The International Committee of the Red Cross has advised Nigerian security forces to desist from indiscriminate shooting of live rounds to disperse protesters seeking an end to decades of police brutality in the country.
The global humanitarian agency, in a statement issued Wednesday by Eloi Fillion — head of its delegation in Nigeria, stressed that firearms and live ammunition must only be used as a last resort in compliance with international legal standards. “The ICRC is calling for restraint as protests continue in several Nigerian cities”, the ICRC statement said.
“Security Forces should apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms”, it added. “The use of force by security forces must be proportionate to the situation and should remain an exceptional measure.”
The ICRC’s call for restraint comes as Nigerian security forces are being caught on camera unleashing violence on protesters in Lagos and Abuja.
At least nine people were gunned down late Tuesday at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos when soldiers opened fire on protesters singing the national anthem, Peoples Gazette reported.
The demonstrations, which began as a peaceful march two weeks ago, have degenerated into crisis in various states, leading to the death of at least 68 people, according to analysis by Dataphyte.
The ICRC further seeks unimpeded access to deliver first aid and evacuate the wounded during the ongoing nationwide protests.
“It is of paramount importance that first responders and ambulances are respected by all, so they can reach injured people safely. Lives depend on it”, Fillion stated.
Source: Emergency Digest