Earlier this week, former Vice President Joe Biden touched on the ongoing protests in Nigeria against state sanctioned violence.
“I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths. My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence,” Biden said.
In recent weeks, Nigerians have taken to the streets to protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Unit. After days of protesting, the unit was disbanded and replaced with the newly formed Special Weapon and Tactics Team. However, citizens were fearful that simply instituting a new force with some of the members that occupied SARS would not solve the country's problems.
"There are many demands, but the main one is to scrap SARS, not to reform it but to completely end it. Another demand is compensation for victims of SARS brutality, both alive and dead. We also want a committee that will investigate and look into the present and past grievances around SARS brutality," Nigerian activist Feyikemi Abudu said.
As a result, citizens have continued to protest throughout the country. Unfortunately, some protesters have been met with deadly police force. As of Wednesday, more than a dozen demonstrators have reportedly been killed by police force. In response, American residents have travelled to Nigerian Embassies, the homes of Nigerian-American Ambassadors and other venues to protest. Others have utilized social media and the #EndSARS hashtag to raise awareness regarding the developing matter.
“The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy," Biden said.
"I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria."
After making these comments, the former Vice President headed to Nashville where he will participate in the final presidential debate of this year's election cycle. The event is set to being at 9 p.m. on the campus of Belmont University.
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