Home Editors choice Today, Nigeria will begin repatriation of some of its citizens from SA

Today, Nigeria will begin repatriation of some of its citizens from SA

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The envoy sent by Nigerian president met with President Cyril Ramaphosa last week to discuss the ongoing xenophobic violence that has sparked parts of South Africa.

A Nigerian diplomat said the delayed evacuation plan for distressed Nigerian nationals is expected to take flight on Wednesday.

The Nigerian foreign affairs ministry announced that the owner of Nigeria airline Air Peace Airlines chief Allen Onyema has volunteered an aircraft to evacuate those with hopes of returning to Nigeria due to the ongoing xenophobic attacks.

The xenophobic violence has caused tensions between the countries and has resulted in Nigeria’s plans to repatriate about 600 citizens from South Africa this week.

Johannesburg and surrounding areas were rocked by a surge of deadly attacks against foreigners, many directed against Nigerian-owned businesses and properties.

The Nigerian Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adamu, said there were about 600 now due to be flown back.

“Nigerian airline Air Peace is beginning the airlift by Wednesday, the first flight with 320 Nigerians”, he said.

“We will have another one immediately after that.”

The airline was previously expected to take its first flight on Saturday, September 7, with interested parties urged to provide their full names, villages of origin, next of kin, contact number, and copies of their passport or identity documents as well as two passport photographs.

Officials have confirmed over 10 people to have been killed in the violence and hundreds of shops destroyed.

South Africa has the continent’s second-biggest economy after Nigeria, often foreigners compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries, this has been attributed to the attacks.

The violence in the country prompted reprisal attacks against South African firms in Nigeria and the temporary closing of South Africa’s diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja.

The presidency said the envoy returned to Nigeria over the weekend.

After a week of hardening rhetoric against South Africa, Nigeria pledged to “work as brothers” with Pretoria on Thursday.

A senior aide to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, told reporters: “Nigeria does not seek an escalation of the ongoing situation.”

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