Double standard of American policy in Africa
In what appears to be a clear case of double standards, the United States has threatened Nigeria to risk an arms embargo for alleged violations of armed conflict laws in the fight against banditry, terrorism and others. forms of violence in different parts of the federation. .
Speaking in an interview with CNN International published by the US Department of State, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken threatened that his country would enforce Leahy laws against Nigeria if allegations of rights violations were to be found. deemed credible.
The threat came just as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) criticized Nigeria’s removal from the 2021 U.S. list of religious violators, insisting Christians are still being persecuted by terrorist groups and other Islamic associations in the country.
There are reports that the United States has vetoed more than 50 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions criticizing Israel since 1972.
During the latest escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, the United States has reportedly stuck to this manual, blocking a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Several resolutions condemning violence against Palestinian protesters and illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank were also reportedly thwarted by the United States.
The UN resolutions had also declared that East Jerusalem should not be considered Israeli territory, but the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.
Contrary to Washington’s general support for Israel, concerns have grown that the United States wants to tie Nigeria’s hand behind its back in the face of terrorist and bandit attacks by threatening an arms embargo against the country in the fight against insurgent groups.
But Blinken, in a surprise gesture, said his country would enforce Leahy laws against Nigeria. Leahy Laws prohibit the United States Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to units of the foreign security forces that violate human rights with impunity.
Blinken said, “Of course we also have laws in place – the Leahy laws, for example. This makes sure that if there are units that have committed abuses; we are not going to provide equipment for these units.
When asked if the United States would invoke the Leahy laws against Nigeria, the secretary of state vowed to enforce the law.
“If there is real transparency, accountability and change that comes from these incidents and abuses, I think that’s very important, not just for our administration. It is also important for the US Congress to pass judgments on continued assistance to the security forces, ”explained Blinken.
The Secretary of State, however, explained the nature of the military aid the United States had provided to Nigeria, noting that it was not only the sale of military hardware, but also software.
According to Blinken, “the military assistance itself is not just the material we might provide – planes or helicopters. It is also software as well as human software ”.
He said: “Because one of the things we do is make sure that we provide equipment to deal with the deep security challenges we face here in Nigeria – terrorism, criminal activity, other violence, those who will use the equipment are trained.
“Security forces must be trained to ensure that they do so to avoid harming the good guys, even when attacking the bad guys, to ensure that the laws of armed conflict are fully enforced.” account. If they make mistakes, they are corrected and they are immediately brought to light, ”explained Blinken.
Reacting to the Lekki Tollgate incident report, Blinken admitted that the Lekki incident report brought transparency to what happened on the night of October 20, 2020.
He said: “I think first of all, the fact of the report, of the panel’s work is generally important because it brings vital transparency on what happened, on the violence that took place around the #EndSARS protests. and allegations of abuse by the security forces.
“I have yet to see the published report. I think it will be released, hopefully, very, very soon. But two or three things are really important, ”added Blinken.
He explained that the report was important to ensure that such an incident did not happen again.
He argued that the reforms “are necessary to build and restore trust between citizens and the security services, between citizens and the state. It is an obligation of both the state government and the federal government. “
Blinken insisted that Nigerian military and police officers, who played one role or another in the Lekki incident, be held accountable for their roles.
He said: “If there are individuals who – as emerges from this report – who are responsible for committing abuse, there must be accountability in terms of those individuals. This, too, is vital for restoring trust between citizens and the state and the security services. “
The panel report recommended that all officers deployed at the toll plaza be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. With the exception of the garrison commander of the 81st Division, Brigadier. General Francis Omata, the panel demanded that all military officers involved in the operations be stripped of their status and dismissed on the grounds that they “are not fit and fit to serve in a public or national security service” .
The panel also recommended that the divisional police officer of the Maroko Police Division, Mr. Raji Ganiyu, and all police officers deployed for an operation between October 20 and October 21, 2020, be prosecuted for arbitrarily shooting and killing and without discrimination the demonstrators of #EndSARS.
– Agom writes from Jikwoyi District, Abuja