South Africa temporarily closes embassy in Nigeria after attacks
South Africa closed its embassy in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos after a spate of attacks on South African businesses in response to anti-foreigner violence in South Africa, the government said Thursday.
The embassy temporarily closed out of concern for the safety of its staff, said foreign affairs spokesman Lunga Ngqengelele.
The vandals attacked numerous South African-owned businesses in Nigeria, including South African telecom giant MTN, supermarket chain Shoprite and clothing retailer PEP.
The violence broke out in reprisal for a wave of attacks at the weekend against foreign African nationals in South Africa’s Gauteng province.
Botswana meanwhile issued a travel advisory warning its citizens to “exercise extreme caution” and remain vigilant at all times in South Africa.
Five people were killed and more than 300 people have been arrested since the violence erupted, in which shops were looted and vehicles torched. Most affected were South Africa’s economic hub Johannesburg and capital Pretoria.
Numerous South African-owned businesses have closed and been placed under police protection.
Thousands of students Wednesday protested in Zambia’s capital Lusaka. The students also attempted to attack and loot several South African businesses.
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