Nigerian high commissioner is recalled and a special envoy will be send to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to address recent xenophobic attacks during urban violence outbreaks, said Information Minister Lai Mohammed at a press briefing in Abuja.
South Africa has already temporarily closed its diplomatic missions to Nigeria in Lagos and Abuja fearing reprisal attacks against its citizens, according to CNN.
The closures follow outbreaks of violence earlier this week in South Africa. At least five people were killed and 189 arrested during xenophobic attacks and looting in Johannesburg, Pretoria and elsewhere. Foreign nationals from countries including Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia were targeted.
In spite of the violence outbreak South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the bilateral relations as “firm and strong” and added that the two partners were resolute in their shared commitment to build an Africa at peace with itself and others.
The statement came amid the deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two African countries, after Nigeria introduced plans to evacuate its nationals in South Africa following a wave of xenophobic attacks.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit South Africa in next month to “reinforce strong bonds”, following the attacks against West Africans.