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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07LAGOS344
2007-05-15 16:02:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Lagos
Cable title:  

SITREP 11: 5 AMCITS REMAIN HOSTAGES; POOR DELTA

Tags:   ASEC  CASC  EPET  KDEM  NI  PGOV  PREL 
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VZCZCXRO5925
OO RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0344/01 1351602
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151602Z MAY 07
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8902
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 8716
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 1250
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW PRIORITY 0356
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB PRIORITY 0031
RUEHCD/AMCONSUL CIUDAD JUAREZ PRIORITY 0335
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 0334
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO PRIORITY 0328
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000344 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, INR/AA, DS/IP/AF, DS/ICI/PII, DS/DSS/OSAC,
CA/OCS/ACS/AF FOR MESARITI
ZAGREB FOR AMBASSADOR BRADTKE
WARSAW FOR LISA PIASCIK
CIUDAD JUAREZ FOR DONNA BLAIR
ISTANBUL FOR TASHAWNA SMITH
SAO PAULO FOR ANDREW WITHERSPOON
DOE FOR GPERSON, CAROLYN GAY
TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS, SRENENDER, DFIELDS
COMMERCE FOR KBURRESS
STATE PASS USTR FOR ASST USTR FLISER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR MARAD
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN AND MSTUCKART
STATE PASS TDA FOR NCABOT
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/15/2017
TAGS: ASEC CASC EPET KDEM NI PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: SITREP 11: 5 AMCITS REMAIN HOSTAGES; POOR DELTA
STATE COMMUNICATION--DISTRESSING CALLS TO FAMILIES

REF: LAGOS 338

LAGOS 00000344 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Consul General Brian L. Browne for reasons 1.4 (B) and (
D)



1. (C) Summary: Four American citizens employed by Global
Industries (GI) abducted May 8 remain hostages. Telephone
calls from the four Americans have escalated their families'
anxieties. GI plans to send representatives to meet Delta
State government officials. Chevron's six employees,
including American citizen John Stapleton, four Italians, and
one Croatian, abducted May 1 remain hostages. Bayelsa
Governor Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly shifted
responsibility for this case from the Deputy Governor to Dr.
Godknows Igali, Secretary to the State Government. End
Summary.



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


Delta/GI: Hostage Calls Distress Families


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





2. (SBU) American citizens Kevin Faller, Christopher Gay,
Michael Rousell, and Larry Plake, employed by Global
Industries (GI), begin their seventh day as hostages. A
trend has emerged in which the kidnappers allow the hostages
to telephone their families. The frequency of these
telephone calls has escalated the families' fears and
anxieties. The kidnappers likely believe this will result in
public and private pressure on the companies and the Nigerian
government to resolve this situation quickly, which would
give the kidnappers added leverage in negotiations.



3. (SBU) On May 14, Michael Rousell told his wife he had not
received his blood pressure medication, nor had any of the
welfare packages been received. Mrs. Rousell asked the ACS
unit chief when GI would pay the ransom and why there was "no
exchange at the hotel?" (Note: Apart from Mrs. Rousell's
comment, we have no independent knowledge of a purported
"hotel exchange." End Note.) Similarly, Mr. Faller told his
wife on May 14 the militants wanted to settle with GI but
that the Nigerian government was "holding back the process."
Mrs. Faller reported that during the conversation she could
hear the militants speaking before her husband, implying they
were instructing him what to say. She commented the words he
used were not of his usual vocabulary but that his tone was
genuine and suggested the situation was worsening. Lastly,
Mr. Plake told his wife on May 14 his telephone privileges
would be revoked the following day. Plake said they were
hurriedly locked in a room on May 14 when an unknown boat
approached the camp. He told his wife he was concerned the
GI representative on the ground was not "doing anything" and
instructed his wife to contact additional GI employees and
request their involvement as the kidnappers were losing
patience and "have one way of dealing with this, and that is
lock, load, and shoot."



4. (SBU) GI told us on May 14 they plan to send

LAGOS 00000344 002.2 OF 002


representatives to the Delta Region to meet either Delta
State Governor James Ibori or the Governor-elect and current
Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Uduaghan.

SIPDIS



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


Bayelsa/Chevron: Proof of Life Sought;
Igali Given the Lead Over Deputy Governor


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





5. (C) American citizen John Stapleton, four Italian
nationals, and one Croatian remain hostages. Chevron
representatives did not speak with government officials on
May 14. However, on May 15 the Chevron crisis group
discussed requesting State Security Service (SSS) to provide
proof of life. Governor Goodluck Jonathan appeared to be
shifting responsibility of this matter from the Deputy
Governor of Bayelsa to Dr. Godknows Igali, Secretary to the
State Government. Igali has more experience at hostage
negotiations than the Deputy.



6. (C) A third set of letters from the hostages' families
has been prepared to pass to the Bayelsa Government. Chevron
has not received confirmation of delivery for the previous
letters or welfare packages. Chevron's crisis group expected
an imminent release of the hostages and Managing Director
Fred Nelson expressed interest in meeting Governor Jonathan
either May 16 or 17. (Comment: We suspect this hostage
incident, as stated in the press statement purportedly made
by MEND, may continue through the end of May, when
President-elect Yar'Adua will be inaugurated. End Comment.)
BROWNE