Lagos – Calls for democracy and autonomy continue to spark deadly uprisings and protests in Thailand, Nigeria, and Azerbaijan. A joint ceasefire was negotiated by the U.S. government to bring closure to the chaos between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Nigeria and Thailand have placed harsh restrictions on media outlets for coverage of their ongoing riots.
In Nigeria, authorities said that 12 suspects were arrested in connection with arson attacks at police stations in Benin. Five AK47 rifles that were stolen from police stations have also been found and returned.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that his government “listened to and carefully evaluated” the protestors’ demands. This comes after weeks of high emotion from young Nigerian citizens. Harassment claims were made against a police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Buhari says the Nigerian government has disbanded SARS and established new measures to help the nation’s youth. Paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses is one of several proposals the government is considering.
Media Censorship in Nigeria and Thailand
Nigeria’s National Broadcast Commission (NBC), fined three stations over claims of “unprofessional coverage” during the EndSARS campaign. Nigerian television stations, Arise TV and AIT, were fined for transmitting footage obtained from unverified social media sources.
Similarly in Thailand, the government banned Voice TV and other media outlets after accusing them of broadcasting protests and demonstrations. The government claimed the media outlets were violating emergency regulations under the Public Administration section of the 2005 Thai Decree. It calls for regulations to “maintain the security of the State and the people’s safety to resume promptly to normal life.”
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that “Press and the media is an important part of the Thai society.” This comes months after a group of young protesters in Bangkok demanded an end to the harassment of government detractors. Since Thailand has been in its “Severe Emergency Situation,” Prime Minister General Chan-o-cha has revoked the media ban.
During his nationwide address on Oct. 21, the prime minister said he will move to “de-escalate the situation.” He is prepared to do so once there are no further signs of violent incidents.
Armenia vs Azerbaijan
The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun on Oct. 24. The meeting was set up to confirm a ceasefire that was agreed upon on Oct. 10. The humanitarian ceasefire which was supposed to take place on Oct. 26, has reportedly been broken.
Azerbaijan’s defense ministry claimed that Armenian armed forces are “shelling the city of Tartar and villages of the region.” Meanwhile, the Armenian defense team tweeted that the Azerbaijanis violated the ceasefire by “shelling the Armenian border guard positions.”
Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the death toll is 5000, higher than originally thought. Will the voices of the youth in Nigeria and Thailand ever be heard? Will there ever be peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan officials?
Thumbnail Credit: The Kootneeti
- U.S. Department of State: “U.S.-Armenia-Azerbaijan Joint Statement”
- Muhammadu Buhari Addressing SARS on Twitter (@MBuhari)
- “Nigeria’s NBC on Twitter (@nbcgovng): “NBC FINES STATIONS OVER UNPROFESSIONAL COVERAGE.”
- PR Thai Government on Facebook: “An update from the Joint Operation Command for Resolving the Severe Emergency Situation, reporting from the Royal Thai Police Headquarters.”
- “Prime Minister Lifts the State of Severe Emergency Situation in Bangkok”
- Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation, B.E. 2548 (2005)
- Nigerian police force on Twitter (@PoliceNG): police report
- Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense on Twitter (@wwwmodgovaz)
- Armenian Ministry of Defense on Twitter (@ArmeniaMODTeam)
- “Hospital, residential areas hit in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting”