Nigerian forces using gunfire to clear Lagos slum: Reports

AP News
Posted: Mar 17, 2017 2:22 PM
Nigerian forces using gunfire to clear Lagos slum: Reports

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Thousands of people were fleeing a Nigeria slum as security forces used gunfire and tear gas to make way for demolitions in defiance of a recent court order, rights groups said Friday.

The operation was unfolding in Lagos, the sprawling commercial hub of one of Africa's largest economies, Amnesty International and Slum Dwellers International said.

Both the military and police were at the scene in the Otodo-Gbame waterfront community, said Amnesty International's Nigeria researcher, Morayo Adebayo, calling the situation "chaotic and dangerous." Bulldozers have destroyed the homes there, Amnesty International said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths.

A High Court ruling in January prohibited such evictions, with the judge calling them "degrading," and told authorities to seek a settlement with residents instead.

Over 30,000 Otodo-Gbame residents had been evicted in November but began to rebuild, Amnesty International said, as tensions grow in the city over land use and development.

There was no immediate comment from the Lagos state government.

Lagos is home to about 21 million people and is said to be Africa's largest city.