(Ecofin Agency) - Faced with tough security challenges, Nigeria is trying to build its military capabilities with the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment. With each of the arms deals, partners demand human rights guarantees.
The U.S. State Department recently approved the sales of US$997 million in military equipment to Nigeria. The information was confirmed, Thursday (April 14), in a release published by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
According to the agency, the U.S. will sell 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters and a wide range of related equipment, including guidance systems, night vision display systems, engines, and spare parts. Apart from the equipment, the Nigerian Armed Forces will also be provided institutional and technical assistance “to continue Air Ground Integration (AGI) program, which includes developing targeting processes that are legally compliant with International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict.”
The sale was first delayed by U.S. Congress due to concerns about possible authoritarian abuses by the Nigerian government. Several Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called on Washington to raise its human rights standards before proceeding with the deal.
For the DSCA, the “proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner in Sub-Saharan Africa. (...) The proposed sale will better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability and build interoperability with the U.S. and other Western partners.”
For years now, Nigeria is faced with tough security challenges fuelled by terrorist groups and other armed criminals. Federal authorities are trying to address the challenges without much success to date.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou