Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo hoped to see a reconciliation agreement in Zimbabwe By March 2004 which would include President Robert Mugabe’s agreement to step down.
This was disclosed by Nigerian Foreign Affairs official Ebenezer Olusaumokun after a meeting between Mugabe and Obasanjo in Geneva in December 2003.
Viewing cable 03ABUJA2204, NIGERIA: MFA COMMENTS ON ZIMBABWE, DISCUSSION OF
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 002204
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2013
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MFA COMMENTS ON ZIMBABWE, DISCUSSION OF
LIBYA AND IRAQ
REF: A. STATE 345870
¶B. STATE 345785
CLASSIFIED BY COUNSELOR JAMES MAXSTADT FOR REASONS 1.5 B AND
¶1. (C) MFA Regions Director (a mid-point between Nigeria’s P
and regional A/S equivalents) Olusaumokun told PolCouns
December 23 that President Obasanjo was very satisfied after
his Geneva meeting with Zimbabwean President Mugabe earlier
in December. Obasanjo intends to send Nigerian FM Adeniji to
Harare in January, according to Olusaumokun, and hopes to see
a reconciliation agreement in Zimbabwe by March to include
Mugabe’s agreement to step down.
¶2. (C) Olusaumokun noted that Obasanjo’s Geneva meeting and
RSA President Mbeki’s more recent trip to Harare were a bit
of an exchange of roles. Obasanjo strongly favors
reconciliation between the government and opposition, and
normally meets with both toward that end — though it was not
possible to do so in Geneva. Mbeki, Olusaumokun thought,
usually concentrated on Mugabe, instead of the government and
the MDC both, and Mbeki’s engaging the opposition was a
welcome departure in Nigeria’s view. Interestingly,
Olusaumokun knew of Mugabe’s promise of serious talks with
the MDC in January, but did not mention it among the reasons
he said Obasanjo believed a reconciliation agreement was
possible by March.
IRAQ AND LIBYA
¶3. (C) PolCouns took the opportunity to go over the reftels’
information on Saddam’s arrest and U.S. Reaction to Libya’s
WMD admission. Olusaumokun expressed appreciation that Libya
seemed to be moving forward on many fronts to change its
position, and he hoped that Libya would take a more
cooperative approach within Africa as well. On Iraq,
Olusaumokun said he had no substantive MFA reaction.