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Washington, DC


US Security Assistance to Nigeria: Civilian Protection Gaps and Opportunities
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Nigeria faces formidable security challenges as armed opposition groups across the country harm civilians and threaten livelihoods. In responding to the threats posed by armed groups, Nigerian security forces have also often killed and harmed civilians, including through aerial attacks and ground operations. Such incidents illuminate systemic issues, particularly concerning air-to-ground integration, compounded by deficiencies in accountability and governance within the security sector.

The US is a key supplier of arms and equipment to Nigeria. In light of civilian harm concerns, major sales of US aircraft to Nigeria have drawn significant attention in civil society and among US legislators. While the US government has engaged Nigeria’s military on numerous matters related to civilian harm mitigation and response, US policy has often proceeded with the assumption that the transfer of advanced arms and other hardware to the Nigerian military will continue, despite significant doubts about the effectiveness of current risk mitigation measures.

This brief seeks to identify patterns and causes of civilian harm from Nigerian security force operations, assess US policy efforts to address civilian harm risks in its arms sales and security assistance to Nigeria, and provide recommendations for the governments and militaries of both the US and Nigeria.

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“Help Us Build Our Lives”: Girl Survivors of Boko Haram and Military Abuses in North-East Nigeria

After surviving years of abuse by Boko Haram and by Nigerian forces, reintegration support and justice remain elusive for girls associated, or perceived to be associated, with Boko Haram. Based primarily on 126 interviews, of which 76 were with girls and young women who were girls when they suffered Boko Haram abuses, this report examines violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses committed by Boko Haram, as well as violations by the Nigerian authorities, during the armed conflict in north-east Nigeria. The report also details their unique reintegration needs and their aspirations to rebuild their lives.

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Congressional Briefing Document 2024

This congressional brief delves into the intricate conflict dynamics in Nigeria and the resulting complexities of peacebuilding efforts in the country. 
Overall, this brief emphasizes the significance of international support and engagement in addressing the intricate challenges facing Nigeria, whether in the realm of peacebuilding or the protection of free expression. It highlights the roles of international NGOs and calls for sustained U.S. engagement. The multifaceted nature of the issues requires nuanced and context-specific strategies, underscoring the need for collaborative efforts to foster positive change in the country.


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About Us

The Nigeria Working Group is made up of civil society organizations in Washington, DC that work on Nigeria. These include humanitarian, peacebuilding, human rights, and governance groups, as well as a number of academics and thinktanks.  The NWG has worked in relation to the northeast and middle-belt regions of Nigeria, focusing on increasing humanitarian assistance and access, military accountability, and supporting an effective response to the Boko Haram insurgency and displacement. We have also worked on certain thematic issues, such as the elections.


Since the NWG is a working group and not a formal coalition, there is not a formal membership process or definitive policy platform. Groups participate in particular projects as they align with their organizational objectives and scope of work. 


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