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US plans to sell attack aircrafts to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

US plans to sell attack aircrafts to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

Nigeria

The United States plans to sell Nigeria aircraft specifically designed for guerrilla war as Abuja struggles to fight Islamist Boko Haram, US officials on Friday.

Washington and other Western countries have revived their military assistance projects with the giant West African nation and its President Muhammadu Buhari, after tension in 2014.

Some units of the Nigerian army had been accused of violations of human rights against civilians in their fight against Boko Haram.

Nigeria was a strategic partner of the United States "with whom" we continue to work on security issues.

After a friendly visit to Washington last summer by President Buhari and the resumption of military cooperation, the US administration agreed it could sell ten light attack aircraft for the guerrilla struggle.

According to a US official, the aircraft would be an A-29 Super Tucano, which is manufactured by Embraer.

The US Air Force sold some of the same models in early 2016 to the Afghan army fighting against the Taliban.

But the sale in Abuja is far from complete and must be validated by a complex administrative process between the State Department, the Pentagon, the White House and Congress.

Washington’s concerns on human rights in Nigeria dates back to several decades.

David McKeeby, spokesman for the office of political and military affairs at the State Department did not comment on the possible sale of aircraft before it is sent to Congress, but he reiterated to AFP that “Nigeria was a strategic partner of the United States “with whom” we continue to work on security issues.”

Boko Haram has been raging since 2009 in northeast Nigeria, killng at least 20,000 people, and encroaches Cameroon, Chad and Niger.