Trump ‘to sell Nigeria planes’ for Boko Haram fight

Chidi Samuel with agency report || The administration of President Donald Trump plans to sell military planes to Nigeria despite concerns over rights abuses, US media say. This a clear departure from the from the previous Obama administration that refused to sell such aircraft to help the country combat the dreaded Boko haram insurgents.

Up to a dozen, A-29 Super Tucano aircraft would be sold to Nigeria to help fight Islamist militant group Boko Haram, unnamed US officials said but the deal, which is not yet official, will require approval from Congress.

The deal said to be worth up to $600m (£490m).

Close officials of President Buhari indicated last month the willingness of President Trump to okay the sale of the aircraft after the first phone call between the two leaders.

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The US congressional source said human rights concerns remain, despite support for the sale from some lawmakers, Reuters news agency reports.

The US Air Force described the A-29 aircraft as a “game-changer” when they were deployed in Afghanistan in 2016.

They can be armed with two wing-mounted machine guns and can carry up to 1,550 kg of weapons.

But the aircraft that would be sold to Nigeria come with a “very basic armed configuration,” one of the unnamed US officials told Reuters.