Johannesburg – The AU Commission has condemned this week’s violence in Nigeria which has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries during protests against police brutality.
The statement from commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, dated Wednesday and posted on the organisation’s website, however failed to directly call out Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, who has been condemned by international politicians, athletes and celebrities after the army allegedly killed protesters in a crackdown on Tuesday.
The protests against the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad erupted earlier this month and have continued even after the government agreed to disband the unit, accused of beating and torturing citizens.
In the commission statement, Mahamat offered his condolences to the families of those killed and appealed to “all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law”.
He also urged dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and find concrete and durable reforms.
“In this regard, the chairperson welcomes the decision by the federal government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad as an important step in this direction,” the statement said.
Faki reiterated the AU’s commitment to helping Nigeria’s government and people find a solution and “encouraged” the Nigerian authorities to conduct an investigation to ensure the perpetrators of acts of violence were held to account.