Rep. Sara Jacobs Leads the Protection of Civilians in Conflict Caucus in Seeking Answers About Potential U.S. Involvement in 2017 Military Strike in Nigeria
Washington, September 8, 2022 | Lauren McIlvaine
Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) led Reps. Jason Crow (CO-06), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Andy Kim (NJ-03), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), co-chairs of the Protection of Civilians in Conflict (POCC) Caucus, in seeking answers and transparency about the potential U.S. military involvement in a 2017 military strike in Nigeria. The operation struck an internally displaced persons’ camp, killing more than 160 civilians including many children. In the first official action of the newly formed POCC caucus, the co-chairs sent a letter to Secretary Lloyd Austin requesting information about the nature of U.S. military and intelligence in the strike, circumstances leading to the operation, steps to mitigate civilian harm, and more.
“Civilians should never be targeted in war. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened in Nigeria in 2017,” said Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, Co-Chair of the Protection of Civilians in Conflict (POCC) Caucus. “I’m proud to lead the Protection of Civilians in Conflict Caucus to demand answers: to determine if the U.S. military and intelligence played a role in the military strike, took steps to limit civilian casualties, and has adequately addressed these harms. Our servicemembers, the American people, and the world need answers, accountability, and transparency.”
Rep. Ro Khanna said, “The recent report revealing our military’s involvement in strikes in Nigeria is disturbing and underscores the need for accountability for civilian causalities resulting from US military operations. We need more information from the Department of Defense about what led to the strikes to prevent future civilian deaths. I hope they will address the questions in our letter and open the door to more transparency surrounding these incidents.”
The Protection of Civilians in Conflict Caucus, of which Reps. Jacobs, Crow, Khanna, Kim, and Malinowski serve as co-chairs, conducts oversight and advances policies that prevent, reduce, and respond to civilian harm as a result of U.S. and partners’ operations. The caucus seeks to remedy the current trend of civilian harm treated as an “acceptable” or “unavoidable” consequence of conflict and the growing number of internally displaced people, refugees, and wounded or killed civilians.