US embassy cable - 03ABUJA549

TFIZ01: NIGERIA: NO DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST IRAQ WAR

Identifier: 03ABUJA549
Wikileaks: View 03ABUJA549 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2003-03-21 17:59:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Tags: ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT IZ 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 000549 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:20MAR2013 
TAGS: ASEC, CASC, KFLO, MARR, PREL, PINR, AMGT, IZ, NI 
SUBJECT:  TFIZ01: NIGERIA: NO DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST IRAQ WAR 
 
 
Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter.  Reasons: 1.5 (B & D). 
 
 
1.  (U) SUMMARY: The critical Friday flashpoint has passed 
quietly, with no reports of demonstrations against the U.S.- 
led Coalition of the Willing (COW) taking place in Abuja or 
elsewhere.  Stern warnings by the authorities and moderate 
sermons in Juma'at Mosques probably helped.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
2. (SBU) The critical Friday afternoon flashpoint (1330-1530) 
passed quietly March 21, with no reports of demonstrations 
against the U.S.-led Coalition of the Willing (COW) taking 
place.  Public sentiment remains strongly against the attack, 
with both Christians and Muslims condemning it.  Both northern 
and southern press reports have concentrated on opposition to 
the war, concentrating on statements by the Pope, the French 
and anyone else with negative comments. 
 
 
3.  (U) Police officials had warned evening of March 20 that 
demonstrations against the war on Iraq would not be allowed. 
 
 
4.  (SBU) Imams and pastors throughout the country have been 
holding vigils, praying for the innocent victims of the war. 
Until now, though, the message has been to remain calm, with 
some Imams advising the faithful that, while the COW efforts 
were an attack on Islam, demonstrations would only be hijacked 
by those with ulterior motives.  The result would be injured 
innocents and substantial property losses. 
 
 
5.  (C) COMMENT: Stern warnings by authorities, the calls for 
restraint by key Imams (including the Chief Imam of the Abuja 
National Mosque) and some Emirs, a pervasive sense of fatalism 
and the seemingly slow pace of the military campaign (and the 
lack of credible reports of huge civilian casualties) have 
combined to diminish the immediate impetus to demonstrate 
against the COW's intervention in Iraq.  However, it is too 
early to believe that the potential for protests, including 
some that might turn violent, has passed.  The Embassy will 
continue to monitor the security situation for developments 
which might produce demonstrations as the Coalition campaign 
continues. 
JETER 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04