Nigeria President set date to evacuate citizens from xenophobia South Africa Nation

A statement by Nigeria’s foreign ministry in Abuja said the jet is being provided by the country’s leading airline Airpeace.

According to the government statement
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that following the recent unfortunate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa, the Proprietor of Air Peace Airlines Chief Allen Onyema, has volunteered to send an aircraft from Friday 6th September 2019 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge.

“The general public is hereby advised to inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage of this laudable gesture. Interested Nigerians are therefore advised to liaise with the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for further necessary arrangement. “

On Wednesday Nigeria told its citizens to “avoid travelling to high risk and volatile areas [in South Africa] until the situation is brought under control”.

in a press release, the ministry of foreign affairs said it “wishes to assure the general public that the government is committed [to] protecting [the] lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa”.

The statement also condemned the attacks on foreigners in South Africa over the past few days.

An assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari has also said that the country was officially boycotting the World Economic Forum which opened on Wednesday in Cape Town:

Tensions ease in SAfrica-Nigeria relation over xenophobia row

“We will work with South Africa to find solutions to their problems which have become our own problem. We will work as brothers,” the aide said.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier Thursday that at least 10 people were killed including one foreign national, while dozens of shops were destroyed in xenophobic violence in and around Johannesburg this week, triggering angry demonstrations in several African countries.

Foreign workers often face anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa, where they compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries.

“No amount of anger and frustration and grievance can justify such acts of wanton destruction and criminality,” Ramaphosa said.

“Equally, there is no justification for the looting and destruction of businesses owned by South Africans,” he said.

Other African nations have appealed for calm, urging their nationals in South Africa to exercise caution.

Nigeria, the source of many of the workers in South Africa, has stepped up security after apparent reprisal attacks, while violence also flared in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday.

In Nigeria, South Africa’s embassy in the capital Abuja and consulate in the economic hub of Lagos were shut on Wednesday.

South Africa’s foreign ministry called the decision a “precautionary measure”.

South African telecoms giant MTN temporarily closed its Nigeria outlets on Wednesday after protesters attacked South African-owned firms in several cities.

And in another outbreak on Thursday, angry crowds in DR Congo’s second largest city Lubumbashi smashed the windows of the South African consulate and looted South African-owned stores.

Meanwhile, Madagascar’s national football team called off a friendly match with South Africa this weekend because of security concerns.

It was the second time South Africa’s Bafana Bafana were cancelled on this week after Zambia turned down a match on Wednesday for similar reasons.

– ‘Home for all’ –

Ramaphosa condemned the violence, but acknowledged: “We face a huge challenge.”

“Taking action against people of other countries is not right,” he said. “South Africa is home for all.”

The nationality of the victims has yet to be determined.

A group of residents late Wednesday confronted a mob caught breaking into a local retail store in the northern township of Katlehong.

The unrest continued on Thursday as police clashed with protesters in the area, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

David Makhura, the premier of Gauteng province which includes Johannesburg, told reporters that Katlehong was the only area still “giving us a great deal of worries”.

Ramaphosa said 423 people have been arrested since the weekend.

In 2008, xenophobic violence left 62 people dead, while in 2015, seven were killed in attacks in Johannesburg and Durban.

The latest violence has soured ties between the continent’s biggest powers, with Nigeria boycotting the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town this week.

Nigeria also summoned Pretoria’s ambassador on Tuesday and said it would send an envoy to convey “Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens”.

The government said the head of private Nigerian airline Air Peace Airlines had offered to fly Nigerians home for free.

AFP was not immediately able confirm this with the company.

South Africa is a major destination for economic migrants from neighbouring Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. But others come from much farther away, including South Asia and Nigeria.

Several Nigerian-owned shops and properties have been destroyed, Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said, while adding that no Nigerians had been killed.

“On social media, there is a lot of stories going around of Nigerians being killed, jumping off buildings and being burnt,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “This is not the case.”

– ‘Concern us all’ –

Other African heads of state have also spoken out against the attacks.

“The incidents in South Africa concern us all,” Senegalese President Macky Sall tweeted. “I call for peace between countries and African people.”

Chad called on its citizens in South Africa to make contact with the embassy and avoid areas “where they could be targeted”.

“(The ministry) asks the South African authorities to ensure the safety of all foreigners living in South Africa,” it said in a statement.

The Republic of Congo also advised its citizens to exercise caution.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote — reputedly Africa’s richest man — said violence between Africans hinders “our aspirations for a shared and sustainable prosperity”.

People rummage through looted foreign-owned shops in Malvern, a Johannesburg suburb

Demonstrations were staged outside the South African High Commission in Abuja

Foreign-owned shops were looted in and around Johannesburg

Nigeria has summoned South Africa’s envoy over the violence

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by Sofia CHRISTENSEN

Tensions eased between twin African powerhouses South Africa and Nigeria on Thursday after Pretoria temporarily closed its diplomatic missions in the rival state following a wave of attacks on foreign-owned stores there that claimed 10 lives.

