The State Department has approved an arms sale for Nigeria worth nearly $1 billion despite concerns over the African country’s human rights record.
The sale is for 12 AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters and related equipment, worth an estimated $997 billion. According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the primary contractors for the deal are Bell and General Electric.
Nigeria is often accused of killing civilians in its operations against Boko Haram and other Islamic militants. To offset the rights concerns, the weapons package includes $25 million for training on “human rights.”
“The case will include special training on the law of armed conflict and human rights, and air-to-ground integration to minimize civilian harm in air operations,” the DSCA said of the arms deal.
But the US military has its own history of killing civilians in airstrikes with no accountability. For example, a US drone strike in Kabul last year killed 10 civilians, including seven children, and no US military personnel were punished for the slaughter.