After Congress placed a stop on the agreement amid worries about probable human rights violations by the Nigerian government, the US has authorized a roughly $1 billion arms sale to Nigeria.
The sale of 12 Bell AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters was placed on hold by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee in July.
The US Department of State said on Thursday that it will authorize the $997 million sale of attack helicopters.
According to a statement regarding the sale, “this proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Unfortunately, Nigeria has been dealing with an increase in armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom in areas where security authorities have failed to curb the influence of armed gangs due to a lack of resources.
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According to analysts, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine may force Nigeria to acquire guns from China owing to sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus, both of which previously maintained military alliances with the West African country.
After troops opened fire on demonstrators demonstrating against police brutality in Lagos in October 2020, US authorities protested of “excessive force” by Nigerian military forces on unarmed citizens and appealed for moderation.