South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa Expresses 'deep Regret' Over Attacks

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed ‘deep regret’ at the increasing xenophobic attacks on the foreigners in South Africa after meeting Buhari

Written By Pragya Puri | Mumbai | Updated On:
South Africa

After the meeting of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nigerian counterpart, he expressed ‘deep regret’ at the increasing xenophobic attacks on the foreigners in South Africa. In his statement, he said that “We have expressed our deep regret at the attacks directed at the foreign nationals and our condemnation of all forms of intolerance and acts of violence,” during the Press conference which was held after the engagement with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Both the leaders met in the official capital of Pretoria as reported to ANI.

Rivals come together

According to international reports, the President of Nigeria visited South Africa’s leaders on October 3. The meeting comes after a series of xenophobic attacks that took place on the African migrants which have instigated many African nations. The tension has increased tenfold leading to an unusual airlift in order to rescue hundreds of Nigerians back to their homeland. The two nations are expected to put behind tensions and mutually discuss economic cooperation. The bilateral engagement between the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will mark the meeting of the two nations with the biggest economy in Africa. As per reports, there were more than  $3.3 billion of trade between the two nations in 2018. The talks between the leaders of the two nations might undo the long-term rivalry. However, South Africa has been putting efforts to improve relations with Nigeria and the governments of other African nations. This comes amid strong criticism faced by South Africa for not taking a stand against the xenophobic attacks initially and rather categorizing the act of violence as a crime. 

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Xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Johannesburg and Pretoria, the capital of South Africa reported the killing of more than 12 people, and more than 700 were taken into custody after bands of South Africans attacked those who belong to the other African countries. Foreign-owned shops were smashed, and stalls were looted and burned. The people went violent attacking the small shopkeepers. The attacks were termed as ‘sickening’ by Nigeria’s foreign minister.

After the attacks, the South African government decided to shut down all its diplomatic missions in Nigeria, due to the safety concerns for its officials. It was reported that the South African telecommunication giant MTN was attacked in Lagos, Nigeria.  

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South Africa seeks peace

However, South Africa's leader currently says his government is “totally committed” against assaults on people of other nations. He recognizes dissatisfaction about the nation's high unemployment and slow economy however, he insisted the citizens not to take out their frustration on the foreigners. Episodes of viciousness against Nigerians and residents of other African countries have normally escalated in South Africa lately, with some South Africans blaming outsiders for selling illegal drugs or taking their jobs. The assaults on Nigerians have prompted feelings of aggression against South African organizations working together in Nigeria, with numerous individuals requiring their closure.

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