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Xenophobia: AU may sanction South Africa


ACHPR responds to SERAP’s petition

By Nsikan Ikpe

The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, an organ of the African Union, AU may sanction South Africa in connection with the xenophobic crisis in that country.

This is even as the body has promised to take action on a request from the Nigeria-based Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP seeking leave to sue South Africa for $10bn as damages in respect of the xenophobia in that country, The Difference has learnt.

In her response to SERAP’s petition, Ms Soyata Maiga, Chairperson, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights affirmed that she was going to “take appropriate action” on the request by SERAP that the commission should “submit a case on the escalating xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African citizens in the country to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and to seek an effective remedy and reparation for Nigerian victims.”

In its originating letter, SERAP had noted that “these xenophobic attacks constitute serious violations of the human rights of Nigerians and other African citizens in South Africa,” and gone on to urge the commission to “seek in the case to the African Court, punitive damages and adequate compensation of $10 billion (USD) on behalf of hundreds of Nigerian victims and their families. This amount will sufficiently take into account individual harm suffered by victims.”

Responding to the SERAP letter, Maiga said: “Thank you for your open letter requesting our commission to take action to the court. I have just shared the letter with Ms Jamesina Essie King, the Chair of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, for follow-up and appropriate action.”

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