PRETORIA, April 18 — Ghana’s mission in South Africa has advised Ghanaians in that country to restrict their movements until law, order and calm is restored.
Violent attacks on African migrants in Durban resulted in the death of one Ghanaian and five other persons.
The attack which was staged by South African nationals targeted shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other immigrants.
They are accusing the foreigners of taking their jobs and rendering them unemployed. A press statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry indicated that “no other incidences of death or injury of Ghanaians have been reported as the time of the writing of the statement”
The Ministry further asked the South African government to take all immediate and necessary steps to protect African immigrants in South Africa and provide the necessary assurances for their safety.
It said government is closely and actively monitoring the situation to implement the evacuation plan if it is advised by the mission in South Africa as the “most appropriate course of action.”
The Ministry also assured that it will keep the public informed on any further developments.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa Kwesi Ahwoi says xenophobic attacks on African nationals are ‘calming down in a lot of areas’.
Speaking on Joy News’ Top Story, Kwesi Ahwoi explained that talks of immediate evacuation may be too early an option.
Nonetheless, there is a plan in place to evacuate Ghanaians if the situation “demands” it, Ahwoi assured. He also said the High Commission was in touch with leaders of Ghanaian associations scattered across South Africa.
According to Kwesi Ahwoi, African ambassadors and High Commissioners have been meeting with members of the South African government to explain steps the government is taking to normalize the situation.
He appealed to Ghanaians not to attack South Africans living in Ghana to prevent a possible escalation of the situation whiles efforts are being made to calm the situation.
More than 50 Ghanaians have fled their homes to seek refuge in police stations as a means of escaping lynching by South Africans who claim foreign Africans have taken their jobs.
However, while speaking on Asempa FM on Friday, Ahwoi said that government would evacuate Ghanaian citizens in South Africa if the conflict persists.
He further urged Ghanaians in South Africa to have their addresses written at the respective government offices in order to be identified easily.
Ahwoi indicated that his outfit had already met with South African officials who have expressed regret for the actions of their citizens.
“We should just be careful not to retaliate because some suspects have been apprehended and after investigations, they would be prosecuted at the right time.
“We are very worried, but we promise to make Ghanaians comfortable,” he said.
The government of South Africa has described the attacks as ‘criminal opportunism’. BBC has reported that foreign-owned shops in South Africa have been attacked and looted in East Johannesburg, the latest in a series of xenophobic attacks.
A standoff developed in the city, with police forming a barrier between an angry crowd and foreign-owned shops.
The violence comes despite Thursday’s rally against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban, and condemnation from President Jacob Zuma.
Meanwhile several individuals including the 2016 New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate has condemned the attack.
While sending his condolences to the bereaved families, Nana Addo further called on “President Mahama, through Ghana’s High Commission in South Africa, to come to the aid of all Ghanaians who are in need of help,” in that country.