US embassy cable - 02ABUJA1449

NIGERIA: INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT DEMARCHE

Identifier: 02ABUJA1449
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA1449 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-05-09 12:29:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PHUM KTIA MARR NI KICC
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 001449 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
STATE FOR PM/B- M. LINO 
FOR AF/W, L, T, IO, S/WCI, D, P 
DOD FOR OSD/ISP/NP - BILLINGSLEA 
 
 
E.O.12958: DECL: 5/6/12 
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, KTIA, MARR, NI, KICC 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT 
DEMARCHE 
 
 
REF: STATE 84875 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR HOWARD F. JETER. REASON 1.5 
(B) AND (D). 
 
 
1. (C) With Foreign Minister Lamido in Kano because of 
the May 4 airplane crash (Lamido is from Kano), 
Ambassador delivered referenced talking points to 
Presidential Advisor Ad'obe Obe. (Obe was joined by 
his Special Assistant who served as his notetaker.) 
The Ambassador emphasized the Rome Statute would 
infringe national sovereignty, place a chilling effect 
on a country's participation in peacekeeping missions 
and undermine the authority of the UN Security 
Council. Obe took on the points positively, stating 
that he would relay our concerns to the President. 
 
 
2.  (C) On May 7, Ambassador met FM Lamido who had 
returned from Kano. The Ambassador delivered the same 
message to Lamido, stating that Nigeria should be 
particularly concerned given its active participation 
in peacekeeping operations, both those undertaken by 
the sub-region as well as under UN mandate. Lamido 
responded that Nigeria understood and would respect 
our position. However, he opined that as the universal 
beacon "of hope and justice," the United States should 
be party to the ICC. He remarked the national 
sovereignty argument was powerful but double-edged. 
With the USG now asserting this claim, other countries 
could more easily invoke the same doctrine to thwart 
international consideration of issues, such as human 
rights concerns in specific countries. The Ambassador 
underscored the USG was not opposed to some 
international oversight and investigation of egregious 
crimes but simply that the ICC was a flawed 
instrument. He stated that national judicial 
mechanisms and, when necessary, ad hoc international 
tribunals such as those for the former Yugoslavia and 
Rwanda were more appropriate. 
 
 
3. (C) A politician not very conversant with past 
allegations against some Nigerian peacekeeping forces, 
Lamido did not grasp the argument that the ICC 
possibly could seek jurisdiction over Nigerian 
peacekeepers. Discounting the potentiality, he stated 
Nigeria only participated in internationally approved 
PKOs. Thus, he could not foresee the ICC prosecutor 
indicting members of a PKO that had been approved by 
the UNSC. For him, the ICC was no threat to the UNSC's 
authority. The mentioning of the UNSC spurred a 
protracted monologue by Lamido, in which he managed to 
string together almost every major African leitmotifs 
in the global North-South dialogue, from Security 
Council expansion to debt relief. (That part of the 
meeting is reported septel.) 
 
 
4. (C) If Lamido's position holds sway, we should not 
expect much support but also need not worry about 
opposition from Nigeria. However, when more 
experienced, discerning eyes look at this, they may 
see that Nigeria's national interests are better 
served by following the track we have chosen. 
 
 
JETER 

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