Nigeria has warned South Africa over the implication of recent xenophobic violence saying its image and standing in Africa was currently at risk.
In the latest diplomatic missile fired over social media platform Twitter, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said the violence needed to be stopped.
Buhari on Monday said he had received a report from an envoy he sent to South Africa last week. He also reiterated government’s resolve to protect the interests of all Nigerians living abroad.
“The recurring issue of xenophobia and attacks on African nationals remains very worrying. If nothing is done to stop it, it could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries in Africa. It has to be stopped,” he said.
Buhari also announced that government had officially joined efforts of voluntary repatriation for Nigerians living in South Africa. The BBC reported that about 600 such people were scheduled to return home.
A local airline, Air Peace, had made the voluntary repatriation offer last week but postponed the move after it was discovered that most of the beneficiaries did not have proper documentation.
Let me also say that we have made arrangements for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians in South Africa who are willing to return home. I have directed the relevant agencies to ensure this is done speedily and efficiently.