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Cablegate: Anti-U.S. Demonstration in Abuja

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

UNCLAS ABUJA 001171

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


DEPT FOR DS/OP/AF, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/PSP/FPD,
AF/W, AF/EX
LAGOS FOR RSO


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC ALOW
SUBJECT: ANTI-U.S. DEMONSTRATION IN ABUJA


1. (SBU) Summary: On 12 April 2002, a
peaceful anti-American demonstration took
place in Abuja following Friday afternoon
Jumaat prayers. A group of approximately
1,000 - 2,000 protestors marched throughout
central Abuja waiving placards and banners
that denounced U.S. support for Israel. The
demonstration culminated at the Federal
Secretariat, located approximately 4km from

SIPDIS
the Embassy, with the burning of a U.S.
flag. There were no injuries or property
damage reported. End Summary


2. (SBUU) Details: At approximately 1515
hours on Friday, April 12, 2002, a group of
approximately 1,000 - 2000 worshipers was
observed exiting the Abuja Central Mosque
waiving placards and banners that denounced
U.S. support for Israel. One of the largest
banners read "Death to Bush". Flyers were
also distributed in Hausa that denounced
U.S. support for Israel and called for the
Muslim community to condemn this support.


3. (SBU) Local police and Post's SD team
reported that the demonstrators marched from
the Abuja Central Mosque past the Sheraton
hotel and culminated their procession at a
soccer field behind the Federal Secretariat
where a brief speech was made by one of the
organizers and an American flag burned. The
demonstration ended at approximately 1645
hours.


4. (SBU) Comment: Immediately after initial
notification of the demonstration, the DCM
convened Post's Emergency Action Committee
(EAC). Since the demonstration was observed
moving in the general direction of the
Embassy and there were reports of a vanguard
headed toward our facilities, Section 1000
of Post's EAP was invoked. We do not believe
any demonstrator came within less than 3km
of the Embassy. The demonstration eventually
concluded about 4km away. There were no
injuries or property damage reported. An
advisory warden message was also sent to
American citizens.


Andrews

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