President Muhhamadu Buhari has accused the United States of indirectly aiding and abetting the atrocities of Boko Haram terrorists.
According to Daily Independent, the President made this subtle inference with regard to the US's refusal to let Nigeria have access to the much needed military arsenal to fight and quell the six-year insurgency.
Speaking in Washington DC where he addressed a section of people at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) as part of his four-day trip to America, Buhari condemned the use of the ‘Leahy Law’ by the US government to deny Nigeria weapons based on unsubstantiated allegations of human rights abuses by the Nigerian military.
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The president expressed his belief that the US would not want the Boko Haram carnage to continue, and he demanded that America provide Nigeria with “far more substantial counter-terrorism assistance with minimal strings”, especially as Nigerian troops have re-written their rules-of-engagement to better protect the rights of combatants and civilians.
Buhari said: “In our efforts at combating the activities of Boko Haram, the new government has sought and obtained the support of not only our neighbours but also other international friends and partners.
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“Regrettably, the blanket application of the Leahy Law by the United States on the grounds of unproven allegations of human rights violations levelled against our forces has denied us access to appropriate strategic weapons to prosecute the war against the insurgents.”
He added: “Our forces have remained largely impotent because they do not possess the appropriate weapons and technology which they could have had, had the so-called human rights violations not been an obstacle.
“Unwittingly, and I dare say, unintentionally, the application of the Leahy Law amendment by the U. S. Government has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of its extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous crimes.”
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President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to both the US presidency and the US Congress to improve on how the US government can provide Nigeria with far more substantial counter-terrorism assistance.
Meanwhile, Air Vice Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, the chief of air staff, has said that the Nigerian air force is developing a new strategy against the deadly Boko Haram sect.