in Stories

Nigerian security adviser wondered how MDC could govern

Nigeria’s national security adviser Aliyu Mohammed told United States embassy officials in Abuja that President Olusegun Obasanjo had asked President Robert Mugabe to consider retirement during his trip to Harare in January 2002 but Mugabe had said he could only consider retiring after winning the presidential elections.

Mohammed said while Mugabe had eventually to go, he wondered how the Movement for Democratic Change could govern if it came to power.

“All of the government structures in Zimbabwe,” including the police and security services, were “100 percent ZANU-PF,” implying that any MDC government could be paralysed by a disloyal civil service and security apparatus, he said.

Mohammed said Mugabe was old and part of him wanted to leave politics but the other part feared his vulnerability to prosecution by his opponents should he leave the presidency.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02ABUJA695, NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON NIGERIAN FOREIGN POLICY

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02ABUJA695

2002-03-05 13:18

2011-08-30 01:44

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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000695

 

SIPDIS

 

 

DEPT FOR AF, AF/W, AF/RA AND AF/E

DEPT ALSO PASS TO JEFF MILLINGTON, OFFICE OF SUDAN SPECIAL

ENVOY

LONDON, PARIS, ROME, OSLO FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

CAIRO FOR MAXSTADT

NSC FOR FRAZER AND MILLER

DIA FOR J.GERHARD

 

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2012

TAGS: PREL PINS MASS MOPS CG SU BY ZI NI

SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON NIGERIAN FOREIGN POLICY

 

 

Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b) and

(d).

 

 

1. (U) This message was delayed in transmission, but contains

information that may be of value to end-users.

 

 

2. (C) SUMMARY: Ambassador Jeter and NSA Mohammed February 6

discussed the Ikeja cantonment tragedy and Nigeria’s request

for large-scale EOD assistance. Mohammed also briefed the

Ambassador on measures taken in northern Nigeria to forestall

reprisals in the wake of the Yoruba-Hausa ethnic clashes in

Lagos. The two also discussed various regional conflicts. On

Sudan, Ambassador Jeter informed the NSA about Senator

Danforth’s efforts to obtain the agreement of Bashir and

Garang to our proposed four confidence building measures; for

his part, Mohammed said that Nigeria was content with its

current behind-the-scenes role of nudging the parties toward

dialogue, whatever the forum. On DROC, Mohammed thought the

key to progress was to get Kabila, Bemba, and Onusumba to

talk, implying he did not think the Inter-Congolese Dialogue

would yield much fruit without these three reaching an

understanding. Mohammed stated Nigeria was deeply concerned

about Zimbabwe and that an avenue for a graceful Mugabe exit

was needed. Closer to home, Sierra Leone was on the mend

with the official declaration of the war’s end. Meanwhile,

Charles Taylor, because of his own internal problems, was

being less of a problem elsewhere in the region. END SUMMARY.

 

 

===============

IKEJA AND LAGOS

===============

 

 

3. (C) After discussing the Ikeja explosion and President

Obasanjo’s special appeal for assistance, Nigerian National

Security Advisor, retired LTG Aliyu Mohammed expressed his

concern about the ammunition depot in his hometown, Gusau

(Zamfara State). He said the depot had been there for years,

and the town grew around the site as the population expanded.

Now, instead of being on the outskirts, the depot was

practically in the middle of the state capital. He voiced

interest in an EOD support team assessing all munitions

facilities in Nigeria. (COMMENT: Such assessment visits are

now incorporated into the overall support concept of our EOD

assistance to Nigeria. END COMMENT.)

 

 

4. (C) When Ambassador Jeter expressed concern that the

Yoruba-Hausa conflict in Lagos could spark reprisal attacks

in the North, Mohammed retorted that the GON had enlisted the

support of Northern governors and traditional leaders to do

their statesmen-like best to make certain that there were no

violent repercussions in the North, as had happened in the

past. Additionally, the police were being visibly deployed

in strategic locations to deter incitement of violence.

 

 

===============

POLICE TRAINING

===============

 

 

5. (C) NSA Mohammed was grateful when the Ambassador informed

him the Embassy would begin a police-training program

including curricula development, a centralized criminal

database and the placement of a U.S. advisor in Police

Headquarters. He volunteered to inform the President

immediately.

 

 

=====================

FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES

=====================

 

 

6. (C) SUDAN: After stressing that our policy was not to

create another peace initiative in competition with IGAD or

the Egyptian initiative, Ambassador Jeter told Mohammed about

Special Envoy Danforth’s January trip to the area and the

progress made, particularly on the Nuba mountains cease-fire.

Mohammed thought that maintenance and expansion of the

ceasefire was critical.   After its plans to host an

all-Sudanese conference were aborted late last year, Nigeria

had been content with limiting its efforts to encouraging all

parties to communicate. Mohammed informed us that Tripoli

was trying to become more active in promoting the Egypt-Libya

Initiative (ELI). Tripoli had called a March /April meeting

on Sudan and had invited Nigeria to be an observer. The NSA

extended an invitation to Senator Danforth to visit Abuja on

any future trips to Africa.

 

 

7. (C) DROC: Mohammed said Nigeria continued to encourage

Osunumba and Bemba to meet Kabila. However, they continued

to balk at any venue where Kabila was accorded the status of

Head of State. They felt this gave Kabila an undeserved aura

of legitimacy when, in fact, he was handed power only because

of his father’s demise. Since Kabila was not democratically

elected and because he controlled less than half the national

territory, Kabila should be treated as one of three equal

faction leaders.

 

 

8. (C) ZIMBABWE: Mohammed expressed strong concern about

Zimbabwe. He revealed that Obasanjo had hosted MDC President

Morgan Tsvangirai for two days in Abuja prior to the

President’s late January trip to Harare. When President

Obasanjo met with Mugabe, according to the NSA, Obasanjo

recommended that Mugabe consider retirement. However, Mugabe

responded that he was committed to run, having passed the

point of no return with regard to keeping his word to his

followers. Mugabe said that he could only consider retiring

after winning the election. Mohammed opined that Mugabe was

old and that part of him wanted to leave politics, but the

other part feared his vulnerability to prosecution by his

opponents should he leave the Presidency. Moreover, Mugabe

and his henchmen were profiting from trade in Congolese

diamonds due to his close relationship with Kabila. This

lucrative interest would likely die once Mugabe left high

office. While eventually Mugabe must go, Mohammed wondered

how the MDC could govern if it came to power in the short

term. “All of the government structures in Zimbabwe,”

including the police and security services, were “100 percent

ZANU-PF,” implying that any MDC government could be paralyzed

by a disloyal civil service and security apparatus.

 

 

9. (C) LIBERIA: “We don’t trust Taylor,” Mohammed said.   If

the Liberian President had his druthers, he would try to sate

his large appetite for power at the expense of his neighbors.

However, Taylor has to think small now due to the pressures

on him. Worried about the LURD and afraid of being labeled a

terrorist supporter in the aftermath of September 11, Taylor

was trying to convince the world that he was reforming, to

preempt further international pressure and isolation.

 

 

10. (C) Mohammed also had no compliments for Burkina Faso’s

Blaise Campaore. While Campaore had invited some of Taylor’s

political opposition to set up shop in Burkina, the NSA did

not believe Campaore had broken from Taylor. Nigeria

continued to support holding an ECOWAS-sponsored Liberian

reconciliation meeting in Abuja as soon as this could be

arranged.

Jeter

(4 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment