South Africa-Nigeria-Xenophobia

Minister disappointed over closure of S/African missions in Nigeria

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South Africa is disappointed at having to take the decision to close its diplomatic posts in Nigeria, according to International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor on Thursday here.

South Africa on Tuesday shut down its Abuja embassy and its consulate in Lagos due to concerns of violence directed at the two posts following threats against its diplomats as well as its property. 

The minister said the decision to close the offices in the two Nigerian cities was taken after extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders as well as making a security assessment of threats.

"At this point there has been no direct physical threat to any of our diplomats and citizens,” Pandor said in a statement.

She said the South African government views the safety of its staff as a priority.

“We have thus taken the precautionary measure of closing, while the situation remains somewhat unpredictable."

The minister dismissed social media reports about a direct physical attack on the acting head of mission.

She said these reports were false, as were reports of vandalism at the embassy in Abuja and the consulate in Lagos.

NM/jn/APA

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