In view of the recent xenophobic attacks on some foreigners and especially Nigerians living in South Africa, Nigeria and South Africa have agreed to setup a new mechanism tagged ‘ The early warning unit’ to proffer a lasting solution to a repeated attacks on Nigeria and other Africans in South Africa.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a joint briefing with the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau (rtd) at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Abuja described the initiative as the concrete outcome of their meeting with the South African government.
Onyeama, while briefing journalists, explained that the South African government condemned the attacks and assured the Nigerian delegation that there would not be a repeat of such attacks on Nigerians.
We proposed to the South African government that from our discussions with the Nigerian community in South Africa, we feel they have no access to the government agencies that are responsible for their security.
He noted that the Nigeria delegation demanded for more genuine commitment from the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police, regarding the consistent reoccurence of attacks on Nigerians, and to assure the Nigerian community in the country of safety of lives.
“We proposed to the South African government that from our discussions with the Nigerian community in South Africa, we feel they have no access to the government agencies that are responsible for their security, the government agencies that have it within their power to prevent such actions and the government agencies that have it as their mandate to address there complaints.” he said.
South Africa’s International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had on Monday, condemned the recent spate of xenophobic violence in South Africa, after a lengthy meeting with a high-level delegation of Nigerian government officials, led by Onyeama in Pretoria.
“I used the opportunity of this meeting to brief Minister Onyeama on the recent unfortunate violent incidents affecting foreign nationals in South Africa, including Nigerian nationals. In this regard, I highlighted the South African Government’s condemnation of these incidents, emphasised that no single death has occurred during this unfortunate period,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Commitments were made on Monday to ensure that all the signed thirty-four sectoral agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) between Pretoria and Abuja are fully implemented.
President Jacob Zuma had a “successful” state visit to Nigeria in March last year which resolved to elevate the bi-national commission to a head of state level.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to travel to South Africa at a date yet to be announced to further cement the relations