The head of Nigeria’s police called for the immediate mobilization of all forces after two weeks of protests that have resulted in the deaths of dozens.a factory with smoke coming out of it© Provided by Washington ExaminerThe Nigeria Police Force announced on Saturday that Mohammed Adamu, the inspector general of the police, had given the order to deploy all resources toward ending the violence, according to Reuters. The civil unrest is among the worst in the two decades since Nigeria broke free from military rule in 1999.The protests began under the #EndSARS banner. SARS is a reference to a former police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which had been condemned over its tactics. The unit was dissolved as a result of the demonstrations, although the anti-police brutality protests have since morphed into a larger movement against corruption, nepotism, and government mismanagement.a group of people that are standing in the snow: Protesters run away as police officers use teargas to disperse people demonstrating against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020. After 13 days of protests against alleged police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, as moves are made to stop growing violence. (Sunday Alamba/AP)

© Provided by Washington Examiner Protesters run away as police officers use teargas to disperse people demonstrating against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020. After 13 days of protests against alleged police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, as moves are made to stop growing violence. (Sunday Alamba/AP)The civil unrest reached a tipping point on Tuesday when soldiers reportedly shot several protesters dead after a 24-hour curfew went into effect in Lagos state, which is home to Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos.

According to human rights watchdog Amnesty International, at least 56 people have died in the demonstrations. The group also alleges that “thugs” had been hired by the police to confront protesters and are among those who have been killed.

President Muhammadu Buhari is facing the daunting task of how to confront the protests and subsequent violence. He said that demonstrators should back off from the protests and help work to reform the issues at play.

Buhari, who assumed office in 2015 and was reelected in February of last year, told protesters to “resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos,” according to CNN. He called upon Nigerian “youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear, and we are responding.”

 

a truck is parked in front of a house: Burnt vehicles are seen near the Lekki toll gate, in Lagos Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Resentment lingered with the smell of charred tires Friday as Nigeria's streets were relatively calm after days of protests over police abuses, while authorities gave little acknowledgement to reports of the military killing at least 12 peaceful demonstrators earlier this week. (Sunday Alamba/AP)

© Provided by Washington Examiner Burnt vehicles are seen near the Lekki toll gate, in Lagos Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Resentment lingered with the smell of charred tires Friday as Nigeria’s streets were relatively calm after days of protests over police abuses, while authorities gave little acknowledgment to reports of the military killing at least 12 peaceful demonstrators earlier this week. (Sunday Alamba/AP)The United States and the United Nations have both called for an end to the violence and to respect the rights of peaceful protesters.

“The United States strongly condemns the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos, causing death and injury,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a Thursday statement. “The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles.”

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that Guterres is calling on authorities in Nigeria “to act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence.”

Tags: NewsForeign PolicyNigeriaProtestsAfricaLaw Enforcement

Original Author: Zachary Halaschak

Original Location: Nigerian police chief orders mobilization of all forces to end violence plaguing country