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Nigeria, South Africa to implement agreement on xenophobia

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Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) chairman Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama will be meeting with his South African counterpart to curb xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Dabiri-Erewa in a statement by NIDCOM spokesman Abdur-Rahman Balogun said Nigeria’s Consul General, Godwin Adama, is currently in Widbank, Mpumulanga, to address the attacks.

She said Adama was in a meeting with the South African police authorities to address the issue.

Nigerians living in South Africa were subjected to an anti-foreigner attack on Tuesday.

South Africans living in Mpumalamga province attacked Nigerians in fresh violence which the leadership of Nigerian Citizens In South Africa (NICASA) confirmed.

While the level of the casualty was yet to be ascertained, Dabiri-Erewa said the Nigeria mission intervened immediately and the situation is currently under control.

“After this meeting, a meeting with Nigerians along with the South African Police will hold,” she said.

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.

About 600 Nigerians returned from South Africa early in September after xenophobic violence in Johannesburg.

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

President Muhammadu Buhari in early October led a high delegation to South Africa on a two-day state visit and meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

He assured Nigerians that they 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.”

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.”

A series of agreements and Memorandum of Understanding were signed by the two African states to improve their working relationship.


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