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A protester waves the Nigerian national flag while gathering with other protesters during a demonstration against police brutality. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. lawmakers are tabling a proposal to sell almost $1 billion in weapons to Nigeria over human rights abuses committed by the government, Reuters reported Thursday.

Why it matters: U.S. officials said Nigerian military forces used "excessive force" on unarmed civilians after opening fire on protesters demonstrating against police brutality last year. Thousands of Nigerians have accused the special police unit SARS, which was later disbanded, of extortion, torture and sexual violence.

  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee have delayed the proposed weapons sale, which consists of 12 Cobra attack helicopters, spare engines, navigation systems and 2,000 precision-guided munitions.

Worth noting: "The sale that has been put on hold could have an impact on Nigeria's efforts to seek support to fight Islamic State-allied group Boko Haram in the northeast and armed bandits in the northwest of the country," Reuters writes.

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2021 - World

Senate Dems vow to investigate "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez. Photo: Office of Sen. Bob Menendez

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday he would hold hearings into the "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal of Afghanistan.

Driving the news: Menendez, who blamed both the Biden and Trump administrations for the crisis unfolding in the Taliban-controlled country, is one of three top Democrats who head Senate committees who've vowed to investigate the Afghanistan crisis.

"An embarrassment": Biden condemns Border Patrol for using horses to deter Haitian migrants

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday condemned Border Patrol officers for using horses to deter Haitian immigrants from an encampment under the international bridge earlier this week but took responsibility for the actions and said an investigation is underway.

Why it matters: Photos of patrol officers charging their horses at immigrants prompted criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Senate GOP pushes DOJ to roll back Trump oversight rule

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Republicans want the Justice Department to roll back Trump-era restrictions on congressional oversight criticized at the time as an attempt to insulate the Trump administration from Democratic investigators, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While some Republicans spoke out against the DOJ guidance at the time, it was mostly Democrats who attacked it as a constitutionally dubious effort to scuttle congressional oversight. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the GOP is making similar arguments with Biden in the White House.