There is need for long-lasting measures to combat the rising xenophobic attacks against foreign African nationals in South Africa, says Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba.

Ambassador Mwamba said there was need for long-lasting measures to combat the growing frequency of xenophobic attacks against foreign African nationals in South Africa as it remained a serious concern.

His remarks follow a fresh wave of unprovoked attacks by Black South Africans against other Black African nationals in the port city of Durban last week.

“The frequency of these attacks is becoming regular! The last attacks happened in 2015, we had another one in 2016 and 2017, and these attacks happened last week. We are looking for long-lasting measures that will stop this,” the Zambian Envoy told the BBC’s Focus on Africa, Monday evening.

He noted that the continued spate of xenophobic attacks also risked harming efforts to intensify intra-African trade.

“Africa is talking about a border less Africa, free trade area, us integrating. So, how will we integrate when there are these xenophobic tendencies, and xenophobic feelings in which we are calling our people to be one and working as one people in Africa,” he said.

He pointed out that South Africa’s government gave fresh assurances to African nationals living in that country of safety and protection following a meeting held at their Ministry of International Relations in Pretoria.

“The meeting went very well because as African diplomats, who are affected; our nationals living in South Africa, raised the alarm that this could be xenophobic attacks and that before they spread anywhere, they should be stopped. So, the meeting went extremely well. South African officials, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation), assured us that there will be no further attacks and that police are on this case,” said Mwamba.

“Although the matter might appear isolated that occurred in Durban, it raises anxieties and fears that this might spread. So, we are now assured that the Government of South Africa is on this matter.”