Biden calls for violence to end in Nigeria after SARS fires at protesters
The U.S. must support Nigerians 'peacefully demonstrating for police reform,' Biden said.
The unrest in the African nation of Nigeria is getting international attention. #EndSARS is currently a trending topic on Twitter.
Witnesses have claimed on social media that military security forces fired on the hundreds of people who were peacefully protesting at a toll gate. Reports are that security forces shot at those out past an indefinite 24-hour curfew.
The incident occurred in the wealthy town of Lekki in the state of Lagos, and while officials have reported a single fatality, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is calling the incident one of the “darkest hours from our history as a people.”
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden called for an end to the violence, releasing a statement yesterday urging Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the national military “to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths.”
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“The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy,” he said.
“I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society,” Biden continued, “to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.”
In response to assertions that its soldiers were removing the bodies of shot protesters, the official Twitter account of the Nigerian Army is disputing reports that they were involved in their slayings.
In one post, they wrote that no soldiers were present on the scene of the shooting. In a second, they parroted a phrase made infamous by President Donald Trump and labeled the reports as “fake news.”
Trump has been silent on the subject of the violence in Nigeria. Neither he nor Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has released a statement regarding its turmoil.
The U.S. Embassy issued a warning to U.S. citizens “to avoid areas around protests and demonstrations and to check local media for updates and travel advisories.”
The warning told Americans to “continue to be vigilant.”
The silence from the White House is troubling, especially given past reports that Trump referred to African nations as “sh*thole countries.”
The #EndSARS youth movement is aiming to bring about an end to abuse by the state police force. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad has been disbanded, but protesters want further change.