South Africa and Nigeria have agreed to form a task force that will work to prevent recurrent xenophobic attacks in the rainbow nation.
Speaking to the press in Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday, Nigerian Minister for Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister for Interior Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau said the two countries have agreed to form a team that will find a lasting solution to the problem of repeated attacks on Nigerians and other migrants in South Africa, according to Africa News.
The two said the team, whose name is the “Early Warning Unit,” is the product of successful discussions between the two governments that were necessitated by the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African foreigners by a section of South Africans.
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“We proposed to the South African government that from our discussions with the Nigerian community in South Africa, we feel they have no access to the government agencies that are responsible for their security,” Onyeama said.
The unit is supposed to bring together different security agencies from South Africa and Nigeria to ensure there is a free flow of information, including the sharing of intelligence information, in order to arrest any serious problems before they get out of control.
The task force, which will be comprised of officials from the South African police, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Nigerian community, will be responsible for taking pre-emptive measures when necessary, addressing the grievances of South Africans as well as issuing compensations to victims of attacks.
Commitment to End Xenophobic Attacks
For its part, the South African government has condemned the attacks on foreigners, saying it will do everything possible to ensure no such violence occurs in the future.
On Monday, after a lengthy meeting with the high-level delegation from Nigeria in Pretoria, South African Minister for International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane issued a statement condemning the attacks.
“In this regard, I highlighted the South African government’s condemnation of these incidents, emphasized that no single death has occurred during this unfortunate period,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Deep commitments were reportedly made by the two governments on Monday to uphold the signed sectorial agreements and memorandum of understanding and ensure they are fully implemented.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is set to visit South Africa at a date yet to be announced to further cement relations.
Over the last three weeks, Nigerians in South Africa have been under attack by a section of South Africans who have been accusing them of drug trafficking and other criminal activities.