Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Hundreds of Nigerians, Zimbabweans leaving South Africa in wake of deadly violence

South Africa: Nigeria to repatriate 600 citizens amid violence Zimbabweans in SA fear fresh attacks
Patty Aguilar | 12 September, 2019, 06:30

Despite high-level discussions between governments of Nigeria and South Africa last week, xenophobia-fueled protests targeting foreign-owned businesses have continued in Johannesburg, suggesting foreigners are still at risk.

188 Nigerians have been successfully evacuated from South Africa following the recent violence against foreign nationals in the country.

South Africa has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa as it has one of the continent's biggest and most developed economies.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians wanting to return home, and Air Peace offered free flights last week.

Asked if he would return, the Nigerian said he has no plan to return to South Africa as what is happening may still happen in the future.

South Africa-based Zimbabweans are living in fear of fresh xenophobic attacks after hundreds of nationals marched in Johannesburg on Sunday.

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Mr Odusola said the United Nations in South Africa will continue to work with the government, the people of South Africa and other partners in finding a durable solution to violence and criminality.

In Katlehong, a township around 35 kilometres south east of commercial hub Johannesburg, 755 foreign nationals including 228 children are being cared for at community centres after fleeing violence.

Police have arrested 653 people in connection with the attacks, mostly South African but including foreigners, police minister Bheki Cele said.

But there is also high unemployment in the country and some people feel foreigners are taking their jobs.

It was not immediately clear how many people boarded the flight, but Nigeria's government said it estimated 313 people were on their way home.

There has been reported xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa.

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