Mass protests of the End SARS Movement against police brutality ©

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In Nigeria, the mass protests of the End SARS Movement against police brutality in October 2020 were important from a peacebuilding and security perspective. They have highlighted the necessity to reform the security and defence forces, including the military when they repress street demonstrations. The protests also have highlighted the challenges of political stability in a weak state that claims to be democratic while failing to regulate conflicts peacefully. 

The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme commissioned this study in collaboration with NigeriaWatch and IFRA-Nigeria. The key question of the study is to understand why people in the North East did not react in the same way as other Nigerians to protest against the abuses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). It focuses on the so-called BYA states: Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa.

The first part of the study analyses the data of the NigeriaWatch project (Nigeria Watch) based at the University of Ibadan. Quantitative research shows that police brutality and killings by various government forces, mainly the Army, are indeed concentrated in the North East.

The second part of the study investigates the reasons explaining why the people of the BYA states did not participate in the End SARS Movement, except for a few in Adamawa. The analysis is based on fieldwork in Maiduguri and relies on qualitative interviews with activists, academics, journalists, and humanitarian personnel. 

You can download the research report below.