No evidence of massacre as Nigerian soldiers shot ‘into the air’ during Lekki #Endsars protest-US Govt
London, April 1, 2021 (AltAfrica)-US government says there is no conclusive evidence of massacre during the October 2020 #Endsars protest in Nigeria and that Nigerian soldiers only fired shots “into the air” to disperse #EndSARS protesters, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of State
The report titled Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Nigeria appears to be the official position of the US government on the controversial “massacre story reported world wide , It also contradicts claims by the media and #EndSARS activists that soldiers fired live bullets at the protesters resulting in several killings
The report acknowledged and reference earlier report by Amnesty International that 10 persons died during the incident, the US State Department said there is no “accurate information” on the fatalities.
U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced the release of the report on Tuesday, saying that his country acknowledges the “work ahead and expects all nations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Honored to release the 45th annual Human Rights Report. It demonstrates that human rights, transparency and accountability are at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. We acknowledge the work ahead and expect all nations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. #HRR2020 pic.twitter.com/G7BO475AoG— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 30, 2021
“On October 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end
Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organization was able to verify the claim.
The government reported two deaths connected to the event. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma. A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds. The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate.
At year’s end the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution continued to hear testimony and investigate the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate”