Cyril Ramaphosa

Image via: Flickr/GCIS

Ramaphosa belatedly responds to ongoing Sars conflict in Nigeria

South African President and Chair of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa has finally weighed in on the violence plaguing Nigeria.

Cyril Ramaphosa

Image via: Flickr/GCIS

After a prolonged period of silence on the matter, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally offered a response to the ongoing unrest plaguing the people of Nigeria, who have been brought to their knees over the last two weeks as peaceful protests against brutality levelled by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) descended into tragedy. 

Ramaphosa said the the deplorable scenes of violence in which the Nigerian Sars forces allegedly opened fire against the protesters in Lekki are the subject of “deep concern”.

Nigeria protests continue  

Over the past two weeks, the world has been gripped by headlines relating to the chaotic scenes the have been playing out in Nigeria for the last two weeks. Global society has banded together against the purported violence, with some of the world’s most powerful figures having mobilised to provide relief for the ailing citizens of South Africa’s ailing cousins. 

One figure who has been conspicuously absent from the conversation around the #EndSars protests and human rights crisis currently unfurling is Ramaphosa, who was slammed by rival political parties for having seemingly turned a blind eye to the plight of a desperately vulnerable African country that falls under his leadership as Chair of the African Union (AU). 

AU chairperson Ramaphosa weighs in on violence in Nigeria

Ramaphosa has finally added his voice to the conversation on Thursday afternoon though. 

“As we meet here, we are deeply concerned about the violence that has taken place in recent days in Lagos in Nigeria,” he said while speaking during the second midyear co-ordination meeting of the AU, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms.  

“We join the chairperson of the AU Commission in calling on all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law,” said Ramaphosa.  “We offer our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” said Ramaphosa.