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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01ABUJA2289
2001-09-12 16:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON HUMANITRIAN ASSISTANCE

Tags:   PREL  EAID  MASS  MARR  KPKO  SL  NI  UNAMSIL 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002289 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/12/2011
TAGS: PREL EAID MASS MARR KPKO SL NI UNAMSIL
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON HUMANITRIAN ASSISTANCE
AND UNAMSIL ROTATION UPDATE


REF: A. STATE 143583

B. ABUJA 2117

C. STATE 151930

D. ABUJA 2218

E. ABUJA NI 2287

F. ABUJA 2286


Classified by CDA Andrews; Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).




1. (C) CDA Andrews called on NSA Aliyu Mohammed on 12
September. Mohammed echoed the words of President Obasanjo
regarding the terrorist attacks against the United States
(Ref F), and offered any and all assistance to locating the
perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Andrews thanked
the NSA for the quick reaction of the Nigerian security
establishment to protect the Embassy and American lives and
property in Nigeria.




2. (U) Andrews provided the NSA a briefing on the trip to
Kano and Jigawa States using OFR helicopters, and informed
the NSA that we expected an OFDA team in the following days,
assuming they did not have pressing duties in the United
States. Mohammed thanked the Embassy profusely for the
goodwill gesture, noted he had informed both the President
and the Vice President of the Embassy's efforts and stated
that the OFDA team would be welcome, if they were able to
come.




3. (C) Andrews noted the Embassy had received a letter from
the Senate President and the Speaker of the House requesting
an MPRI program to enhance the oversight capabilities of the
National Assembly Defense Committees. (COMMENT: Both the NSA
and President had previously expressed reservation about MPRI
working with the National Assembly. END COMMENT.) Andrews
noted that, since Nigeria was a democracy, the Embassy could
not "lightly set aside" such a request when signed by the
presiding officers of both houses. Mohammed replied that he
was an early supporter of the MPRI program, and said he would
discuss the Assembly's request with Senate President Anyim
that afternoon, and ask the Assembly leaders to also discuss
their interest in MPRI with President Obasanjo.




4. (C) Andrews informed the NSA of recent discussions of
UNAMSIL troop rotations, including the initial request to
keep one Nigerian battalion in Sierra Leone until January
(Ref A) and the President's decision to support the request
(Ref B). Andrews also told the NSA of the subsequent request
made to the Acting Minister of Defense that one Nigerian
battalion be replaced by a Senegalese OFR-trained battalion
(Ref C and D). Finally, Andrews explained that we understood
that the Army had not received new orders and was proceeding
on its original orders (Ref E), which caused us some concern.
Mohammed asked that the Embassy work with his Military
Advisor LTC Idris to resolve the matter. (NOTE: CDA sent LTC
Idris a letter, at his urging, explaining in detail the
requested rotation changes. END NOTE.)




5. (C) After returning from the meeting, PolMilOff spoke with
Balarabe Lawal, SA to the Army Minister (Batagarawa is seized
with a visit of the Chinese Defense Minister). Lawal stated
that Minister Danjuma himself had approved the rotation
changes when checking in with his office during his leave.
Lawal then checked with the Personal Staff Officer to the
Minister, at PolMilOff's urging, to confirm that the Army had
been informed. Lawal reported that the Army had not been
informed, and that Chief of Defense Staff VADM Ibrahim Ogohi
had also sent a letter on the rotations. The decision was
being held in abeyance until the Minister could consider all
of the information received. COMMENT: We assume this means
that Ogohi is again creating obstacles. END COMMENT.




6. (C) DATT COMMENT: According to Colonel Operations, Colonel
Kaka, as of 12SEP01 1300, the Army was proceeding on the
original schedule, i.e. rotation of two Nigerian battalions
on 17 September. END DATT COMMENT.




7. (U) Freetown minimize considered.
Andrews