The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Federal Government to sanction the Republic of South Africa for Xenophobic attacks against Nigerians residing and working there.
Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, the Executive Director of the NGO, said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that the development called for the intervention of the Nigerian government.
SERAP said that it had already sent an open letter to His Majesty, King Mswati III of Swaziland and Chairperson, Southern African Development Community (SADC), over the issue.
“The letter dated Feb. 24 urged Mswati to convene an emergency summit of the SADC heads of state and governments to discuss the persistent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in South Africa.
“SERAP notes the persistent and longstanding xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the letter.
“The complete impunity of perpetrators and the failure of the authorities to provide an effective remedy and reparation to victims, directly undermine SADC mandates on regional integration and human rights,” it said.
The letter stated that the immigration status of Nigerians and other foreign nationals residing in South Africa was not a justification for the attacks.
“SERAP is seriously concerned about the apparent complicity of the South African authorities and officials in persistent and serious human rights violations and abuses against thousands of Nigerians living in the country.’’
The organisation expressed concern over failure of authorities to express due diligence to prevent the human rights violations and abuses against foreigners living in the country.
“We are also concerned about the failure of the South African authorities to provide an effective remedy and reparation to victims, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.”
The organisation urged Mswati to use his term as the chair of the SADC to pressurise the South African government to address the persistent occurrence of incidences of xenophobia in the country.
“The SADC must remind the South African government of its obligations and commitments under the SADC treaties and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to protect everyone, including Nigerians living in its territory. from violent attacks, regardless of their status.”
“SERAP is calling on SADC to help South Africa demonstrates its leadership in addressing xenophobia and protecting the safety and rights of all, including Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country.”
The organisation expressed its concerns over the estimated 100 Nigerians that had been unlawfully killed and businesses destroyed during incidences of xenophobia in South Africa in the last two years.
“SERAP noted that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution at its 56th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia, in April 2015 condemning xenophobic attacks in South Africa.”
The organisation urged the SADC to convene an emergency summit of SADC heads of state and government to address the xenophobic attacks.
It should also publicly condemn the attacks while urging the South African government to put measures preventing re occurrence, he said.
It also told the SADC to urge the South African government to take steps to guarantee the safety of Nigerians and other foreign nationals residing in the country.
SERAP urged the SADC to work with the African Union (AU) and the UN to consider the possibility of regional sanctions against South Africa for its failure to address the root causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals.
“It must identify and punish suspected perpetrators and provide an effective remedy and reparation to victims,’’ Mumuni said.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________(c) 2017 Daily Trust