Possible U.S. Arms Sale to Nigeria
U.S. President Donald Trump appears poised to notify Congress of a foreign military sale of A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft with mounted machine guns, related parts, and logistical support to Nigeria for the reported purpose of continuing the fight against terrorist group Boko Haram. This sale, estimated at approximately $600 million, was held up at the end of the Obama administration due to concern over numerous apparent human rights abuses committed by the Nigerian military, including the January bombing of a displaced persons camp.
On June 8, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) voiced their concerns regarding the deal in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. A group of civil society members also expressed opposition on May 10 in a letter to leaders of the House Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees. Both letters cited needs for significant progress by Nigeria in protecting human rights and holding military forces accountable as reasons to continue withholding the aircraft.
According to Security Assistance Monitor data, the United States delivered approximately $125 million in combined foreign military and direct commercial sales to Nigeria from 2009-2015.