Nigeria’s president has warned that weapons and ammunition used in the war in Ukraine are winding up in the hands of “terrorists” in the Lake Chad region of Africa.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the comments last week from the Nigerian capital of Abuja. According to a press release from his office, Buhari drew attention “to the increased number of arms, ammunition, and other weapons from the Russia and Ukraine war in the Lake Chad Basin.”
Buhari said that weapons were also coming from other areas in Africa’s Sahel region and from fighting in Libya. “Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as major sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Region,” he said.
The Nigerian leader said that arms “being used for the war in Ukraine and Russia are equally beginning to filter to the region.”
Buhari’s comments come amid a push from some Republicans in Washington for more oversight of the over $19 billion in weapons that the US has poured into Ukraine, concerns that Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) has dismissed as “Russian propaganda.”
Buhari’s comments were not the first indication that Western arms bound for Ukraine are ending up on the black market. Finland’s national law enforcement agency, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), warned in October that arms meant for Ukraine have wound up in the hands of criminal gangs in Finland. The NBI also said that weapons meant for Ukraine were also found in Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.