Nigeria on Thursday said it had summoned South Africa’s top diplomat to register its fears about a fresh wave of violence against immigrants near Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Junior foreign minister Bukar Ibrahim said the high commissioner would be “informed of [the] government’s concerns on the situation” and asked to ensure action was taken.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria strongly urges the South African Government to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and property of foreigners living and working in South Africa,” he added in a statement.
In the last week, more than 20 shops have been targeted in Atteridgeville, outside Pretoria, and at least 12 houses have been attacked in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg.
Ibrahim said reports from South Africa that Nigerians had been killed were unsubstantiated.
The attacks, however, have exacerbated tensions between the two leading African countries and South African-owned businesses in Abuja were vandalised in response.
The president of the National Association of Nigerian students, Aruna Kadiri, said about 100 people had “registered [their] displeasure” at the offices of mobile phone giant MTN.
“We want them to leave… our country. We went to MultiChoice [satellite television provide DSTV]. We also delivered that message.
“We also went to the South African High Commission [embassy] where we burned their flag to pass on a message to them that we don’t have a relationship any longer.”
Kadiri added: “All the South Africans in Nigeria should leave Nigeria within 48 hours or else we won’t be able to guarantee their security.”