In Nigeria, after a week of protests in the country, the presidency approved the dissolution of the Flight Repression Squad (SARS), which was accused of serious human rights violations.
as reported from Lagos, Liza Fabbian
It only took a few hours last weekend for the Nigerian youth to mobilize massively. First on social networks with the hashtag #EndSARS, then on the streets to demand the dismantling of this special police unit.
From the beginning, this movement enjoyed the support of Afropop’s stars, which gave it an international echo. The singers Davido or Wizkid largely passed on the information. The latter even took part in a support rally held in London on Sunday 11 October.
After a week of mobilization, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police finally announced the dismantling of the anti-robber group in accordance with the demands of the protesters. Even better, the police chief promises the creation of an investigation team to investigate “crimes committed by the police against citizens”, which will include civil society.
Declarations that are certainly in line with the demands of civil society, but these promises still need to be realized. Because police reforms were already announced in 2017 and 2018 in Nigeria without ever succeeding.
Researchers and activists recall that the dissolution of the controversial brigade does not address the issue of police violence in Nigeria, which is the single currency, regardless of which entity is involved.
Skeptically, Amnesty International responded to this announcement by recalling that a young man was shot dead Saturday by Nigerian police on the sidelines of a demonstration in the southwestern part of the country.
PRESIDENT DIRECTIVE: SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) of Nigeria Police Force @PoliceNG has been dissolved with immediate effect.
The Police Inspector will communicate further developments in this regard.
Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) October 11, 2020