WHY NIGERIA CAN'T GET ARMS FROM USA: “DON’T BLAME US FOR REFUSING TO FUND RAPISTS AND MURDERERS OF NIGERIAN ARMY” – US SENATOR
Patrick Leahy, an American Senator who sponsored the Leahy Law says that President Muhammadu Buhari should not blame the United States for not choosing to support the Nigerian Army. The Leahy amendment prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defence from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
Owing to the fact that the Nigerian military has been accused of alleged human rights crimes in its war against Boko Haram, the United States had refused to give the country the required assistance.
President Buhari had said on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, at the United States Institute of Peace that the law “aided and abetted” the campaign of bloodletting of Boko Haram.
In a response posted on his website, Senator Leahy said he could not be blamed for the atrocities committed by the murderers and rapists in the Nigerian military.
He said: “It is well-documented by the State Department and by respected human rights organisations that Nigerian army personnel have, for many years, engaged in a pattern and practice of gross violations of human rights against the Nigerian people and others, including summary executions of prisoners, indiscriminate attacks against civilians, torture, forced disappearances and rape. Rarely have the perpetrators been prosecuted or punished.”
“This 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.
“President Buhari ignores the undisputed fact that most Nigerian army units have been approved, under the Leahy Law, for U.S. training and equipment. 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.
“I strongly agree with President Buhari about the need to defeat Boko Haram, and I have supported tens of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to Nigeria for that purpose. But rather than suggest that the United States is at fault for not funding murderers and rapists in the Nigerian military, he should face up to his own responsibility to effectively counter Boko Haram. He should direct his attention to the Nigerian military, and the Nigerian courts, and clean up the units implicated in such atrocities.”