The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has asked the South African government to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of violent attacks on fellow Africans in the country.
Ghana’s President and Chairman of the ECOWAS Committee of Heads of Governments, John Mahama made this know while speaking in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 after holding a closed door meeting with General Muhammadu Buhari, the President-elect of Nigeria.
President Mahama, while decrying the unwholesome development, regretted that South Africans are attacking the same people that fought for her freedom during the era of apartheid, especially Nigeria, who assumed a front-line role in the struggle.
His words: “I think that the young people of South Africa do not know what happened before they gained their freedom; the whole of this continent stood behind South Africa to fight against apartheid.
“I remember all of us who, growing up as secondary school children, went on marches and were part of the African Youth Command who boycotted classes and all that all in the fight against apartheid.
“Indeed, for several of the countries where their citizens were brutalised in South Africa, these are the countries that were called frontline states that harboured the freedom fighters of South Africa and gave them safe haven and gave them passports to be able to avoid the clutches of the apartheid regime.
“Nigeria, though not a neighbour of South Africa, was considered a frontline state because of the economic contribution that Nigeria made to be able to liberate South Africa from apartheid and so, it is regrettable that the same people who fought against apartheid are being attacked.
“As ECOWAS we have issued a statement condemning what is happening. The unfortunate thing is that this is not the first time.
“It keeps flaring up and so while we are condemning this incidence and we must work with the South African government to ensure that it won’t happen again. We are trying to create an integrated continent where our people can move freely amongst our countries, this has not set a very good example for integration, especially for South Africa that has investments all over the countries.”