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Xenophobia: FG Halts Evacuation From South Africa

"No more evacuation from South Africa," says FG.       

Funsho Akinwale

The Federal Government, on Thursday, announced putting a hold on the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa.

Over 500 Nigerians were last month airlifted by Air Peace airline from the former apartheid enclave free of charge following xenophobic attacks in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while speaking on Thursday, said the violence that led to the evacuation has calmed down, adding that Nigerians willing to leave the country on their own volition are free to return home.

Meanwhile, Nigerians numbering about 600 have registered for evacuation with the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa in a bid to escape from the troubled country.

Reports have it that the federal government had to take the decision after normalcy returned to the country coupled with the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari made a recent trip to the country to sign about 32 agreements, including a 10-year visa policy with Pretoria to advance bilateral relations.

The ministry's spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, noted that people can return on their free will, saying there would be no more evacuation.

“People can come back, but normalcy has been restored.

“What the Air Peace Airline did was on humanitarian grounds.

“The issue of evacuation does not arise anymore because there is no situation warranting evacuation,” he said.