Viewing cable 03ABUJA382
Title: USG HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGY IN NIGERIA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUJA3822003-02-21 14:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Abuja
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ABUJA 000382 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
STATE FOR DRL/PHD AND DRL/CRA 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV ELAB KDEM NI
SUBJECT: USG HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGY IN NIGERIA 
 
 
REF: STATE 13790 
 
 
 ¶1. With the unprecedented 2001 level of communal violence 
and impending 2003 elections at all levels, in 2002 the U.S. 
Mission operated several programs addressing the 
institutional and legal shortcomings that lead to abuse of 
human rights in Nigeria. 
 
 
¶2. USAID implemented a wide range of programs focusing on 
more open and accountable government and greater citizen 
participation in governance: U.S.-based NGOs and local civil 
society groups worked with state and national legislatures to 
improve legislative processes and increase opportunities for 
citizen input.  Among the most notable results was a series 
of state-level laws banning female genital mutilation and 
other harmful traditional practices affecting women, as well 
as a national law proscribing violence against women.  A 
judicial strengthening program provided training, equipment 
and expertise to three pilot courts to move cases more 
quickly through improved case management and case tracking, 
with the goals of reducing massive backlogs that lead to 
lengthy pre-trial detentions and restoring confidence in the 
judicial system in order to reduce recourse to extra-judicial 
options for redress of grievances.  Extensive investment was 
also made in training and technical assistance to improve the 
capacity of election administration authorities to carry out 
upcoming local and national elections, and to enhance 
political parties, abilities to compete on issue-based 
platforms, promote women,s participation and build better 
communications with their grassroots affiliates.  USAID 
programs also worked with a wide range of civil society 
organizations, including advocacy training for women's groups 
and assistance for other groups to address the numerous 
communal and religious conflicts that have continued to occur. 
 
 
¶3. In addition, PAS, vigorous International Visitors, 
Program, with input from several different sections within 
the Mission, included representatives from NGOs, the host 
government and civil society.  The visitors participated in a 
wide range of programs, including conflict resolution, NGO 
management, empowerment of women, trafficking issues, and 
Islam in America. 
 
 
¶4. INL started a train-the-trainers program on police reform 
in August, to improve the professionalism, responsibility and 
performance of the Nigerian police force.  A major portion of 
the program focused on respect for human rights, covering 
such topics as excessive use of force and extra-judicial 
killings. 
 
 
¶5. MPRI, a contractor mostly funded by USG FMF with GON 
contributions, has for the last three years assisted the 
Nigerian military to restructure itself to be more responsive 
to civil control and respect for human rights. ODC sponsored 
two expanded IMET seminars, by the Center for Civil Military 
Relations, and the Defense Institute of International Legal 
Studies.  Both of these programs had time specifically 
dedicated to the respect of human rights within a military 
operation.  All the IMET students who attended training in 
the United States were exposed to rule of law and human 
rights issues as a part of their training curriculum. 
Reports of military extra-judicial killings of civilians 
while performing policing roles in 2002 declined greatly from 
the previous year. 
 
 
¶7. The Mission,s political and economic sections regularly 
met with local, state, and federal officials to discuss human 
rights trends in policy-making and law enforcement, 
particularly regarding respect for integrity of the person, 
trafficking in persons, respect for civil liberties, refugees 
and internally displaced persons.  They also worked closely 
with many civic and international NGOs on such issues as 
worker rights, religious freedom, prison conditions, and 
women, children's, and minorities' rights.  The Embassy 
funded Democracy and Human Rights Fund projects totaling 
$60,000 on the issues of eradication of female genital 
mutilation and reduction of corruption in the government. 
JETER 
JETER