VITA Magazine » COMMUNITAS » Yalla Italia! » SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER »

Article written

  • on 30.07.2015
  • at 03:29 PM
  • by Naomi Cohen

“Buhari Should Face His Own Responsibility” To Stop Human Rights Abuses In Military, US Senator Leahy Says 0

A press release issued by Senator Leahy’s office last week claims that Nigeria’s “abusive conduct not only violates the laws of war, it creates fear and loathing among the Nigerian people whose support is necessary to defeat a terrorist group like Boko Haram.”

Following President Buhari’s official visit to the White House, US Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont released a strongly worded statement defending a human rights law he sponsored that blocks American aid to foreign military units with human rights violations, and called on President Buhari to “face up to his own responsibility to effectively counter Boko Haram.”

The Leahy Law, as it is known, prevents the US State Department and Department of Defense from providing military training and equipment to Nigeria because of its military’s well-documented, gross violations of human rights. The law came under heated criticism from President Buhari after it barred a much sought-after arms deal between his administration and the US.

Buhari’s words were, “regrettably, the blanket application of the Leahy Law by the United States on the grounds of unproven allegations of human rights violations levelled against our forces has denied us access to appropriate strategic weapons to prosecute the war against the insurgents. […] our forces have remained largely impotent because they do not possess the appropriate weapons and technology which they could have had, had the so-called human rights violations not been an obstacle.”

President Buhari’s comments are a continuation of the response that has come from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, concerning the US’s hesitation to sell Nigeria weapons. Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration claimed that the U.S. had no interest in helping the country’s fight against the Boko Haram, an insurgent group that has committed heinous crimes against humanity.

But a press release issued by Senator Leahy’s office last week claims that Nigeria’s “abusive conduct not only violates the laws of war, it creates fear and loathing among the Nigerian people whose support is necessary to defeat a terrorist group like Boko Haram.”

During his US visit, President Buhari stated and restated Nigeria’s own engagement in trying to curb Boko Haram: he spoke about his visits to the countries Cameroon, Chad, and Niger in order to advocate for regional coordination in the fight, and he mentioned the $21 million that Nigeria has supplied to the Multinational Joint Task Force.

The press release does not disagree with Jonathan and Buhari’s claim that Nigeria needs and should obtain military help with boko Haram, but “only those particular units against which there is credible evidence of the most heinous crimes are ineligible for U.S. aid.”

“And even those units can again become eligible if the Nigerian Government takes effective steps to bring the responsible individuals to justice,” the statement says.

Read Senator Leahy’s full press release below.

Continue reading on Sahara Reporters

by Sahara Reporters

Photo Credit: Daily Sheeple

subscribe to comments RSS

Comments are closed

Project by VITA SOCIETÀ EDITORIALE S.P.A.
P.IVA 11273390150
ISCRIZIONE ROC N.3275
Direttore Responsabile afronline.org: Giuseppe Frangi
©2011-2015