SA in ‘constant communication’ with Nigeria about missing girls

2014-05-15 12:34

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South Africa has been in “constant communication” through diplomatic channels with Nigeria over the abduction of more than 200 girls from Chibok last month, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has said.

Nkoana-Mashabane was responding to questions at a briefing on the inauguration of South Africa’s newly-elected president next week.

She called the abduction “unfortunate and unprecedented”.

She said the South African government condemned the “heinous act of using girl children as weapons of some mysterious action by these abductors” two days after the incident happened.

“We joined the global community first as an African country to come out in support of the efforts of the Nigerian government. We also welcome the initiatives of civil societies across the world by other governments, and equally by our own in South Africa, particularly of the students who come out in support of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

“We are in constant communication with the Nigerian government through our high commission in Nigeria and also through the Nigerian high commission here in South Africa, and the responses we’ve been getting from the Nigerian government have been positive and we remain seized with the kind of support the Nigerian government would be requesting from us,” she said.

There has been criticism from Nigerians against the Nigerian government’s slow response to the situation, and also against an apparent lack of response from the rest of Africa.

The US has since sent forces and equipment to help find the girls.

A group of about six ministers, most of whom remained silent throughout, came to the 15-minute briefing at the Government Communications and Information Services building on the inauguration this morning, which started more than 45 minutes late.

The new president is expected to be inaugurated on May 24, and 4 500 guests will be attending at the Union Building’s Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre, while thousands more will be accommodated on the grass outside.

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