How US laws ‘aided and abetted’ Boko Haram – Buhari

BuhariDCPresident Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, said the blanket application of Leahy Laws by the United States of America has hindered Nigeria from recording appreciable  successes against the Boko Haram insurgents ravaging the northeastern part of Nigeria.

Buhari, while addressing a session at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), said “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.

“The application of the Leahy law amendment by the U. S. 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.”

Named after its principal sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont,  the Leahy Law or Leahy amendment is a U.S. human rights law that prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.

The President, however, added that he believed that the US did this ‘unwittingly and ‘unintentionally’, while also making it known that he believed that “American people cannot support any group engaged in these crimes.”

He, therefore, urged the American government to urgently review the application of the laws against Nigeria. He explained that  delays would further empower Boko Haram insurgents to commit more dastardly crimes against Nigeria and her neighbours.

“I therefore strongly appeal to both the Executive Arm and the US Congress to examine how the US Government can provide us with far more substantial counter-terrorism assistance with minimal strings. The longer we delay, the deadlier the Boko Haram gets. At all events, we have re-written the rules of engagement protecting the rights of combatants and in particular safeguarding civilians in theatres of conflict.”

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  • Sal Yarima

    The truth always comes out with time.

  • Ik-212

    So now it’s unproven allegation?
    Pity! Pity!! Pity!!!
    When you were throwing stones at GEJ cos of Nigerian Army performance, you did not forget that one will miss target ? and will bounce back at you.
    Hard lesson 1, never play politics with your national security, either corrupt or not. The US military is the highest directly & indirectly human right violators.

  • Abayomi A

    American Leahy Law: Disturbing Inconsistencies in Contextual Application

    There is no gainsaying that, at the secular level, someone or force must intervene to stand in the gap for the powerless and the voiceless to protect their assaulted human rights anywhere in the world. To this extent, there is justification for legislation of the class of America’s Leahy Law, named after its sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy.

    However, Leahy law becomes patently non-justiciable if its application, wittingly or not, ends up providing shelter for lawless insurgent armies such as Boko Haram. Boko Haram’s atrocities against humanity in general and Nigeria in particular are without rhyme or rhythm and belong clearly in the territory of pure terrorism. I was wondering if Leahy law applied to Al Qaeda, ISIL, David Koresh’s Davidian cult in Waco, Texas or Hamas: If it did, then, there was no justification for asking to have Nigeria treated as an exception to the rule. Otherwise, it would be indefensible to apply the law to Nigeria in a way suggestive of condemnable double standard.

    Ironically, Leahy law itself provides for contextual flexibility in its application. If anyone goes to Senator Leahy’s website and takes time to read relevant material there, such a one will find that Senator Leahy is unequivocal in laying bare the balancing provisions contained in the application of this law.

    Relevant extracts from the Leahy law provide and recite as follows:

    “Leahy Law makes it clear that when credible evidence of human rights violations exists, the violator or the responsible unit must be barred from receiving training or equipment. But it also provides the necessary flexibility to allow the U.S. to advance its foreign policy objectives in these countries. The law gives the Secretary of State the authority to determine when the law applies. In addition, it gives foreign governments an incentive to correct the problem: U.S. aid can resume if they bring to justice people who commit such crimes.”

    Buhari, his government and the Nigerian diplomatic corps in the US (Adefuye and co, as at July 2015) should be pursuing these options aggressively with Secretary of State John Kerry and the larger American executive and Congress. They should engage a mix of diplomacy and appeal to the traditional American values of what is good for the goose is good for the gander, subject to American national security interests. They should make their case resonate with ordinary Americans.

    They should be drawing parallels between Boko Haram and other terrorist groups around the world. For instance, it should be pertinent to inquire the whereabout of human rights when US hellfire was engaged to take out the likes of Anwar Awlaki (an American citizen turned terrorist activist-leader), Abu Musab Al Zarqawi of Al Qaeda in Iraq infamy or David Koresh and his followers in the Davidian cult. The Davidians were burnt alive. To be fair and balanced, Koresh and his followers had deadlines issued to them to put an end to their criminal activities or answer to Federal might.

    How does Abubakar Shekau’s Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Borno differ from David Koresh’s Davidian cult in Waco, Texas except that the former is 100 times more vicious, more deadly and more destructive? Hello DC, can you hear me now?