Ghana has not yet put in place contingency measures to safeguard its citizens in South Africa despite escalation of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Africans living in that country.
Outbreak of xenophobic violence has in the last week seen South Africans loot foreign-owned shops. One person is reportedly shot dead with several others injured in parts of the southern African nation.
Bloomberg reported that more than 50 mainly foreign-owned shops and businesses have been destroyed in the recent attacks in Johannesburg. Cars and properties were also reportedly torched.
In a Facebook live address Monday, Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi Boateng urged Ghanaian immigrants in that country to be cautious and “stay alert” to avoid attacks.
“I appeal to fellow Ghanaians to monitor situations carefully. Those who live around prone violent areas must take caution and those also living around hotspots must also take caution and monitor movement of most probably assailants,” he advised.
He suggested there is currently no need for Ghana to put in place a contingency plan to safeguard its immigrants in South Africa, stating “If there is any need for us to put in place contingency measures, be assured that we will do it”.
According to the High Commissioner, he has “capable, able members of staff” who are ready to work in situations when called upon.
Describing the recent attacks as “very disturbing and very unfortunate”, Mr Ayisi Boateng said African ambassadors were scheduled to meet today [September 3] to deliberate on the matter with the view to finding a lasting solution to the matter.
“We started deliberating on this from March. We never thought it will recur because all the meetings, all the discussions centred on the fact that this thing should not recur. I’m sure tomorrow there will be that engagement,” he assured.
Mr Ayisi Boateng expressed optimism that they will get an end to the recurring xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, stating “There is always a means to an end to bring peace and tranquility among ourselves.
He said as Africans, “We believe in African integration” hence the need to “see how we work towards a permanent solution to this problem”.