Thousands of Nigerians took part in protests over in Lagos over alleged police brutality on Monday, October 12, despite a government promise on Sunday to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial unit accused of extrajudicial killings and abuses. Police reportedly used live ammunition in an attempt to disperse protesters after rocks were thrown at them, resulting in casualties. A police officer and a civilian were allegedly killed in the Surulere area of the city during the course of the protest, with several protesters and police officers injured. Protesters have blocked access to Lagos airport (LOS), with local sources reporting that security forces have deployed armored vehicles to clear the road.
Further protests are likely throughout Nigeria, with a heightened security presence to be expected in response. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out. Disruption to transportation and business should be anticipated.
A series of protests organized by the #ENDSARS social media campaign has 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.
Those in Lagos 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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