#VidasAngolaNasImportam: Like #EndSARS, Angolans protest against police brutality

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Africa, or do we just say the world, has definitely not had a rosy 2020. COVID-19 came and upturned normal processes, forcing everyone to change work and lifestyles, increasing poverty rates and, unfortunately, increasing the gap between governments and citizens in Africa.

The distrust fever in Africa has become more widespread than you would have imagined in 2019. And Angola is trying to cure the fever with VidasAngolaNasImportam.

Similar to #EndSARS in Nigeria, which was peaceful until the government reacted violently, the massive protest in Angola over police brutality has seen scores of citizens leaving their homes to the streets with placards to express their concern.

As you already know, it did not start with Angola, but when a people take to the streets in protest, then you know it has passed the ‘worrisome‘ stage.

Angolans and other Africans have taken to social media, especially Twitter to talk about the issue of police brutality. For Angola’s case, the reason has not been spelt out yet. But whatever it is, police brutality should not be a phenomenon in any sane society.

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There is an awakening across Africa and citizens of different African countries are speaking up against injustice in any form. Social media platforms have helped amplify messages that need to be passed across. Using hashtags social media users have been able to make issues trend long enough to get the attention of the world who spend time online.

A few of these type of protests have happened at different parts of Africa with different hashtags created to ensure that at a glance, the message is passed when it eventually trends.

Here a few of the hashtags created to amplify the voices of Africans speaking up against different forms of injustice; Starting with Angola – #VidasAngolanasImportam, Nigeria #EndSARS, Congo-#CongolsBleeding, Namibia #ShutItAllDown, South Africa #AmINext, Cameroon #AnglophoneCrisis, Liberia #RapeNationalEmergency, Ivory Coast and, Ghana #ChildTrafficking.

The police have a function and for the sake of curiosity, here is what the police is supposed to focus on.

The Angolan National Police departments are Public Order, Criminal Investigation, Traffic and Transport, Investigation and Inspection of Economic Activities, Taxation and Frontier Supervision, Riot Police and the Rapid Intervention Police.

The National Police have implemented a modernisation and development plan to increase the capabilities and efficiency of the total force. In addition to administrative reorganisation, modernisation projects include procurement of new vehicles, aircraft and equipment, construction of new police stations and forensic laboratories, restructured training programmes and the replacement of AKM rifles with 9 mm Uzis for officers in urban areas.

From the above, you’ll see that most of the time, we have relegated the efficiency of police to focusing more on the physical equipment than the mindset and the heart of the force.

What do you think?

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