Please join Stephen Rickard and Lora Lumpe for a background briefing about the “Leahy Law,” which prevents U.S. military assistance from going to foreign military or police units or individuals where there is credible evidence of gross human rights violations.
The law is getting renewed attention in light of the hundreds of school girls kidnapped in Nigeria. U.S. assistance to some Nigerian army units is barred because of their awful human rights records and questions have been raised about what kind of assistance the U.S. military can provide.
Senior U.S. military officials recently have criticized the law because they say it interferes with their ability to train precisely those forces that need U.S. training the most. They have cited Nigeria, Mali, and, prior to the eruption of civil war in December, South Sudan, as examples of places where “Leahy” is undermining the U.S. military’s ability to reform and professionalize foreign military and police units.
Recent revelations about the conduct of the Nigerian and South Sudanese armed forces, however, vindicate caution when supporting armed forces who have committed gross human rights violations (murder, rape, torture, kidnapping) with impunity.
Rickard and Lumpe both have worked on drafting the original law and improving implementation of the law.
Coffee and food will be served.