United States of America, senator Patrick Leahy, has described as “misdirected” President Buhari’s opinion on the US law that prohibits assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
Leahy who is the sponsor of the so-called ‘Leahy Law’, said neither he nor the law could be blamed for the atrocities committed by the “murderers and rapists in the Nigerian military”.
“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,” he said in a statement published on his website, www.leahy.senate.gov
“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.”
At meeting at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) on Wednesday, Buhari said the law “aided and abetted” the campaign of Boko Haram and urged the US government to review it so that it could provide the needed assistance to Nigeria to crush Boko Haram.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, however denied the president accusing the US of supporting the outlawed group