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Nigeria Won’t Sever Diplomatic Ties With South Africa, Says FG

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The Minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has said that the country will not sever diplomatic ties with South Africa as a result of the attacks on Nigerians.

Onyema made this known when he appeared before the senate committee on diaspora on Friday.

The minister said taking such action would not be in the interest of Nigerians based in South Africa.

Geoffrey Onyeama
Geoffrey Onyeama

He said Nigeria would consider other options apart from diplomatic ties severance, to resolve the ongoing crisis.

“We are not thinking about the stage of diplomatic ties called off. There are various options. We are not by any means at a stage where we are breaking diplomatic relations with South Africa,” he said.

“We just met with the senate committee to review the situation with regards to South Africa and we looked at all the possible options we analysed the possible causes and agreed on a road map going forward.”

He also disclosed that the special envoy President Muhammadu Buhari sent to South Africa would return to the country on Saturday.

Onyeama said the government is handling the latest attacks against Nigerians in the appropriate manner.

“Mr President has dispatched a special envoy to South Africa who would be holding discussion with the South African government at the very highest level,” he said.

“He should be back tomorrow (Saturday), that will now give the government the basis for further action. In the meantime, if the government is very much on top of the situation.

“We know for a fact that no Nigerian life has been lost so we are extremely concerned now to ensure that there will be adequate compensation for property that has been damaged.

“We know that a Nigerian Airline is putting a plane at the disposal of most Nigerians that wish to take the opportunity to leave South Africa, this is purely voluntary, but we are particularly determined to particularly make sure that this crisis does not re-occur.

“It has been happening for far too long, it’s becoming almost endemic, so with the distinguished senators, are helping with some of the options that we may have to ensure that this will be the last time we will ever be meeting to talking about Nigerians attacked in South Africa and to take definitive measures.

“To start doing that, we want to have all the facts available and then we will take the necessary measures.”

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