- Nigeria began repatriating more than 600 of its citizens from South Africa following a wave of deadly xenophobic attacks that frayed relations among neighboring nations.
Private Nigerian airline Air Peace volunteered to fly people for free back to the commercial capital Lagos on Wednesday.
A flight carrying 189 Nigerians landed in the commercial capital Lagos late Wednesday, with some of those onboard punchings the air and singing the national anthem while waving pictures of burnt shops.
“I ran for my life, they would have killed me,” Samson Aliyu, a clothes seller who lived in South Africa for two years, told AFP news agency.
“They burnt my shop, everything,” he added.
The repatriation came after riots in Pretoria and Johannesburg killed at least 12 people as 1,000 foreign-owned businesses were targeted.
The nationalities of those killed have not been announced but Nigerians, Ethiopians, Congolese, and Zimbabweans were attacked, according to local media.
Pastor Ugo Ofoegbu has lived in South Africa for close to two decades. He sent his wife and three children back to Nigeria.