World

Nigeria recalls senior diplomats from South Africa over attacks on immigrants

  • Demonstrators walk through the streets of Johannesburg Thursday, April 23, 2015 protesting  against  recent attacks on immigrants that killed seven people. The protesters walked through the center of Johannesburg passing neighborhoods that are home to many immigrants, a large number of whom come from other African countries. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    Demonstrators walk through the streets of Johannesburg Thursday, April 23, 2015 protesting against recent attacks on immigrants that killed seven people. The protesters walked through the center of Johannesburg passing neighborhoods that are home to many immigrants, a large number of whom come from other African countries. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

  • People attend a march against xenophobic attacks in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Police officers and soldiers raided a hostel considered a hotspot for anti-immigrant attacks for the second day running in Johannesburg as South Africa continued a crackdown on xenophobic violence. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    People attend a march against xenophobic attacks in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Police officers and soldiers raided a hostel considered a hotspot for anti-immigrant attacks for the second day running in Johannesburg as South Africa continued a crackdown on xenophobic violence. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

Nigeria says it is recalling its top diplomats in South Africa because of "ongoing xenophobia targeting foreigners."

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement says the attacks that began three weeks ago have killed seven people, destroyed property and "created fear and uncertainty in the minds of African migrants."

It says Nigeria's ambassador in Pretoria, South Africa's capital, and the consul general in Johannesburg, the economic hub, will return to Nigeria for consultations.

The statement, dated Saturday, noted that some South Africans have organized peace marches and that President Jacob Zuma has condemned the attacks as has Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, whose comments allegedly incited the violence.

Nigerian legislators have called for the South African government to pay damages and a Nigerian rights group has complained to the International Criminal Court.