Finally, US Congress Embargos Arms Sale To Nigeria

Citing overarching concerns about Nigeria’s human rights record, as well as the “drifting toward authoritarianism” of the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) regime, United States lawmakers have embargoed a proposed sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria.

Media reports stated that lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed clearing the planned sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military because they feared the equipment could be used against the citizens. Consequently, the deal worth $875 million was suspended.

Aside from that, information sent to the Congress by the US State Department, according to Foreign Policy magazine, said the lawmakers also stood against a proposed sale of 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade navigation systems made by Honeywell Aerospace, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems cum laser-guided rocket munitions.

Bob Menendez, a Democratic senator and chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jim Risch, a Republican senator on the committee, are reported to be the brains behind the stoppage.

International and Human Rights Watch of flagrant abuses of its citizens’ democratic rights, extrajudicial killings, and human rights violations by the military.

Last October, nationwide protests by youths against police brutality codenamed #EndSARS were met with brutal force by the government, as evidenced in the fatal shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos. In a March 2011 report, AI said an estimated 1,200 people were extrajudicially killed and about 7,000 young men and boys died while in military custody from torture. AI claimed that military commanders either sanctioned the abuses or ignored the fact they were taking place.

A recent report by the same body said Nigerian security forces committed “a catalogue of human rights violations and crimes under international law in their response to spiralling violence in the South-East Nigeria since January.”

The “repressive campaign,” it said, included sweeping mass arrests, excessive and unlawful force, and torture and other ill-treatment, leading to the death of some 115 people, mainly members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network, between March and June.

Citing overarching concerns about Nigeria’s human rights record, as well as the “drifting toward authoritarianism” of the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) regime, United States lawmakers have embargoed a proposed sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria.

Media reports stated that lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed clearing the planned sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military because they feared the equipment could be used against the citizens. Consequently, the deal worth $875 million was suspended.

Aside from that, information sent to the Congress by the US State Department, according to Foreign Policy magazine, said the lawmakers also stood against a proposed sale of 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade navigation systems made by Honeywell Aerospace, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems cum laser-guided rocket munitions.

Bob Menendez, a Democratic senator and chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jim Risch, a Republican senator on the committee, are reported to be the brains behind the stoppage.

International and Human Rights Watch of flagrant abuses of its citizens’ democratic rights, extrajudicial killings, and human rights violations by the military.

Last October, nationwide protests by youths against police brutality codenamed #EndSARS were met with brutal force by the government, as evidenced in the fatal shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos. In a March 2011 report, AI said an estimated 1,200 people were extrajudicially killed and about 7,000 young men and boys died while in military custody from torture. AI claimed that military commanders either sanctioned the abuses or ignored the fact they were taking place.

A recent report by the same body said Nigerian security forces committed “a catalogue of human rights violations and crimes under international law in their response to spiralling violence in the South-East Nigeria since January.”

The “repressive campaign,” it said, included sweeping mass arrests, excessive and unlawful force, and torture and other ill-treatment, leading to the death of some 115 people, mainly members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network, between March and June.

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