Xenophobic attacks: Nigerians in South Africa fight back as Ramaphosa summons security meeting

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Nigerians in South Africa have mobilised to confront mobs that attacked foreigners in xenophobic attacks this week.

Nigerians took to the streets in Tuesday armed with machetes and cudgels and changing war songs.

They vowed to deal with South African vandals who had looted shops owned by foreigners and set at least one person ablaze.

Also on Tuesday, some African presidents withdrew from the forthcoming World Economic Forum in protest at the attacks.

The presidents of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi announced their withdrawal from the summit.

The Namibian High Commission in South Africa issued a security alert to its citizens to avoid certain flashpoints until the attacks subside.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the South African army might be deployed in troubled Gauteng province of Johannesburg to quell the unrest there.

This is just as President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday condemned the attacks and invited some ministers to a meeting.

He issued the condemnation in tweets on Tuesday evening.

“I condemn the violence that has been spreading around a number of our provinces in the strongest terms. I’m convening the ministers in the security cluster today to make sure that we keep a close eye on these acts of wanton violence and find ways of stopping them.

“The people of our country want to live in harmony; whatever concerns or grievances we may have, we need to handle them in a democratic way. There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries,” he stated.

His tweets were greeted with mockery from South Africans, who wondered why he had kept silent since the attacks broke out.

 

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