Nigerian association warns against xenophobic attacks in SA

INNOCENT. Children from the Ulandi Kindergarten take part in a march against xenophobia outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg's CBD on Tuesday last week. Thousands of South Africans have joined in condemning violence against foreign nationals. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

INNOCENT. Children from the Ulandi Kindergarten take part in a march against xenophobia outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg's CBD on Tuesday last week. Thousands of South Africans have joined in condemning violence against foreign nationals. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The association called on the SA government and other voices of reason in Africa to use their good offices to intervene in the matter.

The National Association of Liberation Tigers (NALT) in Nigeria has appealed to African leaders to urgently find solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The association, in a statement by its director of mobiliser and communications, Paschal Okeoma, in Enugu on Wednesday, said the attacks could destabilise the continent if left unchecked.

“Xenophobic attacks have the propensity to destabilise Africa if allowed to continue, as many Africa countries are already counting their losses,” Okeoma said. “This further undermines the position of our continent as the new investment destination of the world and the emerging global power bloc.

“As one of the largest economies in the continent, the spate of xenophobic attacks will have direct consequences, not only on the diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, but the entire integration agenda of the Africa Union,” he said.

NALT, a civil society organisation of over 10 000 Nigerian citizens from different disciplines across the globe, condemned the recent events in South Africa that saw locals targeting foreigners, including many Nigerians.

“This sad turn of event is a departure from the continent’s ongoing revisioning of African integration as a panacea for African solutions to African problems.”

He recalled the days of the anti-apartheid struggle when African countries, led by Nigeria, ended the white supremacy regime in South Africa and institutionalised democratic principles, which the citizens of that country were enjoying today.

“It is therefore unfortunate that these achievements are being destroyed by the unwarranted attacks on Nigerians and other Africans by few youths with very poor memory of history.

“NALT warns that if these incidences continue unabated, there could be reprisal attacks with the tendency to destabilise the entire continent and further divide, rather than unite us as a people,” he stated.

The association called on the South African government and other voices of reason in Africa to use their good offices to intervene in the matter to mitigate the spread of this action and likely reactions.

“We therefore welcome the efforts of religious leaders and other well-meaning actors in the continent who are trying to end the needless attacks and ask all and sundry to follow suit.”

 

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