Nigeria urges South Africa to stop xenophobic attacks

Adoba Echono, Abuja

The Nigerian government has strongly urged the South African government to take necessary measures to protect lives and properties of foreigners living and working in South Africa.

The Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Khadijat Abba-Ibrahim stated this in Abuja at a joint press briefing with the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria is seriously concerned about the incidents of attacks of a xenophobic nature against foreigners including Nigerians in South Africa”, Hajia Abba-Ibrahim said.

The Minister disclosed that the Nigerian government is also urging the South African government to bring the perpetrators of the deplorable acts of violence to justice.

Hajia Abba-Ibrahim said that the Nigerian government would ensure the protection of all Nigerians no matter where they reside.

“The Nigerian government will strenuously work towards the protection of Nigerians everywhere, including in South Africa, she disclosed.”

“The government is in constant touch with the South African authorities to address the safety and well-being of Nigerians resident in South Africa.”

The Minister disclosed that the ministry has not received reports of any death of Nigerians in the latest incidents of attacks against foreigners.

On his part, the South African High commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Lulu Mnguni stressed that the South African government would never condone killings carried out either by individuals or the police.

He appealed to other countries to help find lasting solutions to the issue, noting that it is not one his country could handle alone.

“On the question of a recurrence of attacks, we need to come to a situation where we develop a common approach to this.”

“Yes we are using the police, we are talking to the people sensitising them on our history and the contributions of Nigeria and other countries in ending apartheid”, Mr. Mnguni explained.

“We hope that when they meet Nigerians, no matter how envious they may be, they will become sensitive to this history.”

Concrete Action

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students staged a protest in Abuja over the xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa.

The students led by their President, Aruna Kadiri, urged the Nigerian government to take concrete action to protect Nigerians in South Africa.

“We are demanding that they should break ties between both countries if there’s any, because the xenophobic attacks has been happening”, the leaders of the protesters said.

Responding, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Clement Aduku urged the protesting students to be calm, adding that the federal government was engaging in talks with its South African counterpart on the xenophobic attacks.

He also assured them that all diplomatic means would be explored to stop the attacks of Nigerian nationals in South Africa.