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Xenophobia: South African officials arrest, stop evacuation of Nigerians



South African authorities are frustrating the evacuation of Nigerians who have completed trials for the first batch of air transport from that country, according to the Nation.

The Air Peace plane that left Nigeria on Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. has arrived at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, around 4:00 a.m.

However, sources from the Johannesburg High Nigerian Commission told the newspaper that the Commission had prepared the first 320 Nigerians for the first evacuation, but South African immigration authorities have begun to generate problems by arresting Nigerians who are billed Let them be evacuated.

The source said officials are requesting relevant travel documents, although they have accused Nigerians of traveling without valid documents.

The Nigerian High Commission had prepared travel documents for Nigerians, but immigration wanted to know how the Nigerians arrived in the country and began to arrest them, the official said.

“South Africa is frustrating Nigeria. The Air Peace aircraft has been there since 4:00 am. Their Immigration started giving our High Commission problems. They said some Nigerians didn’t have papers. Immigration is arresting them, asking them to explain how they came to South Africa.

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“About five minutes ago only 182 Nigerians were allowed to board the flight; the rest are being barred by South Africa Immigration. They are frustrating the Nigerian High Commission, taking the passengers away. They want to frustrate the airline and the Nigerian government. The aircraft has on, burning fuel since 4:00 am. They are not happy that Nigeria is evacuating its citizens. They don’t want the world to know that a Nigerian airline and Nigerian government is evacuating them.

“Our high Commission is having tough time with South African government. They are stopping and arresting Nigerians, saying they should explain how they came into the country,” the official said.