Smoke rises from a burning vehicle following a night of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg.  File Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK
Smoke rises from a burning vehicle following a night of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg. File Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

Nigeria on Monday urged the African Union (AU) to step in to stop what it said were "xenophobic attacks" on its citizens and other Africans in SA.

The presidency said there was a need for the continental body to "intervene urgently", claiming that in the past two years "about 116" Nigerians had been killed, including 20 in 2016.

"This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria," a senior presidential aide on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said.

According to the Nigerian Union in SA, there are about 800,000 Nigerians in SA, many of them living in Johannesburg.

The police say only seven Nigerians died in violence in 2015, while the community say xenophobism hit it hard in April of that year.

Dabiri-Erewa renewed Abuja’s call on the government in Pretoria to take "decisive and definite measures" to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans in SA.

She said there was credible information that more attacks were being planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

Nigeria has met senior South African officials, including the resident high commissioner, to protest against the attacks on its citizens.

AFP

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