Clashes erupt in Pretoria anti-migrant protest

Senior presidential aide on foreign affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa. File

On Tuesday, the South African police confirmed to members of the press that at least 20 shops belonging to immigrants were looted and destroyed in Pretoria.

Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly. "The union is anxious about the development because the South African police are yet to arrest those who perpetrated last Saturday's attacks".

The mission has also written a note verbale to the department of global relations and corporation requesting their continued protection of Ghanaian nationals and all non-South African nationals as well as their businesses.

In Abuja, a civil rights group, the Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), yesterday threatened to embark on series of coordinated actions that would send a strong message to South Africans to refrain from further xenophobic attacks on Nigerians. We moved to Pretoria and it's the last place we will be in.

South African citizens based in Nigeria have been told to leave that country.

"This can not be allowed to continue, the authorities must take immediate action to protect those most at risk of being outed and facing attacks due to their nationality".

Abuja on Thursday summoned the South African ambassador to express "deep concern" and demand measures to protect the "lives and property of aliens".

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday acknowledged violence had flared up against foreigners this year, adding that "unfortunately, xenophobic violence is not new in South Africa".

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Mrs Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an "unnecessary setback".

"The report indicated that South Africans attacked Nigerians". The SSA, however, urged restraint on the part of Nigerians and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences.

"These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback", she said.

South Africa has witnessed a rise in xenophobic attacks in the past few years.

Also speaking, Mr. Aaron-Mnguni said the South African was working tirelessly to resolve the problem.

"This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria", a senior presidential aide on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, was quoted as saying.

"But the march in Pretoria today, which was also attended by foreign nationals, was anti-crime not anti-foreigners and we appeal to all the marchers to protest within the confines of the law". Some of them have Nigerians as investors and stakeholders.

"We should desist as countries from pointing fingers at one another in regard to issues we may not have sufficient levels of information about", he said.

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