Abong Nico

South Africa is facing a backlash after rioters in and around Johannesburg targeted immigrants from other African countries this week, torching their shops and leading to at least 10 deaths.

The attacks that started on September 3, 2019, have seen widespread looting of foreign-owned businesses hit areas including Alexandra, the Johannesburg CBD, and Kempton Park.

In the early hours of the morning on Thursday, gunshots were heard across the township. Looters tracked down and emptied foreign-owned shops. Residents said they had hardly closed their eyes during the night as guns were fired. “We could hear shooting and voices all night. Many shops around our section were broken into during the night,” said Gloria Mokoena, who resides in Kwathema’s Highland section.

Gauteng police on Friday said that they have arrested 74 more people as violence flared up again in Katlehong in the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality. Police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the number of those arrested totaled 497 since xenophobic attacks erupted in the province.

On 7 August 2019, amid police raids targeting counterfeit goods, a “xenophobic mob” armed with crude weapons rampaged the inner city, breaking and looting foreign-owned shops. In 2008, xenophobic violence left 62 people dead, while in 2015, seven were killed in attacks in Johannesburg and Durban.

Ramaphosa promises tough action as South Africa struggles with xenophobia

Diplomatic Reactions, Protests and reprisals

Nigeria has recalled its ambassador to South Africa in protest and summoned Pretoria’s ambassador on Tuesday. South Africa temporarily closed its diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja following reprisal attacks by Nigerians Nigerian private airline Air Peace Airlines had offered to fly Nigerians home for free.

Nigeria, Rwanda, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi announced their withdrawal from the World Economic Forum that was slated to hold on September 4, 2019, in Cape Town

Zambia and Madagascar canceled soccer matches with Bafana Bafana. On Wednesday, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) pulled out of hosting South Africa’s “Bafana Bafana” in Lusaka Saturday, citing “prevailing security concerns.” A hasty arrangement by The South African Football Association (SAFA) to play Madagascar suffered a last-minute cancellation by the latter. “SAFA regrets to inform the public that the match between Bafana Bafana and Madagascar scheduled for this coming Saturday (7 September) has been called off after the visitors (Madagascar) decided to withdraw from the encounter,” a SAFA statement read

Tanzania’s national carrier suspended its flights from the commercial capital Dar-es-Salaam to Johannesburg on Thursday, saying the violence there was a risk to its passengers. “You are aware that there is ongoing violence in South Africa whereby the youth have taken laws in their hands,” Tanzania’s Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe told journalists in Dar-es-Salaam.

Two of Nigeria’s top musicians, Burna Boy And Tiwa Savage, announced they were boycotting South Africa.

Nigerian Police tries to calm down protesters

Nigerians have attacked and destroyed South African owned businesses in Nigeria including Mobile giant – MTN, Shoprite. Students

Students in Zambia marched on the South African High in Lusaka. Demonstrators looted Pick n pay shops and South Africa truck drivers have been blocked from entering the country

Zambian Students protest at SA High Commission in Lusaka

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said rioters destroyed South African owned businesses

Burning tires and barricades were set-up on a road connecting SA to Mozambique to block South Africa truckers. Similar incidents are being reported in Botswana and Zimbabwe

Demonstrators in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s second city, Lubumbashi, broke the windows of South Africa’s consulate and also destroyed South African owned business including a popular South African retail group MRP

Botswana and Lesotho have both issued travel alerts for citizens headed to South Africa as the nation faces riots and apparent xenophobic violence. The countries have issued warnings in light of ongoing unrest and attacks which flared up in various parts of Gauteng this week.

Fake Information: explosion at SA embassy in Abuja

The Nigerian government on Saturday dispelled reports that there had been an explosion at the South African embassy in Abuja. Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters that reports of the explosion were untrue and orchestrated by the desperate opposition to cause panic and chaos among the populace


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