The United States of America has vetoed the resale of US-made military helicopters by Israel to Nigeria to help in the fight against Boko Haram insurgent group.
According to Jerusalem Post, the need for such authorization is in line with US policy interests, as the US would not want a case where weapons manufactured by American firms would be used in violating human rights, especially following claims by Amnesty International that Nigerian soldiers were guilty of extra judicial killings.
White House Assistant Press Secretary and Director for Strategic Communications Ned Price said reviews of this sort become necessary in cases of “any requests for one country to transfer US-origin defence items to another country,” and must take into cognizance “the risk that significant change in the political or security situation of the recipient country could lead to inappropriate end-use of the weapons”
Since the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State by Boko Haram, the US has made considerable moves to help curb the activities of the insurgent group, including training of Nigerian military personnel in order to “professionalize the response of its security forces, including to respond to crime and terrorism and emphasizes human rights, civilian protection, and adherence to rule of law at all levels,” according to American officials.
According to reports, Nigeria seeks to purchase Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters which were manufactured by Boeing, an American company. Sixteen countries are said to operate Chinook helicopters, with Nigeria set to be the first in sub-Saharan Africa to do so. The cost of making a single Chinook helicopter is put at about $40 million.
A criteria for the said sale to take place is the reassurance that the recipient country (Nigeria) would not “retransfer the arms to those who would commit human rights abuses or serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
US ambassador to Nigeria James F. Entwistle told reporters that: “The kind of question that we have to ask is, let’s say we give certain kinds of equipment to the Nigerian military that is then used in a way that affects the human situation. If I approve that, I’m responsible for that. We take that responsibility very seriously.”