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Under siege in Nigeria, South African businesses shut stores

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 5, 2019 - Duration: 01:32s

Under siege in Nigeria, South African businesses shut stores

South African companies MTN and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria on Wednesday after attacks on their facilities in the country - a retaliation after days of riots in South Africa chiefly targeting foreign-owned, including Nigerian, businesses.

David Doyle reports.

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Under siege in Nigeria, South African businesses shut stores

Foreign-owned businesses in South Africa and Nigeria are under siege - leading major businesses to close their doors on Wednesday (September 4).

South Africa's MTN and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria on Wednesday after their facilities were attacked.

That was in retaliation for riots in South Africa, that targeted foreign-owned companies, including Nigerian businesses.

Nigeria is telecoms operator MTN's biggest market, and accounts for a third of the South African group's core profit.

Supermarket chain Shoprite said several stores in South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia were closed, and extensive damage had been caused over the past 24 hours.

South African police have arrested almost 300 people and confirmed several deaths, after the conflict in Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria in recent days.

Meanwhile, its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, told officials and business leaders also on Wednesday, that he was committed to quelling attacks on foreigners.

That have threatened to cast a cloud over an economic forum aimed at boosting intra-African trade.

This latest wave of unrest in South Africa rekindled memories of violence and strained diplomatic relations with Nigeria.

Though it's unclear what ignited the latest round of riots in South Africa, high unemployment frustration with limited economic opportunities have been cited as possible triggers.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday (September 3) he was urgently sending a special envoy to meet with Ramaphosa, to secure the "safety of lives and property."

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