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Nigeria, South Africa have taken measures to prevent xenophobia – Buhari

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Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari Friday said the West African country and the South African government have taken measures to prevent further attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

"As a government, we are quite disturbed by these very unfortunate events and have taken actions and measures to address this issue and prevent their reoccurrence with the South African government," Buhari said in a statement tweeted by the Nigerian Presidency.

"The recent acts of xenophobic attacks on our compatriots and other Africans in South Africa are shocking to me, Nigerians and indeed Africa. It was an embarrassment to the continent."

Buhari is on a state visit to South Africa for talks with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa after violent attacks on Nigerians and other Africans living in the country.

In early September fresh outbursts of violence against foreigners erupted in parts of South Africa. Over a dozen people were killed when mobs torched and looted shops and destroyed cars in places such as Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Nigerians, a large number of whom live in South Africa, were among the Africans targeted in the anti-foreigner attacks.

South African police thereafter said it arrested 700 people for what it called an act of criminality and not anti-foreigner attack.

About 600 Nigerians have since been evacuated from South Africa via a private airline, Air Peace, whose chairman Allen Onyema offered to airlift his countrymen for free.

Buhari condemned the attacks, saying that both Nigeria and South Africa were committed to addressing the challenges.

Ramaphosa apologised to Nigeria and Nigerians and reiterated South Africa's "deep regret" over the violence.

Speaking with Nigerians in South Africa, Buhari called "on all Nigerians to be law-abiding and respect constituted authorities while you live here (South Africa)."

He urged Nigerians engaged in criminal activities in South Africa to "desist from such misdemeanours and be our good ambassadors."


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