Connect with us

World

US Congress embargo on arms sale to Nigeria

Published

on

US Congress embargo on arms sale to Nigeria
Spread the love

US Congress embargo on 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.

ALSO READ:  Germany Accepting Covid-19 Patients For Treatment From Italy, France And Other Neighboring Countries

US Congress embargo on arms sale to Nigeria

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.

This campaign was ostensibly carried out in response to a series of attacks on government infrastructure, including prisons and public buildings, killing of several police officers by gunmen suspected to be ESN militants.

In the same vein, the HRW, in a 2020 report, claims that “80 years after its birth, members of the (Nigeria Police) force are viewed more as predators than protectors, and the Nigeria Police Force has become a symbol in Nigeria of unfettered corruption, mismanagement, and abuse.” It avers that “extortion, embezzlement, and other corrupt practices by Nigeria’s police undermine the fundamental human rights of Nigerians….”

The most direct effect of police corruption on ordinary citizens, it says, stems from the myriad human rights abuses committed by police officers in the process of extorting money. These abuses range from “arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention to threats and acts of violence, including physical and sexual assault, torture, and even extrajudicial killings.”

ALSO READ:  Lebanon, Israel agree framework for talks to end border dispute

As usual, the Nigerian authorities dismissed the reports and accused the rights group of pursuing “an agenda to undermine the army’s resolve to combat terrorism in the country.” Nigeria has been besieged by multiple security challenges. A jihadist insurgency waged by Boko Haram in the North-East is on for more than a decade. Additionally, Fulani herdsmen attack farming communities in the North-Central and the South, banditry, rampant abduction of schoolchildren in the North-West and separatist agitations occur in the South-East. It has been reliant on weapons purchase and military assistance from the US and others to confront these hydra-headed challenges.
However, there are strident calls by some concerned human rights stakeholders that the US should stop major defence sales to Nigeria “until it makes a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military is doing enough to minimise civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists.”

US Congress embargo on arms sale to Nigeria

Tim Rieser, a top aide to a lawmaker, Patrick Leahy, who wrote the law barring American aid to foreign military units accused of abuses, reportedly told The Times of London that “we don’t have confidence in the Nigerians’ ability to use them in a manner that complies with the laws of war and doesn’t end up disproportionately harming civilians, nor in the capability of the US government to monitor their use.” This speaks volumes.

ALSO READ:  Trump can't decide between states' rights and federal authority

A socio-political group, the Nigerian Indigenous National Alliance for Self-determination, recently petitioned the US, Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and other Western countries calling for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the Federal Government for “undermining democracy and continuously abusing human rights.”

Nigeria should desist from routinely dismissing every critical inquest into the disproportionate use of force on its citizens by the security agencies. Instead of reflexively dismissing allegations of rights abuses, the Federal Government should devise a mechanism of reviewing the rules of engagement for the military during their anti-terrorism and other internal security operations. Also, a framework of holding soldiers and military commanders accountable for rights violations should be operationalised without further delay. When commanders are also held accountable for the actions of those under them, sanity will prevail.

Nigeria desperately needs advanced weaponry to defeat its security problems; it should therefore quickly stamp out the culture of abuse, impunity and corruption as expected in a democracy and gain the approval of foreign countries enforcing conditions for weapons sales mandated by their laws. Greater use of technology to monitor the battlefield, tightening the chain of command and creating a more prominent role for the media will significantly improve the military’s observance of both standing rules of engagement and wartime rules of engagement.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

Published

on

By

Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change
Spread the love

Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

He told them they face “the most important period in the history of the planet” as he prepares to get them to thrash out an agreement to save the world.

The PM faces an uphill struggle ahead of his summit as India, the US, China and dozens of our own allies are still failing to do enough to tackle climate change – or cough up enough cash to stop it.

Top experts slammed big beasts for dragging their heels in setting tough emissions targets to stop the planet changing beyond all recognition.

Mr Johnson turned his fire on his own pals in the G20, urging them “show the leadership the world needs” and “do our duty by others less fortunate than ourselves” to make his COP26 summit a roaring success.

ALSO READ:  Indonesian Army Ends 'Two-Finger' Virginity Tests On Female Recruits

He told the Major Economies Forum yesterday they must come together with “rock solid commitments” to “protect our planet and protect humanity for a thousand years to come”.

