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Nigeria summons SA ambassador over xenophobic attacks

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Nigeria’s foreign ministry has summoned South Africa’s High Commissioner over anti-immigrant violence in which at least seven people have been killed, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

SANDF soldiers were deployed on Tuesday to try to quell the unrest after being criticised by governments including China and Zimbabwe for failing to protect foreigners from armed mobs.

“The essence of the summon was to register Nigeria’s protest over the on-going xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa,” the ministry said, adding that the meeting had happened on Monday.

It also called on authorities to quell the unrest and bring those involved to book.

On Tuesday, four men aged between 18 and 22 were charged with the murder and robbery of a Mozambican man, Emmanuel Sithole, whose death was captured by a newspaper photographer and plastered across the front pages, shocking the nation.

Isolated counter-protests involving a few dozen people have occurred in Nigeria, an economy in which South African firms such as mobile phone giant MTN and supermarket chain Shoprite have large stakes.

Diplomats from several African countries have urged their citizens back home not to seek vengeance.

“We are appealing to our countries not to retaliate,” Democratic Republic of the Congo Ambassador Bene M’Poko told a news conference in Johannesburg, stressing that South African firms in the rest of the continent were “working peacefully”. Reuters

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  1. As a foreigner, having lived in south africa for nine years now, I am deeply hurt and broken-hearted about what is going on in the country.
    Listening to the stories of nostalgic memories, repeated to I and my siblings, by my parents, it only breaks my heart everyday.
    As a Nigerian, knowing that we were taxed, in order to collect funds for the Liberation Movement, makes my blood boil.
    It is with this anger that many of my fellow Nigerians and africans are silently shaking their heads in pity and shame, every single day.
    It is even a more pitiful case when you add hypocracy to the already torrid situation.
    Having witnessed, first-hand, underlying xenophobic backlashes from fellow students as well as colleagues, it is arguable that many south africans are not xenophobic.
    It is true that as there are many bad apples in a basket, there are also good, edible apples in the mix. Now I must illuminate the fact that because of the many bad apples, or even a bad apple, one might be forced to think the whole basket is contaminated.
    I must stress on the good apples, as many of the sweetest and warmest people I’ve known are south africans, and I applaud them for standing up, in solidarity against such sensless behaviours.
    Even with all that is happening, I refuse to believe that one day, this country will live harmoniously, genuinely harmoniously, with every african on this beautiful continent.
    I refuse to label every south african as xenophobic and I refuse to digress to thoughts of hatred towards any one of them.
    I am angry, yes.
    Hurt, yes.
    Annoyed, naturally, but I feel that the rationally justifiable retaliation against south african businesses abroad is unecessary.
    We need to stand together as a continent and fight this, although the south african government should get more proactive in dealing with the issue.
    Nelson Mandela and other liberation fighters owe part of their livelihoods to Africa.
    South Africa is indebted to Africa.
    As foreigners, we too, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We aren’t all illegal or criminals.
    We are actually helping to grow the economy.
    Please, let all african brothers and sisters forgive this insolence, though it would take time to heal, but let us not repay evil for evil.
    Every act of injustice has it’s day of judgement.
    We are all africans.

  2. I would like to make a correction: where I stated ‘I refuse to believe that one day, this country will live harmoniously, genuinely harmoniously, with every african on this beautiful continent.’ it is supposed to be ‘I do believe that one day, this country will live harmoniously, genuinely harmoniously, with every african on this beautiful continent.’
    I am deeply sorry for the typing error.

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