State Department Decision
Congress Notified on August 2, 2017

Policy Summary

On Wednesday, August 2nd, the State Department notified Congress that it approved the sale of twelve A-29 fighter jets to the Nigerian military. The jets are commonly used for counter-insurgency and reconnaissance, and the U.S. government hopes these planes will help Nigeria fight Boko Haram –an extremist group that has ravaged the country for over 15 years. The Obama administration suspended the sale over human rights abuses by Nigerian security forces as well as judicial and executive corruption. Although it is unlikely they will do so, Congress has 30 days to review and potentially block this sale. LEARN MORE.


This approval by President Trump seems premature and shortsighted. Nigeria has a deplorable human rights record that was lambasted by both the Bush and Obama administrations. While Nigeria is taking steps towards transparency and peace, key goals have not been met. Rewarding the government with such an arms sale may discourage Nigeria from going further to improve its domestic situation. Furthermore, it’s unclear whether these twelve planes will be enough to make a difference against Boko Haram, and the lag time between approval and implementation could be fatal. The Trump administration has created a dangerous pattern of overturning previous restrictions on arms sales to questionably-motivated nations which harms our national security and human rights reputation around the globe. LEARN MORE

Engagement Resources

  • Human Rights Watch — HRW works to report human rights abuses across the globe and lobby governments and corporations to do something about them.
  • Amnesty International — Amnesty International conducts international research, advocates on behalf of the oppressed, and carries out campaigns to protect the vulnerable from human rights’ infringements.
  • Adamawa Peace Initiative — A program through the American University of Nigeria to bring peace and develop Nigeria

This brief was compiled by Jacob Malinowski. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact



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