President Buhari directs voluntary evacuation of all citizens from South Africa as the two biggest economies in Africa struggle to solve xenophobic attacks

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Muhammadu Buhari (South Africa government)
  • The two biggest economies in Africa continue to find a lasting solution to the issue of xenophobic attacks.
  • Nigerian President Buhari says he is worried over the recurring issue of attacks on Nigerian citizens in South Africa
  • South African President Ramaphosa is expecting President Buhari in October for a discussion on South Africa-Nigeria relations

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians who are willing to return home from South Africa over recent xenophobic attacks.

Over the last few weeks, the two biggest economies in Africa continued to find a lasting solution to the issue of xenophobic attacks on properties and businesses of countrymen in both countries.

In South Africa, Nigerian citizens and small business owners faced threats of xenophobia while reprisal attacks were reported in Nigeria against South Africa's originated businesses such as MTN, Shoprite and others.

Buhari worried over recurring issue of xenophobia

In a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said “he is worried that the recurring issue of xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent if nothing is done to stop it.”

He also stressed the need for the South African Government to take visible measures to stop violence against citizens of brotherly African nations.

Last week, in the wake of the xenophobic attacks by South Africans against other Africans including Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari sent Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (DGNIA) as his Special Envoy to South Africa, to convey the government's special message to his counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

What the South Africa leader said

On his part, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement issued on Monday, September 9, condemned the resurgence of public violence that claimed two lives in Johannesburg over the weekend.

Ramaphosa called on law enforcement agencies to maintain vigilance and firmness in dealing with individuals or groups who take the law into their own hands and violate the dignity rights of people without raising grievances with the relevant authorities.

Buhari and Ramaphosa to discuss South Africa-Nigeria relations in October

His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari will undertake a State Visit to South Africa in October 2019 to reinforce the strong bonds between the two countries and jointly develop responses to challenges affecting people and businesses in South Africa and Nigeria.

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