“Nigeria does not seek an escalation of the ongoing situation,” a senior aide to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“We will work with South Africa to find solutions to their problems which have become our own problem. We will work as brothers,” the aide said.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier Thursday that at least 10 people were killed including one foreign national, while dozens of shops were destroyed in xenophobic violence in and around Johannesburg this week, triggering angry demonstrations in several African countries.

Foreign workers often face anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa, where they compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries.

“No amount of anger and frustration and grievance can justify such acts of wanton destruction and criminality,” Ramaphosa said.

“Equally, there is no justification for the looting and destruction of businesses owned by South Africans,” he said.

Other African nations have appealed for calm, urging their nationals in South Africa to exercise caution.

Nigeria, the source of many of the workers in South Africa, has stepped up security after apparent reprisal attacks, while violence also flared in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday.

In Nigeria, South Africa’s embassy in the capital Abuja and consulate in the economic hub of Lagos were shut on Wednesday.

South Africa’s foreign ministry called the decision a “precautionary measure”.

South African telecoms giant MTN temporarily closed its Nigeria outlets on Wednesday after protesters attacked South African-owned firms in several cities.

And in another outbreak on Thursday, angry crowds in DR Congo’s second largest city Lubumbashi smashed the windows of the South African consulate and looted South African-owned stores.

Meanwhile, Madagascar’s national football team called off a friendly match with South Africa this weekend because of security concerns.

It was the second time South Africa’s Bafana Bafana were cancelled on this week after Zambia turned down a match on Wednesday for similar reasons.

– ‘Home for all’ –

Ramaphosa condemned the violence, but acknowledged: “We face a huge challenge.”

“Taking action against people of other countries is not right,” he said. “South Africa is home for all.”

The nationality of the victims has yet to be determined.

A group of residents late Wednesday confronted a mob caught breaking into a local retail store in the northern township of Katlehong.

The unrest continued on Thursday as police clashed with protesters in the area, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

David Makhura, the premier of Gauteng province which includes Johannesburg, told reporters that Katlehong was the only area still “giving us a great deal of worries”.

Ramaphosa said 423 people have been arrested since the weekend.

In 2008, xenophobic violence left 62 people dead, while in 2015, seven were killed in attacks in Johannesburg and Durban.

The latest violence has soured ties between the continent’s biggest powers, with Nigeria boycotting the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town this week.

Nigeria also summoned Pretoria’s ambassador on Tuesday and said it would send an envoy to convey “Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens”.

The government said the head of private Nigerian airline Air Peace Airlines had offered to fly Nigerians home for free.

AFP was not immediately able confirm this with the company.

South Africa is a major destination for economic migrants from neighbouring Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. But others come from much farther away, including South Asia and Nigeria.

Several Nigerian-owned shops and properties have been destroyed, Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said, while adding that no Nigerians had been killed.

“On social media, there is a lot of stories going around of Nigerians being killed, jumping off buildings and being burnt,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “This is not the case.”

– ‘Concern us all’ –

Other African heads of state have also spoken out against the attacks.

“The incidents in South Africa concern us all,” Senegalese President Macky Sall tweeted. “I call for peace between countries and African people.”

Chad called on its citizens in South Africa to make contact with the embassy and avoid areas “where they could be targeted”.

“(The ministry) asks the South African authorities to ensure the safety of all foreigners living in South Africa,” it said in a statement.

The Republic of Congo also advised its citizens to exercise caution.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote — reputedly Africa’s richest man — said violence between Africans hinders “our aspirations for a shared and sustainable prosperity”.

People rummage through looted foreign-owned shops in Malvern, a Johannesburg suburb

Demonstrations were staged outside the South African High Commission in Abuja

Foreign-owned shops were looted in and around Johannesburg

Nigeria has summoned South Africa’s envoy over the violence

Isis orphans handed over to the Nigerian government

The Nigerian government representative Musa Habib Marika, carries one of three orphaned siblings linked with the Islamic State, in the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on September 5, 2019. – Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria today handed over three siblings linked with the Islamic State group to Nigeria, the first such repatriation to the African country, an official said.

“Three children… were handed over to representatives of the Nigerian government,” said Fanar Kaeet, a Kurdish foreign affairs official.

The siblings are a girl and two boys — all between five and ten years old — who had lost both parents, Kaeet told AFP.

A representative of Nigeria’s government said his country is also looking into other cases.

“We have asked the foreign relations department at the Kurdish administration for a list of Nigerians and Africans” under their custody, Musa Habib Marika said.

“As for Nigerian (IS) fighters, the Nigerian government will look into this,” Marika said in response to a question as to whether his country had any plans to repatriate combatants.

The Kurds have spearheaded the US-backed fight against IS in Syria, and in March expelled the extremists from their last patch of territory in the war-torn country’s far east.

Even as the Kurds fight remaining sleeper cells, thousands of alleged IS fighters and family members are being held in their custody.

These include hundreds of suspected foreign fighters in jails and thousands of their alleged family members in overcrowded camps.

Western countries have been largely reluctant to repatriate their nationals.

But Germany, France and Belgium have brought a handful of orphans home, while the US last year repatriated a woman with her four children.

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kosovo have repatriated dozens of women and children.

IS overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” there, but offensives in both countries have seen them lose that territory.