UN, global celebrities condemns Lekki killings, call for reform of security forces

The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet yesterday strongly condemned the use of excessive and disproportionate force by Nigerian armed forces in Lagos on Tuesday evening. 

She called on the Nigerian authorities to take urgent steps to deal decisively with the underlying problem of persistent violations committed by the security forces, and make a far stronger effort to bring police and army personnel guilty of crimes against civilians to justice.

Bachelet said the way to restore trust and bring back peace to the streets of Nigeria is for the authorities to take immediate concrete steps to show they are genuinely committed to tackling impunity, after years of inaction.

She also called for immediate investigations into reports of violent and provocative attacks on peaceful protestors by unidentified groups armed with cudgels, cutlasses, sticks or guns, in some cases apparently with the overt backing of police or other security forces.

The High Commissioner urged the authorities to grant reparations to the victims and to open extensive dialogue with youth leaders, students and other groups who have been prominent among the protestors.

Similarly, a number of celebrities are using their social media platforms to call for an end to the violence in Nigeria.

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