Xenophobic attacks: FG urged to file petition at ICJ

Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi asked the Nigerian government to bring South Africa before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for failure to protect Nigerian citizens and their businesses in their domain reported The Nations Nigeria.

Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi was External Affairs Minister of Nigeria from 1985 to late 1987.

The professor also urged Nigeria government to bring charges against some South African officials at ICJ for aiding and abetting the xenophobic attacks.

Akinyemi hinged his request for Nigeria to bring South African government before ICJ on the following statements by some South African officials:

  • In a statement credited to Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations, that Nigerians were drug dealers;
  • The statement credited to Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi that they fought for their land and that land would not be surrendered to immigrants;
  • The statement credited to the South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula that South Africa is an angry nation and that the country could not prevent the xenophobic attacks;
  • Various statements credited to South African diplomats blaming the immigrants;
  • The anti-immigrant acts of the South African immigration service officials, which for all practical purposes amount to holding Nigerian immigrants hostage by refusing to allow them to be evacuated

Akinyemi said: “I have come to the conclusion that the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other immigrants are acts sponsored or condoned by the South African state in violation of Article 2, paragraph 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 2, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination; and International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers.

“I, therefore, call on Nigeria to sue South Africa before the International Court of Justice for failure in its duty of care and protection of Nigerian citizens resident there.

“I call on Nigeria to file complaints against specific South African officials at the International Criminal Court for aiding and abetting the xenophobic attacks.”

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