On Wednesday July 22 Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, accused the United States government of indirectly supporting Boko Haram in a speech addressing the United States Institute for Peace (USIP).
Buhari accused the U.S. of “aiding and abetting” Boko Haram due to the fact that the U.S. denied weapons support for the Nigerian military. The U.S took this decision owing to the accusations that the Nigerian military has committed human rights abuses.
The Department of State and Department of Defence are prevented from providing military assistance to any foreign military that has violated human rights without consequence due to the Leahy Law.
Buhari blamed the U.S for the lack of support that has left the Nigerian forces largely ineffective in combatting the onslaught by the terrorist group.
Buhari stated; “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 other international friends and partners.
“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.
“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.
“Unwittingly, and I dare say, unintentionally, the application of the Leahy law amendment by the US 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.
“I believe this is not the spirit of the Leahy Laws. I know the American people cannot support any group engaged in these crimes.”