UK Admit To Training SARS Operatives, supplied equipment 1

UK Admit To Training SARS Operatives, supplied equipment

Minister for Africa, James Duddridge on Thursday, admitted that British officials trained the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) of the Nigeria police between 2016 and 2020, as well as provided the equipment.

The UK had initially denied any ties with the police unit.

In a memo to Labour MP, Kate Osamor on Thursday, Duddridge said SARS officers participated in training “designed to improve human rights, training on public finance, and community policing workshops”.

The official confirmed that radio equipment was given to Nigeria Police for the notorious division.

“It is shocking that in the middle of global protests to End SARS our government appears to have had no idea whether or not it was funding those very units”, Osamor said.

The lawmaker recalled that Duddridge told her earlier this month that no funding ever made its way to SARS

The minister in October 19 letter stated that the Foreign Office “does not provide and has not provided any support or training to SARS units or officers”.

However, in his reply on 29 October, Duddridge admitted UK training was given to SARS through the Foreign Office’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

The Conservative MP said he had asked officials to go back and make a deep dive in funding streams.

Duddridge admitted the training was done in support of UK’s wider objectives to strengthen the capability, accountability and responsiveness of the Nigeria Police.

Osamor stated that Britain has now been forced to admit that it not only spent millions training SARS but also supplied equipment.

“The government now needs to explain how and why it ever felt it was appropriate to train and equip security forces which were known to have taken part in torture and extra-judicial killings”, the MP added

The unit was disbanded on October 11 following the peaceful protest by Nigerians against the extrajudicial killings and brutality of the operatives.

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