After attacks on Nigerian migrants in South Africa, shops and offices of South African companies in Nigeria have been attacked. Affected were businesses in the economic metropolis of Lagos, the university city of Ibadan and the city of Uyo, as the Nigerian government announced.
The media reported that mostly young people were firing businesses and branches of the South African telecoms group MTN on Tuesday evening in response to the incidents in South Africa, attacking branches of the supermarket chain Shoprite and plundering the shops of the clothing group PEP. The state government of Lagos condemned the violence.
In Johannesburg, a few days ago - just before a World Economic Forum Africa conference, which began on Wednesday - riots first took place in one of the main business centers, which then spread to other parts of the city as well as to the South African capital Pretoria. The attacks were mainly targeted at migrants from other African countries, most severely affected were people from Nigeria. The African Union (AU), the Church, and the governments of South Africa and Nigeria expressed concern about the violence.
Nigeria's government wants to send special observers to South Africa
Nigeria's government also announced that it would send a special observer to South Africa to speak with the local government about the current situation. President Muhammadu Buhari himself wants to travel to South Africa in October and strive for the protection of his compatriots.
While the South African government generally speaks of unacceptable crime, the country's media report targeted attacks against foreigners. In the past, immigrants from neighboring countries such as Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were blamed for high levels of unemployment in the country. In addition, there are always xenophobic attacks on people from Nigeria. The cause of the recent riots was said to have been an Internet call, in which Nigerians were accused of selling drugs in South Africa and taking jobs away from the locals.
Although Nigeria is one of Africa's two largest economies alongside South Africa, South Africa has been the continent's most popular migration destination for decades. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), more than four million immigrants lived there in 2017.