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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ABUJA1497
2003-08-29 18:32:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

MEETING WITH DEFENSE MINISTER: APCS, WARRI, MPRI

Tags:   MARR  MCAP  LI  ML  SG  GH  NI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						S E C R E T ABUJA 001497 

SIPDIS


NOFORN


AF/RSA FOR BITTRICK AND FRENCH
AF/W FOR FULLER


E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2013
TAGS: MARR MCAP LI ML SG GH NI
SUBJECT: MEETING WITH DEFENSE MINISTER: APCS, WARRI, MPRI


REF: A. STATE 240837

B. ABUJA 1491


CLASSIFIED BY CDA RICK ROBERTS FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)


----
APCs
----




1. (S/NF) CDA delivered REF A demarche on APCs for ECOMIL to
Minister of Defense Kwankwaso on 29 August. Kwankwaso said
he had not heard of Ghana's request that the GON provide APCs
for the Ghanaian ECOMIL battalion. Kwankwaso and MOD PermSec
Kaigama indicated the GON would consider the Ghanaian request
once it has been made through the proper channels. Kaigama
also noted that the Nigerian military's ability to sustain
the APC deployment with the Ghanians would figure highly in
the GON's decision whether or not to provide the APCs.
(NOTE: DAO Abuja reported REF B that the Ghanaian request was
made informally to President Obasanjo. Obasanjo then asked
Chief of Defense Staff GEN Ogomudia for his opinion who,
after consulting with the Chief of Army Staff LTG Agwai,
recommended that Nigeria not fulfill the Ghanaian request.
Kwankwaso was clearly surprised to hear of the Ghanaian
request from us. END NOTE.)




2. (C) As indicated in previous reporting, President Obasanjo
will continue to bypass the civilians in the Ministry of
Defense on important military issues. Kwankwaso, an outsider
with no prior military service, is unlikely to be more than a
placeholder while Obasanjo continues to make most major
decisions for the MOD. Kwankwaso did not know whether the
GON planned to name a more senior force commander for ECOMIL
once it expands beyond the Nigerian contingent, and was
unsure if Nigeria would continue its troop commitment in
Liberia once the peacekeeping operation is handed over to the
U.N.




3. (C) RECOMMENDATION: Post has approached the MOD and NSA on
this issue with little success. Future demarches, if
necessary, should be directed to President Obasanjo. If
necessary, Post can attempt to follow up with Obasanjo over
the weekend. Obasanjo plans to visit the Nigerian battalions
in Liberia on Monday. The occassion may present an
opportunity for Embassy Monrovia to broach this issue with
him.




--------------------------


WARRI


--------------------------






4. (C) CDA asked what the GON's objectives were in
"Operation Restore Hope" recently launched to bring stability
to the area around Warri. Kwankwaso, noting that the
situation on the ground in the Niger Delta region has been
relatively calm of late, said the GON did not plan to deploy
more soldiers to the area at present. He emphasized that the
GON was doing everything possible to avoid human rights
abuses and civilian casualties in operations conducted in the
Delta, but also asked for USG understanding in the event that
civilians get hurt.




--------------------------


MPRI


--------------------------






5. (C) CDA noted Nigeria's payment of USDOLS 1 million for
MPRI, and pursued payment of the remaining 2.5 million. The
Minister, while aware of the MPRI program and the need to
secure funding for its future operation, said he had not been
fully briefed yet on the issue by his staff. He plans on
meeting with MPRI contractors soon. Post will continue to
follow up with him and other key GON interlocutors.
ROBERTS