Follow us on social


Nigerian military’s forced abortions raise questions about US aid

The shocking revelation is the latest in a long line of alleged human rights abuses carried out during the fight against Boko Haram.


Since 2013, the Nigerian military has “run a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast,” leading to the termination of at least 10,000 pregnancies, according to a new report from Reuters.

The campaign, which targets women who have been raped by Islamist fighters, stems from the idea that “the children of insurgents are predestined, by the blood in their veins, to one day take up arms against the Nigerian government and society,” according to report.

Reuters confirmed the programs existence through interviews with victims, soldiers, and health workers who have been instructed to carry out the forced abortions, which legal experts say could amount to crimes against humanity. Nigerian authorities strongly deny the allegations.

The shocking revelation is the latest in a long line of human rights-related accusations lodged against the Nigerian military in recent years. Alleged abuses include “extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detentions,” according to Amnesty International.

The report comes just eight months after the United States approved a $1 billion sale of military equipment to Nigeria. Though officials had initially delayed the sale over human rights concerns, the deal went through after including a mandate of “special training on the law of armed conflict and human rights, and air-to-ground integration to minimize civilian harm in air operations.”

The news will add pressure on leaders in Washington to reduce or end U.S. military support for the country, which, between direct aid and arms sales, has totalled more than $2 billion since 2000.

As journalist Nick Turse wrote earlier this year, “Nigerian armed forces have not only failed to defeat militants but routinely commit grave human rights abuses in the name of counterterrorism without repercussions from the United States.” This pattern has continued despite years of U.S. training aimed at encouraging soldiers to protect civilians and reduce human rights violations.

Beyond concerns about rights abuses, experts have also questioned whether Nigeria’s expensive, militarized approach to Boko Haram and the Islamic State has made any progress in destroying the groups. 

“The United States should support nonviolent peacebuilding programs, and the Nigerian government must prioritize its spending to address the same,” wrote Nigeria analysts Charles Kwuelum and Iyabo Obasanjo earlier this year. 

“In a place where high percentages of the population are food insecure and lack adequate health or educational opportunities, the expenditure of nearly $1 billion for weapons will further erode trust in the Nigerian government,” Kwuelum and Obasanjo added. “While we fully support the need to address insecurity, more weapons won’t solve Nigeria’s security crisis.”

(Shutterstock/ Bumble Dee)
Not leaving empty handed: Zelensky gets his ATACMs
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden greet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Mrs. Olena Zelenska of Ukraine at the South Portico of the White House. (Photo by Allison Bailey/NurPhoto)

Not leaving empty handed: Zelensky gets his ATACMs


So it looks like Ukrainian President Zelensky did not leave Washington empty handed this week after all. According to reports this afternoon, the Biden administration has relented and will transfer long range ATACMs, long considered too escalatory for the conflict, to Ukraine in the “upcoming weeks,” according to POLITICO.

The ATACMs variant that the U.S. is reportedly considering, according to the Washington Post (which, unlike POLITICO says the administration is "nearing an announcement") uses controversial cluster munitions, another old "red line" for the administration in this war, instead of a single warhead. This is not exactly what the Ukrainians had hoped for.

keep readingShow less
Wall Street Journal

Editorial credit: monticello /

WSJ conceals Saudi funding of pro-Saudi nuke deal source


The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that “Israeli officials are quietly working with the Biden administration on a polarizing proposal to set up a U.S.-run uranium-enrichment operation in Saudi Arabia as part of a complex three-way deal to establish official diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern countries,” according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

The article, authored by Dion Nissenbaum and Dov Lieber, largely showcases Israeli opposition to the deal. Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a group whose mission includes providing “education to enhance Israel’s image in North America…” was quoted opposing a uranium enrichment program on Saudi soil. He warned that “we’re one bullet away from a disaster in Saudi Arabia,” adding, “What happens if, God forbid, a radical Islamist leader takes control?”

keep readingShow less
Menendez took bribes to help Egypt get weapons: Prosecutors
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Jan. 2019 (Photo: lev radin via

Menendez took bribes to help Egypt get weapons: Prosecutors


Federal prosecutors indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on corruption charges for allegedly taking bribes to help business partners in New Jersey as well as the Egyptian government.

The indictment alleges that Menendez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash as well as gold bars and a luxury vehicle from three New Jersey businessmen. His wife, Nadine Menendez, was also charged.

keep readingShow less

Ukraine War Crisis