Nigeria hasn’t recalled envoys from South Africa, says FG

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali, yesterday, said that the Federal Government has not recalled its envoys in South Africa.

He said the envoys were merely summoned for consultation, following the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

According to a statement issued by the Public Communications Division of the ministry yesterday, the statement that was issued on Sunday was to summon the envoys and not to recall them as erroneously reported in the media.

“The statement earlier issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was to summon, for routine consultation, the Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to South Africa and the Consul General in Johannesburg over the xenophobic attacks on some foreigners, including Nigerians, in South Africa. This is a usual practice in the conduct of diplomacy.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate that the two senior diplomats have been invited to come for consultation, after which they would return to their duty posts. They have, therefore, not been recalled as erroneously portrayed in the media,” the statement read.

The ministry also stated that, much as the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the generality of Nigerians are deeply concerned about the xenophobic attacks, there are satisfactory indications that the South African authorities have taken firm measures to stem the tide.

It also read that the Nigerian government would continue to watch with keen interest, further developments on the matter, even as both countries are determined to put the unfortunate saga behind them.

The South African government had on Sunday reacted angrily to Nigeria‘s decision to recall its ambassador from Pretoria over a wave of mob attacks on African migrants that killed at least seven people.

Pretoria said it had held off blaming Nigeria’s government when 84 South Africans were killed in the collapse of a church building in Lagos last year.

South Africa had also refrained from blaming Nigerian authorities for the “more than nine months delay” in the repatriation of the bodies “or for the fact that when these bodies eventually returned, they were in a state that they could not be touched or viewed as required by our burial practice.”

South African President Jacob Zuma deployed troops last week to quell the violence in Johannesburg and the port city of Durban, which forced thousands of people from their homes over the past few weeks.

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