Xenophobic Attack Aftermath: Abuja Film Festival suspends South African entries

Long after the senseless killing of foreign nationals in South Africa stopped, the after effects of the unfortunate event is still being felt.

From reprisal attacks on South African owned businesses in Nigeria and Zambia, to airplay bans on music by South African artistes; the list is endless.

The newest addition to the escalating issues is the recent decision by organisers of the 16th Abuja International Film Festival to suspend with immediate effect all South African film entries submitted for the Festival scheduled for 22nd to 25th October 2019.

The organisers in a statement signed by the founder of the Festival and one of Nigeria’s filmmaker of international repute, Mr, Fidelis Duker, on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, said that it had observed the global outcry especially by Nigerians all over the world who have called on their compatriots to boycott South African products and services in Nigeria in retaliation to the violence against their countrymen in South Africa.

The statement amongst other things, strongly condemned the reoccurring xenophobic attacks against African migrants, including Nigerians in South Africa.

“we have taken the painful and avoidable decision to suspend entries submitted by filmmakers from the Republic of South Africa until further notice.’

“We, therefore, strongly condemn hate, prejudice and xenophobia actions of some South African nationals and reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all violence in any form.”

“The Film festival is a platform that was created to promote mutual harmony and respect for the dignity of life.”

“We will continue to advocate for a society where everyone’s rights and freedoms are respected. The right to live and earn a living, freely, safely and protected by the law”, the statement read in full,

Adapted from: New Dawn Nigeria

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