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South Africa’s apology over xenophobic attacks not enough, AU insists

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa make a speech at the official funeral service of the later former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe on September 14, 2019 at National Sports Stadium in Harare. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was jeered and whistled during his speech before he apologised for recent xenophobic attacks in his home country. At least 12 people have been killed this month in a surge in violence and mob attacks against foreign-owned businesses in and around Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.TONY KARUMBA / AFP

The Nigerian chapter of the African Union, Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) has said South African President, Cyril Ramphosa’s apology over the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians is not enough.

It insisted that the South African government should ensure that it ends the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Nigeria Representative, Oba Olasunkanmi John Adebusuyi, in a statement yesterday said South Africa was a signatory to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, among others that deal with the rights of Africans to live and do business in any part of the continent without molestation.

He said South Africans violated all the provisions of the charter and should bear some consequences as stipulated in the charter, as it would prompt productiveness on the side of the government on issues that touch human rights.

“I commend Ramaphosa, but also say that apology alone is not enough. Other measures must be taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the inhuman actions on the part of its citizens.”

“Those involved must be brought to book, while the victims should be compensated with concrete assurance from the government that the attacks will not happen again.

Besides, representative of Plateau South Senatorial District Ignatius Longjan said the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and nationals of other African countries took the country unawares, insisting that Nigeria should review it bilateral relations with South Africa.

Longjan described South Africa as an ungrateful nation, judging from the angle of what Nigeria did for the country when it was battling the apartheid regime, saying it was unfortunate for the country to have hurriedly forgotten the role Nigeria played during that dark era.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyaema, has disclosed that both countries have taken critical steps towards addressing diplomatic conflicts between them over the attacks through a bi-national meeting.

Speaking through the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mustapha Suleiman, he said the meeting would be convened in the first week of October to seek lasting peace and security agreements between both countries.

At a meeting with the Senate Committee on foreign Affairs in Abuja, the minister said other critical steps to take would include fashioning out mechanisms to detect early warning signals.

Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Adamu Bulkachuwa, explained that it was important to meet with officials of the ministry.


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