Nigeria backtracks from tough stance against SA

Nigeria's Foreign Minister says there are indications that SA has taken firm measures against xenophobia.

FILE: Union Buildings. Picture: GCIS

NIGERIA - Nigeria's government appears to have back tracked from the tough stance it took following the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Nigeria's Foreign Minister Aminu Wali says there are satisfactory indications that this country has taken firm measures to stem the tide of the attacks.

At the weekend, Nigeria's acting High Commissioner Martin Cobham was recalled in reaction to the violence.

Before leaving Pretoria, Cobham told South African officials his recall from Nigeria's Consulate General in Johannesburg reflects Abuja's outrage at the wave of anti-immigrant attacks.

Now Wali is saying there is nothing out of the ordinary.

He says the media is wrong using the word 'recall' and insists summoning the envoys is a usual practice in the conduct of diplomacy.

Wali says both his representatives will return to their duty posts.

South Africa responded with unprecedented anger toward the Nigerian action, pointing out that it did not recall its ambassador when Abuja authorities took nine months to repatriate the bodies of 84 South Africans killed in a church collapse near Lagos.