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Cablegate: Canadian Support for Liberian Security Reform

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

UNCLAS OTTAWA 001368

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR WHA/CAN (F. HERNANDEZ) AND AF/W (A. SILSKI)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS PREL MARR EAID LI CA FAC
SUBJECT: CANADIAN SUPPORT FOR LIBERIAN SECURITY REFORM

REF: (A) STATE 061398 (B) OTTAWA 952

THIS MESSAGE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE HANDLE
ACCORDINGLY.

1. (SBU) In response to ref a, poloff followed up with
Andrew Armstrong, Manager of Fleet Policies and Standards at
Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Headquarters. Armstrong stated
that he would advise CCG management of our interest in using
these boats as part of a nascent Liberian Coast Guard, but
also reiterated to poloff his concerns that these boats were
neither designed for coastal maritime patrols, nor were they
built to operate in a tropical climate. If Canada were to
supply these vessels to Liberia, Armstrong indicated that the
CCG would likely rely upon Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC) to
handle negotiations between the USG and the Government of
Liberia on the logistics of transferring the boats from
Canada to Liberia.

2. (SBU) In a letter faxed to us on April 14, Louis Hamel,
Director of the West and Central Africa Division at FAC,
clarified the GoC's position on this issue:

QUOTE: Canada appreciates the role the United States of
America is playing in supporting Liberian security reform in
accordance with the August 18, 2003 Accra Comprehensive Peace
Accord. Canada is also interested in the legal implications
of such support in relation to the embargo on arms and
related material of all types, decided by the United Nations
Security Council in its resolution of 1521 (2003).

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Canada's bilateral aid program to Liberia is very limited.
Canada is therefore not in a position to offer the Liberian
government the Canadian Coast Guard vessels cited in the
demarche of March 23, 2005. END QUOTE.

3. (SBU) Hamel included an addendum to his memo providing
specifications for the vessels in question. Relevant text
follows:

Begin text.

My office has been in contact with the Canadian Coast Guard
(CCG) concerning the vessels cited in the demarche of March
23, 2005. The information supplied by Robert Gravelle of the
UN Mission in Liberia is substantially correct. The CCG is
in the process of disposing or will soon commence disposal of
up to nine small vessels in the 11 - 12 metre range.

These vessels in question are, for the most part, in excess
of 30 years old and have exceeded their useful life. The
vessels vary in speed from 10 to 14 knots with a crew of 4.
They have no on-board accommodation and can only operate as
day boats. These former search and rescue lifeboats (based
on USCG 44 ft MLB design) are not suitable for any pursuit
operations since, in general, they have limited fuel
capacity, speed and range. The age factor is critical, as
the older the vessels the greater the cost of maintenance and
at this age that cost can become incremental. Finally the
vessels were designed for operation in colder climates and
may not be easily operated in tropical climates.

End text.

Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa

DICKSON

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