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Cablegate: Nigeria: Italy Provides Anti-Trafficking In

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

UNCLAS ABUJA 000358

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE
NOFORN


DEPT FOR G/TIP AND INL


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM EAID PHUM PGOV IT NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: ITALY PROVIDES ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS ASSISTANCE


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.


1. (U) On January 10, the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria,
Giovanni Germano, presided over a ceremony to mark the formal
delivery of USD 2.5 million worth of equipment to the
Nigerian Police Force and Immigration Service for the fight
against Trafficking in Persons. In the last year, Italy, the
largest destination for girls and women trafficked from
Nigeria for sexual exploitation, has began working closely
with the Nigerian government to find ways of addressing the
growing trafficking problem.


2. (U) The equipment transferred to the Nigerian Police and
Immigration Service included: 10 sedan cars; 6 4X4 SUVs; 20
minibuses; 4 large buses; 26 fax machines; 30 photocopiers; 4
Video projectors; 20 digital cameras; 12 digital camcorders;
52 computers; 52 laser printers; 5 bubblejet printers; 20
overhead projectors; 50 "ultraviolet projects;" 52 UPS units;
33 generators (ranging from 20-58KVA); 6 TVs; 6 VCRs; 2 video
camaras; 1 IMMARSAT phone; 36 VHF radios; 55 radio batteries
and 55 battery chargers.


3. (U) In a brief speech at the ceremony, Ambassador Germano
stated that the vehicles and equipment were being "donated by
the Italian government to the Nigerian Police and Immigration
to assist them to combat effectively the menace of human
trafficking from Nigeria to Italy, a phenomenon which has
experienced an upsurge in volume in the last couple of
years." After noting that there are 10,000 Nigerian victims
of trafficking in Italy, the Ambassador highlighted legal
provisions in both Nigeria and Italy in dealing with this
crime. He also listed the several international conventions
on trafficking and related issues, to which both Nigeria and
Italy are signatories. Germano also called attention to the
ECOWAS Convention on Extradition (1994) and on Mutual
Assistance in Criminal Matters (1992). (Note: ECOWAS
recently adopted a resolution and Plan of Action against
Trafficking in Persons at the ECOWAS Summit in Dakar. End
Note)


4.(SBU/NF) In discussions with Ambassador Germano before and
after the assistance turnover ceremony, RNLEO learned that
there is no formal agreement or MOU governing the disposition
of this large amount of equipment and no conditions covering
the equipment's use. In fact, the Ambassador seemed a bit
embarrassed at his government's insistence on turning over
the whole lot of equipment with no real identification of
whom within the Police or Immigration Service should be the
beneficiaries. Similarly, the Italian government has not
articulated any particular objectives on the fight against
trafficking in persons as it handed over this record amount
of anti-TIP foreign assistance to the GON.


5.(SBU/NF) Upon checking in with the recently appointed
Special Assistant to the President for Trafficking in Persons
and Child Labor, Mike Mku, (a new position) shortly after the
assistance turn-over, RNLEO learned that elements of the
Police, the Office of the Presidency and the Immigration
Service ) many having no direct role in fighting TIP ) are
fighting over who gets the equipment. The Special Assistant
is fighting to have some of the equipment turned over to a
NGO set up by the Vice President's wife, an entity clearly
outside the parameters of the Italian government,s
statement. The sole Police entity charged exclusively with
fighting Trafficking in Persons - an ill-equipped and
under-funded task force of 10 police officers in Lagos -
appears to be getting little of the equipment.


6.(SBU/NF) Comment: This has been a case study in how not to
deliver law enforcement assistance in a country with a
serious corruption problem. Aside from losing valuable
leverage to prod the GON into adopting a more sincere and
aggressive anti-TIP effort, the Italian Government has not
helped our efforts to craft a smaller yet more focused and
effective anti-TIP law enforcement project as the GON may now
be reluctant to accept USG conditions on aid worth a fraction
of the strings-free Italian largesse.


Jeter

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