THERE were strong indications on Monday that the United States would soon lift the current arms embargo placed on Nigeria.
The Head of a Delegation of the US Congress Committee on Judiciary to the country, Mr. Darrel Issa, said......this while speaking with journalists after an indoor meeting with the nation’s defence and military chiefs at the National Defence College, Abuja.
Issa said that the US had commenced the process of lifting the restrictions of the Leahy Law on Nigeria because of the recent moves to professionalise the military by the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, and the service chiefs.
The Leahy Law is a human rights law of the US, which prevents the US State Department and the Department of Defence from selling arms and ammunition to countries whose military are believed to have committed brazen acts of rights violation.
The refusal of the US government to sell arms to the country because of the Leahy law had made Nigeria under former President Goodluck Jonathan to explore other options, including the Black Market, to get desperately needed arms and ammunition to halt the advances of the Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.
Issa added that most of America’s support for Nigeria in the area of training, technical support and equipment provision was not tied to the Leahy and had not been stopped.
He said that the US was relying on President Muhammadu Buhari and the military chiefs to rebuild the trust of Nigerians in the military as an institution that would protect the citizenry.
The US congressman said that Nigerian military chiefs and the American delegation had discussed the issue of additional support, especially in the area of aerial surveillance critical to the fight against insurgency and the theft of the nation’s crude oil.
Culled - Punch
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