#EndSARS: Protesting Nigerians vow to stay at embassy until grievances addressed

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They’re angry about the widely criticised Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has been accused of harassment, torture and murders for years now.

Hundreds of Nigerian nationals living in South Africa on 21 October 2020 took to the streets of Pretoria in protest against the widely criticised Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) back home. Picture: Veronica Makhoali/EWN.

PRETORIA/CAPE TOWN – Nigerian nationals protesting against a controversial police unit back home are demanding to be addressed by Ambassador Kabiru Bala in Pretoria while venting their frustration on the streets of the South African capital.

They’re angry about the widely criticised Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has been accused of harassment, torture and murders for years now.

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Nigerians have been demonstrating nationwide every day for nearly two weeks against the police unit.

The squad was disbanded 10 days ago but the protests have persisted and rights groups claim as many as 20 people were killed overnight.

A protestor in Pretoria said that she would stay at the embassy in Pretoria until their grievances were addressed.

“We Nigerian youth in South Africa are tired of the brutality of the government. They’re killing us. They’ve been beating us for 60 years. My parents didn’t protest. If my parents had done this 20 years ago, I wouldn’t be here, I’d be in Nigeria enjoying my life. But because they didn’t do it, I am here to fight for my kids.”

Meanwhile, Nigerian nationals who had marched to Parliament have now vacated area.

Demonstrators outside Parliament, called for the an end to police brutality in their home country and for the Nigerian government to go.

“I come from Nigeria. It’s my country… it needs to be better than this. They should stop killing us… we are tired.”

They were part of the #EndSARS protests in solidarity with those who had died during clashes with police.

Some demonstrators accused Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari of plunging the country into chaos and violating their human rights.

“We don’t understand why the police, who are meant to serve the civilians, turn on them and kill them. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Demonstrators have also called for the United Nations to step in to bring an end to the violence.

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