Bipartisan Lawmakers Seek to Stop Billion-Dollar Arms Sale to Nigeria

by | Feb 16, 2023

Bipartisan Lawmakers Seek to Stop Billion-Dollar Arms Sale to Nigeria

by | Feb 16, 2023

FILE PHOTO: Members of the US Security Assistance Training Management Organization are seen training with Nigerian Army Infantry School soldiers in Nigeria. (Credit: US Army / Capt. James Sheehan)

Two Representatives are demanding the White House rescind a $1 billion arms sale to Nigeria. The demand was issued after reports of horrific abuses by the Nigerian military. 

In April, the Joe Biden administration approved the sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria for $997 million. Near the end of 2022, Reuters released an investigation that revealed the country’s military has performed as many as 10,000 forced abortions

Sara Jacobs (D-CA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) called on the White House to reassess its military relationship with Nigeria. The Nigerian security forces “appear to have a limited understanding of humanitarian law and tools for effective engagement with local populations,” according to Representatives Jacobs and Smith, who are both members of the subcommittee for Africa. The lawmakers’ letter declared, “we believe continuing to move forward with the nearly $1 billion arms sale would be highly inappropriate and we urge the Administration to rescind it.”

Reuters reporting on the atrocities committed by Nigeria’s military alleged that women and girls in the custody of Nigeria’s 7 Division were given injections to terminate their pregnancies. Some victims were killed by the abortions, and women who resisted were beaten.

Nigeria’s military has a history of committing abuses. The State Department’s 2021 report on human rights in Nigeria found, “Impunity, exacerbated by corruption and a weak judiciary, remained a significant problem in the security forces, especially in police, military, and the Department of State Services. The military arbitrarily arrested and detained – often in unmonitored military detention facilities – persons in the context of the fight against Boko Haram and [ISIS in West Africa] in the North East.“

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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