Africa: Xenophobia - Nigeria, South Africa Commit to Security, Intelligence

22 January 2020

Abuja — Following the killing of over 150 Nigerians in South Africa, the two countries met yesterday in Abuja in furtherance of bilateral discussions as they relate to internal security and intelligence sharing for the two countries.

This is coming as the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Thamsanga Dennis Mseleko, said the security situation in his country has improved.

The killings and destruction of Nigerian businesses in that country by police and street gangs had triggered a diplomatic row that resulted in the airlift of stranded Nigerians and victims of xenophobic violence back to Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also visited South Africa at the behest of the South African President where agreements were reached on security measures and intelligence sharing strategies aimed at curbing the trend.

Speaking while receiving the South African High Commissioner in his office, Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, said it was imperative to harmonise discussions on the implementation of security measures adopted by both countries and strengthen collaborations aimed at ensuring security of both regions.

He expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to bilateral cooperation with South Africa, especially in the areas of security and intelligence.

"We should harmonise discussions towards effective security implementation in the country. There is need for collaborations to secure our regions.

"I want to assure the High Commissioner that we are ready and willing to partner with South Africa in these areas of cooperation because we know how beneficial it is going to be for Nigeria and Nigerians," he said.

The minister stated further that government was "aware of the issues that we have been having. But as two big brothers, we have been able to sort out issues.

"As two big brothers, there's nothing we cannot sit down and sort out. We are glad all the security issues that took place in South Africa and Nigeria have been sorted out amicably".

Dingyadi emphasised the compelling need for partnership between the two countries."This is how it should be and we should continue to partner in this direction to ensure that we live peacefully and relate better for the good of the people," he said.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Maurice Mbaeri, said since assumption of office in August 2019, the ministry has made tremendous impact in ensuring the improvement of the security situation in the country.

He hoped the outcome of the meeting would go a long way to address internal security problems in the country.

In his remarks, the High Commissioner said his mission was to discuss issues relating to the implementation of the bi-national commission, which is a mechanism for the relationship between the two countries.

He said the security situation in South Africa had improved tremendously and they were working closely with the Nigerian government to ensure the peace is sustained.

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