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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01ABUJA954
2001-05-03 13:18:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

POST OFR ROUND-TABLE MEETING WITH NSA MOHAMMED

Tags:   MARR  MASS  NI  PREL 
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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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000954 

SIPDIS


BRUSSELS FOR HINSON-JONES
NSC FOR FRAZER AND BYRNE
OSD FOR IKINS AND PDAS-D MCCONNELL
BANJUL FOR DCM


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/02/2011
TAGS: MARR MASS NI PREL
SUBJECT: POST OFR ROUND-TABLE MEETING WITH NSA MOHAMMED


REF: ABUJA 873


(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter for reasons 1.5
(b) and (d).


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000954

SIPDIS


BRUSSELS FOR HINSON-JONES
NSC FOR FRAZER AND BYRNE
OSD FOR IKINS AND PDAS-D MCCONNELL
BANJUL FOR DCM


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/02/2011
TAGS: MARR MASS NI PREL
SUBJECT: POST OFR ROUND-TABLE MEETING WITH NSA MOHAMMED


REF: ABUJA 873


(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter for reasons 1.5
(b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY. During an April 19 post-Operation FOCUS
RELIEF (OFR) round-table meeting, Nigeria,s National
Security Advisor told us that the Nigerian civilian
government has complete control of the military. The NSA was
pleased that the OFR meeting had been positive, but deep
frustration that the MPRI payment had not been made (as he
had been assured by MOD and other officials). General
Mohammed also supported the notion of using retired Nigerian
military officials for counterparts in the MPRI program. END
SUMMARY.



2. (U) Following the OFR Roundtable, Ambassador Jeter, DOD
PDAS McConnell, AF PDAS Mark Bellamy, DATT, and Counselor for
Regional Affairs called on National Security Advisor General
Aliyu Mohammed (ret). The NSA was joined by his principal
assistant, LTC M.I. Idris.



3. (C) McConnell briefed the NSA on the results of the OFR
round-table. McConnell said that MOD officials had agreed
that Operation FOCUS RELIEF Phase III (OFR P3) personnel
would be billeted inside the perimeter of Nigerian bases, but
would not be co-located in Nigerian barracks. The specific
bases were not yet identified. (COMMENT: As noted reftel,
the Chief of Army Staff has committed to a site inspection by
Nigerian Army personnel and the DATT on April 25. Embassy is
cautiously optimistic that the basing issue will be resolved
favorably. END COMMENT.) MOD officials had also agreed that
Nigerian forces would deploy to Sierra Leone for one year.
DATT then briefed the NSA on which Nigerian elements and
locations had previously been identified for P3 training. He
also noted that in order for OFR P3 to begin on time it was
necessary for the MOD to confirm the military units selected
for the training.



4. (C) The Ambassador advised the NSA that a meeting on the
edges of the round-table with Nigerian Chief of Army Staff

LtGen Victor Malu had gone extremely well. Malu had told the
U.S. side that he was not opposed to OFR and his positive
attitude towards the program had been misrepresented in the
media. The U.S. side had expressed its continuing high
regard for Malu and assured him that articles critical of him
on the Internet and in the American print media did not
represent U.S. views.



5. (C) McConnell advised the NSA of the continuing hope that
Malu would accept the standing invitation to visit the U.S.
to meet with senior U.S. defense officials to discuss OFR and
other matters of mutual interest. Finally, McConnell
reminded the NSA that the U.S. has yet to receive Nigeria's
USD 3.5 million for the MPRI program.



6. (C) The NSA responded that the Nigerian government
remained firmly committed to OFR and that Nigerian elected
officials were completely in charge of the military. He said
that he was pleased that the Roundtable had gone well, but
expressed surprise and frustration over the MPRI payment not
being received. General Mohammed said that he had been
assured by senior Ministry of Finance officials that the
payment had already been made. He again requested that the
U.S. Treasury account number where the MPRI payment would be
received be passed directly to him. The NSA said he would
personally carry the account number to President Obasanjo to
have the President sign the order to the Nigerian Central
Bank to make immediate payment.



7. (C) COMMENT: Later that day, the NSA's office passed the
Embassy copies of the Nigerian MOD documents which
transferred the MPRI payment funds from the MOD to the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The documents were dated
April 18 and 19, which suggest that MOD personnel handling
the transfer of funds had been misleading the NSA for several
months concerning their delay in making the payments, or that
the Ministry of Finance had delayed the release of the funds
to the MOD. In any case, the last step is for the CBN to
transfer the funds to the U.S. Treasury account. Embassy
hopes this issue has now been put to rest. END COMMENT.



8. (C) In further discussions concerning MPRI, McConnell and
the Ambassador noted that the U.S. has proposed to the MOD
using retired Nigerian military personnel as counter-parts.
This solution might make it easier for the Nigerian side to
ensure regular and reliable participation in the program.
NSA Mohammed said he thought this was an excellent idea, and
said that he knew several retired generals who would be good
for the program. He named retired Generals Archibong and
Jaffar Isa, both of whom were also strong supporters of OFR.



9. (C) The meeting concluded with Ambassador Jeter noting
that the discussion during the roundtable had been frank and
productive, giving hope that both programs could now move
forward expeditiously. While other issues would certainly
arise, they could be handled in a collaborative way. The NSA
agreed that this was now the case.



10. (C) COMMENT: As noted reftel, there are still hurdles to
overcome before we can be confident that OFR3 will begin on
time in Nigeria. However, after an open and productive
roundtable, and a clear message of support from the NSA,
Embassy is hopeful that the Nigerian defense establishment is
now ready to move forward productively. The
retirement/dismissal of General Malu and his cohorts should
now pave the way. END COMMENT.
Jeter