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US, Russia to Supply 24 Fighter Jets

The Trump administration has approved attack planes to be sold to the Nigerian government.

The US Defense Department notified the Congress, which has 30 days to approve the deal, of the $593 million foreign military sale on 2 August. The package includes the aircraft, weapons, training, spare parts and facilities to support the program, according to a 3 August announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The planes to be sold to the Nigeria military include about a dozen A-29 Super Tucano aircraft Nigerian government intends to the deal to be a boost in the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgents

The pentagon in a statement on Thursday, August 3, said the attack planes will be used by the Nigerian military to counter the Boko Haram insurgency and illicit trafficking in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, The Hill reports.

The previous administration of Barrack Obama had blocked the sale of military equipment to Nigeria following allegations that the military were involved in human rights abuses. Some international organisations have accused the Nigerian Army of using the war against Boko Haram as an excuse to carry out human rights violations. Amnesty International (AI) has constantly accused the army of violating its rules of engagement through extrajudicial killings, unexplained disappearances among other infringement. The bulk of these allegations by the AI and other human rights organisations informed the US congress decision to pass a law barring the sale of military equipment to Nigeria and other countries whose military are found culpable of violating human rights.

The United States is not the only country selling fighter jets to Nigeria. According to Russian media, Nigeria is buying twelve Su-30 fighter jets from Russia, two of which have already been delivered. The aircraft has two seats for long-range missions and is known for its high maneuverability. There has been no public announcement of the cost or how Nigeria will pay for them, but, according to past transactions, the fighter jet can cost upwards of $30 million each.su30

Su-30’s have be seen in sub-Sahara Africa before: according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Uganda and Angola inked deals to purchase the fighters within the last decade. The Su-30 fighters, and their subsequent iterations, remain a mainstay of the Russian air force and have seen considerable action in Syria.

Among other things, the Su-30 fighter is used in air-to-ground operations. Presumably, the Nigerian government is buying them for use against Boko Haram, the Jihadist terrorist group in the north. They might also be used against Niger delta militants operating in the country’s oil patch.

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