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Nigeria begins to repatriate its nationals from South Africa | South Africa News

Nigeria has started the process of repatriating more than 600 people in South Africa.

Private Nigerian airline has volunteered to fly people for free back to Lagos. At least 320 Nigerians are expected to flown out on Wednesday, while a second flight will depart on Thursday. At least 640 Nigerians have signed up for the flights.

Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller, reporting from the Johannesburg airport, said on Wednesday that "[more] [than] 600 people who [were] expected to leave, at least helped

deadly rioters in Pretoria and Johannesburg killed at least 1

2 people, including two foreigners, and targeted 1,000 foreign-owned businesses.

Reprisal attacks in Nigeria forced South African business to shut down while the South African embassy in Lagos closed its doors to safety fears.

19659007] Speaking to Al Jazeera, Pastor Ugo Ofoegbu, who said "some [people] had an expired passport."

"They want to go to the Nigerian consulate to get the [right]

Ayanda Dlodlo, South Africa's minister of state security, told reporters in Cape Town that they would like to go through immigration processes.

Police on high alert

This is not the first time that foreigners have been attacked in South Africa. In 2008, at least 62 people, including South Africans, were killed, while deadly violence and targeting foreign-owned stores left dead in 2015.

"I am so worried about the safety of my family, because of these [19459022AttemptskeephappeningsoIdonotsavemyfamilynowIdonotknowwhen[this will] start again, "Ofoegbu said

" It happened in 2008, and now in 2015, now it is repeating,

Around 700: The root causes of the recent wave of violence are still unclear but there are reports of high unemployment, criminality and poverty in the country.

However, South African officials were hesitant to describe the wave of violence as a xenophobic attack, and instead said that people are believed to have been temporarily housed in Johannesburg, while Mozambique and Zimbabwe were considering some sort of repatriation of their nationals this was an issue of crimina

"While there has been a significant decline in the number of incidents, police forces remain on high alert and are vigilant," Minister of Defense Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Police have arrested at least 653 people, mostly South Africans but some foreigners as well, Minister of Police Bheki Cele said on Tuesday.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit South Africa next month

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