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Crowds gather for S. Africa anti-immigration march

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Senior presidential aide on foreign affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa. File

"It is wrong to brand all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers", Zuma said.

Earlier reports indicated that Nigerians staged an anti-xenophobia protest outside the South African embassy in Abuja on Wednesday, calling on authorities to "stop attacks on African nationals".

South Africa, where 35% of people are unemployed or have given up searching for work, has experienced successive surges of xenophobic violence, oftentargetingSomali and Pakistani people who operate small shops in townships and shanty towns.

Dozens of foreign-owned shops and properties have been attacked in Atteridgeville‚ Mamelodi and Pretoria West in the past week‚ raising concern about an outbreak of xenophobic violence.

He urged the federal government to persuade the South African government to protect Nigerians.

In 2015, anti-immigrant riots in and around the city of Durban killed at least six people.

He added that should the protest hold and Nigerians are killed or businesses destroyed, serious actions should be taken against the government of South Africa.

Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, says the Government is monitoring the xenophobic situation in South Africa and asked Ghanaians business people in that country to stay indoors. "At the same time, we want to urge our people living in South Africa to ensure that they are always documented and that they operate within the laws of the land", he said.

The retaliation also coincided with the visit of South Africa's mobile operator MTN Group, who paid Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo a visit in Abuja.

The South African-based former footballer had stated thus: "It's a standoff in Pretoria, Nigerians have refused to hide".

The unrest in the Nigerian capital followed a spate of attacks on Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria, South Africa's capital, and the business centre of Johannesburg this week, in that country's worst flare-up of anti-foreigner rioting in years.

The protesters accused African immigrants, including Nigerians and Somalis, of being involved in crimes, such as drug and sex trades.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa had two weeks ago met with South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the killing of Nigerians in South Africa.

South African citizens based in Nigeria have been told to leave that country.

However, two years later, Nigerians have been singled out for attacks by citizens of South Africa again.

That was shortly after President Jacob Zuma condemned acts of violence by his fellow countrymen against foreigners, particularly Nigerians.

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