The African Union condemns ‘sturdy’ lethal violence in Nigeria

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The African Union on Thursday strongly condemned lethal violence in Nigeria’s largest metropolis, Lagos, and referred to as on all events to “privilege dialogue”.

African Union Fee President Moussa Faki Mahamat “strongly condemns the violence that erupted on October 20, 2020 throughout protests in Lagos, Nigeria which have resulted in a number of deaths and accidents,” his workplace mentioned in an announcement.

“The President calls on all political and social actors to reject the usage of violence and to respect human rights and the rule of regulation,” the assertion mentioned.

Mahamat’s feedback got here as protests escalated in Lagos following the safety forces’ capturing of peaceable protesters earlier this week.

Not less than 12 individuals had been killed by the Nigerian military and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a lethal breakdown of demonstrations, Amnesty Worldwide mentioned.

Peaceable protesters had been gathered regardless of a curfew imposed to finish spiraling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social complaints.

Proof gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital stories confirms that the Nigerian navy opened fireplace on hundreds of individuals between 1 p.m. 18.45 (1745 GMT) and at 21:00 (2000 GMT) on Tuesday, October 20, “Amnesty Worldwide mentioned in an announcement.

Lagos’s governor initially insisted no deaths had been recorded, however later mentioned authorities had been investigating an individual’s dying because of “blunt pressure trauma to the pinnacle”.

He mentioned no less than 25 individuals had been injured.

Masks and military uniforms

Demonstrator Paul on Sunday, who was on the scene, informed AFP that the boys who shot on the crowd had been sporting masks and sporting military uniforms.

“They attacked us from behind and in entrance,” he mentioned. “They got here round 7pm when it is darkish all over the place.”

Images and movies displaying scenes of chaos within the wake of the capturing had been broadly shared on social media.

The shot sparked worldwide condemnation, with UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying stories instructed it may have been deliberate.

“There may be little doubt that this was a case of extreme use of pressure, which resulted within the illegal killing of dwell ammunition by Nigerian armed forces,” she mentioned.

“Studies that CCTV cameras and lighting had been intentionally disabled earlier than filming are much more disturbing, as they, if confirmed, recommend that this deplorable assault on peaceable protesters was deliberate, deliberate and coordinated.”

Human Rights Watch confirmed stories that the Nigerian military had opened fireplace on the group in a “capturing”.

“The authorities ought to instantly withdraw the navy from the streets,” mentioned Anietie Ewang, a Nigeria researcher with the rights group.

#Nigeria: After troopers opened fireplace on a gaggle of protesters in Lagos final evening, authorities had been to right away withdraw the navy from the streets and establish / prosecute officers answerable for or contributing to extreme use of pressure towards protesters. #EndSARS @hrw

– Anietie Ewang (@aniewang) October 21, 2020

The Nigerian military didn’t reply to AFP’s requests for remark, however on Twitter it referred to as stories of troopers firing on protesters “faux information”.

The West African ECOWAS bloc appealed to the Nigerian authorities, its youth and civil society “to have interaction in dialogue as quickly as potential for an early and amicable answer to this social unrest and to keep up the Nigerian picture as a bastion of regulation and order”.

Nana Akufo-Addo, President of ECOWAS and President of neighboring Ghana, mentioned in an announcement that he had spoken to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who had “began the processes that may result in reform”.


The middle of Lagos, a far-reaching metropolis residence to twenty million individuals, was largely abandoned and retailers had been closed on Wednesday beneath a curfew.

An AFP journalist mentioned a number of buildings had been burned across the capturing vary and remnants of the violence – damaged glass, cracked banners – may very well be seen.

Just a few individuals drifted round, however protest hotspot Lekki Toll Gate was emptied, leaving solely graffiti condemning police violence and unhealthy governance.

A dozen troopers and closely armed law enforcement officials patrolled close by.

In one other district, a bus station burned down and there have been occasional clashes between bottle-throwing youths and police, who often fired into the air.

A tv station affiliated with one of many ruling get together’s strongest politicians was additionally burned.

In a tv broadcast, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered that every one “state actions” be stopped all through the town for 3 days.

He mentioned he had requested an investigation into “the foundations of engagement utilized by the boys within the Nigerian military deployed” on the scene throughout the capturing on Tuesday.

“Troopers clearly had an intention – to kill with out penalties,” mentioned Osai Ojigho, Nation Director of Amnesty Worldwide Nigeria.

‘Indefinite curfew’

Not less than 56 individuals have died throughout the nation because the protests started on October 8, with approx. 38 had been killed Tuesday alone, in accordance with Amnesty.

President Buhari was not but to talk immediately about Tuesday’s incident, however in an announcement on the protests, the presidency mentioned he had appealed for “understanding and calm throughout the nation.”

A coalition of civil society organizations in Nigeria mentioned on Wednesday that they had been “deeply shocked by the killing of peaceable protesters”.

“The try and struggle for justice over police brutality has as soon as once more revealed the brutal nature of the Nigerian state,” it mentioned in an announcement.

In keeping with the group, “at least 40 Nigerians have misplaced their lives because of violent makes an attempt to crack down or disrupt the continuing protests towards police brutality.”

Nigeria, the place the median age is eighteen, is a tinderbox with deep financial and social complaints.

British International Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned on Wednesday that he was “deeply involved” about violence in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian authorities should instantly examine stories of brutality by the safety forces and maintain these accountable accountable,” he mentioned in an announcement.

Since Tuesday, Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Ugandan pop star-turned-politician Bobi Wine and Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo have added their names to a listing of celebrities who’ve supported the protesters.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


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