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Xenophobia: Obasanjo writes Prince Buthelezi of South Africa

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The former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has written a letter to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party in South Africa.

In Obasanjo’s letter, he admonished the African countries who were victims of the last xenophobic attacks in South Africa to formally lodge their complaints to the African Union.

The former Nigerian President also encouraged the affected countries to take other measures if the first refused to yield desired results.

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Obasanjo clearly stated that the affected African parties should table appropriate motions as the first course of action and consider other alternatives should the issue remain unresolved.

The former African leader did not mince words as he described the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa as a great disservice to Africa, he also called for an immediate reconciliation between the countries victimized and South Africa.

Obasanjo said, “For any African country to encourage or allow or not seriously sanction xenophobia against Africans in their country is a great disservice not only to the country where xenophobia takes place and the countries of the victims concerned, but also a great disservice to the whole of Africa and black race.

“At this juncture, there is need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia and afrophobia in South Africa.

“As a suggestion, South Africa should send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologise and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding, accommodation, reconciliation, and binding the wound to promote unity, concord, and brotherhood in Africa.

“Repatriation of Nigerians from South Africa is obviously not a permanent solution. At best it is palliative. But the hurt will still remain for some time. Neither is revenge a desirable solution. Mutual understanding and acknowledgement of what needs to be done on all sides is imperative and getting down to doing them is the solution that will serve Nigeria and South Africa and indeed Africa well particularly in this era of Africa Continental Free Trade Area opportunities.

“Nigeria and South Africa must stand together to champion African cause and to jointly shepherd African development, unity, cooperation, security, and progress to make the 21st century Africa’s century”.

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