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Nigeria to evacuate citizens from South Africa following anti immigrant violence


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(By Estera Popowska)
Following recent violent attacks on foreigners in South Africa, the Nigerian government has concluded arrangements for the evacuation of its citizens from South Africa beginning Monday. The Nigerian government reportedly called upon Nigerians interested in returning home to contact the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa.

On Saturday South African President Jacob Zuma reportedly canceled a state visit on to Indonesia to deal with the increasing anti-immigrant violence in South Africa. Nigerian officials reportedly cautioned Nigerians in all the troubled spots to close their businesses and stay at home and out of trouble A statement by the Nigerian Office in Pretoria called on the nationals to get in touch through telephone or social media.

Nigeria's acting High Commissioner to South Africa Martins Cobham said on Saturday that the situation was being monitored on lower, middle and high threat, and emphasised the need for Nigerians to avoid areas of imminent threat, abide by the laws of the host country and cooperate with local security agencies.

The President of the Nigerian Union, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said 50 Nigerians were displaced at Jeppestown, near Johannesburg. “We met about 300 Nigerians in Jeppestown, near Johannesburg, who fled for their safety and about 50 of them do not have any place to stay. "We are making arrangements with the Nigerian mission in South Africa to get them a place to stay for their safety," he said in a statement.

“The Nigerian Union has also presented relief materials to those affected by the attacks and we are in touch with various branches of the union in the provinces on their safety and security,” Mr Anyene said.

The anti immigrant violence erupted in the port city Durban two weeks ago and spread to Johannesburg, Africa's economic hub, appeared to have died down on Saturday as police patrolled trouble spots.

Violence flared after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini said in remarks widely reported by South African media in March that foreigners should leave the country.
He has since said his comments were misinterpreted and on Saturday attempted to defuse tensions (African Review)

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