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how to deal with refugees

south africans handle refugees

post 21.Feb.2017, 12:29 PM
Post #1
Joined: 17.Feb.2017

Zimbabwe refugees flee South Africa as violence erupts
Thousands of black immigrants in Johannesburg have fled their homes amid a growing tide of mob violence that has left at least 23 people dead and many badly injured.

The mobs, armed mainly with pangas, clubs and iron bars, rampaged through townships, squatter camps and even sections of the city centre attacking anyone they suspected was not of South African origin.

Criminal gangs have exploited the unrest to rape and plunder.

The anger was directed mainly at Zimbabweans who have fled the privations of their home country but endure poor housing, unemployment and crime.

The mobs hacked at their victims and set others on fire in scenes reminiscent of the township violence of the apartheid years. Up to 6,000 immigrants were reported to have fled their homes.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for the violence to end. Nelson Mandela, the former president and ANC leader, repeated an appeal made during an outbreak of xenophobic violence in 1995: "We cannot blame other people for our troubles."

Flames and smoke could be seen rising from burning shacks and homes on the outskirts of the city while police stations, church and community halls struggled to cope with people trying to escape the violence.

"This is a classic refugee situation and the authorities do not seem to be able to deal with it," said Rachel Cohen, of Médecins Sans Frontières, which was organising blankets and food for those who had fled the violence.

In 2008, more than 60 people were killed in a series of attacks on foreign nationals. In 2013, a 25-year-old Somali man was dragged through the streets of Port Elizabeth, and pelted with stones and rocks. He later died from his injuries and the assault was captured on a mobile device and shared on social media, prompting international outrage.

The South African government has routinely said that violence against foreigners was a result of criminality and not xenophobia.

In 2012, the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, said Somali-run businesses suffered from disproportionate levels of crime, including attacks by competing South African businesses.

South Africa is Africa’s most industrialised country, and it attracts thousands of foreign nationals every year, seeking refuge from poverty, economic crises, war and government persecution in their home countries. While the majority of them are from elsewhere on the continent, such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Ethiopia, many also come from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Xenophobia is generally defined as ‘the deep dislike of non-nationals by nationals of a recipient state.’ This definition is also used by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Xenophobia is also a manifestation of racism. Racism and xenophobia support each other and they share prejudiced discourses. They both operate on the same basis of profiling people and making negative assumptions. The profiling in the case of racism is on the basis of race, in the case of xenophobia on the basis of nationality.

When the xenophobic violence in South Africa occurred, the victims were not only foreigners in the sense of a different nationality are attacked but in fact everybody not belonging to the dominant ethnic groups in the main cities, Zulu or Xhosa, was attacked. Members of smaller ethnic groups in South Africa are also viewed as foreigners by fellow South Africans. White people are not viewed as foreigners in the context of xenophobic violence.There had been attacks on South Africans who 'looked foreign' because they were 'too dark' to be South African.

Reasons for the attacks differ, with some blaming the contestation for scarce resources, others attribute it to the country’s violent past, inadequate service delivery and the influence of micro politics in townships, involvement and complicity of local authority members in contractor conflicts for economic and political reasons, failure of early warning and prevention mechanisms regarding community-based violence; and also local residents claims that foreigners took jobs opportunities away from local south Africans and they accept lower wages, foreigners do not participate in the struggle for better wages and working conditions. Other local South Africans claim that foreigners are criminals, and they should not have access to services and police protection. Foreigners are also blamed for their businesses that take away customers from local residents and the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Other South African locals do not particularly like the presence of refugees, asylum-seekers or foreigners in their communities.

a whole lot more to read on the last link but i think u get the point
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post 21.Feb.2017, 02:31 PM
Post #2
Joined: 17.Feb.2017

don't mean to bump the topic but this is how we treat somalis since you having problems with them

In a suburb of Johannesburg, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas on Thursday to disperse a crowd of anti-immigrant protesters aiming to attack foreign-owned shops.

The violence first targeted shops owned by foreign nationals, largely from Somalia and Ethiopia. Now it's spreading against all African foreigners, leaving many feeling terrified and hopeless.

Somalia national Ebrahim Mohamad Ali runs a coffee shop in Johannesburg. Memories of the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa are still fresh in his mind. He lost his auto repair business – and his brother.

"They killed him in that robbery, for xenophobia. Me, I lost all my tools, all my money," Mohamad said.

