Xenophobia: Group demands victims’ list from ​Nigerian govt​

Say No To Xenophobia Protest at the South African High Commision in Abuja

​A ​Human rights group, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Right​​s​,​ has requested from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a detailed list of Nigerian victims in last month’s xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The letter by the executive director of CASER, Frank Tietie, made available journalists on Saturday, was addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs..

In the letter, CASER said it needed the list to support its advocacy for the payment of compensation to Nigerians, who were victims of the attacks.

The request is coming at the end of the 21-day notice given by CASER during its protest to the South African High Commission on May 21 in Abuja.

The group had vowed to take legal steps in pursuing compensation for the victims, should the Nigerian and South African governments fail to act after the 21-day ultimatum.

CASER had specifically demanded the immediate setting up of a Victims Support Fund to which both countries and South African multinational companies in Nigeria, must contribute.

The group stated that the request for the list was pursuant to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act.

It said the information being sought included submissions made by the Nigerian Union in South Africa to the ministry, shortly after the attacks.

It added that the number of Nigerians affected in the crisis and the worth of personal and business effects they lost in the process were detailed in the union’s submissions.

“We therefore, hope that the information herein requested, shall be made available to CASER within the stipulated period of seven days in accordance with the FOI Act,” the letter said.

​T​he President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene, ​had ​put the total loss suffered by Nigerians in the attacks, at 4.6 million rand (N84 million).

Mr. Anyene said the losses were in the form of vandalised and burnt mechanic workshops, looted shops, as well as stolen and burnt cars.

According to him, more than 50 Nigerians were displaced during the attacks, adding that the union had compiled the losses and given the list to the Consul-General of Nigeria to South Africa.

CASER also released a statement on Saturday to affirm its belief that the attacks amounted to a violation of the social and economic rights of the affected Nigerians.

It vowed not to rest until the violations were addressed under local and international legal regimes.

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“CASER also believes that compensation to the victims would ensure commitment from the South Africans to ensure that there would not be any more repeat of those shameful attacks,” it added. (NAN)

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