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Nigeria urges AU to step in, stop attacks on foreign nationals in SA

The presidency in Abuja says there’s a need for the continental body to intervene urgently.

FILE: The Nigerian flag flies in Lagos. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA – Nigeria is urging the African Union (AU) to step in to stop what it says are xenophobic attacks on its citizens and other Africans in South Africa.

The presidency in Abuja says there’s a need for the continental body to intervene urgently, claiming that in the last two years about 116 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa , including 20 last year.

Senior presidential aide on foreign affairs Abike Abiri Erewa in a statement said the treatment of Nigerians in South Africa is unacceptable to the people and government of that country.

There was no independent verification of the claimed number of deaths.

Statement also doesn't how many deaths were the result of wider criminal activity rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.

The Nigerian Union in South Africa says there are about 800,000 Nigerians in South Africa, many of them living in Johannesburg.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)