South Africa: Nigeria to repatriate 600 citizens amid violence

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2019

South Africa has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa as it has one of the continent's biggest and most developed economies.

The plane can carry about 300 passengers.

Aside Air Peace's offer, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced Monday that his government had also made arrangements for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians.

Nigerians have gathered round the consulate in South Africa for departure, although invalid papers appear to be slowing down the process.

Moyo added that Harare would "escalate" the evacuation if the situation deteriorated.

In the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, deadly riots last week in Pretoria and Johannesburg killed at least 12 people, including two foreigners, and targeted foreign-owned businesses.

And while the root causes of the latest attacks are unclear, analysts suggest high unemployment and grinding poverty are fueling criminality.

A riot police officer throws a teargas canister as looters make off with goods from a store in Germiston, east of Johannesburg on September 3.

Mr Odusola said the United Nations in South Africa will continue to work with the government, the people of South Africa and other partners in finding a durable solution to violence and criminality. A private airline volunteered to airlift the fleeing nationals.

Following a spate of xenophobic attacks on foreigners. Around three million Zimbabweans deserted their country and settled elsewhere mostly in South Africa as economic refugees during the late Robert Mugabe's 37 year-rule.

Commercial Nigerian airline, Air Peace, says it plans to operate two flights with Boeing 777 aircraft for the job of evacuating as many Nigerians as possible.

South Africa has also temporarily shut down its embassies in Lagos and Abuja amid fears over safety of its diplomatic staff.

Other reports by iNewsToday