By Sophie Deberechi Anyadike

South Africa has temporarily closed its diplomatic missions in Nigeria, following reprisal attacks by Nigerians triggered by xenophobic violence in South Africa.

The South African attacks reached its zenith following the killing of scores of innocent souls or nationals of different countries that were mistaken as Nigerians, mobs’ looting and destruction of shops, many of them owned by nationals of other foreign countries, in South Africa’s commercial hub, Johannesburg.

Following the unfortunate development which has the potentials of marring the age-long relationship between the two great brethren in the African continent, South Africa’s foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, who ordered immediate closure of the country’s high commission in Abuja and its mission in Lagos, following threats to life to her country’s diplomatic staff, called the violence an embarrassment for her country.

“Our government regrets all violence against foreign-owned stores or Africans from other countries who are resident in South Africa,” she said.

At least 10 people were allegedly killed in the xenophobic violence in South Africa including two foreign nationals, none of the victims, according to the South African government, has been identified as a Nigerian.

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