Viewing cable 09ABUJA1903
Title: ECOWAS ISSUES COMMUNIQUE ON GUINEA AND NIGER;

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09ABUJA19032009-10-19 17:53:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001903 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AF/RSA, DRL, INR/AA, INL/AAE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/14/2019 
TAGS: GV NI PGOV PINR PREL
SUBJECT: ECOWAS ISSUES COMMUNIQUE ON GUINEA AND NIGER; 
TANDJA REFUSES TO GIVE IN 
 
REF: ABUJA 01871 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor James P. McAnulty 
for reasons in Sections 1.4 (B) and (D) 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1.  (C) Heads of State from the Economic Community of West 
African States (ECOWAS) called for the UN Secretary General 
(UNSG) and African Union (AU) to create a Commission of 
Inquiry to investigate the "mass violation of human rights 
and humanitarian law in Guinea" and implement an arms 
embargo.  It also announced it will refuse to support 
candidates from Niger for international posts and has 
threatened further sanctions if Niger President Tandja fails 
to suspend the October 20 legislative elections. Tandja's 
refusal to negotiate with UN Assistant Secretary Menkerios on 
October 18 will likely lead to Niger's suspension from 
ECOWAS.  END SUMMARY. 
 
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YAR'ADUA: STOP THE KILLINGS 
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¶2.  (SBU)On October 17, Nigeria President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua 
opened the 37th Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State 
and Government Meeting with a call that member nations not 
let "the deteriorating political security and human rights 
condition in Guinea and the constitutional crisis in Niger" 
grow any worse.  He remarked that the "lingering and 
seemingly intractable crisis" required "appropriate 
intervention to arrest the drift."  Specifically on Guinea, 
Yar'Adua demanded, "all steps must be taken immediately to 
stop the killings of innocent Guineans and to implement the 
agreed upon democratic transition."  On Niger, he called the 
events "a grave threat to the peace and security of the 
region." 
 
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Participants 
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¶3.  (U) Participants included Benin President Dr. Thomas Boni 
Yayi, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, Guinea Bissau 
President Malam Bacai Sanha, Liberia President Ellen 
Johnson-Sirleaf, Nigeria President Yar'Adua, Sierra Leone 
President Ernest Bai Koroma, Togolese President Faure 
Essozimna Gnassingbe, Gambian Vice President Aja Dr. Isatou 
Njie Saidy, Ghana Foreign Affairs Minister Alhaji Muhammad 
Mumuni, Cote d'Ivoire Ambassador to Nigeria Amidou Diarra, 
Cape Verde Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Jorge Borges, 
Mali Ambassador to Nigeria Boubacar Coulibaly, Senegal 
Foreign Minister Madicke Niang, AU Commission Chairman Jean 
Ping, and UNSG West Africa Special Representative Said 
Djinnit.  Niger did not send a representative; Guinea remains 
suspended. 
 
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ECOWAS REBUFFS TANJA BY INVITING OUSMANE 
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¶4.  (C) ECOWAS Parliament Speaker Mahamane Ousmane, who leads 
the opposition in Niger, attended the closed-door session. He 
previously told a Canadian diplomat that he would attend only 
if invited by the ECOWAS commission. ECOWAS placed his seat 
directly behind the seat for Niger's head of state. Because 
Ousmane and his Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama (CDS) 
Party demanded in June 2009 that Niger President Tandja 
QParty demanded in June 2009 that Niger President Tandja 
Mamadou step down, several diplomats told PolMiloff that his 
invitation most certainly represented a deliberate rebuke by 
ECOWAS President Chambas against Tandja. Chambas previously 
told PolCouns and PolMiloff during an October 4 meeting that 
Tandja had perpetrated a "de facto constitutional coup 
d'etat," which if tolerated would set a dangerous precedent 
within the region. 
 
ABUJA 00001903  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
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COMMUNIQUE 
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¶5.  (U) In the final communique, ECOWAS Heads of State 
expressed deep concern over the "mass violation of human 
rights and humanitarian law in Guinea."  They called on 
Burkina Faso President Blaise Campaore to "take all 
appropriate steps to reestablish dialogue" to form a new 
transitional authority and ensure no National Convention of 
Democracy and Development (CNDD) party member stood in the 
upcoming elections. Heads of State directed the ECOWAS 
Commission to work with the UNSG and AU to establish a 
Commission of Inquiry, an accompanying "security cover" for 
the Commission, and an arms embargo on Guinea.  ECOWAS 
sanctioned Niger by saying it would refuse to support Niger 
candidates for international posts and threatened further 
sanctions if Niger President Tandja failed to suspend the 
October 20 legislative elections and enter into dialogue with 
an ECOWAS high-level mission to Niger on October 18. 
 
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POST-MEETING NEGOTIATIONS 
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¶6. (C) ECOWAS President Mohamed Ibn Chambas told the 
Ambassador on October 19 that the visit by UN Assistant 
Secretary General Haile Menkerios, Liberian President Ellen 
Johnson Sirleaf, and former GON President Abdulsalmi Abubukar 
with President Tandja Mamadou on October 18 "did not prove 
fruitful."  Tandja told Menkerios that he would hold 
elections on October 20 despite the ECOWAS communique. 
Abubukar will return for more dialogue, remarked Chambas, but 
"ECOWAS will have no choice but to expel Niger now." 
 
¶7. (C) On Guinea, Menkerios and a UN Human Rights 
Commissioner's representative have departed for Conakry to 
meet with junta leader Dadis Camara, the Guinean Bar 
Association, and opposition leaders.  Chambas stated that 
Menkerios will seek assurances from Camara that the GOG will 
grant the UN Commission of Inquiry full access to the 
country, guarantee the safety and security of its members, 
and not intimidate any witnesses. 
 
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Yar'Adua Health Watch 
--------------------- 
 
¶8.  (C) President Yar'Adua spoke clearly and deliberately 
throughout his ten-minute opening speech, despite appearing 
disoriented at first.  An army aide helped him reshuffle 
pages of his written speech prior to reading them out loud. 
The President required assistance while sitting down and 
standing up.  He appeared to be more fragile than when we 
last saw him, during the Secretary,s visit to Abuja in 
August. 
 
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Comment 
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¶9. (C) The failure to suspend Niger from ECOWAS surprised 
many diplomats after the meeting, who speculated that French 
dependence on Niger uranium sources might have influenced 
francophone heads of state to moderate sanctions imposed on 
Niger. 
 
SANDERS