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Onyeama condemns renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in SA

Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister

By Lizzy Okoji

Abuja, Sept. 9, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama on Monday condemned the renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa, describing the perpetrators as mindless criminals.

The minister made this known on his twitter handle @ GeoffreyOnyeama,  after videos of the burning and looting of Nigerian businesses emerged online.

Onyeama who pledged that ‘definitive measures’ would be taken to address the situation said there was need to end the attacks.

He however did not say what those definite measures would be.

Onyeama’s tweet reads “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”.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the attacks on Nigerians are part of wider xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the rainbow nation.

South Africans had on Sunday begun fresh attacks, looting and burning of businesses and properties belonging to foreigners and in the process killed three people, while another is still receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.

The attack which was second of it within a week began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set on fire by angry mobs.

Later on Sunday evening, some group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers attacked Jules street in Malvern, Johannesburg, looting and burning shops.

Similar violence had occurred on Aug 28  in Pretoria Business District as indigenes angered by the death of a taxi operator apparently thought to be killed by a Nigerian went on rampage.

The said driver was, however, allegedly killed by a Tanzanian which sparked the violence that resorted to looting of shops owned by Nigerians and some other foreigners in that country.

NAN reports that the government of South Africa had threatened a crackdown but has so far been unable to prevent acts of violence.

On Aug. 28, President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African Counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa met on the sidelines of a Summit in Japan and both leaders agreed to meet in October.

This latest development indicates xenophobia will be top of the agenda when both leaders meet.

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