A United States lawmaker, Mr. Patrick Leahy, has described Nigerian soldiers as “murderers and rapists.”

Leahy stated this while reacting to comments credited to President Muhammadu Buhari during his state visit that certain American laws slowed down the fight against insurgency.

The senator, who is the sponsor of the Leahy Law which prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defence from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights, said Buhari or himself could not be blamed for the evils perpetrated 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.”

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