Xenophobic attacks: Buhari dispatches special envoy to South Africa


Two days ago, Shops belonging to Nigerians were looted and burnt down by suspected South African hoodlums with three persons killed in the process. This prompted the Nigerian government to summon the South African High Commissioner, Bobby Moroe to a crucial meeting scheduled to hold today.
This episode of violence against Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa has prompted a flurry of high-level condemnations and criticisms from international bodies and government officials across various countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday noted with deep concern, reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since August 29, 2019. Consequently, the President has 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.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said President Buhari has also dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to President Cyril Ramaphosa his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation. The Special Envoy is expected to arrive in Pretoria latest Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Xenophobia is the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Xenophobia can involve perceptions of an in group toward an outgroup and can manifest itself in suspicion of the activities of others, and a desire to eliminate their presence to secure a presumed purity and may relate to a fear of losing national, ethnic or racial identity.

  1. Xenophobia in South Africa has been present in both the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
  2. After the majority rule in 1994, contrary to expectations, the incidence of xenophobia increased.
  3. The death toll of Nigerians killed in South Africa has continued to rise with the frequent xenophobic attacks between 2016 and 2019. Statistics reveal that about 127 Nigerians have been killed in three years, while 13 out of these were reportedly killed by South African police.
  4. Available estimates from Statistics South Africa and the United Nations show that over 30,000 Nigerians live in South Africa.
  5. A Research poll conducted in 2018 showed that 62% of South Africans viewed immigrants as a burden on society by taking jobs and social benefits and that 61% of South Africans thought that immigrants were responsible for the majority of crimes committed in South Africa.
    Say No To Xenophobia!.


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