Viewing cable 03ABUJA1649
Title: CHAMBAS: BLUE HAT ECOMIL; MODEL COOPERATING;

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUJA16492003-09-23 16:22:00 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 001649 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
AF/W FOR CALLI FULLER 
AF/RSA FOR MIKE BITTRICK 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/23/2013 
TAGS: PGOV PREL LI NI
SUBJECT: CHAMBAS: BLUE HAT ECOMIL; MODEL COOPERATING; 
BRYANT PREPARED; TAYLOR'S INFLUENCE DIMINISHING 
 
REF: ABUJA 1639 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CDA ROGER MEECE FOR REASONS 1.5 (b) AND (d). 
 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: ECOWAS ExecSec Chambas advocated to the 
Charge September 19 and in a meeting of COMs September 22 
that ECOMIL should become part of the UN's peacekeeping force 
after the October 1 handover.  Chambas also commented that 
recent conversations with MODEL leaders led him to believe 
they were trying to adhere to the ceasefire, but 
communications problems have hampered their command and 
control.  He said incoming National Transition Government for 
Liberia (NTGL) Chairman Gyude Bryant is becoming comfortable 
with his role as "umpire and ombudsman," while Charles Taylor 
is less and less able to influence events from his Nigerian 
exile.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
-------------------- 
LIBERIA PEACEKEEPING 
-------------------- 
 
 
¶2. (C) In his conversation with the CDA on September 19, 
Chambas said ECOWAS anticipated that the U.N. would not be 
prepared to take over the PKO by October 1, and advocated 
that the ECOMIL force in Liberia be "blue helmetted" on 
October 1.  He said this would be a topic of discussion at 
the September 24 Liberia Contact Group meeting in New York. 
 
 
¶3. (C) Noting that he planned to meet with a delegation from 
MODEL later that afternoon, Chambas said his recent 
conversations with MODEL leaders lead him to believe it is 
making an honest effort to abide by the cease-fire agreement, 
but that communications problems prevented the MODEL 
leadership from exercising firm command and control.  Indeed, 
Chambas maintained the lack of adequate communications still 
presented an obstacle to uniform observance of the cease-fire 
by all parties, commenting that even some fighters loyal to 
former President Taylor were unaware he had left Liberia. 
 
 
----------------------------------- 
BRYANT IS COMFORTABLE WITH HIS ROLE 
----------------------------------- 
 
 
¶4. (C) Citing initial confusion over the extent of incoming 
NTGL Chairman Gyude Bryant's powers, Chambas said he and 
Bryant had since discussed the transition in detail and 
Bryant was now comfortable with his role an "umpire and 
ombudsman."  Apparently, some of Bryant's advisors had 
advocated a more robust role for the NTGL Chairman, but 
Chambas said everyone now understood that Bryant's place was 
to be more of a mediator between the factions represented in 
the NTGL than a chief executive. 
 
 
-------------------------------- 
WHILE CHARLES TAYLOR'S IS WANING 
-------------------------------- 
 
 
¶5. (C) Chambas commented that while former Liberian President 
Charles Taylor still had close ties with supporters in 
Liberia, he was less and less able to influence events there. 
 Citing the intention of Taylor's former Vice President, 
Moses Blah, to hand over power to the NTGL on October 14, 
Chambas said there was little Taylor could do from his 
Nigerian exile to prevent the NTGL from taking power or to 
disrupt the eventual transition to democracy in Liberia. 
Nevertheless, Chambas thought Taylor would continue to try to 
influence Liberian politics and that his activities should be 
closely monitored. 
MEECE