Pretoria closes diplomatic missions as Nigeria encourages its citizens to return home amid anti-foreigner violence.
It also came a day after Nigeria pulled out of the World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering in Cape Town, South Africa, casting a cloud over initiatives to boost intra-African trade.
Nigeria also recalled its high commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala.
A presidential source told the News Agency of Nigeria that
Abuja also demanded full compensation for the loss of life and property
of Nigerians affected by the attacks.
Rioting in South Africa has killed at least seven people in Johannesburg and Pretoria in recent days.
Police in the country have yet to pinpoint
what triggered the violence, which began on Sunday when protesters armed
with makeshift weapons roamed the streets of Pretoria’s business
district, pelting shops with rocks and petrol bombs and running off with
Authorities have made about 400 arrests, while people across
the continent have protested and voiced their anger on social media.
Analysts have noted contributing factors to the latest violence include high unemployment and frustration with limited economic opportunities.
On Tuesday, Nigerians launched what appeared to be reprisals
against South African businesses in several cities across the country.
Police said dozens were arrested for looting and attacks on South
African retail and telecoms firms.
Abuja has repeatedly condemned the reprisals, which it insisted could only hurt Nigerians working in the affected firms.
Nigerian police said on Wednesday that security had been strengthened around South African businesses.
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