|Wikileaks:||View 02ABUJA358 at Wikileaks.org|
|Classification:||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY|
|Tags:||KCRM EAID PHUM PGOV IT 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.
UNCLAS ABUJA 000358 SIPDIS SENSITIVE NOFORN DEPT FOR G/TIP AND INL E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KCRM, EAID, PHUM, PGOV, IT, NI SUBJECT: NIGERIA: ITALY PROVIDES ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ASSISTANCE SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. 1. (U) On January 10, the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Giovanni Germano, presided over a ceremony to mark the formal delivery of USD 2.5 million worth of equipment to the Nigerian Police Force and Immigration Service for the fight against Trafficking in Persons. In the last year, Italy, the largest destination for girls and women trafficked from Nigeria for sexual exploitation, has began working closely with the Nigerian government to find ways of addressing the growing trafficking problem. 2. (U) The equipment transferred to the Nigerian Police and Immigration Service included: 10 sedan cars; 6 4X4 SUVs; 20 minibuses; 4 large buses; 26 fax machines; 30 photocopiers; 4 Video projectors; 20 digital cameras; 12 digital camcorders; 52 computers; 52 laser printers; 5 bubblejet printers; 20 overhead projectors; 50 "ultraviolet projects;" 52 UPS units; 33 generators (ranging from 20-58KVA); 6 TVs; 6 VCRs; 2 video camaras; 1 IMMARSAT phone; 36 VHF radios; 55 radio batteries and 55 battery chargers. 3. (U) In a brief speech at the ceremony, Ambassador Germano stated that the vehicles and equipment were being "donated by the Italian government to the Nigerian Police and Immigration to assist them to combat effectively the menace of human trafficking from Nigeria to Italy, a phenomenon which has experienced an upsurge in volume in the last couple of years." After noting that there are 10,000 Nigerian victims of trafficking in Italy, the Ambassador highlighted legal provisions in both Nigeria and Italy in dealing with this crime. He also listed the several international conventions on trafficking and related issues, to which both Nigeria and Italy are signatories. Germano also called attention to the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition (1994) and on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (1992). (Note: ECOWAS recently adopted a resolution and Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons at the ECOWAS Summit in Dakar. End Note) 4.(SBU/NF) In discussions with Ambassador Germano before and after the assistance turnover ceremony, RNLEO learned that there is no formal agreement or MOU governing the disposition of this large amount of equipment and no conditions covering the equipment's use. In fact, the Ambassador seemed a bit embarrassed at his government's insistence on turning over the whole lot of equipment with no real identification of whom within the Police or Immigration Service should be the beneficiaries. Similarly, the Italian government has not articulated any particular objectives on the fight against trafficking in persons as it handed over this record amount of anti-TIP foreign assistance to the GON. 5.(SBU/NF) Upon checking in with the recently appointed Special Assistant to the President for Trafficking in Persons and Child Labor, Mike Mku, (a new position) shortly after the assistance turn-over, RNLEO learned that elements of the Police, the Office of the Presidency and the Immigration Service ) many having no direct role in fighting TIP ) are fighting over who gets the equipment. The Special Assistant is fighting to have some of the equipment turned over to a NGO set up by the Vice President's wife, an entity clearly outside the parameters of the Italian government,s statement. The sole Police entity charged exclusively with fighting Trafficking in Persons - an ill-equipped and under-funded task force of 10 police officers in Lagos - appears to be getting little of the equipment. 6.(SBU/NF) Comment: This has been a case study in how not to deliver law enforcement assistance in a country with a serious corruption problem. Aside from losing valuable leverage to prod the GON into adopting a more sincere and aggressive anti-TIP effort, the Italian Government has not helped our efforts to craft a smaller yet more focused and effective anti-TIP law enforcement project as the GON may now be reluctant to accept USG conditions on aid worth a fraction of the strings-free Italian largesse. Jeter
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