Professor Adedeji Ebo, Chief of Conventional Arms Branch, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, New York and the first the first-ever Chief of the UN Security Sector Reform (SSR) Unit (until March 2020) and Visiting Professor, School of Global Affairs, King's College London
Fakhrriyyah Hashim, Founding member of the Feminist Coalition and King's College London Alumna
Dr Akinola Olojo, Senior Researcher, Lake Chad Basin Programme, Institute for Security Studies and African Leadership Centre and King's College London Alumnus
Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Professor, Security, Leadership and Development, King's College London
Dr Eka Ikpe, African Leadership Centre, King's College London
As part of King's Africa Week 2020, we are exploring resurgent narratives on global Blackness particularly concerning African diasporas and Black peoples around the world owing to the impact of the pandemic on these populations, especially in the global north. The connection between blackness, protests and COVID narrows down what has been a longstanding conversation about police brutality, extra judicial killings, and the legacy of colonial police forces. We might be seeing a moment of opportunity to reverse the cyclical pattern of abuse and insecurity. There is a case for a series of transnational conversations given the manifestation of this pattern everywhere as illustrated by the Flying Squad in Kenya, the Hawks in South Africa and most recently, SARS in Nigeria. We have witnessed protests that have singled out concerns with structural violence from state security institutions in the US, UK and most recently in Nigeria.
Against this background we are excited to host this expert panel that reflects on the spotlight that has been thrown on the interactions between state security institutions and actors and youth constituencies, in Nigerian protests #EndSWAT and #EndSARS in October 2020. These protests are linked in ways to resistance to systems that have been wrought by power structures defined by race, in their colonial legacies, gender and socio-economic standing. These discussions will reflect on academic and policy debates on security sector transformation, women, peace and security, youth, and leadership studies. The discussions will also draw from the perspectives that are emerging from the streets of Nigeria.