According to reports, South Africa and Nigeria on Monday disclosed they would launch a jointly run “early warning” system to monitor and prevent xenophobic attacks against Nigerian migrants.
South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane met her Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama in Pretoria in a bid to reduce soaring tensions over a recent attacks on migrants living in the rainbow nation.
“The early warning centre would allow us keep each other abreast of issues and help prevent violence,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
There were several incidents last month of South African locals attacking migrants from Africa and elsewhere and their businesses in both the administrative capital Pretoria and the commercial capital Johannesburg.
Many locals have alleged that the targets were brothels and drug dens being run by migrants from elsewhere in Africa, including Nigeria.
More than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, outside Pretoria, while residents in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, attacked at least 12 houses.
The new violence-busting forum will meet every three months and will be made up of representatives from both countries and include immigration officials, business associations and civil society groups.
Nkoana-Mashabane said it was untrue that “the attacks on foreign nationals were targeted at the Nigerians”, adding that citizens of other countries were also affected.