S E C R E T ABUJA 001684
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2013
TAGS: PINS PGOV MOPS PHUM NI
SUBJECT: WARRI UPDATE: REPORTED MILITARY CLASHES WITH IJAW
REF: A. ABUJA 1656
Â¶B. DAO ABUJA IIR 6 871 0168 03 (25SEP03).
Classified by Political Counselor James Maxstadt for reasons
1.5 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (C/NF) The September 29 Nigerian newspaper "The Vanguard"
reported that a military unit of the Joint Task Force fought
with Ijaw youth at Jones Creek Island over the weekend,
leaving four people dead and several others injured. Ijaw
NGO activist Joel Bisina told CRO September 29 that on
September 25 or 26 a military Joint Task Force unit
approached the Jones Creek area with orders to attack and
destroy surrounding Ijaw villages. According to Bisina,
"Ijaw leaders" intervened with military commanders in Abuja
to break off the military action, but not before one village
was completely destroyed.
Â¶2. (C/NF) Captain Femi Ogunjimi, Commander of the "NNS Delta"
Nigerian Navy unit in Warri, told a U.S. NGO representative
in Warri September 26 that a unit of the Joint Task Force
executing "Operation Restore Hope" had clashed with an Ijaw
community in the Warri creeks. It may have been the same
incident at Jones Creek. Captain Ogunjimi would not identify
the location, but claimed one Navy soldier had been injured
and was now being treated in a clinic in Warri. The Captain
did not know the number of casualties, if any, on the Ijaw
community's side, and none of our other sources could give us
a firm number different from that in the "Vanguard" newspaper
Â¶3. (S/NF) Comment: These sketchy reports seem in line with
the DAO Abuja's report (Ref B) that a military operation is
now underway in the Delta. All contacts report the situation
in Warri is extremely tense.