#ENDSARS

End SARS (or #EndSARS) is a decentralised social movement against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses. The protests started in 2017 as a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #ENDSARS to demand the Nigerian government eliminate the force.

After experiencing a revitalisation in October 2020, mass demonstrations were occurring throughout Nigeria in major cities, and the hashtag had 28 million tweet. Nigerians have shared both stories and video evidence of how members of SARS engaged in kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, unlawful arrests, humiliation, unlawful detentionextrajudicial killings, and extortion in Nigeria. SARS officers have been alleged to profile youths based on fashion choices, mount illegal road blocks and searches, conduct unwarranted temperature checks, arrest without warrant, rape women, and extort young Nigerians for driving exotic vehicles and using laptops and iPhones.

Within a few days of renewed protests, some claimed victory as the Nigerian Police Force announced it was dissolving SARS on Sunday, 11 October 2020. However, many noted similar promises had been made in recent years, and that the government planned to reassign and review SARS officers to medical centres rather than remove them entirely. 

Protests have continued accordingly, and the Nigerian state has maintained a pattern of violent repression, including the killing of demonstrators. There have been international demonstrations in solidarity with those happening in the country, and the scope of the movement has also grown increasingly critical of the Muhammadu Buhari-fronted Nigerian state and society as a whole.