Home Editors choice Nigeria’s president Buhari prepares for state visit to SA amidst simmering tensions

Nigeria’s president Buhari prepares for state visit to SA amidst simmering tensions

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President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari looks on as he attends the opening ceremony of the 2019 World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, at the King Hussein Convention Centre at the Dead Sea, in Jordan on April 6, 2019. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit South Africa next month following the deadly xenophobic attacks.

The South African presidency announced that Buhari’s visit is aimed at reinforcing the bonds between the two countries.

Businesses such as South Africa’s MTN Group and supermarket chain Shoprite have since been forced to closed stores and service centres in Nigeria after their premises were attacked.

The attacks were in retaliation to days of riots in South Africa which are mainly targeted at foreign-owned businesses.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday at least 10 people had been killed, two of them foreign nationals, in violence that began in Pretoria and spread to nearby Johannesburg.

In a statement released by the presidency, it said Buhari is expected to make a state visit to South Africa in October to help develop responses to the challenges in both countries after Ramaphosa held discussions with Nigeria’s special envoy.

“The special envoy conveyed President Buhari’s concern at recent events in South Africa, in the context of the strong and cordial relations that characterise the interaction between the two countries,” the presidency said.

It said Buhari’s government planned to act against the targeting of South African assets in Nigeria and reaffirmed relations with South Africa.

The violence in South Africa has fuelled concerns about relations between Africa’s two biggest economies. Nigeria said on Thursday it would recall its top diplomat to Pretoria.

 

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