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Dirco: Recalling of Nigeria High Commissioner regrettable

The Department of International Relations says it's surprised by Nigeria’s decision.

The international relations department says Nigeria is the only country that has recalled its High Commissioner. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has condemned Nigeria's decision to recall its ambassador over a spate of attacks against foreigners.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says Nigeria is the only country that has recall its High Commissioner following the recent spate of xenophobic violence in South Africa.

The government has called the step regrettable.

Yesterday, the Nigerian senate called for High Commissioner Martin Cobham to return home to consult the National Assembly on the situation.

International Relations says it is surprised by Nigeria's decision which was meant to show the oil-rich country's dissatisfaction with South Africa's handling of the clashes.

Spokesperson Clayson Monyela says "The South African government takes note that the outgoing government of Nigeria has recalled it's acting High Commissioner to South Africa. A government resorts to such an extraordinary diplomatic step to express outrage at actions or behaviour of another government."

The International Relations Department says it will raise its concerns over Nigeria's decision to re-call it's High Commissioner through diplomatic channels when the new administration takes office next month.

A new government is due to be sworn in there after a recent presidential election won by former army leader Muhamadu Buhari.

International Relations says it's not clear what action the Nigerian government is protesting with the decision to recall its High Commissioner to South Africa.

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