South Africa and Nigeria need to lead policy debates on long term measures to address migration in Africa.
Nigeria has confirmed it will repatriate about 600 of its citizens from South Africa this week following the brutal wave of xenophobic violence. The Nigerian consul general in Johannesburg confirmed the development, which follows intermittent xenophobic attacks targeting Nigerians and other African nationals.
The frosty relations between South Africa, and its neighbours are likely going to continue to sour following the looting of South African owned retail shops in Lusaka, Zambia. There are reports that South African trucks are being barred from crossing the borders to neighbouring countries, with major incidents recorded in Mozambique and Zambia.
Several Nigerian artists have come out strongly condemning the violent xenophobic attacks in South Africa. The artists include Tiwa Savage who cancelled her impending show in South Africa, American-Nigerian rapper Jidenna, Burna Boy, Davido, and Teni who sent various messages in solidarity with victims of the xenophobic violence. A number of South African artists also added their voice to the outrage, posting heartfelt message against xenophobia.
“I don’t think I can stay here anymore. It is not safe and this happens every year” says Bangladeshi shop owner
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have condemned in the strongest terms, the incidents of violence against nationals of fellow African countries in South Africa. President Ramaphosa warned of action against criminals.
“It was no longer about the shooting anymore but hatred towards us Somalians” says shop owner.
Violent crime against immigrants was discussed at an information session hosted by the Institute for Healing of Memories and with the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Dunoon on Africa Day last week.
Foreign shop-owners in South Africa are accused of selling counterfeit food and food beyond its sell-by date. These claims are driven by politically charged opinions, not evidence.