In reaction to the recall of Nigeria’s envoys to South Africa over xenophobic attacks, the South African government has condemned the move, describing it as “unfortunate and regrettable” and said it “would be curious for a sisterly country to want to exploit such a painful episode”.
A statement from the South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation, quoted by the BBC, said, “A government resorts to such an extraordinary diplomatic step to express outrage at actions or behaviour of another government.”
The statement added that South Africa has not blamed Nigeria “for the deaths and more than nine months’ delay in the repatriation of the bodies of our fallen compatriots” in attacks by Boko Haram militants.
The Federal Government on Saturday summoned its envoys, the Acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Martin Cobham, and the Deputy High Commissioner, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, for what the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, termed “consultation” on “ongoing xenophobia” in that country.
However, the minister’s statement acknowledged that South African President Jacob Zuma has condemned the attacks.
Reports say at least seven people have died in a month of attacks on foreigners and foreign-owned property in South Africa. Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been blamed for sparking the attacks with comments about foreign workers.
Many have linked the attacks, mainly in Durban and Johannesburg, to unemployment and poor political leadership.
Thousands were displaced, with many Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Malawians and others returning home and others taking refuge in temporary government-operated shelters.
Since the violence, thousands of South Africans and foreign nationals have taken to the streets to denounce xenophobia.
Source : Daily Independent