Viewing cable 02ABUJA1407

02ABUJA14072002-05-06 18:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 001407 
E.O.12958: DECL: 5/6/12 
REF: STATE 80494 
(B) AND (D). 
¶1. (C) In the absence of Foreign Minister Lamido, 
Ambassador Jeter delivered talking points to Special 
Presidential Advisor Ad'obe Obe. The Ambassador 
stressed the importance of keeping pressure on Taylor 
who remained unrepentant in practice notwithstanding 
the nice sounds he made in public. Instead of cutting 
the RUF loose, Taylor still appeared to be harboring 
and abetting hard-line RUF elements. This continued 
association between Taylor and RUF miscreants could 
generate nothing but continued trouble for the sub- 
region. With the Sierra Leonean peace process at such 
a critical juncture, it would be counterproductive to 
give Taylor what amounted to a passing grade when he 
had not changed his stripes. If ECOWAS countries 
failed to support Resolution 1343 and continued 
pressure on the GOL, Taylor would be the winner and 
ECOWAS the loser. The rest of the world simply would 
not understand why the countries of the region were 
reluctant to keep sanctions on a leader who had 
brought so much grief, destruction and death to their 
own neighborhood, the Ambassador emphasized. 
¶2. (C) Responding positively to the demarche, Obe 
stated that Nigeria had previously backed the 
sanctions and he saw no reason why it should change 
its vote. He stated that he would call Nigerian 
PermRep Mbanefo to discuss the issue. 
¶3. (C) With ECOWAS ExSec Chambas and Deputy ExSec 
Diarra also out of town, the Ambassador delivered 
points to Military Advisor Col. Dikkio, the highest- 
ranking ECOWAS official available. Dikkio stated that 
he had visited Liberia as part of the ECOWAS fact- 
finding team to assess Liberian compliance with 
sanctions. The mission concluded the Taylor government 
was not fully compliant with all aspects of the 
sanctions regime but the Monrovia government had made 
improvements on regulating the diamond trade and in 
curtailing unregistered air traffic. When the 
Ambassador mentioned the mysterious airplane crash 
amid suspicions of arms trafficking earlier this year 
and Taylor's continued involvement with the RUF, 
Dikkio could not respond. Dikkio did state that the 
Secretariat believed the sanctions should be lifted to 
enable the GOL to fight the LURD and to alleviate the 
economic burden on the common Liberian. 
¶4. (C) Ambassador replied that Taylor teamed with the 
RUF presented a much stronger threat to the sub-region 
than the LURD posed to Taylor. (Dikkio agreed that 
Taylor was purposefully overestimating the LURD 
threat.) Also, the Liberia's economy was not depressed 
because of the sanctions but due to Taylor's avarice 
and his running Liberia more like an armed camp than a 
¶5. (C) The Ambassador stated that now was not the time 
to reward Taylor, especially with Sierra Leone at such 
a critical crossroads in its recovery. ECOWAS support 
for lifting the sanctions would diminish ECOWAS's 
standing in the international community, he asserted. 
¶6. (C) In the end, Dikkio replied that ECOWAS was 
suffering from "Liberia fatigue," implying that 
lifting the sanctions would be a way to appease and 
make peace with Taylor. The Ambassador urged ECOWAS 
not to throw in the towel.  Peace could not come by 
giving Taylor freer license but in keeping him under 
pressure and containing him. Peace and stability in 
the region ultimately depend on that.