER 

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