Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was officially disbanded after country-wide protests demanding the police unit, first formed in 1992, be absolved for its consistent use of force leading to unjust brutality against Nigerian civilians. The #EndSARS movement continues to grow stronger even as the government violence continues. Earlier this week numerous witnesses and the rights group Amnesty International reported that people in Lagos, Nigeria have been shot dead by soldiers during protests. Beyoncé joins the likes of Burna Boy and his new Project Protect initiative, Davido, WizKid and more who have backed #EndSARS protesters.
“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has to be an end to SARS,” Beyoncé stated in her Instagram post. “We have been working on partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”
Links on Beyoncé’s website include the Feminist Coalition, a group of Nigerian feminists formed in July 2020 aimed at demanding equality for women in Nigerian with a focus on education, financial freedom and better representation in government positions. There’s also a link out to Connected Development or CODE, an organization aiming to strengthen marginalized communities in Africa through the use of technology to spread information on how to be active in political reformation.
Beyoncé’s extended activism this year included her writing an open letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding justice for the death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old ER technician who was killed by Louisville police officers conducting a no-knock search warrant in March. Beyoncé also continued to be a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement through her BeyGOOD charitable foundation, creating the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund to “ensure economic empowerment for Black businesses.” Her Black Is King visual album premiered back in July.
Stay tuned for more updates on the ongoing #EndSARS protests.