U.S. secretary of state talks security, democracy in Nigeria

November 19, 2021 / 9:51 AM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama ,at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in ...
Sharjah24 – Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday and discussed domestic and regional security, and West Africa's democratic backsliding, including Abuja's handling of anti-police brutality protests last year.
Blinken's trip to Nigeria came days after a leaked report said the Nigerian army had fired live rounds at peaceful protesters at a toll gate in Lagos in October 2020 and described the incident as a "massacre".

Blinken said during a joint news conference with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama that depending on the conclusions of the report, authorities should "hold accountable any of those responsible for human rights abuses, and to do that again in full transparency."

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has repeatedly said advocating for human rights and working to improve democracies around the world is at the heart of its foreign policy, even though critics have said promoting human rights often takes a back seat to preserving national security priorities.

Buhari, in the first official government comment on the substance of the damning report, told Blinken that his administration would take a lead from state governments which commissioned the report.
November 19, 2021 / 9:51 AM

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