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African Union ‘strongly condemns’ violence in Nigeria

NEWSMAN, Abuja – African Union (AU) has strongly condemned deadly violence in Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos and called on all parties to “privilege dialogue”.

The Commission’s chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, appealed to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law. He condemned “the violence that erupted on Tuesday 20th October 2020 during protests in Lagos, which has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries.”

Although Faki’s statement did not specifically denounce the security forces’ actions, it welcomed Nigeria’s decision to disband the police’s loathed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

According to Amnesty International, at least 12 people have been killed by the Nigerian army and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a deadly crackdown on demonstrations spurred by police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.

It also said that at least 56 people have died across the country since the protests began on October 8, with about 38 killed nationwide on Tuesday alone, according to Amnesty.

Also, Human Rights Watch corroborated reports that the Nigerian army had opened fire on protesters Tuesday in “a shooting spree”.

United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, also condemned the use of lethal force by security forces, adding that reports suggested it could have been premeditated.

However, the Nigerian army denied reports of soldiers firing on protesters, and referred to the report as “fake news”.

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