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Xenophobic Attacks: Nigerians In South Africa To Get ‘Early Warning’


Xenophobic Attack
Foreign nationals gesture after clashes broke out between a group of locals and police in Durban on April 14 ,2015 in ongoing violence against foreign nationals in Durban, South Africa. The attacks on immigrant-owned shops and homes in Durban's impoverished townships come three months after a similar spate of attacks on foreign-owned shops in Soweto, near Johannesburg. The Malawian government said on April 13, 2015 it would help repatriate its citizens from South Africa following an outbreak of xenophobic violence in the eastern port city of Durban that has left four people dead. AFP PHOTO/PHOTO STRINGER

The Early Warning Unit, which will comprise of Nigerian and South African representatives, will meet quarterly to share information regarding the interests of both communities.

In response to the recent wave of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, an Early Warning Unit is set to be constituted.

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, announced the development on Friday during a joint briefing with the minister of interior, Abdulrahman Danbazau in Abuja.

“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.

“So we suggested to them that there should be a mechanism in place to bring together all those agencies with the Nigerian side and then they should meet regularly to share intelligence information so as to take necessary pre-emptive measures if required and also address the grievances of South Africans, issues of compensation, and so on.

“As evident, with their cooperation, they accepted immediately that we should setup what we spontaneously called an early warning unit.

“We said that this unit should comprise, from the South African side, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry for Home Affairs and the police.”

The Nigerian high commission in South Africa, Nigerian consulate in South Africa and leadership of the Nigerian Union in South Africa will have representatives in the Early Warning Unit.

Onyeama noted that the unit will also give the South African government the opportunity to identify corrupt Nigerians in the country.

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