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There was only sporadic act of violence, no xenophobic attacks in South Africa — High Commissioner
Demands compensation for losses of Nigerians
BOBBY Monroe, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, on Tuesday says there was only “Sporadic act of violence” in his country and not Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians as reported in the media.
Monroe who was summoned by the Federal Government to explain why Nigerians in South Africa have become targets of Xenophobic attacks said the attacks were not targeted at Nigerians in his country.
Answering questions from Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, the South Africa’s High Commissioner to Nigeria maintained that businesses belonging to the South Africans were also affected in the violence.
However, Onyeama disclosed that Nigeria would no longer accept such re-occurrence from the South African government.
During the meeting, the Foreign Affairs Minister called for compensation of Nigerians due to losses suffered during the attack.
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
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) September 2, 2019
He also announced a proposal to the South African envoy for both military outfits of the two countries to meet over the reoccurring concerns.
“We feel that as Nigerian government, definite measure have to be taken to stop once and for all this act of aggression and criminality against Nigerians in South Africa. I invited the head of mission in South Africa today….the South African government has issued a statement, arrests have been made but for us, going forward, we are determined that we should not have any recurrence of this going forward,” says Onyeama.
He added that “We must put in place adequate measures to ensure this does not occur. We have made very concrete measures to South Africa today and we believe that if those measures are implemented, we have a very good chance of ensuring that this does not occur.”
“There has to be accountability and responsibility for compensating that have suffered loss and we are going to absolutely push for that. I’ll not go into details.”
“The South African and Nigerian forces can have an arrangement where there would be cooperation on the ground in South Africa to arrest such events of occurrences and this is something we will have to work out details with South African government to address the challenges posed by these attacks at the ground level. We have put that forward. We hope the South African government will support us.”
The Minister had on Monday condemned the attack on Nigerians which was widely reported by the media.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission also criticised actions of the South African protesters against Nigerians and other foreigners in the country.
She sought for better engagement and urgent intervention of the African Union (AU).
Buhari sends delegates to Ramaphosa
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a special envoy to the South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to express his disappointment on the attacks on Nigerians.
According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, the Nigerian delegate would arrive in Pretoria on Thursday.
Though, identify of the delegate was kept hidden, Buhari expressed concerns about the “reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since August 29, 2019.”
“The President had instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and get a brief on the situation; express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and assurance of the safety of their lives and property,” Adesina stated in the document.