Local youths protesting the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa are reportedly burning tires on the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Road in Abuja, as of Wednesday, September 4, after setting fire to a nearby South African telecommunication company and vandalizing a South African-owned mall, located in the area (Lugbe). Additional security forces have been deployed to the area to quell the violence.
Further acts of violence towards South African assets are possible in the coming days.
A related protest has been called to take place in Abuja on Thursday, September 5, where protesters are due to gather at 09:00 (local time) at Unity Fountain and march to the South African High Commission. Similar protests are possible in Lagos.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any protest. Clashes with security forces cannot be ruled out.
In retaliation to the spate of xenophobic violence ongoing in South Africa, notably targeting Nigerian immigrants, protesters on September 3 stormed a branch of the MTN South African telecommunications company in Lagos; other businesses belonging to South Africans such as malls were also looted. One protester was reportedly killed.
Individuals in Abuja and Lagos should avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.
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