Viewing cable 03ABUJA1497
Title: MEETING WITH DEFENSE MINISTER: APCS, WARRI, MPRI

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUJA14972003-08-29 18:32:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Abuja
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T ABUJA 001497 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
NOFORN 
 
 
AF/RSA FOR BITTRICK AND FRENCH 
AF/W FOR FULLER 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2013 
TAGS: MARR MCAP LI ML SG GH NI
SUBJECT: MEETING WITH DEFENSE MINISTER: APCS, WARRI, MPRI 
 
 
REF: A. STATE 240837 
     ¶B. ABUJA 1491 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CDA RICK ROBERTS FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D) 
 
 
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APCs 
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¶1.  (S/NF) CDA delivered REF A demarche on APCs for ECOMIL to 
Minister of Defense Kwankwaso on 29 August.  Kwankwaso said 
he had not heard of Ghana's request that the GON provide APCs 
for the Ghanaian ECOMIL battalion.  Kwankwaso and MOD PermSec 
Kaigama indicated the GON would consider the Ghanaian request 
once it has been made through the proper channels.  Kaigama 
also noted that the Nigerian military's ability to sustain 
the APC deployment with the Ghanians would figure highly in 
the GON's decision whether or not to provide the APCs. 
(NOTE: DAO Abuja reported REF B that the Ghanaian request was 
made informally to President Obasanjo.  Obasanjo then asked 
Chief of Defense Staff GEN Ogomudia for his opinion who, 
after consulting with the Chief of Army Staff LTG Agwai, 
recommended that Nigeria not fulfill the Ghanaian request. 
Kwankwaso was clearly surprised to hear of the Ghanaian 
request from us.  END NOTE.) 
 
 
¶2. (C) As indicated in previous reporting, President Obasanjo 
will continue to bypass the civilians in the Ministry of 
Defense on important military issues.  Kwankwaso, an outsider 
with no prior military service, is unlikely to be more than a 
placeholder while Obasanjo continues to make most major 
decisions for the MOD.  Kwankwaso did not know whether the 
GON planned to name a more senior force commander for ECOMIL 
once it expands beyond the Nigerian contingent, and was 
unsure if Nigeria would continue its troop commitment in 
Liberia once the peacekeeping operation is handed over to the 
U.N. 
 
 
¶3. (C) RECOMMENDATION: Post has approached the MOD and NSA on 
this issue with little success.  Future demarches, if 
necessary, should be directed to President Obasanjo.  If 
necessary, Post can attempt to follow up with Obasanjo over 
the weekend.  Obasanjo plans to visit the Nigerian battalions 
in Liberia on Monday.  The occassion may present an 
opportunity for Embassy Monrovia to broach this issue with 
him. 
 
 
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WARRI 
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¶4.  (C) CDA asked what the GON's objectives were in 
"Operation Restore Hope" recently launched to bring stability 
to the area around Warri.  Kwankwaso, noting that the 
situation on the ground in the Niger Delta region has been 
relatively calm of late, said the GON did not plan to deploy 
more soldiers to the area at present.  He emphasized that the 
GON was doing everything possible to avoid human rights 
abuses and civilian casualties in operations conducted in the 
Delta, but also asked for USG understanding in the event that 
civilians get hurt. 
 
 
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MPRI 
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¶5.  (C) CDA noted Nigeria's payment of USDOLS 1 million for 
MPRI, and pursued payment of the remaining 2.5 million.  The 
Minister, while aware of the MPRI program and the need to 
secure funding for its future operation, said he had not been 
fully briefed yet on the issue by his staff.  He plans on 
meeting with MPRI contractors soon.  Post will continue to 
follow up with him and other key GON interlocutors. 
ROBERTS