In a bid to help Nigeria in her fight against Boko Haram, the United States is considering selling attack planes to Nigeria.
The US intends to sell 12 A-29 Super Tucano ground attack planes, same type the US sold to Afghanistan in her fight against the Taliban.
The plan to sell these attack planes to Nigeria has however not been approved, neither has the US Congress had a discussion about it. It however remains that the US is seeking ways to help President Buhari’s government.
The US’ contemplation of the supply of these attack planes is also limited by Nigeria’s human rights record. The US is not in support of the extrajudicial killings that are prevalent in the west African nation. This is further hindered by the Patrick Leahy law which prevents the US Department of Defense or Department of State from providing arms to foreign military that violate human rights with impunity.
“We are committed to implementing the letter and spirit of the Leahy Law, and will not provide assistance to any unit for which there is credible information of a gross violation of human rights,” a senior administration official told AFP.
“We provide training and other assistance to numerous Nigerian security force units not implicated in human rights violations and we believe that assistance has and will have a significant impact on Nigeria’s fight to defeat Boko Haram.”
The Boko Haram insurgents have plagued Nigeria since their formation in 2009. Although the sect started out with little threat to Nigerians, they grew into one of the deadliest jihadists due to government’s neglect of warnings against the growth of the sect, and also politician’s use of rebels like Boko Haram to help their power ambitions.
The sect has so far killed over 20,000 people, displaced millions from their homes and abducted various inhabitants of Northern Nigeria, the biggest being the Chibok girls who were abducted from their school two years ago.