South Africa says its diplomatic missions in Nigeria have been temporarily closed after coming under attack by Nigerians angry about xenophobic violence in the southern African nation.
BY KRISTA MAHR AND SAM OLUKOYA, Associated Press
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has closed its diplomatic missions in Nigeria, underscoring the growing strain between Africa’s two largest economies after the latest wave of xenophobic violence in South Africa, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said Thursday.
The department said that while there had been “no direct physical threat” to any diplomats or staff, the situation remained “somewhat unpredictable” and there were sufficient safety concerns to close the offices in Lagos and Abuja on Tuesday.
On Sunday, violent mobs began looting and setting fire to foreign-owned businesses in several areas of Johannesburg and the South African capitol Pretoria. At least 10 people died, including two foreigners, scores of shops have been looted and burned, and more than 400 people have been arrested in connection with the violence since Sunday.
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the attacks.