Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Washington Post: The Nigerian military is so broken, its soldiers are refusing to fight

LAGOS, Nigeria — As the Nigerian military battled Boko Haram over the past year, scores of soldiers made a decision that would put their lives in grave danger — they refused to fight.

It wasn’t for lack of bravery, they said. It was for lack of weapons.

At least 66 of the soldiers have been found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad. Dozens more remain in detention, awaiting trial. The Nigerian government describes them as cowards. Their supporters say they are scapegoats.

“They joined the army to fight, not to commit suicide,” said Femi Falana, an attorney for 59 of the soldiers.

The cases have opened a rare window into the Nigerian military, once one of the strongest in Africa but now struggling to combat an insurgency of several thousand fighters. Rebuilding the army is a major challenge for Muhammadu Buhari, who assumes the presidency of Africa’s most populous nation this month.

WNU Editor: A sobering assessment of the Nigerian Army .... but that is not stopping some in Nigeria on wondering why the U.S. is not giving them aid .... U.S. Refuses To Send Arms To Nigeria To Wage War Against Boko Haram.

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