Nigeria: Tensions high in Abuja as End SARS protests continue to gain traction

Riot police deployed tear gas on protesters taking part in a demonstration against police brutality in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Monday. One protester expressed frustration at the lack of dialogue between the government and the protesters: «The government is again sleeping, they should come and talk to us, the president needs to address the nation. It's just not leaving and then listening and believing everyone is going to get tired.» The protest was part of a wider series of demonstrations, known as the End SARS movement, which has been going on for close to two weeks both on the streets and online, with many well known celebrities tweeting in solidarity with the protesters on the ground. SARS, short for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, is a special task force within Nigeria's police structure that was founded in 1984, when the country was under military rule. Throughout the years the task force has gained a high level of notoriety in Nigeria's society and has been known to be accused of abuse of power ranging from extortion to torture and murder. Recent protests against the Sars after kicked off after the publication of a video of a man allegedly being killed by one of their members. Since protests began, the Nigerian government announced the dissolution of the police force, but protests have nevertheless continued and became more broadly critical of the government and a movement for reform.

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