Nigeria: Xenophobia – Nigeria Alerts Nationals in South Africa of Planned Attack

“This is to advise Nigerians living in South Africa to be vigilant and exercise caution in their activities due to the recent utterances of the proponents of the Operation Dudula and their threats to attack foreign nationals in this country.”

The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, has alerted Nigerians living in South Africa of a planned attack on foreign nationals.

In a memo dated 24 August, the consular section of the embassy wrote, “this is to advise Nigerians living in South Africa to be vigilant and exercise caution in their activities due to the recent utterances of the proponents of the Operation Dudula and their threats to attack foreign nationals in this country.”

According to the memo, the group (Operation Dudula) through public notice and video clips on social media announced a March against foreign migrants in South Africa from the 2nd of September.

The march, according to the embassy, is targeted at foreign business owners, shops and undocumented foreign nationals.

Violent attacks on Nigerians and other Africans have regularly erupted in South Africa partly because some South Africans accuse foreigners of dealing drugs or taking their jobs.

In 2019, at least 10 deaths were recorded, including two foreigners, and many businesses were destroyed, prompting Nigeria to recall its ambassador while President Muhammadu Buhari sent a special envoy to South Africa.

The South African government who had largely blamed the attacks on criminals, later admitted that some of it was being driven by xenophobia.

The attacks led Nigeria to boycott the World Economic Forum in South Africa which was to be attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to the South African High Commission in Nigeria for comments but was yet to receive any response at the time of this report.

Chiamaka Okafor is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe.

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