International pressure especially that brought about by the United Kingdom had backed President Robert Mugabe in a corner making him more difficult to deal with than before Zimbabwe’s departure from the Commonwealth.
This was said by the Nigerian second United Nations Division Minister Counsellor Alhassan Hussain after the United States embassy in Abuja requested the Nigerian government’s support for country-specific resolutions at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Hussain said Nigeria would probably join the rest of the Africa Group and vote in favour of “no action” on the Zimbabwe resolution.
He said Nigeria was eager to bring Zimbabwe back into the fold with as little conflict as possible and thought “carrots would be more effective than sticks”.
Viewing cable 04ABUJA634, UNCHR COUNTRY RESOLUTIONS – UNLIKELY NIGERIA WILL
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 000634
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/13/2014
SUBJECT: UNCHR COUNTRY RESOLUTIONS – UNLIKELY NIGERIA WILL
SUPPORT ZIMBABWE RESOLUTION
REF: A. STATE 77769
¶B. ABUJA 593
¶C. ABUJA 571
Classified By: COUNSELOR JAMES MAXSTADT FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).
¶1. (C) POLOFF delivered demarche (REF A) requesting support
for country-specific resolutions at the UNCHR to MFA Second
United Nations Division Minister Counselor Alhassan A.
Hussain. While Hussain was unable to confirm how the GON
delegation in Geneva intended to vote on other UNCHR
resolutions (septel), he gave his own opinion on the Zimbabwe
¶2. (C) Hussain said the GON would probably join the rest of
the Africa Group and vote in favor of “no action” on the
Zimbabwe resolution. Noting President Obasanjo’s position as
Chairman of the Commonwealth, Hussain said the GON was eager
to bring Zimbabwe back into the fold with as little conflict
as possible and thought “carrots would be more effective than
sticks.” Hussain went on to say that international pressure,
especially that brought to bear by the UK, had backed Mugabe
into a corner and made him even more difficult to deal with
than before Zimbabwe’s departure from the Commonwealth in
¶3. (C) COMMENT: While Hussain’s views are widely shared
within an MFA that is devoted to opposing criticism of
specific countries, especially specific African countries,
Nigeria’s Zimbabwe policy is made by President Obasanjo, not
the Ministry. Nigeria is unlikely to vote in favor of a
resolution criticizing Zimbabwe, as it has not voted in favor
of resolutions criticizing other African countries even when
Nigeria considered them enemies, but President Obasanjo is
unlikely to go as far out of his way to shield Zimbabwe as
Hussain suggests. Obasanjo is known to be irritated with
Mugabe precisely because of Mugabe’s actions on the
Commonwealth Summit flap, and it is doubtful that he would
instruct his delegation in Geneva to vote for a no-action
motion unless it would make Nigeria the odd man out with the
rest of the Africa Group on the other side.