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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01ABUJA957
2001-05-03 15:22:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

NIGERIA: MEETING WITH NSA ALIYU MOHAMMED -- A

Tags:  PREL EAGR EAID OVIP JA LY NG CF IR NI 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000957 

SIPDIS


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


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/03/2011
TAGS: PREL EAGR EAID OVIP JA LY NG CF IR NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MEETING WITH NSA ALIYU MOHAMMED -- A
CONTINENTAL POTPOURRI

REF: A. A) ABUJA 900

B. B) ABUJA 873

C. C) ABUJA 956

D. D) ABUJA 804


(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b)
and (d).




1. (C) SUMMARY. During a post-Operation FOCUS RELIEF (OFR)
round-table meeting with the Nigerian National Security
Advisor (ref C), NSA Aliyu Mohammed also discussed
continental issues and President Obasanjo,s travel schedule.
He said President Obasanjo would travel to Asia in late May,
and would be back in Abuja only briefly on May 29 for
celebrations of the second anniversary of his inauguration
and Nigeria,s transition to democracy. Mohammed noted that
President Kabila had been to Abuja, and would attend the
HIV/AIDS Summit immediately followed by an official visit
(This did not happen). On Sudan, Mohammed said President
Bashir would offer John Garang autonomy for southern Sudan
but with unfavorable terms. Egypt and Libya continued to
demonstrate deep interest and concern for the changing
Sudanese landscape. On Niger and Chad, Nigeria recently
concluded an agreement with Chad and Niger for Nigerian
forces to stabilize the area around Lake Chad. Nigeria is no
longer planning additional food aid for Niger, believing it
qualifies for broader international assistance. Finally,
Libya continues to pressure Niger on loans taken by the Bare
regime, which used territory as collateral. END SUMMARY.




2. (U) Following the OFR round-table on April 19, Ambassador
Jeter, DOD PDAS Bernd McConnell, AF PDAS Mark Bellamy, DATT,
and Counselor for Regional Affairs called on National
Security Advisor General (ret) Aliyu Mohammed. The NSA was
joined by his principal assistant LTC Mohammed Inua Idris.




3. (C) In response to a series of questions from Ambassador
Jeter, the NSA noted that Democratic Republic of Congo
President Kabila had recently visited Nigeria. (COMMENT: We
understand that President Obasanjo traveled to the
Presidential Wing of the Abuja airport to meet with President
Kabila. END COMMENT.) He said Kabila was seeking Nigerian
food assistance, but did not say whether Nigeria had agreed
to provide it. Kabila would also attend the HIV/AIDS Summit
and would remain afterward for an official visit to Nigeria
(Kabila was a no-show and Congo was not represented). The
NSA, however, did state that the Nigerian Government was no
longer planning to purchase food aid for Niger, as he
understood that Niger was eligible to receive U.S. food
assistance itself. (COMMENT: We understand that the
Department has verified that there is a serious drought and
food shortage in Niger, and a request has been made to the
U.S. for PL 480 assistance. END COMMENT.)




4. (C) The NSA noted that President Obasanjo would make an
official visit to Japan in late May, and then go on to
Indonesia for a G-15 conference. He would return to Nigeria
on May 29 in order to participate in the ceremonies
celebrating the May 29, 1999 inauguration of a democratically
elected government. He would then depart later the same day
to participate in celebrations for the founding of the CNN
television network to which he has been invited by CNN
President Ted Turner.




5. (C) The NSA then went on to discuss a number of other
continental issues. He noted that based on discussions
between the Sudanese and the Kenyans, he believed Sudanese
President Bashir would offer John Garang autonomy for
southern Sudan but with terms that would not be acceptable to
Garang. It would not be easy for Garang to get control over
the southern Sudanese oilfields, or to demarcate boundaries
through the swamps in the south. The NSA also noted that the
Libyans and the Egyptians were talking with Sudanese
President Bashir regarding their concerns about southern
Sudanese autonomy. The Egyptians were particularly worried
about the prospect of an autonomous southern Sudan taking
steps to dam or otherwise impede the flow of the Nile,
Egypt,s most sensitive foreign policy issue. There would be
no resolution of the Sudan situation without Egypt.




6. (C) The NSA further stated his belief that Sudanese
opposition leader El Turabi did not realize that at least 75
percent of the Sudanese no longer supported him. Ambassador
Jeter told the NSA that U.S. Congressman Mike McNulty was
very interested in Sudanese matters, and the Congressman had
emphasized during a meeting with President Obasanjo that the
SPLA and Garang would have to be engaged to reach a
resolution to the conflict (Ref D). He added that there was
great interest in the Sudan among religious and other groups
in the United States, including a wide array of Congressional
leaders.




7. (C) The NSA then said the pressure of drought in southern
Niger and in Chad was making the area around Lake Chad more
unstable. Nigeria recently reached an agreement with Chad
and Niger for Nigerian forces to try to stabilize the area.
He also noted that Libyan leader Qadhafi continued to be
interested in the situation in Chad and that Chadian
President Idris Deby would travel to Tripoli to meet with
Qadhafi to discuss relations. The NSA stated that Libyan
pressure on the Nigerien Government, particularly regarding
loans that had been made during the Bare regime that had used
Nigerien territory as collateral, had been increasing.




8. (C) In a brief reference to Burkina Faso, the NSA noted
that it too was interested in receiving some sort of food
assistance from Nigeria. He mentioned that there would be an
upcoming meeting between President Obasanjo and President
Campaore, implying that Obasanjo might visit Ouagadougou in
the very near future.
Jeter