The United States and the African Union have called for an end to the violence in Nigeria, as fresh unrest rocked the capital Lagos. Protests against police brutality have become deadly in recent weeks.
The US State Department on Thursday condemned “excessive force” by Nigerian military forces on unarmed civilians and called for restraint.
The appeal from Washington comes two days after security forces opened fire on protesters demonstrating against police brutality in the city of Lagos. Some 12 people were killed during Tuesday’s crackdown, according to Amnesty International.
“We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces. Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
Pompeo’s calls echoed a statement from the African Union (AU), urging an end to the violence in Nigeria after weeks of deadly protests.
AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat urged “all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law.”
The AU statement also welcomed the Nigerian government’s move to disband the highly controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Anger over abuses committed by the unit sparked widespread protests some two weeks that drew thousands to the streets.