Kenyan ambassador to South Africa Jean Kamau, has confirmed reports that several Kenyans are among foreign nationals who have been affected by xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“The Kenya High Commission has noted with great concern that several Kenyan citizens have been affected by the recent spate of violence through arson and physical violence as well as reported incidences of looting in various sections of Gauteng province,” she said.
She urged Kenyans to work with local authorities and respond to calls by police to report incidences to safeguard their security.
Kenya’s statement comes in the wake of a string of reported attacks against foreigners, an incident that has left millions of property destroyed.
Kenya has joined Nigeria in condemning the attacks in President Cyrill Ramaphosa-led country following widespread looting and protests in the transport industry linked to a wave of anti-foreigner sentiment.
On twitter handle, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari responded to the attacks by sending a special envoy to South African.
“I am sending a Special Envoy to President Ramaphosa to share our deep concern about the security of Nigerian lives and property in South Africa, and to ensure that the South African Government is doing everything within its power in this regard,” Buhari said.
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama has also since summoned the South African High Commissioner to the West African nation on the same.
At least 70 people have been arrested since hundreds of people marched through Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD) on Monday, plundering shops and torching cars and buildings, the police said in a statement.
The unrest started on Sunday when an old building in the CBD caught fire and collapsed, killing at least three people.
It then spread to two eastern suburbs and to the capital Pretoria, where local media reported shops burning in the Marabastad – a central business area largely populated by economic migrants.