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Nigeria abolishes loathed federal special police unit

Written by on October 12, 2020

Nigeria has dissolved the special police force at the centre of protests against police brutality.

The government said a special presidential directive had ordered the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

Protests against the squad were sparked by a video of a man allegedly being killed by police.

The demonstrations have intensified despite a crackdown and have spread outside the country.

All the officers in the Sars squad – widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and murder – are to be redeployed, the presidency said, and a new arrangement to replace the squad is being worked on.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s chief of police said a team of investigators – including civil society organisations and human rights bodies – would be set up to investigate alleged abuses by Sars.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier said he was determined to end police brutality, introduce reforms and bring “erring personnel… to justice”.

Protesters had demanded the unit be disbanded rather than reformed because previous commitments to change police behaviour had had no effect.


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