Nigeria tasks South Africa on protection of foreigners

Godwin Ukaa

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Oatwa/REX Shutterstock (2695960e) Mozambican national, Emmanuel Sithole was stabbed and left to die in the street. He is the seventh person to die since the xenophobic attacks which broke out about two weeks ago in Isipingo. Mozambican national killed in xenophobic attack, Alexandra Township, South Africa - 18 Apr 2015

The Nigerian Government has asked the South African Government to take the “strongest measures to protect the lives and property of foreigners living in South Africa” and also to quickly bring to justice the perpetrators of heinous xenophobic attacks.

In a statement Nigeria’s ministry of foreign affairs described as deplorable, “acts of mindless violence and unwarranted attacks against other nationals in South Africa simply on the basis of their nationality or status.”

Nigeria noted that International law, and the age-old written law of hospitality amongst nations and societies recognize the sanctity of the lives and property of foreigners everywhere asking the South African government to take proactive actions to protect foreigners.

​It also observed that incidents of xenophobic attacks have continued unabated in South Africa since 2015, and that Nigerians are among the groups that have been mainly targeted for attack and looting of their property.

​Meanwhile, the Nigerian Government has urged its citizens in South Africa to remain calm and law abiding but vigilant, assuring its citizens that the government  “will strenuously work towards, the protection of Nigerians anywhere, including in South Africa.”

In the statement, Nigeria said the latest incident happened on the 5th of February, 2017 in the suburb of Rosettenville, Johannesburg and it involved attacks against foreigners including Pakistanis, Nigerians, and other Africans.

The statement attributed “domestic grievances over ownership of homes and default in payment of mortgages were used as justification to attack foreigners not in any way involved in the repossession and subsequent resale of these properties”.

​The statement said the High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during which Government’s concerns on the matter would be officially brought to his attention.
Rafat S.