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

China to Support Nigeria in Fight Against Islamist Insurgents

China signed a memorandum of understanding with Nigeria Thursday, offering its support to the West African nation’s security forces as they battle an Islamist insurgency in the country’s northeast, the army said.
No details on the nature of the assistance were provided in the emailed statement, signed by defense spokesman Tukur Gusau.
Boko Haram, a faction of which is allied to Islamic State’s so-called West Africa Province, has waged a decade-long campaign of violence to impose its version of Shariah law on Africa’s most populous country. Its militants have stepped up attacks in recent months, including on army bases, ahead of February elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term.

EXECUTED TEEN Boxing fan Jayden Moodie’s tragic path from innocent Anthony Joshua fan to gang victim at 14

A BOY of 14 executed in cold blood was revealed to have posed with boxing champ Anthony Joshua — as his family spoke of a life snuffed out too soon.

But the wide-eyed 14-year-old is barely recognisable in a snap taken just months later – photographed sitting on a moped and hiding his face behind a skull mask as he pulls a “gun sign”.

Jayden Moodie was pictured with Anthony Joshua, with the 14-year-old aspiring boxer killed on Tuesday night

The photos chart the tragic tale of a teen, the youngest victim of London’s horrific street crime in two years.

Just six months after moving to the capital, Jayden was mowed down by a group of three men who then pounced from the black Mercedes and stabbed him seven times in the back in Waltham Forest, North East London.

As the youngster lay dying in the streets on Tuesday night, the men sped off into the night – with police still scrambling to find those responsible for the “targeted” attack.

Pals said Jayden lived nearby on the Beaumont estate in Leyton, East London — home to the notorious Beaumont Crew gang.

Jayden makes apparent gang signs as he sits on a moped in a Facebook video made as a tribute to him

They have been battling the OC Crew, from the Oliver Close estate, since 2002, with at least nine murders attributed to the feud.

Police recovered the car they believe was used in the attack last night but are still searching for the suspects in London’s fifth killing so far in 2019.

But as authorities plead with anyone with information to come forward, the teen’s family have been left numb by the violence that claimed the schoolboy’s life.

Among those left grieving for Jayden – who idolised boxing champ Joshua Anthony – was his godmother, Zoe Grant.

Did you witness the incident, or know who was involved? Contact The Sun Online: Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502.

African Union and UN relaunch Central African Republic peace talks

CAR

Senior officials from the United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on Tuesday began a visit to Bangui to “relaunch” the AU-led peace talks.

The senior officials are in Bangui “to revive international efforts for lasting peace in the country, through dialogue between the government and armed groups under the auspices of the African Union Initiative,” said a UN statement.

The AU mediation, launched in July 2017 and supported by the UN and the main partners of the Central African Republic, is criticized by diplomats and observers for its slow pace and a lack of results.

The visit – which includes Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of the UN peacekeeping department, and Smail Chergui, AU peace commissioner – is scheduled to last until Thursday.

A parallel mediation has been launched by Russia backed by Sudan. Criticized by France, it brought together, at the end of August in Khartoum, three militias of the former Seléka coalition and the antibalaka group, a self-proclaimed self-defence militia.

At the end of September in New York, Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra stated that mediation for peace in his country was the responsibility of the AU, adding that Russia’s involvement in talks with armed groups was only for “facilitation” purposes.

The Central African Republic, has been mired in a deadly conflict for the past six years, which has displaced more than a quarter of its 4.5 million inhabitants.

Gabon military takes over state radio in a coup attempt, Condemns Bongo’s Rabat address

Gabon

Military officers in Gabon have seized the national radio station calling for the need for national restoration, the Reuters news agency reported on Monday.

The soldiers also condemned the New Year speech delivered by President Ali Bongo Ondimba stating that they were disappointed with it.

A New Year’s address by Bongo“reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out the responsibilities of his office,” said Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defense and Security Forces of Gabon.

The president for the first time delivered his address from the Moroccan capital, Rabat, where he is recuperating from a stroke. He was transferred to Rabat from a Saudi hospital late last year.

Security and political watchers are pointing to the military’s move as an apparent coup attempt. The full extent of the involvement of the military top brass is not yet known.

Sudan’s Basir refuse to resign, offer probe into violence

South Sudan

Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has rejected calls for president Omar al-Bashir to resign in the wake of protests, arguing that this would be contrary to the national consensus reached after dialogue in 2016.

The statement by the ruling party on Tuesday followed defections of several political entities from the ruling coalition, who joined opposition parties and protesters demanding for the fall of Bashir’s regime.

NCP Media Sector Ibrahim al-Siddiq described their decision to withdraw from the government as “an exit of the national consensus represented by the National Document and contrary to the political ethics.”

“Some of the leaders of this group are known to be skilful political adventurers and (experts in the) change of attitudes. So this gives an idea about their lack of principled political action,” al-Siddiq said in a statement released on the NCP page on Facebook.

Bashir orders probe into violence

Bashir himself on Tuesday ordered authorities to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate violence during anti-government protests that have rocked the country, state media reported.

“President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the setting up of a fact-finding committee headed by the justice minister to look into the incidents of the past few days,” state news agency SUNA reported quoting a presidential decree.

At least 19 people have been killed and hundreds wounded during the protests that erupted in cities, including the capital Khartoum, on December 19 after a government decision to hike the price of bread.

Human rights group Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.

Background to the protests

The government raised the price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three (from about two to six US cents).

The ensuing protests quickly evolved into anti-government rallies in Khartoum and several other cities.

In the initial days of the protests, several buildings and offices of Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party were torched by protesters.

Riot police have managed to disperse the rallies so far, while security agents have arrested several opposition leaders and activists in a crackdown on suspected organisers.

Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation despite Washington lifting an economic embargo in October 2017.

The foreign exchange crisis has steadily escalated since Sudan’s partition in 2011, when South Sudan broke away, taking with it the bulk of oil revenues.

Inflation is currently running at 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages of bread and fuel have hit several cities.