US emphasizes ‘accountability and transparency’ in Nigeria security operations – SaltWire NS

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By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland met Nigerian National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu and discussed “promoting accountability and transparency” in the aftermath of security operations in Nigeria, the State Department said on Thursday.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Observers have noted a pattern of deadly aerial assaults by the Nigerian military that have killed civilians, which was the subject of a special Reuters report last year.

Nigeria’s military is backed by the United States, Britain and other allies in a long war against Islamist insurgents in the northeast.

KEY QUOTE

“They further agreed on the importance of protecting civilians, safeguarding human rights, and promoting accountability and transparency in the aftermath of security operations,” the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

CONTEXT

Civilians were killed in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state following a military drone attack targeting insurgents and bandits in December. The death toll in the attack was at least 85, including women and children.

The Boko Haram and splinter Islamic West Africa Province have waged an insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast for more than one decade and continue to carry out sporadic attacks against civilians and the military.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Nigeria in the coming week as part of a West Africa trip.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Sonali Paul)

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