News Alerts

11 Oct 2020 | 02:39 PM UTC

Nigeria: Authorities to dissolve controversial police unit as nationwide protests over police brutality continue October 11 /update 3

Nigeria News Alert

Authorities to dissolve controversial SARS police unit as nationwide protests over police brutality continue on October 11; avoid protests as a precaution

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/11/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/17/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Lagos). COUNTRY/REGION Nigeria

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Event

Nigeria's government reportedly announced on Sunday, October 11, that the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) unit is to be dissolved, following fatal unrest across the country against its existence. Protests continued against the squad on Sunday, with reports indicating that live ammunition had been used to disperse protesters in LagosMagbon neighborhood, and similar reports of unrest in the capital Abuja. A government spokesperson stated that all the officers in the squad will be redeployed and a new arrangement to replace the squad is being worked on. 

Rallies took place in Nigeria on Saturday, October 10, in Anambra state, Bayelsa state, Lagos, Oyo state, Awka (Anambra state), Benin (Edo state), Osun state, Ekiti state, Ogun state, Abuja, and Illorin (Kwara state), among other locations. Unconfirmed reports on Saturday indicated that security forces used live ammunition to disperse protesters gathered at Owode Police Station in Ogbomosho (Oyo state), where at least one protester is thought to have been killed. 

Further associated protests are likely across Nigeria in the immediate term. Transport disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be expected in the vicinity of any demonstration. 

Context

A series of protests organized by the #ENDSARS social media campaign have been held across Nigeria in recent months and the demonstrations have often led to clashes between protesters and security forces. Solidarity protests have also taken place worldwide. 

Advice

Those in Nigeria are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the vicinity of the demonstration, anticipate disruptions to overland transport, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.

 

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