Organisers of the Abuja International Film Festival have suspended all South African film entries to its 16th edition in protest at “xenophobic” attacks against African migrants in South Africa.
In a statement, organisers of the event, scheduled for October 22 to 25, said: “We as an international film festival condemn unequivocally the reoccurring xenophobic attacks against African migrants, including Nigerians, in South Africa.
“We have 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 at the violence against their countrymen in South Africa.”
According to the founder of the festival, Fidelis Duker, the event was created to promote mutual harmony and respect for the dignity of life, which contrasts with the actions of the South Africans responsible for the attacks.
He said the organisers “strongly condemn hate, prejudice and xenophobia actions of some South African nationals and reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all violence in any form. We therefore, as a matter of necessity, call on the South African government to address the issue of xenophobic attacks with utmost seriousness where the perpetrators are brought to book.”