Cablegate: Ecowas: Des Diarra On Terrorism and a Few Ecowas

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

REF: STATE 167569

Sensitive But Unclassified - Protect Accordingly.

1. (SBU) In the absence of ECOWAS Executive Secretary
Ambassador Kouyate, CDA Andrews, accompanied by Political
Counselor and PolMilOff, 27 September called on General
Chieck Diarra, Deputy Executive Secretary for Political
Affairs, Defense and Security at the ECOWAS Secretariat in
Abuja. Andrews began by passing Diarra a response to
Ambassador Kouyate's letter of condolence. Diarra thanked
Andrews, and, after reading the letter, informed us that
ECOWAS was planning an expert-level meeting in Accra in
October. He indicated that EU Officials might be present.
The Executive Secretary planned to include the issue of
terrorism in the meeting, Diarra stated, as a part of the
discussion on crime in the sub-region. Terrorism would also
be a main part of the ECOWAS plan of action for the year,
Diarra added.

2. (SBU) Andrews, noting that Diarra had anticipated the
point he was hoping to make, explained that while the U.S.
had received messages of condolence and offers of assistance,
we had not yet heard the type of statement from ECOWAS that
other sub-regional bodies, such as SADC, had made. Diarra
said that terrorism was, "a concern of all humanity," and
stated that, "what happened in the U.S., I think, the whole
world was targeted." He added, "We will be beside you in
this fight." Diarra then explained further that after the
meeting in Accra at expert-level, terrorism would also be
discussed at the next ECOWAS Ministerial meeting, and at the
next ECOWAS Heads-of-State meeting, possibly in December.

3. (U) Andrews passed Diarra a matrix listing the ECOWAS
members-states and the status of ratification of each treaty
listed reftel, noting that the matrix was not definitive but
based on the best information held by the Embassy. (NOTE:
Embassy developed the matrix based on information listed in
the State Department document, "Treaties in Force, 1999." A
copy of the matrix has been emailed to AF/W. If other ECOWAS
Post's would like a copy of the matrix, please send an email
to kaplandm"at" END NOTE.) Diarra thanked the CDA
and noted that the matrix would be useful for the discussions
in Accra.

4. (SBU) ECOWAS NOTES: Diarra described the recent ACSS
Seminar in Accra as "wonderful," and stated he was looking
forward to his trip with Colonel Dikio to EUCOM. When asked
about the status of the ECOWAS warehouse in Lagos, Diarra
said that while the decision on where to put the two ECOWAS
depots had not been made, he expected they would be put in
Burkina-Faso (or Mali) and Benin (or Togo). Diarra noted
that, since Nigeria had offered temporary accommodation and
assistance for many ECOWAS bodies (such as the Parliament and
Court of Justice), these institutions were presently in
Nigeria. However, he opined, it would be better to spread
ECOWAS institutions out among member states.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: We were pleased with the response of
General Diarra on the subject of terrorism. ECOWAS as an
institution is thin. However, we expect that as formal
meetings occur, ECOWAS as an institution will make strong
public statements against terrorism. Similar messages made
to other member states will have an important effect on
terrorism remaining in sharp focus during not only the expert
level meeting, but also the Ministerial and Summit meetings
that follow. END COMMENT.

6. (U) Freetown minimize considered.

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