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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02ABUJA3140
2002-11-15 18:00:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

DOMESTIC SECURITY CONCERNS AND BUDGET WOES

Tags:   PREL  MOPS  KPKO  NI  IV 
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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 ABUJA 003140 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2012
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO NI IV
SUBJECT: DOMESTIC SECURITY CONCERNS AND BUDGET WOES
PRECLUDE GON CONTRIBUTION TO COTE D'IVOIRE FORCE

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 ABUJA 003140

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2012
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO NI IV
SUBJECT: DOMESTIC SECURITY CONCERNS AND BUDGET WOES
PRECLUDE GON CONTRIBUTION TO COTE D'IVOIRE FORCE

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR HOWARD F. JETER FOR REASONS 1.5
(B) AND (D).



1. (C) During a November 15 meeting, Ambassador Jeter and
Minister of State for Defense (Army) Malam Lawal Batagarawa
discussed possible deployment of Nigerian forces in the
ECOWAS monitoring force for Cote d'Ivoire. Citing
Nigeria's role in peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone
and Liberia, Ambassador Jeter emphasized that Nigerian
participation could be important to the ultimate success of
the operation, particularly if large-scale fighting were
renewed. While Batagarawa said the GON was committed to
doing what was "best for the subregion", he was not
sanguine about Nigerian participation in the ECOWAS
observer force.



2. (C) Batagarawa thought the GON could not afford to
deploy many soldiers outside of Nigeria while the present
need for domestic security remained high. Recalling recent
violence in Plateau state, he said the "killing would have
been unbelievable" had the military been unable to
intervene. In the absence of an effective police force,
Batagarawa saw the military as the final guarantor of
order.



3. (C) Noting the GON's large budgetary shortfall for this
fiscal year (estimated at USD 2 billion), Batagarawa said
Nigeria could ill afford to get involved in an open-ended
commitment in Cote d'Ivoire. When told the USG commitment
of USD 3 million would cover support costs of troops on the
ground for six months, Batagarawa said the GON needed a
commitment of at least a year's worth of on the ground
logistics support, even to consider participating in the
operation. Also, Batagarawa dismissed European offers of
assistance, saying the Europeans always "promise heaven and
earth" but never come through. Despite his misgivings,
Batagarawa asked for a memorandum of the USG offer of
assistance to ECOWAS. ODC Chief told him one would be
forwarded. Batagarawa promised to contact the Ambassador
regarding the matter next week.



4. (C) COMMENT: Given Nigeria's domestic concerns and
tension in the Bakassi, Batagarawa is probably correct that
there is not much appetite for GON participation in the
Ivoirian deployment. Political considerations are very
important now, given the approach of election season.
Deployment in another peacekeeping operation would not be
politically popular, and President Obasanjo's critics could
excoriate him for sending troops to Cote d'Ivoire.
Batagarawa's offer to review a memorandum of USG support
may have left the door ajar slightly, but his gesture was
probably the result of his intention to sow uncertainty
and, at least at this meeting, to avoid a direct refusal.
Getting the GON to revise its position will require much
more work and the offer of significant additional, long-
term assistance. Unfortunately, for the time being,
domestic political, security and budgetary considerations
will make Nigeria focus on its internal condition and less
on its usual role as the fulcrum of West African
peacekeeping and conflict resolution efforts. END COMMENT.
JETER