The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union(AU) has called for an urgent de-escalation of the current unrest in parts of Nigeria arising from recent protests against police brutality.
In a statement made available to Xinhua in Lagos on Saturday, the council called upon all parties, including the government and protesting citizens, to come together around the table of dialogue and swiftly and peacefully resolve the current impasse to "prevent any further fragmentation of the national fabric".
ECOSOCC urged the Nigerian government to reinforce and expedite the work of the various committees of inquiry established to look into the issue of police brutality to restore the confidence of citizens in the institutions of the state.
The council also called for a thorough, fair and independent investigation of reports appearing to show the shooting of unarmed protesters by uniformed personnel and to ensure justice for victims and perpetrators alike.
In the past days, thousands of Nigerians took to the streets across the country to protest against reported police brutality, harassment, and extra-judicial killings by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit for anti-robbery purposes.
Several cities have seen reports of violence during the protests, leading to deaths and property losses.