NHRC Condemns Xenophobic Attack In South Africa, Calls For Urgent Action

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The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu Esq. on Wednesday raised a red flag over the discriminatory attacks, killings and destruction of properties belonging to other nationals in South Africa.

Mr. Ojukwu stated that Xenophobia is an act of hate and that urgent steps are needed to hold and prosecute all those responsible for the attacks.

While commending the efforts of the Federal Government, Mr. Ojukwu however advised authorities to conduct an inquest to determine the extent of loss of lives and properties to ensure due compensation to the victims and their families.

Read the full statement below:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) condemns in strong terms the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Nationals in South Africa. This is the height of intolerance and discrimination that should not be allowed in any civilized society.

The Commission calls for urgent steps to be taken in order to hold those who perpetrate these acts and their collaborators to account by invoking the weight of the International Criminal Justice Law on them.

It is obvious from the utterances of some of the state officials of the South African government that there are some highly placed government functionaries who are aiding and abetting this criminality; and therefore, should be made to answer charges of their actions.

Xenophobic violence is a hate crime and should be condemned by all well-meaning members of the international community. As a member country of the United Nations, South Africa is obliged to comply with the United Nations Standard in relating with other Nationals within its territory.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obligates governments of member countries of the United Nations to protect individuals against any acts that would impair the enjoyment of their rights. Failing to take appropriate measures or to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, punish or redress the harm caused by such violent acts amounts to violations of this obligation.

Therefore, countries have an obligation to protect lives from all reasonable and foreseeable threats, including those threats emanating from private persons and entities.

The Commission is hereby calling on the international community to join forces with Nigeria and South Africa to fish out all those involved in these heinous attacks and bring them to book. International bodies like the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court should be involved as this is clear crime against humanity.

While the Commission commends the efforts of the Federal Government on measures so far taken to guarantee the lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa, it is equally expedient to conduct an inquest to determine the extent of loss of lives and properties to ensure due compensation to the victims and their families.On the other hand, the Commission is using this medium to urge Nigerians not to take laws into their hands and refrain from any form of reprisal attack as this will give the perpetrators of this criminal acts the leeway to justify their actions.

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