Patrick Leahy, the American Senator who sponsored the famed Leahy Law says President Muhammadu Buhari should not blame the United States for not supporting the Nigerian Army.
The Leahy amendment prohibits the US State Department and the Department of Defence from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights.
Nigeria’s military has been accused of alleged human rights crimes in its war against Boko Haram, hence the United States had refused to assist the country with weapons and training expertise.
Buhari had said on Wednesday at the United States Institute for Peace that the law “aided and abetted” the campaign of bloodletting by the Islamist sect.
In a response posted on his website, Leahy said he could not be blamed for the atrocities committed by the murderers and rapists in the Nigerian military.
In his words: “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.”
Source – ekekeee.com