Thursday, 3 October 2019

Xenophobic Attacks :South African Leader Assures Buhari Of Nigerians Safety

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured that his government was fully in control of the xenophobic attacks that broke recently in some parts of the country. Ramaphosa gave the assurance in Pretoria, South Africa at the inaugural session of the elevated Bi-National Commission (BNC) which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, according to a joint communique issued at the end of the meeting.

The renewed wave of attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa, in which properties were looted and burned, triggered a diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa.

President Buhari sent a special envoy to South Africa to protest the attacks on Nigerians while Nigeria’s foreign ministry also summoned the country’s High Commissioner to Nigeria to seek assurances of the safety of Nigerians. Nigeria evacuated hundreds of its nationals from South Africa, while the SA government shut its foreign missions in Abuja and Lagos.

 Ramaphosa stressed that the repeated outbreak of attacks on immigrants were not consistent with the values and principles underpinning South Africa’s constitutional democracy. He also dispelled the notion that incidents of violence affecting foreign nationals were targeted at Nigerian nationals, as other foreign nationals and South Africans were affected as well.

“The President assured his counterpart that the South African Government was fully in control of the situation and several interventions, including engagements with the diplomatic community and émigré communities, security operations, policy and legislation reviews were underway,” the communique said.

It said both Buhari and Ramaphosa strongly condemned the attacks against foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa and the reprisal actions against South Africans and their interests in Nigeria.

“They expressed strong commitment to take all necessary measures to stop a recurrence of these attacks which they said undermine the vision of a strong and prosperous Africa that the two countries have for the continent.

“President Ramaphosa further contended that South Africa is an integral part of the African continent and, in this context advocates for a peaceful, vibrant and sustainable Africa and that as Africans, we all have a shared commitment to foster peace and greater continental unity. “He further stated that we should never forget that our fellow Africans have contributed to developing our economy, and that of the region and similarly South Africans are helping to develop economies across the continent.

“Both Presidents condemned these violent incidents and the destruction of property and reiterated their call for heightened law enforcement. “They stressed the importance of high-level engagements on this unfortunate phenomenon as demonstrated by the reciprocal dispatch of Special Envoys by both countries.

“In this regard, the two Presidents endorsed the establishment of an Early Warning Mechanism and directed the two Foreign Ministers to give practical expression to the Early Warning Mechanism to be used as a preventative and monitoring platform,” it added. President Buhari was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising State Governors, Ministers, and Senior Government Officials.

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