Protests: Hold Users of Excessive Force Accountable, US Tells FG

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Michael Pompeo

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The United States has strongly condemned the use of excessive force by the military authorities against unarmed demonstrators in the ongoing EndSARS protests.

The US Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo, in a statement issued yesterday, asked the federal government to hold those responsible accountable.

He said the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principle.

Pompeo, therefore, admonished the security services to show maximum restraint and respect fundamental rights.

He also enjoined the demonstrators to remain peaceful.

The statement titled, ‘Ongoing protests in Nigeria’, read in part, “we welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces. Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law.

“The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles.

“We call on the security services to show maximum restraint and respect fundamental rights and for demonstrators to remain peaceful. We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families.”

Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC), said it has received reports of crimes during the protests in Nigeria.

ICC Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, made this known in a statement posted on the Twitter handle of the organisation.

She noted that the court is monitoring developments from the protests in Nigeria.

“My office has been closely following the events around the current protests in Nigeria and the reaction of Nigeria’s law enforcement and security agencies,” she said.

“Any loss of life and injury is concerning. We have received information alleging crimes and are keeping a close eye on developments, in case violence escalates and any indications arise that Rome Statute crimes may have been committed.

“I call for calm and restraint.”