Hundreds of Nigerians leave South Africa after xenophobic attacks

Nigeria South Africa strengthen partnership on security

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate evacuation of all Nigerians willing to leave South Africa over increasing xenophobic attacks.

Meanwhile, Abike Dabiri, head of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, said the government would not provide financial assistance to those leaving South Africa.

According to her, immediately they arrive, they would each be given sim cards and airtime that would last nearly two months to help them stay in touch with their families. Some Zimbabweans have called on government to redress local economic issues for them to return home.

At a press conference with business leaders on Monday, South Africa's police minister Bheki Cele tried to deemphasize the role of xenophobia in the attacks saying the police were focused on criminality by all actors regardless of nationality.

"A private citizen who owns an airline has offered to evacuate Nigerians from South Africa who want to leave, and obviously there are immigration rules that go with that, so it's a process", Ayanda Dlodlo, South Africa's Minister of State Security, told reporters in Cape Town.

South Africa has also temporarily shut down its embassies in Lagos and Abuja amid fears over safety of its diplomatic staff. The airline's evacuation plan had been delayed by lack of documentation of beneficiaries.

The latest wave of xenophobic violence and attacks in South Africa has resulted in a growing exodus of Nigerians.

Moyo added that Harare would "escalate" the evacuation if the situation deteriorated, and he was seeking support from worldwide organizations to help those affected.

But there is also high unemployment in the country and some people feel foreigners are taking their jobs. Congo, Bangladesh and Ethiopia topped the list of countries where people applied for asylum or refugee status in 2018. He said his family was waiting for him in Nigeria.

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