The President of Ghana and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr John Mahama, on Tuesday condemned the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, describing the incident as regrettable and a source of concern in the continent.
“The pictures we’ve seen are very horrible. As ECOWAS, we’ve issued a statement condemning what is happening, the unfortunate thing is that this is not the first time. It keeps flaring up. We must work with the South Africa government to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,’’ he said.
Speaking to journalists after a private meeting with Nigeria’s President-elect, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Mr. Mahama said ECOWAS was working to create an integrated continent in Africa where people can move freely, but the recent xenophobic attacks is a setback for the goal of integration especially in South Africa which has investments in different countries in Africa.
Mahama expressed worry that the youth carrying out the xenophobic attacks did not know the history of how other African nations fought alongside them to end apartheid.
“I think that it is an issue that we are all worried about because of the specific circumstances of South Africa and it is most regrettable and most unfortunate.
“I think that the young people of South Africa do not know what happened before they gained their freedom, the whole of this continent stood behind South Africa.
“The whole of Africa stood behind South Africa to fight against apartheid. I remember growing up as secondary school child we were part of the African youth command.
“We carried out demonstrations, all in the fight against apartheid,’’ Mahama said.
President Mahama urged the South African government to take strong action and ensure that those found culpable of killing foreigners in South Africa are punished.
“We are trying to create an integrated continent where our people can move freely amongst our countries.
“This does not set a very good example for integration, especially for South Africa that has investments all across our countries.
“I think that the government must sit up and take strong actions.
“Those who have been involved in these atrocities must be punished to serve as a deterrent to others and to ensure that it doesn’t happen in future,’’ Mahama said.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.