President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, July 22, said the US 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 with impunity “aided and abetted” the onslaught of the Boko Haram terrorists group in Nigeria.
The law which is named after its principal sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont was the main reason the US government refused to sell weapons to the Nigerian Army last year and even went ahead to stop Israel from selling Cobra helicopters to Nigeria. Apart from Nigeria, other countries that have been affected by this law include; Bangladesh, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan.
President Buhari during a speech at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), pleaded with the US government to review the law in order for it to give the needed assistance to Nigeria in crushing Boko Haram. He went further to note that in the case of Nigeria, the Leahy Law was applied by the US on the grounds of unproven allegations of human rights violations levelled against the Nigerian Armed forces, a development that had denied the country access to appropriate strategic weapons to wipe out Boko Haram.
Buhari said: “In the face of abduction of innocent school girls from their hostels, indiscriminate bombings of civilians in markets and places of worship, 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.”