And rich nations must “get serious about filling the $100billion pot that the developing world needs to do its bit”, he demanded, after it was revealed it was still $20billion short.

Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

Experts at the UN said that the goals set so far this year will not close the emissions gap – meaning the world is likely to miss targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Under countries’ current pledges, global emissions will be 16 per cent higher in 2030 than they were in 2010 – far off the 45 per cent reduction by 2030 that scientists say is needed to stave off disastrous and irreversible climate change.

ALSO READ:  Trump can't decide between states' rights and federal authority

Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and China were among a handful of countries rated “critically insufficient” or “highly insufficient” by a recent climate tracker.

Even the EU, Germany and Norway were rapped as not doing enough to meet the Paris agreement goals.

The PM and President Biden will twist arms at the UN General Assembly summit in New York next week, where climate change is expected to be the number one issue on the agenda for the UK, which is hosting the global summit.

The PM and climate tsar Alok Sharma have been rallying countries to raise cash and submit new plans in the run up to the summit, where 100 world leaders have said they will attend, but efforts have been hampered by big nations dragging their feet.

ALSO READ:  China increases military drills as tensions with US heat up

Mr Sharma said yesterday the frank reports were a “stark reminder of how urgent our work is ahead of COP26”.

He stressed: “This is a clear wake-up call for all of us – we need to act.” Downing Street said the PM was “disappointed there hasn’t been as much progress recently as there should have been”.

The Prime Minister also set out that the UK will be among the first signatories of the Global Methane Pledge, a US-EU initiative to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to levels during the 2020s.

Continue Reading

World

Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials

Published

on

By

Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials
Spread the love

Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials

Afghanistan’s Taliban-controlled central bank said it had seized nearly $12.4 million in cash and gold from former top government officials on Wednesday, including former vice president Amrullah Saleh.

In a statement, the central bank said the money and gold had been kept in officials’ houses, although it did not yet know for what purpose.

Saleh’s whereabouts are unknown.

He has vowed to resist the Taliban, who stormed to power a month ago, and last week a family member said the Taliban had executed his brother Rohullah Azizi.

In a separate statement, the bank urged Afghans to use the country’s local Afghani currency. It comes amid growing worries that the country’s banks and firms are running short of money, especially dollars, which are widely used.

ALSO READ:  Lebanon, Israel agree framework for talks to end border dispute

Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials

In a sign that the Taliban are looking to recoup assets belonging to former government officials, the central bank issued a circular to local banks last week asking them to freeze the accounts of politically exposed individuals linked to the previous government, two commercial bankers said.

Vanguardngr.com

Continue Reading

World

‘Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,’ Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss

Published

on

By

'Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,' Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss
Okonjo Iweala
Spread the love

‘Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,’ Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss

The list of influential figures cut across icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders, and innovators.

American news magazine, Time, has named Nigeria’s former minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was named alongside world leaders like United States President, Joe Biden, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in Time’s September 15 publication.

She tweeted moments after the publication that she was ‘honored and privileged’ to have made the cover of the magazine.

ALSO READ:  Trump can't decide between states' rights and federal authority

In an appraisal penned by Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they applauded her role in campaigning for equitable vaccine access across the world.

The Archewell founders noted that the world’s hope to defeat COVID-19 through vaccines rests on the shoulders of leaders like Okonjo-Iweala.

‘Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,’ Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss

“Our conversations with her have been as informative as they are energising.

“This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms,” the Duke and Duchess wrote.

ALSO READ:  Germany Accepting Covid-19 Patients For Treatment From Italy, France And Other Neighboring Countries

Okonjo-Iweala made history in March when she officially started her tenure as the WTO DG, the first woman and first African to do so.

“Vaccine inequity is the most important issue to tackle right now in this pandemic because it determines how we’re going to recover globally, and how many lives we save.

“With the variants that are mutating and the number of people dying, it is unacceptable that when you have the technology to save lives, some people don’t have access,” the 67-year-old told Time.

Wednesday’s list also had names of leaders like U.S. vice president, Kamala Harris, Indian president, Narendra Modi, as well as influential figures like Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Dolly Parton, and the Duke and Duchess themselves.

ALSO READ:  #EndSARS: UK parliament may debate petition against Nigeria as 148,000 sign

The list of influential figures cut across icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders, and innovators.

Pulse.ng

Continue Reading

Trending