Cablegate: Ecowas Raising Funds for Drug Control

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

This is an action cable; action request for INL and AF in
para 6.

1. Ambassador Jeter recently received a letter from ECOWAS
Executive Secretary Lansana Kouyate inviting him to an
October 13 dinner at the NICON Hilton Hotel to raise funds
for the "ECODRUG" fund (ECOWAS Fund for Financing Drug
Control Activities in West Africa). THe letter, which asks
for confirmation of attendance, states that President
Obasanjo will be the patron of the dinner.

2. RNLEO September 7 paid a call on head of the ECOWAS Drug
Control Unit Mamadou Gueye at the ECOWAS Secretariat in
Abuja. Gueye is the director of the Human Development
Department and manages ECOWAS programs and policies for a
wide range of issues including drug control, women's issues,
and trafficking in persons.

3. Gueye explained that the start of ECOWAS' involvement in
drug control issues was formally marked with the September
1998 released of a Regional Plan of Action Against the Abuse
and Illicit Traffic of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in
West Africa; 1997-2001 and the October 1998 launch of the
ECODRUG fund by the 21st ECOWAS Heads of State Summit in
Abuja in October 1998. The ECODRUG Funds calls for the
raising of USD 6.572 million for the implementation of five
regional anti-drug projects: a) development and strengthening
of drug enforcement legislation; b) consolidation of regional
and national drug control measures/strategies; c) development
and strengthening of regional and national drug control
policies and institutions; d) drug control information,
research and networking; and e) drug abuse prevention and
rehabiliation action point.

4. Gueye noted that progress in advancing both the Plan of
Action and the ECODRUG fund has been extremely slow; he had
hoped to have this fund-raising dinner last year, but could
not get the schedules of President Obsanajo and President
Konare (Mali -- then Chairman of ECOWAS) to match. The
dinner will be attended by 200 guests, he estimated and,
while funding commitments are encouraged, they are not
expected of all guests.

5. Drawing attention to the NDLEA's recently announced plans
to create a regional drug enforcement training center in Jos,
RNLEO suggested that ECOWAS and UNDCP coordinate funding for
this institution. Gueye responded positively, noting that a
similar attempt to create a regional training center in Cote
d'Ivoire had failed due to limited support from ECOWAS and
the traning center administrators' apparently inability to
accommodate both Francaphone and Anglaphone participants.

6. Comment and Action Request for INL and AF: While the USG
is not expected to make a formal funding pledge at the
ECODRUG fund-raising dinner, we expect to be asked about the
prospects for USG assistance to this nascent regional
anti-drug effort. We would like to offer more than moral
support to this ECOWAS program. Please provide guidance on
the feasibility of USG assistance to ECOWAS for drug control.
Can ESF funds earmarked for regional programs be used for
this purpose? if not, could INL consider earmarking a modest
amount in INC funds from the FY2002 budget?

© Scoop Media

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