Less than two years after it blocked a sale of American-made attack helicopters to Nigeria from Israel because of human rights concerns, the Obama administration says it is poised to sell up to 12 light attack aircraft to Nigeria as part of an effort to support the country’s fight against the Boko Haram militant group.
But the pending sale of the Super Tucano attack warplanes — which would require congressional approval — is already coming under criticism from human rights organizations that say President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has not yet done enough to stop the abuses and corruption that flourished in the military under his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
Officials at the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon have been bracing for a fight with congressional Democrats, in particular Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, over the sale of the planes.
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