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03ABUJA662 2003-04-10 17:05:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
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1. On April 9, ECOWAS ExecSec Chambas briefed the
diplomatic corps on the April 7 ECOWAS Ministerial in
Abidjan. The briefing was similar to the one he gave in
Abijdan (REF B). Stressing the need for immediate funding
to ensure ECOMICI's continued viability, Chambas stated
that he would join a quintet of ECOWAS Foreign Ministers
(Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Guinea) to
tour potential donor countries starting April 28. See
travel itinerary in paragraph 3.

2. (C) On a pull aside after the briefing, A/DCM delivered
demarche to Chambas (REF A). A/DCM commented that ECOWAS
should perhaps consider amending the travel schedule to
include a donor conference. As developed, the schedule
would not accommodate the conference until late May at the
earliest and most likely not until June. Chambas was
receptive to the idea of scheduling an earlier donor

3. Travel intinerary:

APRIL 28 - UN Headquarters (UNSC and UNSYG)
APRIL 29 - Washington, D.C.
APRIL 30 - Ottawa
MAY 2 - Paris
MAY 3 - Brussels
MAY 5 - Berlin
MAY 6 - The Hague
MAY 7 - Rome
MAY 8 - London
MAY 12 - Mediation and Security Council, Abidjan
MAY 13 - Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS, Abuja

Tentative trip to Tokyo scheduled after the ECOWAS

4. Washington is scheduled for an April 29 visit. Chambas
said that he would provide the U.S. and other donors with a
breakdown of the ECOWAS budget request prior to beginning
the donor capital tour.




5. Chambas said he had just come from a meeting with
LURD representatives in Abuja. The LURD representatives
would next travel to Accra to meet President Kufuor on
April 10. Chambas noted that ECOWAS is considering asking
one of two former Nigerian Heads of State to mediate
between the GOL and the LURD (Chambas had previously
mentioned Abdulsalaam to us; Chief Shonekan would be our
educated guess as the other half of the tandem.).




6. (C) Chambas' statement that ECOMICI would increase to
3,205 soldiers and expand its mandate to include monitoring
of borders, disarmament, and protection of CDI officials
raises questions of whether a force of this size can handle
a mandate of this scope. However, for now, the pressing
concern for ECOWAS is to find the funds to maintain ECOMICI
at any troop level. This is where a donors conference
could be instrumental and Chambas seemed to see the value
of holding such a conference sooner rather than later. END