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Anger in Nigeria as South Africa xenophobic attacks spark looting

Anti-foreigner attacks in Johannesburg has triggered violence and widespread looting of South African-owned brands in Nigeria.

Protesters set fire to many entrances leading into a busy mall housing South African retail store Shoprite and looted groceries and toiletries from the supermarket in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial center.

Another outlet belonging the chain and one owned by South African mobile company MTN were vandalized in Ibadan city in southwest Nigeria on Tuesday despite appeals from the government for peace.

Many other stores owned by Nigerians were also plundered in the raids. The Nigerian arm of MTN, Africa’s largest telecoms company, closed all its

stores until further notice after some of its outlets were targeted, the company said.

On Wednesday, police fired teargas to disperse a horde of rioters gathered outside many South African-owned outlets in Surulere, a bustling district in Lagos.

Diplomatic backlash

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said it was “deeply disturbing” reports that some Nigerians were attacking South African companies where Nigerian investors own significant stakes and employ mostly Nigerians.

Mohammed described it as “a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

He added that President Buhari had dispatched a special envoy to convey his concerns to the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and

Nigeria has pulled out of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Cape Town and also plans to recall its ambassador to South Africa in protest against the attacks, the country’s foreign minister told reporters on Wednesday.

While Nigerian music stars Burna Boy and singer Tiwa Savage have also weighed in with similar boycotts.

 

 

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