Cablegate: Nigeria: Post-Acri/Ofr Programming - Nigeria Is In

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


1. (U) SUMMARY: The inter-agency team consulting with African
countries and sub-regional organizations on future planning
for an Africa peace support program met with ECOWAS
Secretariat staff and GON officials during their April 10-12

visit to Nigeria. The team presented initial program
planning based on the notions of flexibility, sustainability,
and making the program compatible with other forms of
security assistance. Moreover, they raised the importance of
coordinating with regional/sub-regional organizations. The
program ideas received strong support at each of the stops
during the visit, as well as useful suggestions from
interlocutors. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Gregory Engle (Coordinator of the Africa Crisis
Response Initiative, ACRI), Theresa Whelan (Director,
OSD/ISA/Africa) and CAPT George Dom, USN (Joint Staff)
visited Abuja April 10-12 to consult with the ECOWAS
Secretariat and GON officials regarding future planning for

an Africa peace support program. (They were accompanied
throughout by Defense Attache and PolMilOff, and to the
Ministry of Defense by the Ambassador.) Because of the
number of consultations, this message is divided by meeting,
and serves to highlight reactions and comments of


3. (U) The team met with ECOWAS Deputy Executive Secretary MG
Cheikh Diarra and his staff at the ECOWAS Secretariat on
April 10. Diarra and his team expressed support for the new
program. Suggestions included:

- The program should include training to improve the
cooperation between military forces and their political
leadership, emphasizing the chain of command in a democracy.

- The program needs to be responsive to realities in Africa,
training for peace enforcement and non-permissive

- A framework could be created whereby the training could be
done under the ECOWAS umbrella.

- Any equipment provided should be interoperable among
member-states. Other donor programs should therefore be

- OFR was ideal since it created discrete units that did not
require a long logistics tail.

- The training should include proper treatment of refugees,
IDPs and should emphasize human rights.


4. (U) Minister of Defense LTG (ret.) T.Y. Danjuma and
Minister of State for Army, Lawal Batagarawa, expressed
support for the program. Noting that Nigeria's views towards
ACRI had not changed, the Defense Officials wanted the
program to mirror Operation Focus Relief as closely as
possible. Batagarawa asked about the financial, human and
time resources available, and while accepting that it was too
early to nail these down, emphasized that this would be
important to define. Danjuma said that detailed planning for
the program would be the responsibility of the Defense
Chiefs. Additionally, the MOD Officials:

- Expressed strong support for the train-the-trainer concept.

- Wanted disaster relief training included in Nigeria's

- Warned us not to spread the program's resources too thin.


5. (U) The team saw Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Admiral
Ibrahim Ogohi and his general staff, as well as Chief of Army
Staff (COAS), LTG Alexander Ogomudia next. Ogomudia was the
most animated, but the assembled all reacted positively to
the program, and to the early consultation. The CDS said he
and his Chiefs would welcome a visit by the program planning
team, and looked forward to the program development process.
The CDS and COAS emphasized:

- The importance of logistics training.

- That humanitarian and disaster assistance could not be
solely the responsibility of the military -- civilian
agencies had to lead.

- The need for civilian agencies and NGOs to play arbitration
and other non-military roles in peace operations


6. (U) The legislators, including the Chairman of the House
Defense Committee and the Chairmen of the Senate Committees
on Army, Navy and Air Force (Representative Ahmed Maiwada and
Senators Salisu Maitori, Bello Yusuf and Sylvanus Ngele)
thanked the team profusely for including them in their
consultations. While offering few suggestions regarding the
program, the Chairmen said they would offer their full
support and looked forward to their additional involvement in
planning. Senator Nuhu Aliyu, Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Security and Intelligence (and former senior
police officer) asked that planning for the program include
training for dealing with cases of internal communal violence
in Nigeria, since the military regularly supports the police
in that role. He also requested the program include training
for the police. Aliyu understood when Whelan explained that
this was solely a military program based on regulations under
U.S. law. He was also pleased to hear the Embassy was
starting a program of assistance for the Nigerian police.

7. (U) COMMENT: While the modalities of the general program
for Africa and the Nigeria-specific program have yet to be
resolved, Nigeria is clearly ready and excited to
participate. The more the Nigeria program looks like OFR,
the more support it will receive here, but all of the
interlocutors understood the limits of funding, especially
early on. In an African context, the decision by the
inter-agency to consult early in this process was an
excellent one. END COMMENT.

8. (U) The DOS/DOD/JCS team cleared this cable.a

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