UN condemns violence against foreign nationals in South Africa
The UN has called on all citizens and the international community to be vanguards and ambassadors of social cohesion.
The Acting Resident Coordinator for the United Nations in South Africa, Ayodele Odusola, has expressed deep concern over recent and ongoing attacks against foreign nationals that have been spreading across several parts of South Africa, particularly in the Gauteng Province. In a statement released by the UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC) on Tuesday, Odusola said he was encouraged by the police response in quelling the violence and welcomed the statements of denunciation by South African authorities.
“Over the past few days, we have witnessed, with deep concern, acts of violence against foreign nationals and criminality against members of the public and the wanton destruction of property,” said Odusola. “This should not be happening in the South Africa Mandela dreamt of.”
The UNIC called on all stakeholders to be part of the solution by refraining from saying or sending inciteful messages within and outside South Africa. It said political leaders, the law enforcement agencies, the organized private sector, community leaders, civil society organizations, citizens and the international community must be vanguards and ambassadors of social cohesion.
“There isn’t anything that justifies the level of violence against another person for trying to make a livelihood and, in particular, in the African context, a guest in your home should not be harmed,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, while attending the World Economic Forum on Africa, in Cape Town, last Thursday.
According to a spokesperson for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, about 640 Nigerians have signed up to take free flights back home from South Africa after experiencing sustained xenophobic attacks. Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, plans to operate two flights to evacuate Nigerians from South Africa.
Buhari announced on Saturday that he would visit South Africa in October to reinforce ties between Nigeria and South Africa.
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