A former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong has called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to publicly make a declaration on the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa, ABC News can report.
In an interview with ABC News, Rev Dr Opuni-Frimpong indicated that given the President’s deep international relations and influence in Africa, a comment from him could make a huge impact in calming tensions in South Africa.
Rev Dr Opuni-Frimpong, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Christian Advocacy Africa, said the issue should not be regarded as a South African affair, adding that all African leaders must speak against it and contribute to restore peace.
“A number of dignitaries have spoken but hearing from the President of South Africa condemning his own people, and Nigeria president also speaking against it, our president can add his voice and call for calm.
“Considering who we are as a country and the role we have played in international relations in Africa, our voice is needed. If the presidency will utter something, it will also help. The issue should not be treated as South African affair,” he said.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong called for calm particularly among the youth in Africa, urging them to refrain from practices that could fuel the issue.
He implored all persons who have the power to influence decision making to desist from comments that have the potential to escalate the situation.
He further called on South African authorities to implement its laws particularly those that bothered on migration and ensure that the rights of foreigners were protected.
He however, expressed dissatisfaction over the reaction of the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa as he believes the President’s condemnation of the attacks was not enough.
“This is not the first time it is happening. We are always quick to condemn. But beyond the condemnation we don’t see any action taken to prevent the issue from recurring. So I want the president to do more than just condemning,” Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said.
Since Monday, mobs have been looting shops and torching trucks driven by foreigners in various parts of South Africa.
Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to stop the looting.
Police say five people have been killed, two of which are South Africans, with 189 perpetrators arrested.
There have been reports of reprisal attacks in Nigeria and Zambia, compelling some South African owned businesses, including MTN Nigeria to suspend its operations.
Some African governments have issued warnings to their citizens living in South Africa over the violence, with the major amongst them being Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana and Ethiopia.
The Nigerian government has even withdrawn its high commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala and has initiated plans to evacuate its citizens in South Africa, willing to return to Nigeria amid the unrest.
It has also emerged that South Africa has closed its diplomatic missions in the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos following violence carried out against South African businesses in reprisal attacks.
Watch Rev Dr Opuni-Frimpong’s interview below: