Nigeria: Xenophobic Attacks - Nigerian Govt Summons South African Ambassador

3 September 2019

Geoffrey Onyema, Nigeria's foreign affairs minister, has summoned Bobby Moroe, the South African high commissioner in Abuja.

The summon comes as Nigerians in South Africa are facing deadly attacks and destruction of their properties and businesses across South Africa.

Mr Moroe is expected to explain what South Africa has been doing to curb the attacks, which have escalated in recent weeks.

The meeting would hold at 11:00 a.m. on September 3, according to The Nation which first reported it based on a WhatsApp message from a senior Nigerian diplomatic official.

A senior foreign affairs official told PREMIUM TIMES details of the meeting would be made public, urging for restraints amongst all parties.

On Monday, several Nigerian businesses were looted in a violent rampage by South Africans, who have long complained of increased foreign domination in their country.

Several other nationals asides Nigerians were also being targeted in the attacks, which have been reported in Johannesburg, Pretoria and other major South African cities.

Rising concern

Mr Onyeama expressed sadness over the attacks on Monday, promising that Nigeria would respond firmly this time.

"Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in #SouthAfrica by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures. @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @GovernmentZA @DIRCO_ZA," he wrote on his Twitter handle.

It was unclear what measures Nigeria would take to force the South African government to act.

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Both countries have enjoyed extensive diplomatic ties for decades, and Nigeria played a major role in ending the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Nigerians have called for a robust response from President Muhammadu Buhari, including possible sanctions on South African business interests in Nigeria.

The president has yet to publicly comment on the attacks, but his meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at a summit in Japan last week reportedly included concerns about the xenophobic crisis.

Details shortly...

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