The African Union (AU) Commission has issued a statement on the ongoing End SARS protests in Nigeria days after soldiers launched a massacre on unarmed protesters.
AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat said that he condemned the violence that took place on 20 October in Lagos.
The violence, conducted by the Nigerian Army, left a number of fatalities and casualties whose actual figures remain unknown. Furthermore, there are reports that the soldiers took away some of the bodies of those they killed, making keeping tabs on fatalities hard.
The Nigerian Army has since denied involvement but videos circulating on social media refute their claims of innocence.
In his statement, issued by his Spokesperson, the AU Commission Chairperson indirectly called out the Nigerian government for the violence. Indeed, rather than directly confront the government, Moussa Faki called for dialogue.
“The Chairperson appeals to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law. He further urges all parties to privilege dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and find concrete and durable reforms.”
He also welcomed the move by Nigeria’s federal government to disband SARS.
“In this regard, the Chairperson welcomes the decision by the federal government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as an important step in this direction.”
They also called on the Nigerian government to charge all perpetrators of the October 20 Lagos State Massacre.
Protests escalate from End SARS
However, the protests, which started out against the SARS, have escalated to calls to end all forms of police violence.
Through the hashtags #LagosMassacre, #EndpolicebrtalityinNigeria, #EndSARS, #Buharimustgo, Nigerians are calling for an overhaul of the entire system.
The protests in Nigeria appear to be going the way of protests in Sudan, which saw strongman, Al Bashir, ousted.
Thousands have taken to streets in various Nigerian states in protests.