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Ramaphosa to work with Buhari to help combat xenophobia, crime in SA

The presidents of the continent's two biggest economies are addressing the media at the Union Buildings on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa (R) and Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari at the Union Buildings on Thursday, 3 October 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said he had reached 32 bilateral agreements with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari after concluding talks on Thursday.

The presidents of the continent's two biggest economies are addressing the media at the Union Buildings.

“We are committed to addressing the genuine concerns of our people around poverty, unemployment, crime, drugs and migration. We are equally committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that all those involved in criminal activities, regardless of their nationality, are prosecuted," Ramaphosa said.

The gathering follows xenophobic violence in South Africa and retaliatory attacks in Nigeria with demonstrators converged outside the Union Buildings as meetings went on inside.

Ramaphosa also said they welcomed the willingness of the government of Nigeria to work with SA to address these challenges: "During our talks, we reviewed a range of issues of bilateral, continental and global nature."

Ramaphosa said intelligence services from the two countries would communicate to help stop such attacks.

"We have agreed that we are going to set up mechanisms between our two countries. Early-warning mechanisms will be set up so that once we see that there is restiveness, we will be able to inform one another."

President Buhari said there would be a unified approach said: "So, it means our respective police forces must be very alert. They must infiltrate the communities and make sure they don’t allow violence to escalate."