Viewing cable 02ABUJA2629

02ABUJA26292002-09-12 08:40:00 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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002629 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2012 
REF: A. ABUJA 2566 
     ¶B. STATE 167471 
Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b) and 
¶1. (C) On September 6, the Ambassador wrote to ECOWAS 
Executive Secretary Mohammed Chambas regarding the 
circulation by the Liberian Government of an unauthorized 
ECOWAS military mission report alleging U.S./UK complicity 
and military support for the LURD.  Dr. Chambas is scheduled 
to return to Abuja this week and we will follow up with 
Chambas on the course of action on this issue that he had 
previously outlined.  For the record, following is the full 
package delivered to ECOWAS. 
¶2. (C) (Ambassador's Cover Letter) 
 Dear Dr. Chambas: 
I am forwarding you the text of a message from the Department 
of State expressing the serious concern with which the United 
States Government views the actions of representatives of the 
Government of Liberia in circulating to governments of ECOWAS 
member-states copies of the Draft Security Assessment Report 
of the ECOWAS Military Mission to Liberia. 
The sole reason that the Liberian Government has circulated 
the report is because the report unfortunately contains false 
allegations that the American and British governments support 
the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). 
 This tack is being employed by the Liberian Government to 
discredit my government's efforts to seek a peaceful and 
equitable solution in Liberia, to create friction between 
ECOWAS and the United States Government, and to divert 
attention away from the real issues in Liberia, issues of 
poor governance, mismanagement and regional adventurism and 
By way of this letter and attached message, we request the 
Secretariat issue a statement clarifying that the allegations 
in the draft report do not represent the official position of 
 ECOWAS, that the allegations are untrue and unfounded, and 
that ECOWAS did not authorize the release of the draft report 
by Liberian representatives. 
 We do not intend to release the text of this letter, but 
await your early response. 
¶3. (C) (Beginning Text of Message) 
The United States is troubled that representatives of the 
Government of Liberia appear to be circulating, in various 
capitals, copies of the June 14, 2002 'Security Assessment 
Report of the ECOWAS Military Mission in Liberia'. In that 
report, the military team includes inaccurate, unattributed 
and diplomatically harmful statements regarding alleged 
American and British support to the Liberians United for 
Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). Specifically, the report 
claims that the "LURD seems to be... enjoying discreet 
support from Kamajors of Sierra Leone, the USA and Britain." 
As we have often stated, the United States Government has not 
and does not provide military or other support to the LURD, 
either directly or through any third country. Rather, the 
United States has called on the LURD to cease its campaign of 
violence in Liberia and, along with the democratic opposition 
in Liberia, seek a peaceful 
resolution to that country's political troubles. 
Furthermore, the United States has called on regional 
governments to deny assistance to the LURD and other groups 
engaged in armed attacks into or within neighboring 
countries. Any such support to the LURD clearly runs counter 
to our mutual goal of stabilizing the Mano River Union region. 
We consider the participation of LURD leaders in recent 
political meetings with Liberian opposition figures to be a 
positive step. The apparent Liberian efforts to find an 
audience for the military assessment report would suggest a 
further level of bad faith on the part of that government. 
If the Government of Liberia is serious about national 
reconciliation, it must take a variety of confidence-building 
measures. It should lift the ban on public gatherings; 
release all political prisoners; agree to independent, 
credible mediation to set "rules of the road" for the 2003 
elections, post-election policy, and disarmament; and in 
general seize the present opportunity to create genuine 
conditions for peace and economic recovery. While the LURD 
incursion can in no way be condoned, the failings of 
Liberia's current government form the basis for the country's 
ongoing political and economic decay. 
We ask that the ECOWAS Secretariat publicly correct the 
inaccurate allegations of U.S. and UK support for LURD 
military activities, at the earliest possible opportunity. 
¶4. (C) Dr. Chambas was travelling when this letter was 
delivered but he has since returned and we await his 
response. We will inform the Department through official 
channels as soon as we receive a reply.