SA, Nigeria move to ease tensions amid xenophobic attacks

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to visit SA to ease xenophobic tension.

With a total trade of $60 billion at stake between South Africa and Nigeria, political leaders are keen to ease escalating tensions between the two countries sparked by the recent outbreaks of xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari would undertake a state visit to South Africa next month to “reinforce the strong bonds between the two countries and jointly develop responses to challenges affecting people and businesses in South Africa and Nigeria”.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s discussions on Friday with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Buhari’s special envoy.

“In Friday’s discussion, the special envoy conveyed President Buhari’s concerns about recent events in South Africa, in the context of the strong and cordial relations that characterise the interaction between the two countries,” said Diko.

Buhari said his county was “ready to assist”  South Africa in establishing the root causes of the violence and attacks against foreigners – many of which have been aimed at citizens and businesses from the West African country – and to work on developing “sustainable solutions to the challenges concerned”. 

He added that the Nigerian government would act against lawlessness and the targeting of South African assets in Nigeria. 

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