The anti-immigrant violence erupted again in recent weeks. Somali and Ethiopian nationals owning grocery shops in Soweto township were the first to be targeted. They were beaten and chased away by locals who took over their businesses.

Foreign shop owners in the port city of Durban were the next to be targeted, two weeks ago, and now all African foreign nationals are being told to pack up and leave. Thousands have been displaced and are living in makeshift camps.

By Khadija Patel and Azad Essa

photography by Ihsaan Haffejee

Running small convenience stores in the townships is a dangerous business for foreigners.

Often serving their customers through locked gates, they are accused of spreading disease, stealing jobs and sponging off basic government services like electricity, running water and healthcare.

But as violence against them continues, the South African government insists that criminality is behind it, not xenophobia.

No place like home

Xenophobia in South Africa | Chapter 1

In a haze of violence in late January, an angry mob approached a convenience store belonging to Abdikadir Ibrahim Danicha. They pried open its iron gates and looted everything inside. Even the large display refrigerators were carried away.

Danicha's life was upended.

"South African people don’t like us," Danicha, a 29-year-old Somali national, told Al Jazeera, while sitting on his bed in a small room he shared with three others in Mayfair, a suburb popular with foreign nationals in Johannesburg.

The violent outburst that led to the looting of

Danicha’s store began in Snake Park, in the

western reaches of Soweto, when 14-year-old

Siphiwe Mahori was allegedly killed by another Somali shop owner, Alodixashi Sheik Yusuf.

Mahori, a South African, was allegedly a part of a group of people who attempted to rob Yusuf’s store on January 19. His death sparked a week of mob justice, which appeared to be inflamed by xenophobia.

Scores of people were injured and hundreds of stores were looted. As the violence spread to nearby Kagiso, a South African baby was trampled to death.

For the foreign nationals affected by the violence, the actions of the mob were inexplicable.

"I don’t even have clothes … I lost all my things," said Masrat Eliso an Ethiopian national, four days after his shop in Protea Glen, a suburb of Soweto, was looted.

Somalis burned in SA anti-foreigner violence: Shops abandoned, criminals breaking in and stealing all they can carry away
It’s the worst anti-immigrant violence since 2008, when 62 people were killed and 50,000 displaced from their homes.

Somali nationals live in fear
February 20, 2017

A RECENT spate of violence directed at Somali foreign nationals in Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, has left many fearing a repeat of the xenophobic attacks against foreigners which happened in South Africa recently.

According to police reports, 11 Somali nationals have been killed in the township in January with the most recent attacks taking place last Thursday. Three Somali shopkeepers were gunned down in different sections of the township on the same day.

Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum Marc Gbaffou said he was not surprised by the attacks on Somali nationals saying that South Africans were suffering from deep seated xenophobia. “In South Africa we only mention the word xenophobia when there is an outbreak of violence but what we are seeing on a continuous basis, is that migrants are facing this challenge,” Gbaffou said.

“On a daily basis migrants are victims of xenophobic attacks wherever they are whatever they are doing. Xenophobia is happening, xenophobia is real in South African communities.” The Western Cape and Eastern Cape are home to the biggest Somali migrant communities in South Africa, most of whom have establish informal township businesses.

Last week the attacks on the three Somali shopkeepers in Khayelitsha’s Site C, reportedly took place around the same time. “The circumstances surrounding the deaths of three Somalian nationals are being investigated. The motives for the three incidents are yet to be determined and no one has been arrested as yet,” police spokesperson André Traut said.

The Somali Community Board of South Africa has since announced it is planning to meet with senior police management this week to discuss the killings of their fellow countrymen. Western Cape department of community safety MEC Dan Plato said he was aware of the reports of attacks on foreign nationals and he advised communities to be vigilant and supported one another.

“In the past, I have had discussions with the Somali shop owners over an array of issues and concerns. Their safety concerns and complaints, I have also forwarded to the SAPS for its consideration and operational execution. “I urge communities to prioritise the safety of their own community. Report all incidents of crime to the police, support one another regardless of where your neighbour is from, “ Plato said.

However, Gbaffou said he was disappointed with the governments’ lack of vigour in tackling Xenophobia head on. “Unfortunately the government does not take a strong stand to address this issue and we have been crying since 2008. There is a feeling that the government does not want to protect us.” Following the 2008 xenophobic attacks the government had promised to implement a wide-ranging set of measures including an early warning system to prevent attacks as well as monitoring xenophobic hotspots.
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